A central theme in the public debate is the green and circular economy: how can we design better production modalities in order to produce less inefficiencies (aka waste)? How can we produce greener products? And how can we make use of the side products?
Ecomondo, the annual fair taking place in Rimini about green economy, will be centered on this important topic in 2 weeks: from the 8th till 11th November.
It will be an interesting occasion for us Steamgreeners in order to appreciate green companies, innovative technologies and stimulating debates.
However, what is undoubtedly ignored most of the time is how uselessly the average citizen spends her budget on products, which in turn are polluting.
In fact, as the famous laws of thermodynamics always tell to us, is that nothing can either be destroyed and created from nothing. Besides, during work there is dispersion (aka inefficiencies).
It means that for how much one product could be green, sustainably produced and featuring low carbon footprint, it has inevitably been making use of natural resources and emitted emissions.
It is clear that in order to meet the objectives of limiting the global warming till 2°C (the conclusion of Paris Agreement), or even to the worse but more realistic objective of 1.5°C, consumers need to consume less in order to slow production and therefore emit less.
This is however an unconvienient argument for producers and governments as it simply means less money for everyone.
Unluckily poor statistics are available on this topic. And successful solutions in this sense are still under debate.
However very interestingly the World Resource Institute reports some statistics on the decoupling of Economic Growth from CO2 emissions:
Of course, it is creditable to effective R&D and innovation in clean technologies.
Will it be ever enough?
The opinion of The Story of Stuff is that it ain’t
It is an organisation (more info here) that promotes education on responsible consumption, and decreasing expenses on material things.
They moreover engage in active promotion and engagement activities. They are based in San Francisco, but thanks to a 20 mins online movie spread online 5 years ago, they gained followers from every part of the world.
You can watch it and make your own opinion on the matter here.