A friend from back home emailed me a little while ago and asked me about one issue that is particularly bugging her about becoming more environmentally conscious.
There’s all these great new innovations/products etc etc designed to decrease greenhouse gas emmissions, decrease waste production/landfill trash, decrease fossil fuel consumptions etc etc. But it seems like by being conscious of one aspect of “saving the environment”, you almost inevitably increase another.
She brought up a lot of good points. For instance, hybrids are great during their useful life, but what about their afterlife? Supposedly, they can’t be recycled like most cars and are thus meant for the rough and polluting graveyard.
I responded to her with a “yeah! cool that you’re reading my blog!” but also with some answers on the environmental paradoxes.
We have to live with trade-offs – that’s a matter of life. And almost everything we do will inevitably hurt the environment or give us cancer. C’est la vie quoi;) However, a more useful answer actually comes from one of the courses I’m taking right now.
Let’s start looking at the whole lifespan of a product.
This is called Life Cycle Assessments. It takes into account all of the environmental impacts along the entire lifespan of a product. With things like this you can compare the impacts with a more solid ground.
There’s a lot of push right now for businesses to start doing more LCA studies on their products to figure out where they can find efficiencies through the supply chain. After a quick search on it, just found out that Montreal actually just had a conference on it last week. Cycle 2007: Modern Society’s Economic Model is Outdated. Here too.
Interesting stuff and it helps answer some of these questionable environmental choices that we’re faced with. I have to say though: after doing flowcharts after flowcharts and thinking about emissions to air, emissions to water blah blah blah…. it’s a good scientific way of figuring out what you already know. Be smart. Be efficient.
Paradox 2 will be coming shortly;)
Suomi updates: Today I was happy that the sky was a little brighter. And by that I mean light gray… not dark gray. Yesterday was terrible and wet. And all I can say is that it’s going to get darker… I don’t know if I’m prepared for months without sunlight. Let me know if my blog becomes a bit too depressing….
Sorry.. don’t get me wrong though. Life is still good here;)
No more leaves really but liked this one- ahh..Fall. Happy Halloween everyone.