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Thread: Business Ideas 101

  1. #101
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    Agreed, recycling is very costly and cumbersome, but there are actually some guys who have found a solution to recycling plastics. Do they perhaps have a source of
    "clean: plastic?

    The best way to save the environment may be to start eating human flesh as one scientist suggested recently. (Shock & horror!) He did not actually suggest cannibalism but recycling flesh of the deceased. Sounds more like eating "roadkill" to me. To be honest, reducing the human population will solve 90% of our problems as we are running out of resources, including water and clean air.
    To me the biggest problem is capitalism / consumerism / consumption / obsolescence. Our economy is driven by continual sales and consumption and thus we manufacture low quality products designed to fail purely to keep our economy going. Cars are a perfect example. The are generally over produced because the seller needs to have them ready on the floor in case a person happens to walk in and purchase the car. The next year new models are produced in the same volumes yet the previous year models remain unsold. The unsold cars are not put on the market at lower prices because that wold damage the resale value of the newly purchased cars. They are shipped to storage facilities to be destroyed.

    Another example is light bulbs - one can argue that led bulg use less electricity at the end consumer than incandescent bulbs but those led lamps use up far more resources to manufacture and also do not recycle particularly well. An incandescent bulb is a bit of metal and a bit of glass that recycles very easily. It it a well known fact that incandescent bulbs can be manufactured to last 100 years yet the practice was stopped so as to promote consumerism.

    I cannot think of any product today that is value for money - Every single consumer product manufactured today is designed to fail within a fairly short time. The washing machine fails after 3 years, the geyser blows up after 5 years, the cell phone is replaced every 2 years etc. The old Kirby vacuum cleaner manufactured in 1950 still works - the new hoover falls apart in a year.

    Shoes - my Hi-Tec boots cost R700 and fail at exactly the same place year after year.

    Everybody always blame the Chinese for poor products but the problem goes far deeper than low quality knock-offs. The problem is that the 1st world is driven by consumption and that consumption is at the expense of the 3rd world.

    Recycling is really a farce to make the 1st world consumer feel a little better about the continual unnecessary waste of resources. It doesn't work in practice on the scale that it needs to to make a real difference.
    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
    If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
    But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  2. #102
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    The most successful entrepreneurs in this world have looked at problems and have found solutions which has made them very rich.
    We can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
    Putting ideas into practice is a skill that not all of us have, unfortunately.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  3. #103
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    The most successful entrepreneurs in this world have looked at problems and have found solutions which has made them very rich.
    We can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
    Putting ideas into practice is a skill that not all of us have, unfortunately.
    Clichés do not solve real world problems.
    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
    If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
    But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. #104
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    This video by Trevor Noah shows the extent of the recycling problem

    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
    If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
    But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #105
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    Well there you have it, some people are getting rich from recycling trash. Children, who have never had an opportunity, are being educated from the proceeds of trash recycling. However, the problem is still too many people generating too much trash!

    The reality is that we have not yet found effective ways of recycling. It is a dirty business and sorting through tons of trash is cumbersome. Therefore sorting trash at source, which some 1st world countries are doing, may be the first step. E.g. putting cans and glass in separate recycling containers. Plastic is more difficult due to the many different types and combinations of plastic.

    There are some companies who got it right and they are the pioneers who are leading the way. Just as a gold mine have to move millions of tone of ore before producing a few ounces of gold. Then there are the ones who just bury their waste in a landfill for future generations to deal with it.

    I am exited by new innovative developments in solar power, wind power and also recycling. Consider all the new technologies that's been developed in the last 20 - 30 years; cell phones, 3D printing, photo copiers, solar geysers, heart transplants etc etc - too many to mention. Now the question is How do we reduce the population generating all the trash that is killing the planet?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  6. #106
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    Now the question is How do we reduce the population generating all the trash that is killing the planet?
    hmmm.... me thinketh that a certain super power s doing that quite effectively across the middle east.

    The only problem is that they are doing it to take the oil so that they can consume more and create more trash.


    Solar power, wind power and all that stuff is not new technology nor is it particularly efficient when you consider energy generation from cradle to grave i.e. the infrastructure required to manufacture, transport, install, use and dispose of those technologies. LED lights and fluorescent lights may use less power at the end user but cradle to grave they are a disaster.


    The best solution remains to changes our economic model so as to reduce unnecessary consumption caused by obsolescent manufacturing and wasteful usage of resources.
    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
    If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
    But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. #107
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I have to clarify something. I'm not against recycling, technology, innovation and I am not trying to be obtuse. I think that it is great that people try to recycle and I also think that there is money to be made through recycling. My sense is just that we are trying to treat a serious side effect of a far greater problem which is consumerism. We need to change our value systems to find greater reward in non-consumerism (The right words escape me) - Maybe I'm just getting old - I prefer to spend my days with my kids in a fairly crappy house (by my own standards) than working myself to death in a dead end job to buy stuff that I don't really need. I will rather buy a rickety chair built by an old man than buy the latest crappy R20k lounge suite on credit.

    Our dump is about 3km from the house. They are very serious about recycling so we make a point of separating our trash and recycling what we can. I generate a look of wood waste (due to the lasers), plastics, metal etc (due to the CNC) so it makes sense to do our bit.

    Maybe I'm kinda idealistic because I really dislike marketing / advertising and the manner in which people are manipulated into buying stuff that they don't need and on top of that getting screwed over by the fine print. For me the only way to deal with it is to avoid it as far as I can (so that I don't get manipulated into buying the very same silly nonsense) - Like I said - maybe I'm just getting old and totally blunted to the excitement of getting the latest iPhone on a R2k a month contract....
    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
    If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
    But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #108
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I totally agree; consumerism is killing our planet. When I grew up, one bought quality items that could last for years. Heirlooms were passed on from generation to generation. We even wore hand-me-down clothes. Today we have a throwaway society where nothing lasts for longer than you can eat a takeaway and drop your rubbish in the street.
    The problem: too many people, too little resources.

    P.S. I have joined the "bunny huggers" as I have realized that we have to save this planet - it's the only one with chocolate!!
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  9. #109
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    P.S. I have joined the "bunny huggers" as I have realized that we have to save this planet - it's the only one with chocolate!!
    I agree about the chocolate - I spend my day designing and manufacturing food safe molds :-)
    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
    If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
    But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #110
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Part of the problem is the typical plastic user has no idea what they're supposed to do when it comes to prepping plastic for recycling, be it washing, or separating different plastic types and placing in different bins. In my neighbourhood we're told to put paper and plastic into the same bag. The assumption is this will be separated in due course and recycled. But is that actually happening? And could the program be more effective.

    As long as the end user doesn't know what to do, it is useless to talk about separating different plastics at source (consumer) back to the recycling plant.

    All plastics should be marked at manufacture in a manner that guides the consumer as to what group of recyclables it falls into - or even that it is not recyclable.

    I share the frustration expressed above about built-in obsolescence and product failure. To this I would add the multiplier of product packaging, which is perhaps generating as much waste as the product it contains.

    The product needs more packaging to protect it during shipping because it is fragile to start with (even when it shouldn't be). This fragility also causes the product to have a shorter lifespan. So more regular replacement... More waste more often.

    One example that comes to mind at this time of night - light switch megs. They used to last decades. Nowadays many modern makes will not survive one slightly heavy handed incident.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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