Materials

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The world depends on materials such as metal, glass, plastic, wood, and so many more. All of these have an environmental impact, and involve some human labor.

How do we weigh the benefits of any green solution against the materials it uses?

Research needed

For each material, consider

  • The energy it takes to produce it
  • The pollution it takes to produce it If there are less polluting ways, are there tradeoffs such as needing more energy?
  • Other considerations
    • For organic materials
      • For products (such as wood), consider the land*time needed to grow them
      • For byproducts, consider the inherent supply
    • For inorganic materials (such as metal)
      • Mineral reserves
      • Land disturbed by mining You can define disturbed in more than one way; for example, area dug up vs surrounding area polluted.

Most imporantly, consider the impacts per unit of material.

Other questions worth finding answers to

How much of the world's materials are used for making factories themselves, as opposed to the goods manufactured?