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The Closed Loop Experiment

Read below … or watch this video to learn about the Closed Loop:

Krystal Persaud – The Closed Loop Experiment from Alfredo Aponte on Vimeo.

The name the “Closed Loop” originated from something called The “Closed Loop Experiment”. The “Closed Loop Experiment” was an industrial design research project I started when I studied abroad in Lund, Sweden from February-June of 2009. The goal of the Closed Loop Experiment was to simulate a landfill in my room and learn how to reduce by individual trash output to zero.

Basically, I didn’t take out the trash for 5 months and analyzed why so many designers design products that end up in landfills. Now Closed Loop it is turning into a one-woman-consulting show. I have done some environmental consulting at one company so far, but am hoping to build up some clients.

When I grow up I would like to do industrial design research pertaining to sustainable products.

My “Closed Loop” Logic >>

In an ideal world, every house is essentially a “closed loop”. I use the phrase “closed loop” meaning that the input = the output. (Ex- a closed electrical circuit cannot produce more than the battery power that supplies it. In a closed ecological system, any waste produced is consumed by another species).

Each house is part of a neighborhood/surrounding area that is its own closed loop. Each neighborhood area is in a state which should be another larger loop. Each state in a country, each country in a continent… until eventually the world is a closed loop. Except, right now, the world is a closed loop..and that isn’t changing. Unless we wanna go the WALL-E route and start living in space.

But if every house is an open loop for example, its output is greater than a closed system can handle, so it needs an outlet of some kind (garbage). So if houses in neighborhoods in states in countries in continents on the planet are producing a greater output in one giant open system… where is it going? After all, the earth is a closed system.

So I decided to bring this idea home, literally, to really understand it. For the 5 months that I spent in Sweden, I lived by the “Closed Loop Experiment”.

Rules of the “Closed Loop Experiment”:

Rule 1:  Waste = food
+ Everything brought into my apartment stays in my apartment except things that biodegrade and can directly return to the earth (ex-food, compost)

Rule 2:  Take in the trash
+ Never take out the trash.

Rule 3:  Recycle
+ Things that can be recycled locally like paper, plastics, and aluminum can be taken out of the apartment once a month.

Rule 4:  Repurpose
+ Only recycle things that cannot be used again! Always try to re-use anything before throwing it in the trash or recycling bin.

Check out Archives for February through June for direct results of the “Closed Loop Experiment”!

Here are 2 PDFs I presented to my class showing my ideas and progress:

“Closed Loop” Presentation 1

“Closed Loop” Presentation 2

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Ankica permalink
    February 17, 2009 12:23

    to help you kick things off, here is my comment
    5 months will you sustain all the trash?
    I work as community development assistant and am looking for soultions for dealing with trash at local level (smalll communities).
    good luck!

  2. krystalpersaud permalink*
    February 20, 2009 09:34

    Hi Ankica >> thanks for checking out my project. Yes, i will keep all of the trash. However, anything made out of food that can be used as compost will be composted in an outdoor garden. everything else that does not biodegrade or cannot be recycled will stay in my apartment.

    what you do really interests me! It seems like a challenging but worthwhile task. What solutions have you discovered so far? I would be interested to hear.

  3. Matt permalink
    March 2, 2009 05:32

    I, for one, am all for going the Wall-e route and living in space.

    In any case, this sounds interesting and indeed quite the challenge. I look forward to reading more !

  4. March 26, 2009 04:07

    Hey..very interesting perspective of looking at sustainability. Best of luck.

  5. June 13, 2009 01:06

    The article is ver good. Write please more

  6. October 8, 2009 18:50

    Hi Krystal. It’s nice to someone else out there thinking like me. I can already see you’re going to have a few problems with your compost, and please don’t burn anything! I know municipal waste depots incinerate trash, all Tokyo’s trash is incinerated at satellite plants dotted across the city. It is important to point out that this is done at extremely high temperatures not able to be recreated at home. This means at home you’ll be liberating and facilitatiog many compounds harmful to life. Best thing to do is sort it, consolidate it with the neighbourhood, and bury it. Then when its economic to re-process in the future, it can be “mined”. You couldn’t get a politician to understand that!
    Cheers, and thanks for the effort!

  7. February 6, 2010 02:25

    I definitely agree with the cause for going green. It’s just crazy to me that the worse things get the less people seem to care.

  8. March 11, 2010 20:52

    VRy interesting to read it ;) ;)

  9. June 1, 2010 01:48

    When reading a few of your other posts I enjoyed them and liked the furniture, I will bookmark the site and be back.

  10. July 4, 2010 13:56

    I can’t find how to subscribe to the comments via feed . I want to keep abrest of this, how do I do that?

    • July 7, 2010 14:19

      Wedding — You can click the “Entries RSS” at the bottom right under the “Meta” Section.

      Thanks for reading! I like your website about small, unique weddings!

  11. October 19, 2010 10:40

    Fine info. Very helpful, you describe the topic very well

  12. November 20, 2010 21:46

    Thanks For This Post, was added to my bookmarks.

  13. November 23, 2010 00:18

    Very interesting post! Keep us posting buddy !!

  14. November 29, 2010 00:33

    whats up superb website and template. I really hope I’m not troubling you I just wanted to inquire precisely what wordpress plugin you make use of to display the newest responses on your blog? I really wish to do something similar for my free iphone 4 site however I cant get the plugin or widget for it. Thanks a lot for your time :)

  15. February 23, 2011 10:06

    Hi Krystal. It’s nice to someone else out there thinking like me. I can already see you’re going to have a few problems with your compost, and please don’t burn anything! I know municipal waste depots incinerate trash, all Tokyo’s trash is incinerated at satellite plants dotted across the city. It is important to point out that this is done at extremely high temperatures not able to be recreated at home. This means at home you’ll be liberating and facilitatiog many compounds harmful to life. Best thing to do is sort it, consolidate it with the neighbourhood, and bury it. Then when its economic to re-process in the future, it can be “mined”. You couldn’t get a politician to understand that!Cheers, and thanks for the effort!
    +1

  16. October 18, 2011 16:17

    Very creative experiment! Without being aware really of it, I have been doing something alike in my own workroom. I am focusing on plastic bottles and bags, and cardboard cores from toilet and kitchen paper. I must say that tips from the internet for reusing these seriously (not art-related) are pretty useless, and I have to come up with my own ideas for turning them into something useful. PET bottles seem to be the hardest for serious reuse, but I keep trying new ideas. Your site is an inspiration to me.

Trackbacks

  1. Diving for compost « Andre Joseph Gallant
  2. Life without garbage ? « little coping koala

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