People want things. I have four TVs and live alone. I have more couches than I need; six lamps in a room that I rarely go into; tables, chairs, things on the wall and some little statues or other ornamental things here and there.
All in all it’s really not that much for middle class America (does that exist anymore?).
I could get rid of a lot of my stuff and still live just fine. But I don’t want to. I like the things that I have. I like my totally non-utilitarian statue of a horse and my art deco candle holders. They make me feel good.
Wanting things that are not essential will always be an obstacle to environmental efforts. Take a good look around a grocery store. Do we really need twenty types of cereals, ten brands of bottled water and an infinite number of chips, cookies and crackers? Of course not, but we like freedom of choice. We like an economy that innovates and creates jobs and we are willing to pay an environmental price for that in the form of larger grocery stores and increased use of raw materials.
Everything that we use goes through some type of a manufacturing process that adversely impacts the environment. When we take those small steps of buying things made out of recycled materials or remembering the reusable canvas grocery bags we don’t stop to realize that the process used to manufacture them most likely involved heat, chemical treatments, dyes and many other things that are not environmentally friendly. But as Eco-Snobbery Sucks points out, small steps are better than no steps.
In other words, incrementalism is an acceptable strategy.
That said, we ultimately need to better our manufacturing methods and how we utilize and refine raw materials. That is a big picture battle and it will not be easy.
Oddly enough, one of the first places where this is happening is with home decor products. Those statues that I have are made of resin which produces any number of pollutants. That wooden mask that hangs on your wall is made of a finite resource.
CompoClay: The Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Material Of The Future
CompoClay™ is a first of its kind compound that can be used to make all types of home decor products (statues, wall hangings, outdoor pots and even fireplace mantles) that can mimic the look of wood, metal, stone, and more. The CompoClay™ compound and the manufacturing process that molds this compound into finished products have minimal environmental effects.
CompoClay™ is composed of natural materials including mineral compounds, sea salt, water, and sand. It has been awarded the Eco-Products Award and is ecological, safe, durable, and versatile for design. CompoClay™ was developed and rigorously tested for over six years. The bottom line is that, unlike most materials used for manufacturing, it is free of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and is non-flammable and weather-resistant.
Statues, mirrors, wall decor, pots and planters may seem like an odd place for a manufacturing transformation to begin, but then again why not here?
Check out this .pdf if you want to find out more about what makes CompoClay so much greener than other traditional materials (.pdf).
About the guest author: Don Oppenheim has practiced law for over thirty years. He became interested in environmental matters in the early 1970′s. His son, Ryan, operates the online site UniqueGiftsAndDecor.com. Unique Gifts and Decor carries over one thousand unusual and hard to find products including environmentally friendly home decor products and is a great place for gift ideas.