life cycle analysis
A “product life-cycle” is the cycle from raw material to disposal, including extraction, transport, processing, distribution, sales, consumption, degradation, and discard. All environmental impacts are measured along the way. Energy used, waste and emissions/pollution, and renewability of raw materials are some of the inputs and outputs that are measured through the entire cycle to determine the impact of a product’s lifecycle. In permaculture, we design systems that produce more than they consume. A life cycle analysis will tell us if we have achieved that goal.