A WORD ON EMBODIED ENERGY
Upcycling and the products produced from them are only one part of the story about global climate change. “Embodied energy” refers to the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a product, from the mining and processing of natural resources to manufacturing, transport and product delivery. The table below illustrates the volume of product produced by countries of the world (those with 1% global production or less are omitted for clarity). With goods produced in the US representing less than 1/5th of global production, and of those, less than 2% of upcycled materials, it is simply impossible to avoid higher embodied energy from overseas products in today’s economy. Wherever possible, we source products and producers locally, but many of our products require shipping from overseas locations, unfortunately, requiring added embodied energy.
We are hopeful that this will change over time, as more and more US manufacturers use upcycled and fully locally sourced materials.