Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do we have enough resources to keep on going like this?

When I was trained on the Zero Waste Education Resource Sustainability unit a few months ago I was pretty inspired with the content of it. It's aimed at intermediate level students, years 7 & 8, and boy does it pack a heavy weight punch.

Essentialy we look at the resources we have on planet Earth. What is our stuff made from? How is it made? What resources do we use in making it and getting it to us? What happens at the end of it's useful life? All of the questions you'd expect really.

To get a better understanding of this we look at cradle to grave manufacturing processes. When you look at this process, and especially the energy and waste involved within the manufacturing process it becomes rather overwhealming. When your attention reverts to the millions of plastic water bottles that are bought and discarded every day it just blows your mind. So many of us hardly spare a thought for what is embeded within our everyday products that we literally take for granted.

Even with this in mind it kinda seems like we've been trucking along nicely like this for a while, some guys are going on about the blobe warming up, but it can't make that much difference can it? Right.....If you need any more convincing on this issue I urge you to watch this short population animation. There is a little bit of an issue when we look at the math behind steady growth. Something we are all told is a good thing.....hmmmm I beg to differ. Steady growth is good at first but then it just goes beserk, like I say, watch this video and be prepared for your mind to be blown.

So now your mind has been blown we need to have some solutions. Rather than Cradle to Grave manufacturing we need to support Cradle to Cradle. So on the last of our four days in class we look at how we can put our waste product back into the manufacturing stream. Creating clean streams rather than waste streams.

We still need to follow the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle philosophy as well as purchasing as much produce as possible that has been made locally. However we will still purchase things that when they reach the end of their life will need to be discarded. So, lets really think about what we are buying and when we make a purchase use our super powered human brain to make an intelligent choice and buy a product that can go back into the manufacturing stream. If you're really on to it, you'll look for products that have been made from resources that have come from a waste stream.

This is such a powerful unit, please get in touch if you'd like me to deliver it to your school.

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