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Dr. Blake, Principal of Environmental & Public Health Consulting, has written a white paper titled Transforming the Materials Economy, detailing the challenges and opportunities to be found in a transition to post-petroleum chemicals and materials feedstocks. How do we manage our legacy toxic waste while planning for future materials use, and to what extent can we meet our materials economy needs through perennial industrial crop feedstocks that would also sequester carbon and restore soil? We propose developing a new economy at the nexus of climate resilience/ restoration and regenerative materials sourcing, with the sustainable production of food, fuel and materials and jobs with living wages and no toxic exposures. In this sustainable economy, our toxic legacy would be mitigated and our collective divestment from fossil fuel sources complete. Some materials would be grown or produced in processes that sequester carbon and/or methane while restoring soil for ecological resilience. We envision intentionality in our materials and design choices to meet specific functional needs.

If you’re interested in reading the White Paper, or have ideas on how to expand this conversation, please contact Ann Blake at ann@annblake.com