05 November 2008

Hard Times? Living in Paper Can Reduce Waste

Under the Obama/Pelosi/Boxer energy regime, costs for energy are likely to skyrocket. Fuel costs, electricity costs, operating costs for any entity that uses energy--all will skyrocket. Since the current economic downturn was caused at least in part by last summer's sharp spike in oil prices, one can easily imagine the effect on the overall economy of the imminent OPB energy regime.
In the United States, we discard enough paper each year to build a wall 48 feet high around the entire perimeter of the country. Even though about 45 percent of discarded paper is recycled annually, 55 percent or 48 million tons of paper is thrown away or goes into the landfills.
Affluence in a society tends to promote wasteful methods of doing things. The US is poised on the verge of a dramatic decline of affluence, but that does not mean that there will be less waste. In fact, given the likely causes of imminent national decline in the US, overall waste is likely to skyrocket.

But you do not have to contribute to the waste. Resourceful building of smarter houses can cut your personal waste contribution significantly. Papercrete, Padobe, etc., are ways of blending waste paper with binding and strengthening materials to build entire structures for living, storage, workshops, and other uses.
Figuring conservatively, it takes about fifteen trees to make a ton of paper. That means that 720 million trees are used once and then buried in a landfill each year. We are experimenting with ways to turn this prodigious amount of waste into low-cost, high-value sustainable housing.

Given the skyrocketing costs of building materials & construction, and the pressing need for homes, it is just a matter of time before papercrete will begin to take its place as an acceptable and even desirable residential construction material. _LivingInPaper
Living in Paper website pages contain instructions for mixing the materials, building structures, even running a business making structures out of paper.

In reality, papercrete and padobe structures insulate very well, and will no doubt allow significant savings in heating and cooling costs.

The US--and consequently most of the world--is on the verge of difficult economic times, due to a long string of bad choices made by politicians and voters. It is pointless to examine the political basis for these bad choices at this time. Far more important is to begin to understand the propagating matrix of constraints that are self-assembling as we eat, drink, think, talk, sleep, and excrete. Being ignorant of the consequences of individual and collective action is no way to go through life.

Living in paper may be considered the height of luxury before this chain reaction works itself out. Paper, bale, cob, cordwood, earth, even wattle and daub. Nature knows how to expand and contract with changing seasons and changing epochs. Human political structures only understand mindless expansion. That expansion just received a super-charged jolt of lightning, thanks to a dumbed down electorate.

This is not the time to be oblivious to how things work.


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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

"Under the Obama/Pelosi/Boxer energy regime, costs for energy are likely to skyrocket."

Maybe they will raise taxes enough to kill off the economy in order to flatten demand for oil. Balance. It's like being hit on both sides of the head at the same time so you don't fall over.

Wednesday, 05 November, 2008  
Blogger Markku said...

Obama has pledged to double federal funding of scientific basic research. That cannot be entirely bad.

Monday, 10 November, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funding is not the main issue of research.
Freedom and markets are.
Why to research if there is no profit to do with the new inventions?

Wednesday, 12 November, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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