Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Julie Post 5_Cradle to Grave

Cradle to Grave

Imperative to mans survival on the earth is our ability to take care of our planet.
For generation upon generation mankind has been flagrantly polluting his own backyard destroying eco-systems and the habitats of many animal species.
As industrialization developed man in his quest to 'produce' and with the greed that surrounds the accumulation of wealth, man overlooked his devastating impact upon the earth, choosing rather to turn a blind eye to those 'issues' that would cost time and money to address, instead listening to the bleating of shareholders and money grabbers, went merrily on his destructive course!
In the 1970's as th e computer age was emerging many sensitive and insightful people often known as 'hippies' started to speak out about the environment and were unhappy at the way things were unfolding. Many 'dropped out' into the countryside wanting to hold onto a more simple way of life, to eat clean and pure foods, living and gardening communally, using natural energy sources, saving seeds etc etc...To those aware people it was obvious that man was heading down the wrong path. Some of them managed follow through and find a niche where they could continue to work towards a greener earth, but many were forced to join the 'rat race' again submitting to the power of the $$$. Those 40 years have cost the earth dearly and now as the earth groans under mans excesses, mankind is finally willing to look at what we have set in motion.
The question is can we turn back the clock and the destruction???

In USA waste management has become a huge multi million $ industry.

From Cradle
to Grave Waste Management for Conservative AIC Health & Safety Guides
The most important regulation governing hazardous waste is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), whose primary goals are 'to protect human health and environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, to conserve energy and natural resources, to reduce the amount of waste generated, and to ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner'
The basic tenet of this regulation is a 'cradle-to-grave' tracking system, meaning that hazardous waste generators (users of hazardous materials who generate hazardous waste) must track waste from the moment it enters the site as a hazardous material to the eventual treatment of disposal of that material.
This regulation requires hazardous waste generators to bear the responsibility of dealing with hazardou
s materials in a responsible way. Interesting to note is that the responsibility of hazardous waste may go beyond the grave, making the waste generator responsible (in part) for the waste handler's actions. Thus, if the handler does a poor job and pollutes the environment, the generator may be responsible for the cleanup.

Cradle to Cradle
This unusual term refers to the way a product is made and designed from the very beginning with the view to the product having a life after the initial use it is made for. The waste product is reused in some other product or used to make a similar product Ie. Shoes after it has been dismantled and and the raw material is recycled and reused in a completely new product or for fuel for new products or natural cycles eliminating waste.
All materials used are seen as either technical or biological nutrients. Technical nutrients are non toxic and are reusable and they maintain their integrity and quality, but are able to be used again and again, finally ending up as a waste product. The biological nutrients are consumables. organic in nature providing nourishment as a compost for eco-systems and other life forms.

The C2C Categories are:-
GREEN - little to no risk.
YELLOW - low to moderate risk. The chemicals used are acceptable till a green alternative is found.
ORANGE - There is no indication that this is a high risk chemical, complete assessment is not possible due to a lack of information.
RED - high risk chemicals or X-list. These should be phased out as soon as possible.C2C meet current design standards regarding cost, performance and aesthetics and go a step further, including ecological intelligence and safety to human health.

Some major companies have embraced this Cradle to Cradle ideal and have found that after initial expenditure to put in place the Cradle to Cradle system, they have found that in the long term the system save not only a lot of money, but it also save the environment too. That is the way mankind can take care of the Earth and the creatures upon it!

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