Concrete is responsible for 7 to 10 percent of global carbon dioxde emissions, making it the third largest greenhouse gas producer behind transportation and electricity production.
In this article, Jer Faludi explores some innovative alternatives to concrete being made from industrial waste. These materials, such as fly-ash, slag, silica fume, and rice hull ash, have a much smaller carbon footprint than concrete and would have otherwise been sent to the landfill.
The only real barrier to replacing cement, writes Faludi:
Industry inertia and unfamiliarity with the technological options: after the concerted work of scores of researchers and fledgling industrialists around the world, there are now a whole slew of viable alternatives.
Read the full article: Concrete: a 'Buring' Issue
even better than the concrete alternatives in the article are those made with materials from the building site - adobe, cob and rammed earth.
The date on that article is November 2004. Re-posting a 4-year-old article is fine, but why be sneaky about it? What has changed in the interim?
If you want a more timely look into cement - we are just $20 shy of hiring a reporter who will look into the sustainable efforts of Northern California's cement industry.
I am the founder of Spot.Us is a nonprofit that lets individuals or groups share the cost of funding an investigative journalists. We are still under development, but set to launch in the Fall thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation.
Here's a NY Times article with more information: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/weekinreview/24kershaw.html
Right now, we're in the process of hiring a reporter to investigate the cement industry. All we need is another $20 and then we'll have enough to pay for his time while he works on this piece.
The final content will be free for any organization (including world changing) to republish.
For details + taking action: http://wiki.spot.us/cement