Friday, May 9, 2008

Have your stuff and buy it, too

The NYT had a interesting trend story on biodegradable furniture yesterday.

And we're not just talking about housewares made in an environmentally sound way or sheets that decompose; we're talking about entire couches.

"As much as this scenario sounds like it was lifted from a Philip K. Dick novel — vanishing furniture! — Mr. Zyto has attempted to make his imaginings a reality, at least in principle (if you disregard those pesky nails), joining a number of other home goods manufacturers and designers who are marketing their products as biodegradable. Not just “green,” or “sustainable,” but fully compostable, like lawn clippings or kitchen scraps. In theory, their products, under the right conditions, would break down, eventually."

The article talks about a company called Looolo textiles, whose blankets will biodegrade in a year if you compost them, and Umbra, whose plastic breaks down into powder in a landfill. (I assume the plastic breaks down into plastic powder, since plastic doesn't really break down; it only gets smaller.)

I suppose it was inevitable. People want to embrace the whole green movement but don't want to curtail their consumerism. So of course, putting household linens into your compost is the next best thing.

I'm not saying I'm against this. You can't change people's long-term behavior by sacrifice, and this country has a long history of consumerism behind it. I'm just saying that someone is going to need a bigger compost bin.

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