We've all heard of the importance 'eating local' - it's one of the jewels in the 'sustainability' crown. But what about 'crushing local'?
Ok - we admit the term doesn't exactly exist yet, but it could, if the Prince Edward Island Brick Company has anything to say about it. To create their various concrete products, the brick company needs three ingredients: sand, crushed rock, and cement. But since P.E.I. is a modest-sized island, and not very natural resource-rich beyond the seafood industry, currently they are importing the latter two of those ingredients.
Perhaps not for long! According to the CBC, the company is now experimenting with ways to make concrete products that use recycled materials and are more environmentally friendly. For one, they're exploring substitutes from local sources, including incinerator ash to replace a portion of the cement used in the mixture. Secondly, they're considering the use of recycled concrete in place of crushed rock.
"We can recycle glass, plastic, car tires. Sky's the limit really," said manager Ali Younes.
If the company successfully comes up with ways of using waste material from the Island to substitute aggregate or cement, they will essentially become self-sustaining and won't need to import from off-island. The implicatations of a concrete and brick company turning green are very heartening, and the trend could become contagious among similar companies. Heck, one day they could be shipping their greener concrete internationally, creating a brand new export for the island!
Oh, and did we mention that they pride themselves in supporting local and Canadian products? All of their equipment has been built in either their own facility in PEI or in Canada!
When it comes to being sustainability pioneers, the Prince Edward Island Brick Company is crushing it!
*A sustainability honourable mention must go to CarbonCure Technologies, based in Burnside, Nova Scotia. They've developed a way of injecting carbon dioxide into concrete to make it stronger, faster-setting, and to reduce its carbon footprint - neat! Read more here.*
~ Steven Fudge, the purveyor of houseporn.ca and proprietor of urbaneer.com, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.
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