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Mind over matter: recasting the role of materials in our lives.

Gardner G; Sampat P
Washington, D.C., Worldwatch Institute, 1998 Dec. 60 p. (Worldwatch Paper 144)

This paper discusses the impact of industrialization on the natural environment and enumerates solutions that would help rebuild the damage created by industrialization on the environment. Since the Industrial Revolution advances in technology and changes in society and business practices have interacted to build economies that would extract, process, consume, and dispose tremendous quantities of materials. Preoccupied with technological advancement and consumption of new goods, many people were unaware of the possible long-term effects of industrialization. As shown by recent studies, materials extraction, processing, and disposal have resulted in environmental damage, thus providing more direct evidence that material flows for today and future consumption were highly unsustainable. Limiting or reducing use of raw materials among industrialized nations is therefore suggested. Industrialized nations need to learn how to recycle solid waste materials in order to prevent further environmental damage. Lastly, businesses need to focus on providing services and less on producing goods.

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