Packaging, RE-cycling, and ‘Re’ words

Friday September 18, 2009 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall

Speaker: Brian Burns 

Topic: Packaging, RE-cycling, and ‘Re’ words


For about the last 25 years we have grown used to blue and black boxes, with a developing realization that we really need to look after the environment. However, after thousands of years of evolution that was geared to the exploitation of the planet as if it were infinite, looking after the environment isn’t all that easy.

This lecture will offer a kind of progress report of our efforts so far, using the everyday issues of packaging and recycling as a barometer of human activity – to highlight what we have learned, what is going well, what is not, and what the next 25 years might involve.

Speaker’s Profile:

Brian Burns came to Carleton University in 1980, to become a member and soon the Director of the School of Industrial Design. He remains a prominent member of the School.

Over 30 years ago he started working on environmental design issues and what was termed ‘The Throwaway Society’.

Before coming here, he studied both Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design in England, and has worked on the design of products ranging from domestic appliances to boats, and from cigarette rolling machines to corporate identity. He has spent a lot of time researching Obsolescence, Packaging, Waste and Recycling, and why Canada creates a lot of it.

He just finished a book with 35 students called ‘EcoSuss’ which attempts to put EcoSustainability into perspective.

He currently wonders if we were to ride into ‘Ecoville’ late one night – how would we recognise it, and would he like to live there?

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