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7 ways you use sand every day

Considering that you and I have probably never met, I'm quite aware that I'm making a pretty bold claim here. But I have reason to believe that if you are reading this blog, there are dozens of ways you use sand every day just as I do. Most of this is not because you and I chose to use sand. It is because it seems to be embedded in the very fabric of our modern lives. For the moment, I will focus on just seven. With these seven, I hope to encourage you to take a closer look at the things you use and how they are made. 

Here are 7 ways you and I use sand every single day. Sand is required in order to make:

  1. Computers 
  2. Mobile phones 
  3. Credit/Debit cards 
  4. Bottles
  5. Houses 
  6. Roads 
  7. Metal objects

 + mirrors, ceramics, commercial buildings, cameras, plastics - I could go on! 

Computer CPUs (Central Processing Unit) require very high grade silica sand (quartz). Don't forget the glass screens on laptops, monitors, TV screens, mobile phones.  Microchips made from sand power not only all our financial transactions through our debit and credit cards but also most of our electronics. Glass bottles would be impossible without sand. Think of all the sauces, condiments, conserves, jams, syrups, perfumes, beverages we use, and the convenience glass affords us. Although sand is not used in metal objects directly, it is essential for an industrial process called sand casting which allows products to be mass manufactured cheaply. Think car doors and frames, lamp stands, window frames, metal furniture, cookware, taps, pipes and more. With concrete being the building material of choice in this century, most buildings (residential or commercial) and infrastructure such as roads, parking lots and airports would not be, were it not for sand.  If you haven't yet seen the video detailing how we use sand, please do. We simply would not enjoy the lifestyle and freedom we do today, were it not for the invisible yet not insignificant role that sand plays in the production of each of these things. Sand is truly the forgotten foundation of modernity. 

 Background Image: Invisible-Dirth Beuth-Flickr CC-BY 2.0

Background Image: Invisible-Dirth Beuth-Flickr CC-BY 2.0

Kiran Pereira