Not a waste of time…

This week there were three new ideas and terms that I learned about and which stood out for me; biological and technical metabolisms, monstrous hybrids and up cycling. Biological nutrients are useful for the biosphere as these materials are fully biodegradable after they are consumed by microorganisms in the soil. Technical nutrients are when materials when broken down leave some toxic chemicals, but also valuable nutrients that can go back into the industry in a useful way. Humans have been taking substances from the Earth’s crust and then concentrating and altering them in so many different ways that they can no longer be returned to Earth safely. Monstrous hybrids are the result of this fault as they are mixture of technical and biological materials that cannot be salvaged after their current lives. We need to look at what we are making and using so that at the end of the product’s useful life, we can recycle and re-use pieces to close the loop without gaps. This whole idea of returning what we use back to nature and creating a productive cycle where there is no waste, I think is what the theory cradle 2 cradle is all about. Up cycling is a term I have heard of, but never truly understood and now I feel like I have a better handle on it. Up cycling occurs when you take a material or product in its pure form and create something new from it where the new product is worth just as much, if not more than the original product. The difference between recycling and up cycling is that the latter does not sacrifice the quality of the product. Kind of an a-ha moment for me this week was after learning about the cradle 2 cradle concept, removing waste means to design products while understanding that from the beginning through the entire process, waste does not exist. Also, when products are DESIGNED to be recycled and re-used, that is when we are truly being sustainable and thinking about a better future.

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