Waste does not exist!!

This week our second LOLA show involved examples of biomimicry.  My favorite was the Sharklet technologies example.  I found it very interesting that the man that came up with the idea was finding it for a different purpose but in the end came up with a product for an even greater purpose, like use in hospitals.  He discovered the concept by being observant and simply asking “why?”  He wondered why sharks didn’t have the same problem as ships and sought out the answer and discovered something much greater.  I think this is an important thing for us to learn, that you never know what might inspire us or what can come out of a simple idea.   It is important for us to learn to expand our way of thinking as it could lead to greater solutions and outcomes.  We don’t have to stop when one problem is solved, we can come up with even more.

This week we also discussed waste.  Think about how many times a day you throw something in the trash.  How often do you take the trash out to the dumpster? When you think about and how many people there are doing the same things, it amazes me that we even still have room for all our waste.  Once we put something in the trash, to us it is gone forever and we no longer have to worry about it.  But in reality it is not gone, it is still a problem to the earth.  The reading Cradle-to-Cradle by William McDonough, and Michael Braungart explained once again that nature knows how to thrive on its own using the example of waste.  In nature everything is used for something else and no waste is ever gone unused. The thing that stuck out to me most in the readings was that throw away products have become the norm. That is very true. In my house we have throw away cups, silverware, towels and a lot of cardboard boxes used to package almost everything we buy.  I never thought about how many throw away dishes I use instead of using real dishes. I think I use them because they are easier, they are always clean and I don’t have to wash them when I am done. I just throw them away. I think this is the biggest reason why we do a lot of unsustainable practices, it is simply easier and we need to get out of that mindset.  I think it would be a fun experiment to see how much waste people create if we no longer had our trash disposal services.  If people had to deal with all their trash themselves I bet they would start using those dishes in the cabinet!

The reading stated that we need to design things with the understanding that waste does not exist. We need to start incorporating the afterlife use of a product into the things we design.  This is a pretty big concept and designers have to change their way of thinking but as the G Diaper showed us in class it is possible. The fact that the conventional diaper can last for hundreds of years and the G Diaper can biodegrade in months is fascinating.  More products like this need to be brought to the publics attention.  However, it was mentioned that the product is more expensive. I want to know how we can get the public to look past the convenience and look past the price to do what is right for the environment. Is it going to have to take manufacturers and cities to stop facilitating unsustainable practices and forcing society into a new way of life?


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