Hi I’m Tad Radzinski, Speaker, Educator,
and Expert in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Product Design. Thank you for joining today this is a
the fourth in our series on Introduction to Corporate Responsibility
and today we’re talking about our addiction
to oil or our addiction to fossil fuels. One thing that we all think about when we
think about fossil fuels as we think about gasoline or fuels used in our
vehicles. You know we all put gasoline in our cars,
or in our trucks, or in our mini vans and you know we’re used to doing
that. And we instantly think about oil or fossil fuels when we do that but there’s many other uses a fossil
fuels: for heating our homes, for fueling boilers in
industrial processes, for moving locomotives, for flying
jets for just a myriad of uses. But one thing that
most of us really don’t realize is that many of the products we use everyday contain come from oil based polymers,
that could be plastics or other synthetic materials. As you can see in this photograph which
shows the typical contents of an average American
home, many of the things you see here, actually
most of the things you see here, are produced from some type of oil-based
polymers or they can be based out of, used or produced from you know maybe natural
gas based materials or different sources of carbon really. Just look at this photograph it’s
unbelievable and having had children in my life, many these things I remember having like
that little tykes pool, you know the various balls, all the
different toys, but also look at the other things you see
in their footwear, sneakers, boots, Tiva’s, sandals, there’s furniture there’s
other toys, clothess. It’s just unbelievable the amount of
things, even on that house if you look back that house looks like
it has vinyl siding on it and probably vinyl shutters and basically one of the building
blocks for making those comes from natural gas. So what we don’t realize you know it’s
very easy to think about the fuel you’re putting in your tank for your vehicle but really just look around your own
home and you can see that we are so reliant on oil and fossil based fuels, fossil based materials
not just for a fuel but for most the goods and services we deal with.
Even these, water bottles about 50 billion a year get used in the
United States alone. And this bottle is in many cases not
recycled. Out of the fifty billion the average
recycling rate United States for these water bottles is only 29 percent.
This water bottle is source from fossil fuels, it’s coming it could be either from are oil or from
natural gas and with fifty billion of these per year being produced and only recovering
29 percent that’s a tremendous loss of resources. The other
thing to think about when you’re looking at the photograph of all those products is the majority of them are not recyclable or recoverable.
I can to guarantee that the majority then we’re going into landfills, the
majority them are being burned in waste to energy plants. So we’re rapidly consuming and losing
these products and materials and they’re never going to be recovered. So huge design challenge for us in the
sustainability world is how can we design more of a circular economy, how
can we design products that are designed for recyclability and reuse and not waste valuable materials that are in finite supply. So what we’ll be looking to
do in the next series, we’ll be talking more about
Sustainable Product Design and looking into the future for creating
more of a circular economy around developing policies within
your own organization on how you can conserve resources, how
you can look to source reduce, not use as many
materials, you can look to recycle more or just use smart purchasing when you buy
various goods, you know thinking about things, about end-of-life and you know what you
can do when it is at the end of life. Can it be recycled, can
it be you reused, can it be given to Goodwill, donated? Various
things to consider. So thank you again for joining today. I look forward to talking to you in the
next of our series, which will be coming up and I want to thank all of you who
have submitted comments and provided feedback on this blog because it definitely helps me tailor
the way we present it. So I look forward to speaking to you in future blogs and I thank you again for coming today.

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