Waste

With week four of sustainability I am learning more and more about the importance of being sustainable. Everyday there are things that we can be doing in order to be more efficient and sustainable. I work at the donut shop in town and everyday we use so much plastic and styrofoam, between the customers and the employees getting coffee and other drinks. There are some customers that come in with their own cup and get coffee. It is not only less expensive, but it also saves a plastic cup being thrown away and not recycled. If the customers that come everyday for coffee would start bring their own reusable cup it would be more sustainable because they are not using a plastic cup everyday that it more than likely not being recycled.

In these last lectures the focus had really been on nature and what can we to to mimic what nature is doing. Michael Pawlyn talked a lot about trying to integrate what nature does into our everyday lives. I thought it was interesting when he mentions that the beetle can detect a fire from about 50 miles away, that is a distance that fire detectors are not able to reach. The video also talked about ideas from biology can reduce the excess of resources, another way to reduce the excess of waste is that there is information accessible to people about waste reduction. In the article “Closing the Loops in Commerce” it talked about running on information, my take away and what was discussed in my learning community from this article was that the environment gives us feedback everyday as to what we are doing to it. The feedback is reaction the environment has to all the things that we do to it. I think it is important that not only companies give feedback to other companies on how to be more sustainable, but that consumers give feedback to companies on how they think they should be sustainable. The consumers should be demanding “greener’ products, but if the consumers do not care about “greener” products then why should the companies care about being “greener”.  Manufacturers and suppliers are always looking for ways to be able to meet the needs of the consumer in a fast and inexpensive way, all the while they are not paying any attention to the long term impact that is it having on the environment. There needs to be a balance between try to be efficient for the consumer, while at the same time being conscious of the impact on the environment.

In the life cycle principals are about lessons from nature that we can incorporate into conditions in our lives. Incorporating these principals into our everyday lives in everything that we buy, eat, and sell can condense our carbon foot print in a significant way. The way of C2C in a concept that is attainable it just needs to be implemented. Designing something that has a dual purpose of production and has the ability to break down after it’s lifecycle is an incredible concept. The amount of materials that are wasted everyday can be repurposed if there was such a design as C2C. When it comes to reusing or recycling I am not sure which one would be better because both of them have their pros and cons. The one thing that I thought was interesting and can set reusing apart is that there is no processing or separating there is simply just the reusing aspect. It made me think a lot about what things in my life that I find useful but could just be reused and repurposed for something. There is always a way to make what you own useful it just takes a little bit of creativity and innovation. I plan to start looking at the things that I am throwing out and trying to come up with a way to reuse them.

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