Recycling War Weapons for Peaceful Ends
Remember our so-called nuclear disarmament? Granted, thousands of U.S. and Russian nuke warheads did get dismantled in the late 1980s, but the U.S. still maintains nearly 10,000, ready 24/7 to send us to instant Armageddon.
Or maybe not 24/7. The same pesky way our own computers go off-line, our nuclear arsenal can do the same. This year, nearly 10 percent of our land-based ICBMs went down for nearly a hour.
Are we more secure? What does the word “security” mean in an age bristling with our own weapons of vast destruction?
A California entrepreneur named Paul Ogren has an answer. And it’s not nukes. “Since the 1960s, I’ve been a peace activist as well as a student of history. I’ve long wondered: why have we humans waged war virtually nonstop?”
He and his late wife Sandee concluded the same thing. As she wryly put it, “Since eternal war doesn’t seem to have worked all that well, perhaps we should give peace a chance.”
The Ogrens’ way is a unique one, incorporating ingenuity, artistry, and recycling. Awesome recycling. After the disarmament treaties led to the dismantlement of missile silos throughout the Midwest, the Ogrens had the copper cabling connecting those silos pulled from the earth, ground into copper chop, and made into a gleaming, butter-smooth alloy they call Peace Bronze. From it, the artisans at their company, From War to Peace, have crafted sublime jewelry. Other useful and beautiful items in the pipeline include Christmas ornaments, clocks, and wind chimes. Out of respect for the Earth, the packaging is made out of 100% recycled paper and biodegradable materials.
Their special twist? “All our designs revolve around symbols of peace,” explains Paul Ogren. “including the famous nuclear disarmament icon created by Gerald Holtom in 1958. But we’ve come up with other designs, too, including crosses, Asian peace symbols, Jewish stars of David, and moon-and-stars symbols representing Islam and even more ancient cultures.”
As part of their commitment to making the world a better place as well as a safer one, the FWTP folks are donating 20 percent of profits to deserving peace and social justice organizations worldwide.