Materials

Society is at the very beginning of redesigning and reimagining the materials used in products and structures, as well as the means by which they can by reduced, reused and recycled. Architects and designers hold enormous power through design to create a path forward to drastically reduce emissions.

With about 50% of recycled materials coming from households, if the average worldwide recycling rate of both industrial and household increases to 65% of total recyclable waste, this could avoid 2.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

As mentioned above, the combination of industrial and household recycling can avoid 2.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050 at a recycling rate of 65%.

As long as coal is being burned, fly ash cement is a good use of the by-products- far better than sending to landfill or holding pond. Using fly ash will offest only 5% of those emissions but if only 9% of cement produced 2050 is a mix of conventional Portland cement and fly ash, 6.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided

Refrigerants continue to contribute heavily to global warming. Huge volumes of CFCs and HCFs are in circulation with the potential for ozone damage. Containing 87% of refrigerants likely to be released could avoid emissions equivalent to 89.7 gigatons of CO2 by 2050. Operationally, lots of money will be needed to curtail refrigeration leaks and destruction.

Our primary material for fabrication is undoubtedly plastic. The polymers that exist in plastic are everywher e in nature, and 90% of plastics could be derived from plants or biomass. If bioplastics were to capture 49% of the plastic market by 2050 this would avoid 4.3 gigatons of emissions.