Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rethinking the 3 Rs

While watching the Bill Nye episode, Garbage, with my kids, I was struck by their inclusion of re-think with reduce, re-use, and recycle. 4 Rs are better than 3: even good products, such as the BigBelly Solar need to be rethought. This product holds the garbage of five cans, is clean and self contained, but offers no choice for recycling. Instead a similar product with multiple compartments for recyclables, biodegradables, and garbage could be used to divert waste from landfills. Only balanced thinking will balance equation of our consumption. Perspective can be gained by touring landfills with tomorrow's generation to see how they divert waste (paper bans) and capture leachate and methane. There's no easy path, but integrating disposal into a product's design makes sense. I again praise the efforts of RoHS and hope to see such standards spread through all industries.

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