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Sustainable design is the art of producing objects using only renewable
resources, and which themselves, in operation, deplete only renewable
Such designs are called 'sustainable' because they do not permanently reduce
the natural resources available to humanity. Thus, they can be used into the
Examples of sustainable design
Autonomous buildings use available resources such as rainwater, solar power
or wind turbines, in order to reduce their dependencies on fossil fuels and
other resources. Often they can be constructed of recycled materials as
well, reducing their total energy requirements for construction.
Most official agricultural services claim that existing pesticide protocols
and methods of soil conservation adequately protect topsoil and wildlife.
Some authorities say that these are not sustainable, and that agrarian
reforms would permit efficient agriculture with fewer pesticides and less,
or no loss of valuable topsoil or wildlife. ALthough there are strenuous
discussions about exact methods, no authority seems to believe that
sustainable agriculture is impossible.
Automobiles and appliances can be designed for repair and disassembly (for
recycling), and constructed from recyclable materials such as steel,
aluminum and glass, and renewable materials, such as wood and plastics from
natural feedstocks. Careful selection of materials and manufacturing
processes can often create products indistinguishable in price and
performance from non-sustainable products. Even mild design efforts can
greatly increase the sustainable content of manufactured items.
Detergents, newspapers and other disposable items can be designed to
self-destruct, usually simply rot, in the presence of air, water and common
soil organisms. The current challenge in this area is to design such items
in attractive colors, at costs as low as competing items. Since most such
items end up in landfills, protected from air and water, the utility of such
self-detruction is debated.
High quality Wind turbines can be constructed from recycled aluminum, steel
and small amounts of electronics. They produce renewable energy. Properly
sited, wind could power our entire industrial society at prices that are now
comparable to coal.
The world's oceans contain sufficient uranium to power existing industries,
via breeder reactors, until the sun consumes the Earth in four billion
years. Japanese scientists claim to have discovered methods of extracting
the Uranium from seawater.