Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Smart Homes

Smart enough to eat our rubbish according to this article in Sundays Observer

The article highlights the need for a new generation of buildings constructed in a totally different way to our current housing stock. These buildings would "be wireless rather than cluttered with the electrical paraphernalia of a typical office or home, drawing 'whatever energy they can from their own environment' via geothermal, wind or solar energy. Such buildings would be lit by natural daylight harnessed through 'light pipes' channels up to the roof designed to let light flood through rooms. The buildings would have their own waste recycling on site".

Meanwhile the report goes on to say that the "Institute for Public Policy Research has published a report calling for Britain to become a 'zero waste' country, where rubbish is recycled or reused instead of dumped in landfill sites. It says taxes should be applied to disposable products such as razors and cameras, encouraging people to buy more lasting products. The study argues consumers should learn to repair and reuse items rather than throwing them out, as well as recycling more. The think-tank report wants manufacturers to be compelled to design durable products that can be reused rather than throwaway plastic that will need regular, and profitable, replacement"

The report also "recommends that councils should charge householders for taking away non-recyclable rubbish : Britons throw away more than 300 million tonnes of rubbish every year and recycle less than half of it."

All these things will involve a certain amount of pain but the sooner we start tackling these sort of issues the better.

Homes that are more self sufficient and chew up less energy and material material resources has to be the way to go.

As for manufacturers designing durable products - great idea but I somehow cannot see this happening. One of the problems is that so many everyday items are uneconomic to repair even if you could find somehow with the know how to do it.

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