Week 11: Garbology, Article, Project Update

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Edward Humes reminds us of our trashy habits. We are filling up the world with garbage. The oceans and landfills increase daily with junk from human waste and consumption. Humans are so tempted to buy everything. We live in a consumer world–its hard not to. But can’t we buy things that are more sustainable for the environment (hint: Sporks), and actually re-use things? Humes breaks the book down into three parts. First he analyzes the scale of trash being thrown away and then analyzes our trash to see what us Americans value most. This reminds me of a project that my boss always talks about that he did in high school where he looked through peoples trash and tried to figure out what their lifestyle was. ITs true- you can learn so much from what people throw away. The part that struck me in the beginning of the book was the story about the couple in Chicago that nearly suffocated from all the trash that they hoarded over the years. Humes points out that non-hoarders accumulate the same amount of trash or more- they just have a better way of not hiding it. The part that I hate the most about garbage is the plastic. It stink, it leeches, it turns to goo, it destroys the oceans and everything in it. Plastic is evil in my opinion, and yet, I am still a consumer that uses plastic. But wait, evolution is at it again, and it seems like plastic eating bacteria help sink larger chunks of plastic that float in the ocean.(http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/plastic-eating-microbes-help-marine-debris-sink-140619.htm). This is cool but scary at the same time. Despite the truths of the book that seem negative, Humes provides stories of families who have helped this garbage issue on large and small scales. It starts with the individual and then we start to see the bigger change. Humes says, “The smallest of steps can shave a piece from those 102 tons and save money for your household while you are also saving the planet.”

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2012/04/17/garbology-takes-look-america-trash-problem-what-garbage-reveals-about-civilization/BQMOkkNdKNaXCyjDrKVLjM/story.html

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The United States is working towards saving its wildlife by only protecting 9 species. Researcher Clinton Jenkins first wanted to identify areas with high species richness that also contained a large amount of vulnerable species. He also noted which organisms were endangered during this selection process. After considering these factors he came up with this numbered list of areas of most concern.

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These specific areas are “inordinately important for biodiversity.” Even though they cover small and specific ranges, they are critical to the ongoing biologic diversity. (http://conservationmagazine.org/2015/04/the-us-could-save-its-unique-wildlife-by-protecting-9-areas/)

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SPORKS!

So instead of having a slogan contest this week for green week, I will just be educating on how to use a spork, and more specifically, what to do with it after you’re done eating with ti. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to just wrap it in a napkin and save it to use for later/ actually wash it if you want. Also, it seems like a new dishwasher and reusable container are in motion! I am keeping close contact with Gene and hopefully we will be able to test out this spork idea to see how students respond to actually buying them or using them in general. Hopefully they will be a continued product sold at OWU!

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