I learned a lot this week about C2C and I did have somewhat of a learning epiphany. I like to call it an OMG SERIOUSLY moment, while reading “Waste Equals Food”. It was when the author discussed how people used to pour paint, drugs, cleaners and other harmful substances down their sink drains. SERIOUSLY people? That is disgusting and dumb. It brings up an excellent question as to how to best dispose of those items, which I think has spurred efforts to make those chemicals less harmful since they do end up polluting our water system. I’m sure people still dump their “leftovers” down their sinks and toilets but hopefully people are more aware of how terrible that is? The most important thing that I learned from the reading was how crucial it is to be aware of the open-loop system. For instance, I think with where we are in technology advances, we will always have some harmful chemicals and products that will need to be disposed of. However, if we are going to create those things, we need to also have a way to dispose of them, without polluting our water and soil systems. It made me think about the things I pour down my sink and flush down the toilet. While I don’t make it a habit to dispose of my cleaning chemicals that way, I’m definitely going to think twice about the cleaning supplies that I purchase and whether or not they’re considered Green.
I think this is relevant and useful because I have been seeing “green” cleaning products, chemicals, paint, etc. in stores and haven’t really taken the time to get to know why they’re considered green and what the advantages are in using them. Now that I know the terrible effects that they have on people and the environment, I’m going to be proactive in buying Green products in the future and being more mindful of how I dispose of the ones that are not green. And who seriously pours paint down the drain.
Anyways, knowing what I know now, I’d like to know some ways that I can dispose of my hazardous chemicals? And also, in relevance to sustainable design, what kinds of construction and building materials do designers need to know about to specify in the design process that can withstand these chemicals?