Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July iSite: Deciduous trees and the disposable economy

(cross-posted via facebook, by Rachel Hahs)

After having a discussion with my daughter yesterday about why trees have green and then red or yellow leaves, I couldn't help but think about the process of deciduous trees dropping leaves and growing new ones in the spring. I've also been thinking about the circular economy, and the fact that in nature, cheap abundant materials are actually disposable and cycled within an ecosystem. 

The deciduous tree is a great example of how a "manufacturing process" can use "expensive" materials, like chlorophyll, without disposing of them, while keeping "cheap" materials in a tight loop that feed the tree to grow again in the next growing season. This also feeds an economy of processors that are enriched and in turn enrich the tree in a cycle of sustained growth. 

We can so aspire to do the same! 

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