Here is a little Sunday afternoon geeky viewing for our life cycle assessment aficionados or not-so-aficionados. While looking for LCA news, we checked out YouTube to see if anybody had dared to publish a video about the cradle-to-cradle methodology. We happened upon this video project by Nick Bradford-Ewart and Pablo Alvarez explaining the history and life cycle of a paper clip. The write up explains that, "The presentation of simple facts that describe the massive amounts of energy and resources involved in this process is intended to provide a shock that will lead the viewer to consider reusing so many of the everyday products that are thrown away with little thought." Although the computer-generated narrator is a little bit difficult to understand, the idea is interesting and the six-minute video is worth a watch, or better said, it's worth a listen since the image stays practically the same the entire time.
Invented in the late 1800's the paper clip has a virtually endless life cycle, while tens of billions are out there worldwide. Perhaps because they are so little and abundant we tend to take for granted their existence and the importance of re-using them. More about paper clips here and recycled ones here.