Among the many uses for zinc, boosting the immune system to fight the common cold is possibly the most commonly known.
This bluish-silver metal is also used for rust protection, die-casting, and many other medical purposes. The use that was most compelling to me, however, was as a sustainable building material. A zinc roof can last 100 years (compared to a few decades for asphalt shingles) and is much less likely to wind up in a landfill compared to traditional roofing materials because zinc can be recycled indefinitely without loss of physical or chemical properties. As a nod to how eco-savvy zinc can be, this piece includes some recycled elements of its own, including scraps of old neckties and wrapping paper.