Closing the Loop
November 6, 2012, 10:37 PM
Filed under: Closed Loop Systems, Composting | Tags: , , ,

It’s 8 PM on election night, and I decided to write a new post here to take my mind off the voting results for a while. It’s not my intent to discuss politics (or religion) on this blog, so if you’re here for that, moooove on.

Next Thursday, November 15th Johnson City Public Works and Keep Johnson City Beautiful will be holding a recycling symposium  called “Closing The Loop” at The Millennium Center, from 8:30 AM-1:30 PM.  Local and regional recyclers will be sharing their ‘best recycling practices’ with us. I understand  there will be two tracks for this event:  One for residents, the other for businesses, so there promises to be something for all of us.  We will learn how our local efforts affect our world resources, but I am hoping specifically to find out how we might start a city-wide metals recycling program.  Tickets are ten dollars and include lunch-served on something recyclable or reusable I assume. If it comes on styrofoam I’m going to protest~ loudly! Registration is required for this event, so you can call Eva Hunter at 423-979-6318 to have your name added, and then you can pay for your tickets at the door.

Closing the Loop.. what exactly does that mean? It refers to the continuous life cycle of a product from production, consumption, recycling and ultimately, returning to production. Examples of closing the loop include the use of recycled materials instead of raw materials during the manufacture of new products or the recycling of food wastes into composts  which are then used to help in agriculture and food production.  Nature operates under the condition of limited and finite resources. It therefore reuses, recycles, and rebuilds everything it needs to sustain life. Take trees, for example. They drop their leaves in fall, those leaves break down and return nutrients to the tree, which in turn take the nutrients from the soil to grow and make new leaves. In nature, one organism’s waste is another’s food or building material. In nature, (which really is perfect), everything is interrelated and part of the natural food chain. It’s the only way nature can thrive and survive. We humans are the only part of nature that break that loop by taking more than we return. EXCEPT this little guy…

Living in a Peak Oil, lower energy world that is rapidly undergoing environmental and economic changes means that we MUST learn to create closed loop systems for everything we produce, buy and use. I want to live in a place that is based on local resilience, rather than oil dependence. Please consider supporting our city’s efforts to teach us how to do this! If WE show up for these kinds of events, they’ll offer more of them.  However much I can do, we can do more.  However much you can do, we can do more.


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