CARBON SEQUESTRATION - HEAT TO ENERGY - PACKAGING - RECYCLING - COMPOSTING - BIODEGRADABLE
Waste optimization is all about repurposing what you put out. Not letting waste bleed out into the environment, but rather turning it around and recycling it back into the front end of your process. Petroleum refining plants put out vast amounts of carbon dioxide; and here, we're then left with the notion of carbon sequestration: the utilizing of various processes to trap said carbon emissions before they reach the atmosphere (thereby mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and pollution) and putting the carbon to good use instead. Reforestation: the simple act of planting trees, for instance, in order to transfer more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to new biomass.
"Cradle to Cradle" is a new term oft used in waste optimization: this as an approach to industrial design which mimics the actual process of nature's cycle--a constant recycling of materials, then (both natural and synthetic)--which is not just more efficient, but indeed, essentially waste free. When manufacturing a product in light of the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, a company considers the product's entire life cycle: packaging (reduced waste), recycling certain synthetic components of the product when, at the end of its cycle, it has (for example) become worn out through use, and then (through pre-planning) allowing the natural components of the product to biodegrade accordingly. It's a holistic approach, one modeling human industry on nature, and one that will become ever more important in the coming sustainable era.