Saturday, February 26, 2011

Is Your Home a Bio-Dome?

Bio DomeImage by Camera John via FlickrBy Haden Smith

A number of years ago, I watched a movie called Bio-Dome. Pauly Shore was the central character, trapped in a bubble where the primary goal was to create a sustainable eco-system capable of maintaining the basic necessities for life such as water, food and oxygen. In the bubble, everything contributes to the cycle of life and attempts to mimic nature's ability bring forth new life from the death and decay of those living organisms that have served their purpose.

Nature has provided a terrific pattern of maintaining and sustaining life. Basically anything grown from the earth will one day return to the earth, providing the nutrients and building blocks for new life to begin. It is a magnificent system that deserves emulation on our part. Much of what we produce today is polluting our air, contaminating our water and exponentially increasing the size of our landfills. Nature just can't keep up. We need to provide a helping hand.

As we examine the products that make up our home, from the insulation in our attics, to the laminate or carpet on our floors. What affect will these products have on the environment years down the line? I find it amazing that we are now being cautioned not to throw out many of our outdated electronics devices because they contain hazardous materials such as mercury and lead. Just as disconcerting to me is the advent of the fluorescent light bulb, which likewise contains mercury. Yet the suggested method of disposal is to put them in a zip lock plastic bag with the rest of our trash.

Changes are occurring in the manufacturing processes around the world. Not only do companies understand their responsibility to the environment but they are finding ways to accomplish this goal without sacrificing the number one goal of business, which is to make money. Manufacturers are finding ways to develop products that meet an immediate demand but that can later be developed into something else. A good example of this is natural green flooring coming from manufacturers such as Shaw, where they have developed a line of laminate flooring and carpet developed to reduce the impact on the environment now and in the future.

Such initiatives need to be encouraged and promoted and the best way to do that is ask questions. Do a little research about the products you bring into your home. If we each consider our homes our own little Bio-Domes and do our part to make sure the products we bring into our homes have favorable consequence when they leave our home, we can help nature do what it does best, maintain and sustain life now and in the future.

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