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What is Dematerialization?

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Dematerialization is an economics term that describes the tendency for economic output to require less materials with time. This is good news for the economy as economic shocks due to commodity price fluctuations become less likely. It's also good news for the environment as economic activity that uses less materials usually doesn't pollute as much. The following are a few examples of dematerialization.


The shift from paper to electronic data.


The tendency for vehicles, electronics and buildings to become more energy efficient with time.


The phase out of fossil fuels in favor of solar energy.


The tendency for things to become smaller and lighter with time.

Electronic Commerce

The shift from economic activity in physical locations such as shopping malls to virtual locations such as games.
Overview: Dematerialization
The tendency for a unit of economic activity to require less materials with time.
Reduces economic risks such as the periods of stagflation in the 1970s that were caused by a sudden rise in oil prices.
Potential to address environmental issues.
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Green Design

This is the complete list of articles we have written about green design.
Embodied Energy
Material Diversity
Passive Design
Producer Responsibility
Sustainable Design
Waste Is Food
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