In Arizona, we are blessed with an abundance of amazing mountain ranges. Especially in Tucson where we're tucked in on all four sides. It's easy to look out your window and see the Rincon's or the Catalina's... to see how tall and strong they are and to believe that they will be there forever. To know that your children and your children's children will look out and see the rugged peaks etching the sky. They stand as a bastion against time, something that seems unconquerable and we get complacent.
In places around the world, there were people who thought just like we do. They would look at the mountains and see an unchanging world; places to hunt, places to explore, places to live and places to just enjoy. However, now, their children have a very different view.
It is a landscape of disappearing mountains. Of men conquering a Titan and leaving the battle scars behind. Where peaks once created shadows, there is only empty space. A new patch of the sky visible where eons it was hidden by stone.
Unlike forest's which can be harvested and regrown in our lifetime, mountains are on our planet's life cycle. Millions and billions of years for them to reach maturity. When Earth was first created the mountains rose and dominated the skyline and in 50 short years they are being erased. Complacency is the snake in hiding, eventually its time comes to take action.
StoneWorld published it's 2016 numbers of granite and marble imports in May and the figures are staggering. 4,768,040,000 pounds imported to the U.S. in one year. Essentially a pound for every year it takes a mountain to grow. When tectonic subduction is how you age, it takes awhile. The hardest pill to swallow about those numbers, is I know that 30% - 60% of the mountain can become waste material. If it's hard to fathom the age of the mountain -- try to wrap your head around the sheer volume of waste. Of the almost 5 billion pounds imported a minimum of 1.5 billion is trash. Never used, harvested without a purpose.
The key to all this waste is human responsibility. If we used the 1,500,000,000 pounds of stone waste, that would be 1,500,000,000 pounds less we needed to mine. We could easily drop our harvesting levels in half. We'd still have all the beautiful stone products we enjoy in design without a landfill burden.
That's why we opened AE Recycled Granite... we're saving our mountains one beautiful project at a time.