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Encouraging North Americans to Pollute Less, Consume Fewer Resources, and Use Less Energy since 2007.

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Resource Cycling

This planet has a limited amount of resources available. All our planet receives from the outside in a reasonable amount is sunlight. We have found (and probably mostly harvested) the resources that are easy to reach.

Any resource (= material) that is transformed into a product (= anything human-made) and is used for anything will be useless as a product at some point of its existence. Ideally a product is reused many times, but one day it needs to be transformed back into a material and returned into the cycle of resources.

Here is the problem with the cycle of resources:

• If a product can be recycled doing so may result in less pollution, less use of energy, less use of resources. That is unfortunately not always the case. Our society's focus on recycling results in millions of tons of one-way containers every year. Alongside developed the attitude that if it can be recycled it is acceptable, even desirable, to do so. Recycling works in a few cases, in most other cases it is an energy-, pollution-, and resource-intense delay of dumping materials.

• If a product is made from materials that cannot be recycled, it will become a problem quite fast. When you have no use for it any longer it will end up in a waste incinerator or in a land-fill (e.g. shoes, airplanes, boats, most sports equipment, furniture, clothing, suit cases).

• If the individual materials can be recycled but the product cannot be returned to a recycling facility, it will be a problem unless you disassemble the product (e.g. cars, home electronics, and kitchen appliances). The labor to disassemble products that are combinations of materials that could be recycled is way too expensive. If you do not do it, it won't get done. Unless there is a buck to be made differently.

The interruption of the cycle of resources results in resources ending up as useless materials. It results in energy spent and pollution caused for transforming materials into something we can no longer use.

Look around you. Imagine what one day will happen to all the things you own. How many of those things will ever be recycled and made into something else? What happens to the rest?

 


 

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