Brick by Bit

September 3, 2018

Margaret Mead warned that “we won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.”


Which got us thinking about Lego. Any parent who has felt the sharp prongs of 6 little circles piercing underfoot has a knowing that those little pieces are a lot more destructive than they might appear. Few things seem as difficult to describe to an independent observer than a society that destroys the actual environment humans live in by taking petroleum to create plastic bricks…for the purposes of a play environment, home to plastic people.


No one thought about that when Lego was invented, it was designed to be basically indestructible. It was designed to be fun. And it is fun. Really fun.


So in a good news story, originally reported by The New York Times, Lego wants to let us keep our fun, without the unnecessary burden on mother nature. The company is exploring ways to produce their iconic toy using exclusively plant-fibre and recycled materials by 2030. High five Lego.


As the article pointed out, this is a pretty significant initiative. Many of our metropolitan cousins from around the country had a hard time adjusting to the recent supermarket initiative to ban plastic bags. Coles had so much heat from a population that couldn’t handle the change to carrying their purchases that the project managers called it quits and brought bag plastic bags. Woollies is staying strong. Or strong-ish. They still have plastic bags…they just sell them. I digress.


Imagine being in charge of the project to reduce and eliminate plastic in an organisation where not only the packagin…but the actual product is made of plastic. It is a great time to be alive where the manufacturers of our fake towns and villages are seeking to limit the impact of petrochemicals on the environment.


Now, let’s just tackle our real bricks. Here is a list of our top 3 sustainable building materials, that scientists are saying we should be building our actual houses with:


  1. Ferrock. This will blow your mind. It is a composite made up of steel dust and other discarded by-products of industrial manufacturing. But that is not the best part. The material needs carbon dioxide to harden, so it actually captures and traps Co2…the gas that is damaging the ozone and causing all the climate naughties!
  2. Hempcrete. By adding lime and water to hemp fibre, scientists have created a natural alternative to concrete. Hemp is fast growing and easily renewable. It is also fire and termite resistant.
  3. Bamboo. It is a super fast growing plant and it doesn’t need to be killed for harvesting. It also creates a stunning alternative to slow-growth and old-growth forests for those who appreciate a timber finish.


With so many clever people coming up with innovative ways to create more sustainable human enviroments to coexist with our natural one, I’m sure we’ll get there. Just like Lego. Brick by brick.


One Response to “Brick by Bit”

  • Enzo says:

    Great stuff Su.Done a lot of Lego projects in my time. Still, in regard to saving the planet I would say that the most important course to follow is to stabilize the earth ‘ s human population.Without that we are only playing catching up.

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