Final Paper

Dan Irwin, Kara Broene, and Savannah Grammo

Comparative Cultural Cuisine

Final Paper

Abstract

The dietary habits of a population and how these habits affect their countries’ environmental footprint will be the essence of this research paper. Focusing on the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Italian Republic and the People’s Republic of China, the analysis of the food consumed and cultivated by each country will provide insight to how each cultures food impacts their respective ecosystems. The focal point will not be on the countries food habits but the food consumption of the majority of the population. When concluding the presentation of research and analysis, the goal of the researchers is for the reader to better understand the impression that growing and consuming food has on a countries’ environmental footprint, and that it may lead to questions concerning their own country’s impact.

Introduction

As we all know, eating habits tend to vary greatly among different cultures. The result of this variation leads to the basis of our project, the environmental impact of different eating habits. We focused on three equally diverse countries, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Italian Republic and the People’s Republic of China. Through our research we found out that not only eating habits by itself effect an environmental footprint, but the process of production and transportation of the food tends to effect it as well. This is a very important topic to pay attention to, due to increasing ecological footprints around the world. Through our research, we are able to provide insight on how to improve food consumption and production.

Lit Review

In the Italian Republic, commonly known as Italy, being ecologically conservative is not a large part of life. Italy ranks relatively high on the Ecological Footprint scale, 25th out of 141 countries worldwide (GoGreen). When it comes to space needed to produce resources, food takes up more Global Hectares (GHA) than anything else (GoGreen). Major proportions for food: 20 thousand GHA for crops; 18 thousand GHA for meat and other protein and three thousand GHA for fishing and seafood (Eureapa). Sulfur dioxide is a major pollutant in Italy; the country is ranked ninth out of 178 countries for levels of CO2 emissions (GoGreen).

Italian food has three major categories for its food: crops, land based protein, and seafood. Major ingredients in Italian food include the crops grown are tomatoes, olives, grapes, and wheat (Italy). Because Italy is a developed country there is plenty of access to pesticides. These pesticides are used on crops and when the chemicals are caught up in runoff, pollute the rivers and streams in Italy. Italy is a peninsula, meaning it is surrounded on three sides by water, and therefore the polluted waters from pesticides eventually reach the Mediterranean Sea. The Italian government has fewer restrictions on the usage of pesticides than in the United States, so there is no legal related method of limiting the chemical runoff from fields. The land-based proteins include, primarily, pork and dairy products (Russo). Because of the industrialization of rural Italy there is less space to raise livestock, such as pigs. Pork, as previously mentioned, is the third worst meat in regards to carbon emissions. Italy’s high levels of pork consumption have contributed greatly to the country’s high levels of CO2. Seafood is a major part of the Italian diet (Understanding Italy). Therefore, when these important waters are jeopardized, the Italian people are put at economic risk. As previously stated, runoff is a big problem in Italy. When this runoff reaches the Mediterranean Sea the chemicals it contains kill off aquatic life. This aquatic life includes vegetation, fish and sea mammals.

In Italy concerns over the massive Muslim immigration is also flowing over into the culture’s food. When practicing Islam, followers are forbidden from consuming anything that has or has come in contact with pork products. In response to this restriction a number of butcher shops have become strictly clean meat oriented so as to cater to the Muslim immigrant influx (Russo). This has caused problems in pork industry. The factories struggle with overproduction due to a lack of consumption by the Italian population (Russo). Consequently uneaten meat is often left to rot and produce chemicals that are harmful to the environment (Russo).

In the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan the biggest environmental problems are a lack of water and soil degradation. However, Afghanistan boasts the best ecological footprint per citizen in the world (Happy Planet Index). This high ranking for low emissions is because of the incredible lack on industrialization in Afghanistan and the minimal access that farmers have to pesticides. Afghanistan is also relatively low on the CO2 emissions scale, ranked 138thout of the 178 countries (GoGreen).

Of the grains grown in Afghanistan, the staples of the Afghani diet are wheat, barely and rice (CIA). These foods do not have a large effect on the environment other than contributing to soil degradation. Since pesticides are rare the crops are not responsible for large amounts of chemical runoff. In regards to soil derogation, the lack of fertile land in Afghanistan makes it so that rotating crops is very difficult. Since Afghani farmers rely on what these fields produce to survive allowing one field to lay dormant for a season is not practical (AFSA). Finally, the Afghan people rely greatly on the fruits, vegetables and nuts that are capable of growing in the dry heat of Afghanistan (Garabedian). Again, there are minimal effects from the lack of pesticides and so few water sources that runoff is not a big issue. When pesticides are used the farmers are taught to use them properly by the Afghan Farm Service Alliance or AFSA (AFSA).

As previously mentioned, Muslims do not consume pork, so with the country being an Islamic state the consumption of pork is nearly non existent. Because of this, the country lacks the CO2 produced by pork production. One the other hand, sheep and lamb are an Afghani’s primary source of meat protein (CIA). These meats are the only significant impact that Afghanistan has on its environmental footprint. Lamb is the number one CO2 producing meat. Yet, most lamb that describes this statistic is processed. Afghanistan has almost no industry so the meat that they consume is usually strait from the field to the table, only stopping to be cooked by the consumer. This results in Afghanistan maintaining its low levels of CO2 emissions.

Like the Muslims in Italy, Afghanistan has a big problem that has been affecting its ability to produce food for more than a decade. This problem is Opium. Afghanistan as a whole produces more than 100 thousand GHA of Opium a year. This large quantity of Opium can be partially attributed to the fact that Afghanistan has been a war stricken country on and off for more than 40 years (CIA). Because of these wars the number of Afghani’s who are below the poverty includes 36 percent of the population (CIA). Consequently, an Afghan farmer can make more money growing and selling opium than anything else. As a result, the farmers are not producing enough food to feed the country’s population. This means that the food must be imported and because Afghanistan is a land locked country so no port access; all supplies must be shipped into the country. Another consequence of being land locked is that the people have no access to fishing, at least not to the same extent as many of its neighbors.

The People’s Republic of China has a surprisingly small ecological footprint. Although China’s per capita Ecological Footprint of 2.1 gha is just 80% of the global average of 2.7 gha, China’s total Ecological Footprint is the largest in the world in view of its large population size. The per capita Ecological Footprint of the USA is 7.2 gha, ranking it 6th in the world; but its relatively small population gives the USA a total Ecological Footprint of 2.2 billion gha, lower than that of China (WWF).

China needs to find ‘innovative solutions to reduce its footprint’. The nation is already consuming 2.5 times its biocapacity, the capacity to regenerate natural resources and absorb carbon emissions. Carbon remains the largest component of China’s overall Ecological Footprint, increasing from 10 percent in 1961 to 54 percent in 2008. The report shows that rapid urbanization is having a big impact on China’s footprint, as urban areas are producing a much higher per capita footprints than rural areas. China can do more to move towards a green economy and proposes that the nation better define ecological redlines in specific areas, increase natural resource protection, and develop stronger policies that help improve biocapacity. China is at a turning point; the choices they make today regarding consumption and production will be determine the country’s future. Choosing a sustainable development path is essential to China’s ecological security and its people’s well-being, and because they are the second largest economy in the world it will have a critical influence on global sustainable development (Herald Tribune).

The manufacturing of animal products for human consumption (meat and dairy products) or for other human needs (leather), leads inevitably to the production of waste. Under traditional conditions, the quantities of products processed in a certain area used to be small and by-products were better utilized. This resulted in the production of smaller quantities of waste than at present. If the concentration of waste products increases, nature’s mechanisms become overburdened and pollution problems start to occur (NTDonChina).

China’s diet is the main reason why their ecological footprint isn’t topping the charts. China’s typical food dishes consist of, fried rice, jiaozi (filled dumplings, guotie), kung pao chicken, fried pancakes (including green onion pancakes), zongzi (rice balls, wrapped in leaves), peking duck, baozi (filled steamed buns),steamed fish,and tofu dishes. As you can see their is very little meat in their diet which is the underlying reason why they host a 2.1 gha (TWFP).

China has revealed its major vulnerability, that feeding its own people. Its a race to get to the top of global manufacturing has extracted the heavy cost of fouling its water, land and air so that it must look outside its boundries to keep its increasingle unsustainable growth on track. In a stunning piece, China’s predicament as a coal/water dilemma. In order to continue its manufacturing miracle unabated, China must rely on the use of coal, its number one energy source. Coal requires a massive use of water, both in mining and in burning. Coal industries and power stations use as much as 17% of China’s water (Daily Kos).

Results

Concluding Italy is that the country has a high CO2 emission rate because of industry. The farmers of the country use pesticides that are not regulated by the government and therefore cause a large amount of runoff. This runoff contains chemicals that when introduced to rivers, streams, and the Mediterranean Sea are capable of killing aquatic fish, mammals, vegetation and other organisms. This causes a major problem for the Italian people because a large portion of their diet consists of seafood. The other major source of protein for the Italians is pork, but pork production has been excessive because of the influx of Muslim immigrants who do not consume pork because of Sharia law.

Afghanistan is a low ranking country in regards to CO2 emissions. While this is good for the environment the reasons for the lack of emissions is not. War, poverty and a lack of industrialization have prevented the Afghani people from growing food or producing products to keep up their economy. Like in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan lacks in consumption of pork because of the Sharia law that governs Islam. The majority of the population is Muslim and tends to consume sheep and lamb more than most other meats. Lamb is the worst meat for CO2 emissions but this is usually because of processing. Afghanistan lacks the resources to processes meat so many of the CO2 factors of lamb and sheep are not applicable. The biggest reason that Afghanistan is having problems with food is that an Afghan farmer can make a lot more money by farming Opium than any other crop. This has caused a food shortage nation wide and as a landlocked country there is little that can be done to fix this other than to ship in recourses. Overall the low emissions are not entirely worth the poverty and corruptness of the people who work in Afghanistan.

Its not China’s eating habits that make their total ecological footprint 2.9 billion gha, it is caused mainly from its carbon emissions. China makes up for 23% of the worlds carbon emissions, unlike Afghanistan. Their CO2 emissions has increased severely, from 10% in 1961 to 54% in 2008. This has increased mainly because of food production and their heavy use of coal. Their use of coal has lead to extreme water pollution, coal requires a large amount of water in mining and burning and this eventually lead to about half of China’s rivers to dry up since 1990. China’s food production has caused many detremental effects to the environment and its only getting worse. China needs to most attention because they have the largest total footprint. If this research study was conducted in the 1980′s, it wouldn’t be a research study in the first place. China needs to find strategies to eliminate their exessive CO2 emissions and use of coal as an energy source. China is the second largest economy in the world, it will have a critical influence on global sustainable development, which is why the need to make a change.

Conclusion

In conclusion, all of the countries we researched do have negative effects on the environment,whether it might be CO2 emissions, waste in food production, or excessive opium manufacturing. The point is that not every country has the same environmental issue and that many factors could contribute to an ecological footprint. As a whole, we are not living within sustainable means and we need to change this for the future of our world. As corney as this may sound it is true, we need to be aware of detremental environmental effects so they can be reduced.

Works Cited

AFSA (2010). Pesticide Safety Training. Afghanistan Farm Service Alliance. Web. Retrieved from cnfaafghanistan.org.af/news-story/941.

CIA (2013). South Asia:: Afghanistan. The World Factbook. Web. Retrieved from cia.gov.

Eureapa (2011). Region Impact: Italy. Italy: Environmental Impact from Ecological Footprint. Web. Retrieved from eureapa.nat/explore.

Garabedian, Deran Thomas (2013). Country Profile – Afghanistan. New Agriculturist. Web. Retrieved from new-ag-info/en/country/profile.php?a=841.

GoGreen. Ecological footprints of Countries World Wide; Biological Footprint of Italy. Global Environment Stats. Web. Retrieved from go-green.ae/footprint/Italy.

GoGreen. Ecological footprints of Countries World Wide; Biological Footprint of Afghanistan. Global Environment Stats. Web. Retrieved from go-green.ae/footprint/Afghanistan.

Happy Planet Index (2013). Afghanistan achieves a Happy Planet Index Score of 36.8 and ranks #109 of all the countries analyzed. Happy Planet Index. Web. Retrieved from happyplanetindex.org/countries/Afghanistan/.

Italy: Food (2004).Web. Retrieved from kidcyber.au.

Russo, Carlo (2000). Italian agricultural cooperatives in the evolving food system. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Web. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Understanding Italy. Italian Food. Web. Retrieved from understandingitaly.eu/food.

China Needs Innovative Solutions to Reduce Footprint – 2012 China Ecological Footprint Report.” (n.d.): n. pag. WWF Global. 2012. Web.

Lowman, Meg. “China’s 1.3 Billion Residents Leave Smaller Ecological Footprint.” (n.d.): n. pag. Herald Tribune. 2006. Web.

Water Pollution in China – The Toll of Unchecked Economic Development. Dir. NTDonChina. 2013. Online.

The Cultural Heritage of China.” Food and Drink (n.d.): n. pag. The World Food Program. Web.

Baker, V. L. “China’s Water Pollution off the Charts, Must Outsource Food Production.” (n.d.): n. pag. Daily Kos. 2013. Web.

 

The Environmental Effects of Cannabis

Abstract

            The broad question being examined is whether or not growing marijuana has an effect on the environment. If it does then what are those effects? The other question being addressed is how each growing style influences the environment. The purpose of this study is to indicate whether or not growing marijuana has positive or negative effects on the environment, based on the three broad growing strategies: in-door, greenhouse, and outdoor. To figure this out different articles, all focusing on how growing marijuana effects the environment, were examined. A main finding was that all types of growing have a negative effect on the environment, with greenhouse growing having the least. Also important is how growing marijuana outdoors is contributing to putting animals on the endangered species list!

Introduction

            While twenty-one different states plus the District of Columbia now have marijuana legalized to some extent, it is still illegal on a federal level. Colorado and Washington are the only two states with legalized marijuana for recreational use. Until it is legalized on a federal level, there will continue to be no growing regulations. The lack of legality and growing regulations allow growers to do as they please, harming wildlife, waterways, and the lands.

Literature Review

Outdoor

Growing marijuana has several negative effects on the environment. The lack of growing regulations results in the drying up of streams and rivers due to the over usage of water. Cannabis plants require a lot of water to grow which small growers ignore. They use off the grid areas to illegally siphon millions of gallons of water with no restrictions.

During the rainless summer season, one large sized cannabis plant needs several gallons of water a day. When you multiple several gallons by the enormous amount of plants in a crop those several gallons becomes an enormous number. Because the cannabis plant needs such an abundance of water, creeks around farms are turning into disconnected ponds and fish are getting trapped. This is becoming a serious issue for the Coho salmon and the salamander secrecies in that area.

Growers also dump used soil, enriched with fertilizers, into the rivers and allow for fertilizer to runoff, causing toxic algae. On the Eel River stream the ingestion of these algae has lead to the deaths of four dogs. Some growers even purposely dam up the creeks and streams so that they can mix pesticides and herbicides in the pooled water for later irrigation.

Rodenticides on land are causing a huge issue for wild life also. Growers spread it to stop rats from chewing on the black tubing used in irrigation and also to keep them away from the plant in general. Warfarin, a long lasting poison and d-Con, which is illegal without a permit, are both being used to killed the rats but unfortunately they are also killing off other animals like the fisher and the northern spotted owl. Some growers are even placing d-Con-laced tuna and sardine cans around the perimeters of their crop fields. The northern spotted owl is a threatened species and marijuana farmers are quickly leading them to the extinction list. Two dead spotted owls in Mendocino County tested positive for rat poison. Mendocino county, along with Humboldt and Trinity Counties, make up the Emerald Triangle, which are home to the spotted owl but also the main areas were marijuana growth.

Another animal that is dying of because of marijuana growers is the fisher. The fisher is a member of the weasel family who lives in the Sierra Nevada and surrounding areas. They live between the elevations of 2,500 and 7,000 feet. However, those altitudes also happen to be prime real estate for cannabis growers because it is not visible and has constant water. The first direct evidence of a fisher death on a grow site occurred at Six Rivers National Forest. A dead fisher was found with a rodenticide laced hotdog in his throat. While that fisher died immediately, rodenticide can also cause death due to secondary reasons because it slows reflexes, reduces ability to heal, and causes neurological impairment. It has come to the point where the fisher is so rarely found that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering listing it as an endangered species.

Indoors

Growing marijuana inside provides the grower with many benefits. The grower does not have to worry about losing crops due to unexpected weather or animals. It also allows for the creation of perfect growing conditions all year round and high grade product. Growing inside is not so beneficial for the environment, however, and is actually the most harmful way to grow. A 2012 report estimated that indoor marijuana production may account for 1 percent of the entire country’s energy consumption and 2 percent of all household consumptions.

The most important environmental cost of marijuana production in legal Washington market is energy for indoor growing. The energy bill can amount to 1/3 of the production costs and that is not surprising when you see how many high intensity discharge bulbs they use. These bulbs contain 30mg of mercury which can be polluted into the air if not properly disposed of.

Inside growing also contributes to environmental issues due to the excessive use in water and fertilizer and the green house gases that are emitted. CO2 generators, fueled by natural gas or propane, are often used to raise indoor CO2 levels and boost plant productivity. These CO2 levels are raised to 4x the natural levels, about 1600 ppm(v) . This is responsible for 25% of the carbon footprint produced by indoor cultivation.

 

Greenhouse

            Greenhouse cultivation requires significantly less energy than indoor cultivation practices. Different factors affect how energy is consumed in greenhouses: shape, construction material, heating, shading, and lighting practices. Enclosure materials are different things like plastic film in one or two layers, over a frame, or glass in a metal or wood construction. Ventilation is controlled by gravity where panes in the roof can be opened. Greenhouses can even have mechanical shades, automated or manual, that can provide photoperiod control and limited heat gain.

Conclusion

            Out door growing leads to erosion and destruction of land but its largest impact on the environment is how it kills off animals, like the spotted owl and the fisher. When it comes to indoor growing almost everything negatively effects the environment in one way or another. If you ever feel the need to start your own marijuana business (in a state in which it is legal, of course) be environmentally friendly and go with the greenhouse approach. It is beneficial in terms of creating the conditions you want and is also less environmentally unfriendly then indoor growing.

These negative effects of marijuana growing will not be taken serious or actually prevented until marijuana is federally legal.  Legalization would allow for federal guidelines beneficial to wildlife. Until rules and regulations are put into place, stick with greenhouse growing!

 

 

References

Barnard, J. (2013, May 28). Pot plantation rat poison examined in emerald triangle owl deaths. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/28/pot-rat-poison-emerald-triangle-owl_n_3348955.html.

(Barnard, 2013)

O’Hare, M., Sanchez, D., & Alstone, P. (2013). Environmental risks and opportunities in cannabis cultivation. 1-31. Retrieved from http://www.liq.wa.gov/publications/Marijuana/SEPA/BOTEC_Whitepaper_Final.pdf.

(O’Hare, Sanchez & Alstone, 2013)

Ortiz, E. (2013, Sept 8). Pot grow sites’ poisons cited in fishers’ survival struggles. Retrieved from http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/08/5716665/pot-grow-sites-poisons-cited-in.html .

(Ortiz, 2013)

Smith, S. (2012, Jan. 19). Rising controversy over marijuana cultivation in california’s emerald triangle . Retrieved from http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/5886:rising-controversy-over-marijuana-cultivation-in-californias-emerald-triangle .

(Smith, 2012)

Visser, N. (2013, April 20). The environmental impacts of an unregulated marijuana industry . Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/20/the-environmental-impacts-of-marijuana_n_3118760.html.

(Visser, 2013)

Wilson, J. (2013, June 20). Marijuana crops in california threaten forests and wildlife. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/us/marijuana-crops-in-california-threaten-forests-and wildlife.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&partner=rss&emc=r ss&

(Wilson, 2013)

Zuckerman, S. (2013, Oct. 31). Is pot-growing bad for the environment?. Retrieved from

http://www.thenation.com/article/176955/pot-growing-bad-environment

(Zuckerman, 2013)

Final Paper

The Green Team

Abstract

            Today, the new trend has been to “go green,” but what does this exactly mean? Recycling and being vegetarian along with the implementations of each will be the topics discussed in this paper. Along with these discussions will be the alalyzation of the best way for an individual to save money while being green while having an impact on sustainability. To conclude, will be the discussion of why the government needed to enforce the Environmental Protection Agency and how its helped America.

Introduction

            The term going green has become a fad within the last ten years, but what does it actually mean in relation to our environment? Usually the first few topics that come to mind are recycling, hybrid cars, or using reusable plastic water bottles. However, going green is much more than all three of those things. It’s relatable to the term sustainability which has been adopted by the United States government since December 2, 1970 through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, “sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations” (United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, 2013). How does one live a sustainable lifestyle while not changing their environment completely? Well, this paper will discuss common ways for individuals to go green without changing much at all.

Literature Review

Going green and helping conserve the environment can be implemented in several ways in daily life, such as becoming a vegetarian and changing some habits. These are two things American people tend to hate since most love their meat and individuals in general are not very susceptible to change. However, if one person would change their ways after reading this paper then it would have an impact on the world.

The first implementation to be discussed is being a vegetarian. A vegetarian is an individual who does not have meat in their diet. When reading this definition one might question if it is healthy to not consume meat. “According to the World Cancer Research Fund the evidence shows that most diets that protect against cancer mainly consist of foods of plant origin” (Salonen & Helne, 2012). The decrease in meat consumption can also improve weight management because there is less fat in vegetables than in meat.

It has also been proven that being vegetarian is a good way to conserve the environment. The Adventist Health Study and California state agriculture and commodity production statistics proved that, “for the combined production of eleven food items the nonvegetarian diet required 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more primary energy,13 times more fertilizer, and 1.4 times more pesticides than did the vegetarian diet” (LOMA Linda University, 2009).  Therefore, if someone eats meat, no matter how much they are contributing to this statistic as well as hurting the vegetation of our fruits and vegetables. Although it is understandable if someone does not want to give up their consumption of meat, however if one just limits the amount of meat they eat per week they would still help conserve their environment and maintain healthy eating habits.

However, if not reducing your consumption of meats is not an option then maybe something as simple as recycling would be a better option.  If everyone in America recycled their plastic water bottle once a year that would be 313.9 million water bottles which could be reused to make other products (United States Census Bureau, 2013). Another way to help recycle and save money is to use a reusable coffee mug or water bottle. American’s love their Starbucks in the morning, but most don’t know that if they bring a reusable mug to use they will discount their coffee by .10 cents (The Daily Green, 2013).Now, .10 cents doesn’t seem like much but if the average American went to Starbucks three times a week that is 156 times per year which would total an average savings of $15.60. Even though this is not a huge savings, it could still be put towards something more rewarding.

Results

At the beginning of our research process our group came to the conclusion that recycling plastic was the best way to be green. Plastic doesn’t break down which means a million years from now the water bottles we throw away, without thinking twice about it, will still be on this earth. However, what we ended up learning was there is no best way to become green and help the environment. Every little thing an individual does can impact in a big way, even if it’s as small as recycling one plastic water bottle every other day.

Our group did conclude that the best cost saving way to be green is to stop eating out (The Daily Green, 2013). It has been reported that an average U.S. family (4 member family) spends $4,000 at restaurants per year. If that family would not eat out 75% of the time they would save $3,000 which would average out to be $750 per person. This savings could be used as extra money to use while on vacation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is not one specific best way to be green. There are many easy ways to incorporate sustainability into your daily life which can also save a lot of money throughout the year. The government adopted the EPA to help conserve our environment in order for individuals to live healthy lives. Going green should not just be a new trend within the United States, but a motto everyone should live by in order for their future generations to enjoy our planet as much as they have.

Sources

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). What is Sustainability? Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov

Salonen, A.O., & Helne, T.T. (2012). Vegetarian Diets: A Way towards a Sustainable Society. Journal of Sustainable Development, 5(6), 10-24.

LOMA Linda University. Finding a Scientific Connection Between Food Choices and the Environment. (2009). Environmental Nutrition, 32 (10), 3.

United States Census Bureau. (2013). Population Division. “Population Clock.” United States Census 2013. Washington: US Census Bureau. Retrieved From http://www.census.gov

The Daily Green. (2013). Saving Money by Going Green: 19 Tips That Can Save Hundreds. Retrieved from http://www.thedailygreen.com

 

Got Organic’s Research Paper

Abstract

In the recent years a trending item to purchase has been organic food.  Organic food is usually better for human beings and is in fact better for the environment.  The production process that goes into organic food is a lot more environmentally friendly than the production of non-organic food.  This is because farmers’ methods to control weeds and insects are natural in organic farming compared to pesticides that are used in traditional farming.  There are no pesticides used in the production of organic food. Organic food is grown with natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost. Traditionally grown food is produced with chemical or synthetic fertilizers that are not good for the environment.  In traditional farming, the soil is “dead” with no veins or worms because of all the chemicals used. Whereas in organic farming, the soil structure is healthy with worms, and oxygen is allowed to get to it.  Overall organic food is better for the environment because no harmful chemicals are used and greener methods go into producing it.

Introduction

Organic is considered to be “the way agricultural products are grown and processed”(Paul).  The production of organic farming is very different than the production of present day farming.  Conventional farming uses different types of pesticides that are harmful for the environment.  People are becoming aware of how harmful pesticides are for the environment.  Society is starting to realize something needs to be done.  This is where organic farming comes in.  Organic farming is “greener” for the environment because the produce is primarily made from natural techniques and supplies.

Lit Review

            Organic farming is simple to understand and has many benefits.  Williams states “organic food is derived from crops or animals produced in a farming system that avoids the use of man-made fertilizers”.  Without the use of the man-made fertilizers, it is a definite that organic farming is better for the environment.  Also “organic farms do better than conventional farms at nurturing abundant and diverse populations of plants, insects and other animals”(Gewin).  Organic farming is also much more ethical than conventional farming.  Organic food “provides invaluable information highly useful in elimination of these constraints, and thus, sustaining food security and well-being of humans without harming the environment”(Cakmak).

Those aren’t the only reasons organic farming is better for the environment.  Organic produce is grown with natural fertilizers such as manure and compost.  Whereas conventionally grown produce uses synthetic or chemical fertilizers.  Also organic produce weeds are controlled naturally by crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching, and tilling.  However conventional farming uses herbicides to control its weeds.  The last major difference is how they handle their insects.  During organic farming the farmers use natural methods such as birds, good insects, and traps.  Conventional famers use insecticides to control pests and disease.  One can only imagine how bad all these pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides can be for the environment.  This shows the natural methods of organic farming should be used instead of the unnatural ways of conventional farming (Paul).

Conclusively, all farmers should make the switch to organic farming because there are so many benefits to it.  Although Gewin states that this will not happen unless the world stops wanting a meat-rich diet. “. But if the world’s demand for cheap, abundant meat can be curbed, then quite possibly it could”(Gewin).   If human consumption of inexpensive meat rates go down then it is likely that we could see more organic farms in the future.  The more educated humans become on how much better organic food is for the environment and better yet themselves, they more likely they are to buy organic.  Organic is becoming more and more popular over the years and it is seems to keep increasing.

In comparison, we know that organic food is good for the environment, but the majority of America’s organic food comes from China. This is largely because it is so inexpensive to produce it there.  Sometimes there are times we have to question whether or not this organic food coming from China is safe for humans to eat.  The article “Green Pastures” talks about how in China there have been previous food scandals with melamine in milk and exploding watermelons.  If we are not able to get organic food inexpensively and are insured that it is safe, the majority of people will not care if it is good for the environment or not.  They will most likely continue to buy conventional farming produce where they think their money will best be spent.  China is taking better precautions now when producing organic food.  Elton says “vegetables headed abroad are monitored along the food chain: farmers grow the organic vegetables on plots of land that are often less than an acre, then bring the harvest, usually by hand-pulled cart, to a company processing plant, where it is inspected”.  This is to make sure the food they produce is safe.  Therefore people should continue to buy organic food because it is no doubt better for the environment and most of the time better for humans.

Results

From our research, we found that it is much more environmentally friendly to grow food organically than to grow it conventionally.  Studies also show that organically grown food is a little bit better for your health, which is always a plus.  You also have to be careful when buying organically produced food.  You have to look for the official USDA label.  If this is not on the product, chances are it is not 100% organic.

We found that the biggest benefit of organically grown food is that it does not contain any chemical pesticides and conventionally grown food does.  Chemical pesticides are most harmful to pregnant women and children, but are not by any means good for other people.  Pesticides are very harmful to the environment.  They can greatly harm some animals and make it harder for them to reproduce.  These pesticides make their way into water sources and can kill the fish and other animals drinking from this source.

Ideally, we would recommend that everyone starts to buy organically grown food.  It is much better for the environment, people’s health, and sometimes even tastes better.  This seems like a no brainer.  Why wouldn’t you go organic? Well we found out that it is much more expensive to buy organic food.  There are many reasons for this.  Since they do not use chemical pesticides in the production, more labor is needed.  Instead of using weed killers, farmers use a method called crop rotation to keep their soil healthy.  Also in organically produced food, the animals have better living conditions, which cost more money.  We found some ways that you can help the environment while simultaneously paying less.  You could shop at a farmer’s market or join a food co-op.  This is a cooperative grocery store that lowers costs to members.  You pay a small annual fee to join and then you get groceries for cheaper.  Overall organic can be done in realistic ways while still benefiting the environment.

Conclusion

            In conclusion, organic farming is a much better way to produce food versus conventional farming.  It is a lot less harmful to the environment.  Organic farming methods are natural and do not use any human made chemicals such as pesticides.  Pesticides are very harmful to the environment.  The less they are used in the production of our food, the better off our environment will be.

 

Bibliography

Cakmak, Ismail. “Plant nutrition research: Priorities to meet human needs for

food in sustainable Ways”. Link.springer . n.p. 2002.  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.

Elton, Sarah. “Greener pastures: while organic agriculture is big in China, concerns about food

safety and quality are starting to arise.” Ebscohost. Vol. 124 Issue 24, p52. Rogers

Publishing Ltd, 2011. Web.

Gewin, Virginia. “Organic FAQs”. espe.univ-lorraine.fr. n.p. 2006.  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.

Paul, Maya. Gina Kemp, Robert Segal. Understanding Organic Food Labels, Benefits, and

Claims. Helpguide. n.p. n.d. Web.

Williams, Christine. “Nutritional quality of organic food: shades of grey or shades of green?”

Journals.cambridge. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2002. Web.

 

 

Dat Paper Doe

How Chemotherapy Effects the Environment

ABSTRACT

Chemotherapy drugs are constantly affecting the environment around the planet and are so volatile that they can affect the cellular structure of any organic tissue they touch. The disposal policy for chemotherapy drugs has allowed the drugs to contaminate our water systems and spread rapidly. These drugs are made of tough stuff, as they are meant to break down chemicals in the human body. The problem with making a drug so resilient is the fact that it makes it almost impossible to get rid of. Up to 99% of the drug can pass through a patient’s body unaltered and be excreted into our sewers. Known side effects chemotherapy drugs consist of but are not limited to: cancer itself and people say (life isn’t ironic), autism in children, heritable genetic defects, and burning on contact of the epidermis or mucus membranes. This not only makes, what many chemotherapy experts regard as, one of the most dangerous jobs in medicine, but is also harmful to any loved ones who come in contact with a chemo-patient. Perhaps the worst part of all of this is the negligence of the public to do anything about it. If you are waiting for the FDA to crack down on Big Pharma then you should probably understand the fact that the FDA is in Big Pharma’s pocket. “Very often, FDA officials find a soft landing spot in a pharmaceutical company after retirement from the FDA. Big Pharma, in a close alliance with the FDA, has developed a virtual monopoly on the cancer business” (Scoopdig). Until enough of the public cry out to end the greed of these politicians and business men (who destroy millions of families around this planet for the sake of money every year) our water will not be safe, our children will not be safe, YOU will not be safe.

INTRODUCTION

Our group was looking at the environmental impact on how chemotherapy drugs affect us.  We found out some pretty interesting things about the chemotherapy drugs and just how harmful they are to the environment and even to us humans.  Most people probably think that the drugs do most of their work while they or inside of the humans body, but after the drugs exit the body they are still very powerful chemicals.

LIT REVIEW

Just how bad are these chemotherapy drugs?  When the nurse who are administering these drugs to the patient they must wear multiple layers of specially made clothes and masks so that they do not harm themselves.  Breathing in the vapor form the drugs can cause internal damage and spills can burn the skin (Cancer patient raises environmental concerns over chemo drugs).  Unfortunately these powerful chemotherapy drugs easily pass through our bodies and make its way into our water systems through the sewage system.  The water treatment plants are not designed to filter out these drugs, they are only designed to filter out bacteria and other germs (Cancer patient raises environmental concerns over chemo drugs).  A 2002 U.S. Geological survey sampling of 139 U.S. streams in 30 states found 80 percent contained prescription and non-prescription drugs, steroids, and reproductive hormones.  Perhaps of greatest concern are drugs administered during chemotherapy, as these substances can be highly toxic.  Chemotherapeutic drugs are known to be genotoxic- which means that they are targeted to attack DNA; many are also cytotoxic, making them highly lethal to living cells (Abarnes).  Just as bad for us these drugs are affecting sea-life.  The sea-life that is in the waters that these drugs are directly going into is having problems.  There have been cases where the sea-life is having birth defects because of us.  The amount of some drugs that are being emptied into waterways is not being tracked by anyone, so it is just piling up (Cancer patient raises environmental concerns over chemo drugs).

Two of the most common forms of chemotherapy wastes are the drugs themselves or the protective equipment worn by the nurses.  The waste is broken up into two forms, bulk waste and trace waste.  Bulk waste is any chemotherapy waste that designates as RCRA hazardous waste or State-only dangerous waste, any non-empty containers of chemotherapy, and any materials used to clean up a chemotherapy spill.  Trace waste consists of any materials that are not visibly contaminated and any empty containers that did not hold either a P-listed chemotherapy or a State-only extremely hazardous waste (Specific waste: Chemotherapy).  Even though there are disposal requirements they are not always followed.  Some health care facilities commonly use toilets or sinks to dispose of their unwanted drugs.  Scientific evidence is increasing in saying that the drugs are entering the ecosystem and may also be entering our drinking water (Disposal of Waste Medications by Health Care Facilities).

Chemotherapy drugs are not just bad for the doctors and nurses working with these drugs but also the family and other people close to the person receiving the drugs.  About 85% of patients receive the chemotherapy drugs and are then sent home.  The problem with this is that the families do not receive any warnings about the chemicals that are exiting the patient’s body.  Without these precautions everyone around the patient is in danger.  The dangers may not come up for months or maybe even years.  The injuries that could come up are; cancer, birth defects, or immune dysfunction such as myelodysplastic syndrome also known as pre-leukemia (Extreme danger for family members).

The family is at risk because the patient’s urine, feces, vomit, sweat, and saliva may contain some of the dangerous chemicals.  The chemicals are able to cross skin meaning that touching surfaces, kissing, and eating and drinking from family plates and glasses.  Also bathrooms, sheets, and towels can become contaminated.  Making sure that every surface is clean is extremely hard, even hospitals are struggling.  Hospitals use specially made and marked laundry bags which are washed with its contents multiple times, by personnel wearing gloves and gowns (Extreme danger for family members).

RESULTS

            Chemotherapy drugs are bad for just about everyone and everything that they come into contact with.  If the chemicals enter your body in any way other than how they are put into your body by the doctors can dangerously harm your body.  The chemotherapy drugs are even harming to sea animals by how easily the chemotherapy passes through the body and in some cases how the chemicals are disposed of.  The different tools and containers that are used in the chemotherapy process need a special way to dispose of them.

CONCLUSION

                Overall, chemotherapy drugs are bad.  We as humans need to make sure that they are not harming the environment anymore.  We can do this by finding better ways to dispose of the chemotherapy and make sure that, hospitals and other cancer centers are following the rules.  Another way to help the environment would be to create a filter system for the water ways to take out any of the drugs that are in the water.  Next, we could try and find a different drug that could replace chemotherapy and be less harmful to other people and to the environment.  The best way to solve this problem would be to find the cure for cancer that does zero harm to the environment. Obviously though, this is much easier said than done. That does not mean we should stop trying.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Scoopdig, “An Unholy Alliance.”  The Fraud of Chemotherapy. January 4, 2010.  December 5, 2013 (http://just-say-no-to-chemo.blogspot.com/2010/01/unholy-alliance.html).

“Cancer patient raises environmental concerns over chemo drugs.” King 5 News. NBC. KING, Seattle, 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

Abarnes. “How Anxious Humans are Making Fish Fearless.” Environmental Health. Vermont Law, 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

“Specific waste: Chemotherapy.” Pharmaceutical Waste. Department of Ecology, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

“Disposal of Waste Medications by Health Care Facilities.” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Aug. 2011. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

“Extreme danger for family members if bodily fluids from chemotherapy patients are not controlled.” Pharma-Cycle. Pharma-cycle, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

FINAL PAPER

The Three DZ’s; Madison Stanley, Ally Dougherty, Tyler Long

“How Trashy are you on the Weekends?”

When we are out partying and having a good time the last thing on our mind is how our actions that night will impact the environment around us. The reality of it is, one simple night out partying, can destroy the area around you if you don’t take measures to correct issues impacting our environment. Not only is it the time at the party and the amount of trash, beer cans, red solo cups, etc. left at the end of the night outside; it is also drunk driving accidents that cause damage to our environment. Most people may not realize it but it takes 200-500 years for aluminum can to break down. Now we, the Three DZs, are not saying to not go out and have a good time with your friends every now and then, just clean up your mess the next day. But when it comes to drinking and driving, well that is something you should never do. Find a friend and see if they are willing to pick you up at a certain time and bring you home. By having a way home you are not only potentially saving your life and someone else’s, you are saving the life of a tree that you may hit, or the animal life living in that river that could be affected by the fluids leaking from your car after impact. The choice is essentially yours, but the impact partying has on our environment is one that is very scary and without educating the public on these issues nothing will ever be resolved.

When choosing a topic to research and talk about for our presentation there was no question as to what we wanted to do it on. We wanted to learn the environmental impacts from things we as college students do and how we are causing harm. Rather than educate ourselves on a problem we don’t really have anything to do with, we decided to see how partying on the weekends impacts our environment around us. Partying and college are two things that are associated with each other and with us, The Three DZ’s; being college students it was something that interested us. Everyone likes to go out and have a good time and we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t party, but you should have something in line to clean up your mess. More importantly, when you are cleaning up properly dispose of your waste.

The trash and recyclable material left behind from an average size college party is most of the time overwhelming. We discovered some astonishing facts about the debris left behind from weekend parties. By debris we mean beer cans, glass bottles, plastic water bottles, and cigarette butts. “It takes 200-500 years to break down an aluminum can.”  If you choose to recycle, the impact is huge! Why? Because, for example, that same aluminum can will be back on the shelf within 60 days. It’s that easy to make a difference.  A plastic bottle, that may have been used to bring vodka to a party, will not break down for one million years, and it releases BPA (a harmful chemical) into our water when it degrades. A glass bottle’s breakdown is unknown; it may even remain as it is forever. Lastly, “cigarette butts take 2-5 years to break down” and they release harmful chemicals into our water as well.  These harmful chemicals can kill small animals, and small children may mistake cigarette butts for food. Also, don’t be that careless person and flick your cigarette on the ground, which can cause a fire. Make sure it’s out and leave it in the nearest ashtray or trashcan!

When thinking about ways to recycle the trash that’s left behind it was easy for us to come to the conclusion that beer bottles, aluminum cans, etc. could be easily recycled. But what about those famous Red Solo Cups that every party seems to have? We found a website called, Terracycle that will create different things from the used solo cups. All you have to do is collect enough cups to fill a box and then ship them into the company. You don’t even have to clean the cups! Simply put them into the box and then the company will turn them into everyday items such as trashcans and dog food bowls. We never thought we would find something that would turn solo cups into actual materials we could reuse! The only catch is that the cups must have the #6 on the bottom surrounded by a green recycle triangle, but it is very rare that a cup doesn’t. For every cup you send in, you receive two Terracycle points that can be turned into a variety of charity gifts!

On the topic of plastic solo cups, we as a group were curious as to what our local bar, Bar 202, used to serve their beverages in, among many other questions. We spoke with the manager, Chris, and asked him a few questions, all-tying back into our environment, and more importantly our local environment. After interviewing Chris we found out that all trash from the bar is put into dumpsters and properly disposed of by its employees. He said, “ On average there are about 5 or 6 big bags of trash that we go through on a typical weekend”. He also emphasized the fact that the bar does recycle, they use biodegradable products, and the workers cut all of the plastic rings from alcoholic packages. This is especially important because this prevents the plastic rings from ultimately harming animals, especially birds. And of course one of the biggest questions we had for Chris was whether or not the bar staff uses plastic cups at all. He assured us that only on Thursday nights does the bar serve it’s drinks in plastic cups, and that’s because its “college night”, at Bar 202, so it tends to be busier. We were very pleased to find out that our local bar is putting forth the steps to be fairly environmentally friendly, however this is only at a micro level. Imagine all of the bars in the world and even worse, big events such as festivals.

Instead of just staying on a local level to see how partying effects our environment, we decided to take it to a national level. The Glastonbury Festival is a four-day field event that started in 1970. A guy by the name of Michael Eavis got the idea to start a festival like this from the annual Blue’s Festival. One of the things he overlooked when he started the Glastonbury Festival was the amount of trash this event could potentially leave behind. In an ideal world everyone would clean up after themselves and recycle. However when you have a festival held on a 1,000 acres and it’s over a four-day period with thousands of people, you can only imagine the amount of trash left behind. At first, the festival board didn’t do anything about the trash; however over the past few years they now have cleanup crews that not only clean up the 1,000 acres of land but they actually have a separate crew who sorts through all the waste and materials. Like we, The Three DZ’s have said all along, there is nothing wrong with partying and having a good time, as long as you properly clean up and recycle the trash after!

“Every 2-hours, three people are killed in alcohol-related highway crashes” (MADD). That is a terrifying statistic, so with that being said we wanted to talk about what alcohol consumption itself can do to our environment. Economically thinking, “drunk driving costs, on average, 132 billion dollars a year” (MADD). We can decrease that number by being responsible and realizing the consequences of harming not only ourselves and others, but the environment as well.  How? Well, first, when there is a car accident, all the fluids from the cars leak onto the roadway or into the grass around it. When it rains, those chemicals then leak into the soil and contaminate it, or the rain drains it into a sewer where it then can get into the water supply of animals and possibly people. That runoff is extremely detrimental to our environment and the organisms in it, including ourselves. Drunk driving collisions do affect the trees involved as well. The impact of vehicle can kill a tree, the grass, or any living organisms around it. Yes, it may only be one tree, but think about how many drunk-driving accidents there are per year. Lastly, drunk people are careless. Careless people tend to throw their trash wherever they wish.  So, do your best and be responsible and respectful of your surroundings when you are under the influence.

After seeing and hearing about how negatively our environment is impacted by just one simple topic of “partying and drinking”, it’s safe to say that we as a society need to make a change. Whether you’re drinking at your local bar or at some huge festival similar to the Glastonbury Festival, there are many things to keep in mind and simple things one can do to improve our ecosystem. Clean up your trash and recycle what you can; any bit could make a difference. Besides, no one wants to be known as the trashiest one at the party, right?

Bibliography

“Driving.” Drinking &. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

“GET INVOLVED.” MADD – Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

“Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Performing Arts – Welcome To Glastonbury Festivals.” Glastonbury Festivals News. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Long, Tyler, Madison Stanley, and Ally Dougherty. “The Three DZ’s.” The Three DZs. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

“TerraCycle.” TerraCycle. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Final Research Paper

Bustin’ Out Reasearch Paper

Abstract

As a 5-year-old little girl on your birthday, you do not want to wait for your parents to carefully cut open your new toys. You want to play with that brand new Barbie doll right away! Layers of plastic, tons twist ties, lengths of tape, and lots of frustration and hours later, you finally can play with your new toy. The difficulty of opening plastic packaging is becoming a rising problem. The amount of extra packaging on merchandise has become unnecessary. Some merchandise is small and easy to steal, hence the layers of plastic. Once opened and tampered with, some products cannot go back onto the shelves. Packaging provides extra layers of security. Now let’s think about where most of our merchandise, especially toys, is manufactured: the Far East. To get from the Far East to America, they must travel by boats, planes, and cars. The manhandling that goes on between the shelves and the factories require more packaging to secure the parts and pieces in the package. Toys and other products must be presentable to sell on the shelves. They cannot have pieces missing, misplaced, or sloppily displayed. Would you want to buy a Barbie doll for your child with her hair messy and accessories missing? Bustin’ Out will discuss with you the problems of packaging and what retailers are doing about this growing problem.

Introduction

The members in Bustin’ Out were aware of the rising problem of unnecessary amount of excess plastic on packaging of merchandise items. We have been researching why merchandisers add so much excess plastic, twist ties, tape, and cardboard on their products packaging. Everyday landfills are getting pounds and pounds of plastic waste added to them. Through lots of work this semester, we were able to better assess the problem at hand and have found an ample amount of information regarding the plastic’s negative effect on the environment. Although this is a major problem and a huge threat to the environment, we have found that a potential solution has been invented – Polyactic Acid. This is an affordable, recyclable, and innovative packaging that compares well with the plastic that is currently used for merchandise items.

Lit Review

When we began looking for research for this project we wanted to focus on finding articles explaining why the packaging was so intense and if there was a possible substitution for plastic. I found a few good articles and websites while searching for our project. The first website I found was on a website called Mental Floss and the title of the article was Why is Toy Packaging so Difficult to Open? The author Matt Soniak talked about the oyster award for the most difficult packaging. The hard plastic clamshell that held the Uniden Digital cordless Phone set came in first place taking the CR staffers 9 minutes and 22 seconds to open the packaging. It also required a box cutter and a razor blade to help open the package. After talking discussing the Oyster award, Soniak discussed why some packaging was so hard to open. First, they were hard to open because of marketing of the toys. They need to be seen as a whole item through the packaging in order to be appealing to children. Also they if the toys light up or make noise buyers need to be able to test the toys without opening the package completely.

Second is for security. Merchandisers make it hard to get into items so that people cannot steal them as easily and also so that unattended children, who want to open the toy and play with it, cannot do so. The last reason for such drastic packaging is for protection. Some items are shipped across the country and even across the world so having a lot of packaging can protect the items from any damage done during shipment. The second website we found a lot of information from was the FPO article. In the FPO article discussed the method of manufacturing of display packaging. This article also discussed why small high dollar items are in such secure and complicated packaging. The tough packaging provides shelf space. The large amount of packaging around the package also allows for the small item to become a much larger product making it very hard for people to steal it. The third article was in the New York Times called Attacking, and Defending, Hard to Open Packaging. The article talked about Barbie dolls and a moxie doll. The article talked about how someone opened a Barbie doll and it had half a dozen twist ties and it had plastic ties embedded into the dolls scalp so the Barbie would stay in place. It also discussed that plastic is used because it is lighter, cheaper, and more proactive of the product than other materials. At the bottom of the article it is actually discussed how people would get cut up and have scars from trying to open such difficult packages.

The last was a website that we found from the University of Florida notes from the packaging laboratory. This source introduced a new renewable packaging resource known as Polyactic Acid. Polyactic Acid is a biodegradable polymer derived from acid. It is made of 100% renewable resources such as corn, sugar beets, and other starch rich products. This new resource is suitable more a variety of applications and it helps to reduce the usage of plastic. The only negative thing about Polyactic Acid is the breakdown process because as it breaks down it releases carbon dioxide into the air. The four main websites really helped our group to learn more about why packaging for products was so extreme and they also allowed us to learn about a new suitable product to use possibly instead of plastic. We need to take care of our world because if we don’t start now, then we may one day be too late. Every little thing that we can do to help is important, so why not start with reducing the amount of plastic packaging for simple items like Barbie’s dolls.

Results

Although excess packaging is required for safety, preservation, and marketing, it is posing a large threat to our environment. In America, about 1500 pounds of waste per year per person goes into landfills. Many cities are running out of space to dispose of waste and trash and are paying to ship it to other locations. The plastic waste is building up in landfills (taking up about 20% of the landfills space) and is unable to breakdown. Every piece of plastic that was ever made is still in existence and still present in landfills. Plastic is the cause of many animal injuries and deaths and are posing a large threat to our environment.

Through research, we have found a substitute to plastic. First produced in 1987, Polylactic Acid (PLA) is an affordable, recyclable, innovative packaging material made from renewable resources. PLA is made from lactic acid and 100% renewable resources such as corn, sugar beets, wheat, and other starch-rich products. It is also biodegradable. PLA compares well with the plastic currently used for packaging. PLA is clear and naturally glossy like the plastic material currently used on merchandise items. It is also resistant to moisture and grease. It is odorless, durable and has strength so it will not break and wear down when it is supposed to be protecting the product. PLA was classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FPA.

The switch over from the currently used petroleum-based plastic to Polylactic Acid would divert a large amount of waste from landfills. PLA is fully compostable in commercial composting facilities. It can be biodegraded into simple parts such as water, carbon, and organic material, and shows no remaining signs of its original product. PLA can be and is currently use in medical, textile, and packaging industries. It is a large innovation in packaging materials and on the plus side, it is also earth-friendly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, an alternative to all of this excess plastic packaging that is unable to breakdown is a biodegradable alternative called Polylactic Acid. It serves the same purposes as petroleum-based plastic; it is able to be used as packaging for merchandise and is durable, affordable and resistant to moisture. If all packaging industries would switch and use PLA for packaging their products, it would lead to a downfall of excess plastic build-up in landfills. The new PLA packaging is biodegradable and would be able to be broken down once in the landfills. It is versatile and would be able to be used in many industries such as medical, textile, and packaging. PLA is rising in interest and leading to innovation in packaging materials.

Bibliography

“Attacking, and Defending, Hard-to-Open Packaging.” New York Times. New York Times, 11 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.

“Display Packaging – Google Patents.” Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

“Display Packaging.” Free Patents Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.

Gerstein, Julie. “Absurdly Wasteful Food Packaging.” The Daily Green. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2013. <http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/latest/wasteful-packaging-for-food>.

“Global Packaging Gallery: Gilette Venus Razor.” Global Packaging Gallery. N.p., Nov. 2005. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

Melisa Balkcom, Bruce Welt, Kenneth Berge, Melisa, Bruce Welt, and Kenneth Berger. “Notes from the Packaging Laboratory: Polylactic Acid — An Exciting New Packaging Material.” University of Florida, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/AE/AE21000.pdf>.

Perullo, Yvette. “The Wicked World of Packaging.” Re-Nourish. N.p., 10 Dec. 2011. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://re-nourish.com/?l=articles_detail>.

Soniak, Matt. “Why Is Toy Packaging So Difficult to Open?” Mental Floss. N.p., 25 Dec. 2012. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

“Unravelling the Packaging Problem.” Brampton Guardian. N.p., 03 June 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. <http://www.bramptonguardian.com/community-story/3076202-unravelling-the-packaging-problem/>.

Viscusi, W. Kip. “The Lulling Effect: The Impact of Child-Resistant Packaging on Asprin and Analgesic Ingestions.” JSTOR. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

“Ways to Avoid Excess Packaging.” ALCOA. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://alcoa.c2es.org/tips/store/buying-groceries/ways-avoid-excess-packaging>.

Final Paper

Let it All Out

Dr.Baldwin

GNED 162

Final Paper

Shannon Clark, Lindsey Groller, Marie Meador

Abstract

  Most humans are comfortable being naked in the privacy of their homes and sometimes beaches, but the nudist movement is slowly becoming more popular. Nudism is a social practice in which people choose to live without wearing clothing. Most nudists enjoy not wearing clothes because they feel “wholesome, natural, and healthy.” However, contrary to popular belief nudists tend to be very private people. They can be found at campgrounds or resorts away from the public eye and especially the law. Though so many people view nudists as “perverted and disgusting”, they see their choice as an incredible life experience. Just as Longwood students share a community with other college kids, nudists have their own community in which they feel safe and appreciated. One common misconception about most nudists is that they actually like the term “naturist”. In all reality the majority of them find “naturist” to be a much more fitting term. Naturists enjoy being “one with nature”, unafraid of outside distractions. It may seem hard to believe that people in the year 2013 could actually live in harmony with the earth untouched by our materialistic world, but naturists are a prime example. Naturists think of being nude as a way of life; nudists use this time to let loose and boost their confidence, even if it’s only for a week or two. Living nude reduces our carbon footprint by an immense amount. For example, if you choose not to wear clothes then why even think about doing laundry? If you’re not doing laundry then there’s no need for a washer/dryer, soap, or dryer sheets. Not to mention less soap is being released into our oceans. While it may seem crazy to the average person, the majority of naturists think it’s absurd to put clothes on when leaving the house. This saves lots of fuel and reduces pollution, because how many naturists do you see driving cars around? Interestingly enough, nudists and naturists have found a variety of activities they can do while in the nude such as hiking, nakations (or naked vacations), volleyball, and swimming. You name it and I guarantee it can be done nude. Not everyone needs to drop their pants today and start living bare, but maybe if we all took baby steps towards a clothes free world we could start saving this planet. Start with a shoe and sock and when you’re ready “Let it All Out!”

Introduction

            One of our main goals was to inform others of the environmental effects of nudism. In the beginning we stayed unbiased and researched all the positive and negative effects of this practice. When doing the actual research we came across very few negative effects. So, we focused on all of the positives. We wanted to be able to show that although many people think that nudism is wrong or “disgusting” it actually has a big impact on saving our environment. Knowing this, we wanted to share our information with others and try to change their opinions of this practice. We wanted to give realistic ways that everyone could help reduce our earth’s carbon footprint as a whole.

Lit Review

            Many people believe that nudism (or naturalism) is a way of life. Many do it for the environmental effects but also as a way to save money. But, as we know this way of living is not always socially acceptable which is the main reason a lot of people decide not to go nude. However, if everyone did we could help he environment in a huge way. If everyone went without clothes for at least once or twice a week we, as humans would leave a much smaller footprint on this earth and maybe even require one less earth. There are two types of nude social practices that we discovered with our research, nudism and naturalism. Outsiders who are not familiar with either practice just assume that most “nudists” are naked all the time and it is usually frowned upon in society. What they don’t know is that nudism is not an everyday thing. It is mostly for people that want to get away from their daily lives for a weekend or so. They experience things such as  “nakations” (naked vacations) in order to escape reality. They participate in other planned activities like volleyball, water polo, and tennis. When people think of the term “nudist” they are actually thinking of the term “naturalist”. Naturalists are people who live naked everyday. They like to think of themselves as one with nature, they live in the woods and build homes with natural resources. Not all people believe in the use of factories or wearing the clothing produced by them; naturalists are a prime. They use what resources they can find to help save money and live a greener life. Within our research we found a lot of important ways to save money.  This is, of course, what most people are curious about when thinking of going green. First, if we wore less clothing we would not have to shop as often. This helps the environment because that means fewer cars on the road driving to retailers. In one article we read it stated that if we bike, walk, or take the bus instead of driving our own personal cars we would lessen our carbon footprint by about 50 percent. Also, about one third of our carbon footprint comes from our cars alone. So, if you must shop try one of these options instead of using your car. If we all shop a little then stores wouldn’t have to stay open as late, they could close earlier because they wouldn’t have as many customers. This, in turn, would cut down on the cost of electricity. If we did all these things we wouldn’t have as many clothes to take care of. This would mean less laundry; less laundry means less work, time, money and energy. If you must do laundry there are environmentally friendly ways that you can about it. One website, www.TheGreenGuide.com, recommends certain detergents that contain plant-based enzymes or ethanol rather than solvents. There’s always a worry about “green things” costing more. These special detergents cost no more then the normal detergents you would usually buy. The less clothing you have, the less furniture you need to store all your clothing. Most of our furniture is made out of trees, the less trees being used for furniture and the less factories producing that furniture can reduce our carbon footprint immensely. The key word here is less, the less clothes the less we harm our environment. Another beneficial factor of going nude is the ability to become self aware and confident in your own skin. Choosing to be naked on a daily basis or every so often boosts ones self-confidence. It breaks down the walls of stereotypes and pressure put upon us each day to be “perfect”. When you’re nude you have no one to impress, not even yourself. Something else that nudism benefits is your health; it actually aids in the development of your brain and stimulates neuron growth because clothing does not hamper your range of motion. With this new knowledge of nudism in regards to your health, you will have a different outlook like on life and take less medicines. This also positively effects the environment because most medicines end up in landfills and take long periods of time to decompose. Meaning, you will be healthier and take less medicines.

Results

            We are not expecting everyone to become a nudist right away. One of our main points of this research was to inform students of all the positive effects of nudists and the positive sides to this practice. We want everyone to be able to have a different view of clothing without having to lose their pants forever. Some ways that students can reduce their carbon footprint  are by wearing fewer clothes, especially in the summertime. This includes buying less clothes and taking less trips to stores.  Also, instead of going to the mall and buying something brand new you can easily borrow clothing from others and wear “hand-me-downs”. When doing laundry try using “greener” products and only wash when necessary. Only wash your clothes when the load is full; saving water.  Our group cut up old t-shirts and made them into bracelets and we also showed an example of a t-shirt quilt;  students can easily make products out of old clothes that can’t be worn anymore. Lastly, you can also donate old clothing to others so they can get some use of them too. Overall, look for a greener way to wear your clothes

Conclusion

            In conclusion, our goal was to teach students all about the health, financial, and environmental impacts of nudism. We started this project without an opinion, but after lots of research we only found positive effects; making this practice a great one. We want to be able to teach others different ways they can help reduce our carbon footprint through a reduction in clothing. We’re not telling you to go nude, but smaller measures can be taken that are just as effective.

Bibliography

1. Hartman, William E. “Nudist Society: An Authoritative, Complete Study of Nudism in America.” Get Cited. Get Cited Incorporated, 1970. Web. Nov.-Dec. 2013.

2. H.C., Warren. “Social Nudism and the Body Taboo.” APA Psyc Net. American Pyschological Association, Mar. 1933. Web. Nov.-Dec. 2013

3. “Naturism or Nudism?” Free Range Naturism. N.p., 25 Sept. 2013. Web. Nov.-Dec. 2013

4. Shaffer, Marguerite. “On the Environmental Nude.” JSTOR. ITHAKA, Jan. 2008. Web. Nov.-Dec. 2013.

Final Paper

Shayna White, Ally Baltas, Morgan Wood

Most Environmentally Friendly Beer Final Paper

Abstract

            “I wonder how I am effecting the environment?” is probably one of the last thoughts going through a person’s head while they are enjoying a drink. Most people might not even realize that there are ways that a person can drink and be environmentally friendly at the same time or that there are some beers that are more environmentally friendly than others.  Lucky for us and for the environment, there are many things that can be done and that are being done so that drinking beer doesn’t always have to lead to bad decisions.  Many breweries have begun to follow more eco-friendly brewing practices such as investing in alternative energy sources (solar panels), recycling more materials, conserving water, using local/organic ingredients, and using compostable supplies  Beyond the actions that the breweries have begun to make, there are many things that us humans can do individually to drink more environmentally friendly… Choose to drink organic beer, drink beer out of a can rather than a bottle, purchase and drink your beer locally, and of course recycle your cans and bottles after they are finished.

Introduction

            Drinking beer is a much enjoyed activity all across the world.  People drink beer for many different reasons whether it’s to unwind, to celebrate, to cope with things, or to just have a good time.  Most people don’t think about the negative effects that drinking could have on the environment.  While researching this topic, there were many things that were found that can be done and that are being done in order to make drinking beer more environmentally friendly.

Lit Review

Probably one of the most important things to remember is that beer has no direct effect on our environment.  According to Nautica Mourey,“Though I can find secondary ways that alcohol can affect the environment, I have yet to find an instance where alcohol directly interferes with the environment without a host such as a person” (Mourey).  In other words, sure alcohol can definitely have negative effects on people which then can lead to negative effects on the environment but alcohol as a primary source doesn’t have a negative effect on our environment.  An example of a secondary way that alcohol could negatively affect the environment is if a drunk driver were to run off the road and hit a tree; the tree is now damaged from the car and it will take a long time for the tree to recover from the car.  Also, the fluids that could be leaked out of the vehicle will be emptied on the road then into different water supplies which can then contaminate the water that humans and animals will drink.  Another example and probably the most obvious example to why consuming alcohol has a negative effect on our environment is all the litter that is left behind after a crazy night of drinking.  While drinking, people are very careless and the last thing on their minds is helping the environment.  Although beer has no direct effect on our environment, it is still important to remember the indirect effects it could have; As you can see alcohol can indirectly have a huge impact on the environment with human interaction (Mourey).

            Some may think that the easiest way to drink and be environmentally friendly at the same time is to simply just not drink at all.  However, having a cold drink is something that nearly everyone in the world enjoys every now and then.  Lucky for us it’s not as hard to do both things as some people may think.  “Just because you may not always drink responsibly doesn’t mean you need to drink environmentally-irresponsibly” (Hudson).  According to The Guardian’s blog, beer is the least eco-friendly alcoholic beverage compared to wine or liquor because of the process that beer has to go through to be made.  Despite the fact that beer may be the least eco-friendly to our environment there are still numerous things that can be done to make drinking beer more environmentally friendly.  Little things that individuals can do such as recycle and buy beer locally are some of the easiest ways to be a more environmentally friendly drinker.  “So really, there’s no excuse not to get drunk in a green way” (Hudson). 

Lastly, breweries all over the world are practicing more eco-friendly ways to brew their beer and they are finding new ways of doing these things every day. “Once reserved for St. Patrick’s Day, green beer is now available year round in the form of more ecologically sound beers. Companies across the globe are crafting beers for taste and sustainability. They have found innovative ways to consume less power, conserve water, recycle materials, and utilize brewing byproducts” (Green Business). 

Results

            The first thing that was researched was finding out which five beers were the most popular in America.  Our findings resulted in Samuel Adams being the most popular, Budweiser number two, Dos Equis number three, Bud Light as number four, and Corona as number five.  Next, we looked at some of the factors that contribute to a beer being more environmentally friendly.  First was to start drinking organic beer.  Not only is organic beer healthier to drink but it also keeps the employees of the breweries, wildlife, and the environment safe from pesticides.  It is also better for the economy in that it benefits and supports small farmers.  Another easy thing that can be done is to drink beer out of cans rather than bottles simply because cans are easier to recycle than bottles are.  Also, the reduced weight of the cans increases shipping efficiency.  An even better choice would be to drink a draft beer so that neither a can nor bottle will be used.  Buying beer locally is another easy way to drink more environmentally friendly.  By buying your beer locally, it conserves a lot of energy when it comes to shipping the beer and also decreases the carbon footprint for transportation.  Lastly, a lot of crafts can be created from the bottle caps of beers and just the cans as well such as using the bottle caps to create Christmas ornaments and making little candles from them. 

            In addition to the little tips that we as individuals can do, breweries are becoming more and more environmentally friendly everyday while brewing their beer.  Many of the brewing companies are investing in alternative energy sources such as solar panels and consuming less power.  Other things that are being done include recycling more materials, conserving water, using local and organic ingredients, and utilizing brewing by products.  The top three most eco-friendly breweries in America are the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Full Sail Brewing Company, and the Odell Brewing Company.  The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company use over 10,000 solar panels and four co-generation fuel cells that make their facility more eco-friendly.  The Full Sail Brewing Company only operates four days a week for 10 hours a day in order to cut down on energy use and water consumption.  Lastly, the Odell Brewing Company using solar panels to generate power and to ensure that their facility doesn’t consume more power than necessary, the lighting system turns itself off when the natural lighting is sufficient so that they do not waste any unnecessary power.

            After concluding all our research, we found that it is important to factor in all of the information that was given in the previous two paragraphs in order to properly have an idea about what beer is environmentally friendly.  There is not just one deciding factor that will narrow down a beer most eco-friendly to the environment.  For example, say one person is drinking a Bud Light from a can and the other person is drinking Bud Light from a bottle, the person who is drinking the Bud Light in the can is already being more environmentally friendly because they are drinking their beer out of a can rather than a bottle.  Another example would be two people are both drinking Bud Light however one person bought their beer locally and the second went to a store farther away, the person who bought their beer locally chose the better route and bought the beer from a place that was close so that the carbon footprint from transporting the beer was reduced.  So, as apparent from the research that was done, it would be almost impossible to determine the most environmentally friendly beer in America.

Conclusion

            At the beginning of this project and before doing any research, our team was fully convinced that we could figure out the most environmentally beer.  Come to find out, there are a lot of different things that factor into a beer becoming more environmentally friendly.  It is not the little things such as the ingredients or the color of a beer that makes it more environmentally friendly but it is the bigger, more over looked factors that contribute to the matter.  After finishing all our research, we concluded that there is no specific most environmentally friendly beer.  There are a lot of different things one must take into account when trying to figure if there beer is eco-friendly. 

Works Cited

“10 Best Perceived Beers in America.” Fox News. FOX News Network,

<http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/03/19/10-best-perceived-beers-in-america/>.

Brown, Emily. “Organic Beer and Beyond:10 Eco-Friendly Breweries.” The Daily Green. <http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/latest/organic-brewery-0625>.

“Green Business Bureau.” Eco-Friendly Beer Options.

 <http://www.gbb.org/members/blog/eco-friendly-beer-options>.

Mourey, Nautica. “Alcohol and Our Environment.” Yahoo Contributor Network. 16 May 2008. <http://voices.yahoo.com/alcohol-our-environment-1449013.html>.

“Spotlight on Eco-friendly Breweries in North America.” Brewed For Thought RSS.

<http://www.brewedforthought.com/?p=5886http://www.brewedforthought.com/?p=5886>.

“Sustainability.” Sierra Nevada.

<http://www.sierranevada.com/brewery/about-us/sustainability>.

 

“What’s the Most Eco-Friendly Way to Get Drunk? – The Wire.” The Wire.

<http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2012/04/whats-most-eco-friendly-way-get-drunk/50971/>.