Just read this : https://mcdonough.com/cradle-to-cradle/
And I'm quite excited about the fundamental ideas :
- stop assuming that humans are necessarily net-consumers / net-destroyers / entropic within the Earth's EcoSystem.
- change the way we design and make things, the way we live, so that we are a net benefit to the ecosystem.
- Of course, there's still the third law of ThermoDynamics, but we should be able to live within the "budget" of energy we get from the sun each year (like the rest of the ecosystem). In their cute phrase, the sun is a giant nuclear power station, 93 million miles away "which is exactly where we want it".
I started thinking that this would be a naive, defensive kind of position, or naive TechnologicalDeterminism, but at the end I find it nuanced enough, though very bold and ambitious.
Can it be done? It's as worth pursuing.
Main ideas :
- think of everything in terms of feeds
- at the end of the life of an item, all the residue must be suitable to go into the feeds of other processes.
- important : there are two kinds of stuff : biological (suitable for Composting) and industrial (materials which nature can't handle but we can.) The BIG idea is keep them separate (or separable). The worst kinds of things are mixtures which contain non-biological materials (so can't be composted) but dirtied with biological materials (which make it impossible, or unfeasibly expensive, to send back into the industrial feeds.)
- Perhaps renting and leasing is better than selling, because it gives more incentives to makers to take responsibility of what they make and to make it decomposable into new feeds. (See also : TheAgeOfAccess)