How to Deal With Waste: A Look At Creative Ways to Reinvent Our Neighborhood
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Aside from the 3 Rs of sustainability (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), there are many creative ways to repurpose that which is considered waste. This is an account of how waste can be diverted from the landfills by rethinking the way we make things. By taking a brief look at the history of where the stuff of contemporary life comes from, what is necessary to manufacture it, and where it all ends up, we realize that a lot of things are designed-for-the-dump. In this thesis, three prominent approaches to the problem of waste are examined: the 3 Rs of sustainability, the making of our stuff (and how to avoid it), as well as cradle-to-cradle design. All these approaches have limitations in how we conceptualize the problem, and especially in motivating and guiding responses. In spite of these limits, many people are taking concrete steps to change their habits and creatively respond to the problem of waste. Some of those people were interviewed for this project, and their observations provide an empowering response to the limits of the existing approaches. Even a small group of people can provide a vast contribution of creative ways to deal with waste, from simple crafting all the way to complex building design.