Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘environmental science’

Objective: Create a web diagram that illustrates environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with an everyday item.

Recent class discussion has considered the concept of our “ecological footprints” and the impacts of a given lifestyle on people and societies. Today, with a partner, you are to develop ideas to reduce the ecological footprint and associated impacts related to an everyday item.

impacts of a burger

Starting point for discussion of hamburger; incomplete.

Steps to get you going:

  1. Brainstorm and diagram all the resources, processes, and impacts associated with one everyday object, such as an item of clothing, a favorite meal, or a piece of sports equipment. For example, if you decide to diagram the impacts of a cell phone, you would write and/or draw the resources and processes required to produce each part of the phone and all the impacts you can think of that might be related to both producing it and using it.  The Good Stuff? – A Consumption Manifesto: The Top Ten Principles of Good Consumption may give you some ideas of what to watch out for. You have five minutes for this brainstorming step.
  2. Once you have decided on one item to be the focus of your impact diagram, diagram your impacts on  Prezi. Remember to consider impacts related to transportation of a product, marketing, health issues, and waste disposal. You might also want to organize your thoughts on a chart such as the one below, to help you and your partner keep track. Additional resources for research are given below. This step should take about 20 minutes.

    Brainstorm Chart

    Organize Your Thoughts

  3. Brainstorm and list ways to reduce the ecological footprint and other impacts associated with creating or using the product. This will take 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Publish your work! You will need to publish both your Prezi and a description and link to it on your blog.
  5. Tomorrow, you and your partner will present your diagrams and proposed ideas for reducing the item’s negative impacts on people and the planet.

Analysis

After presentations have been made you will consider and write about the following:

  1. How is the ecological footprint of a person’s lifestyle connected to social and economic impacts?
  2. Would production, use, and disposal of these everyday items be sustainable if only a small number of people purchased the items?
  3. How would the impacts associated with an item change if everyone in the world purchased or used it?
  4. Does lessening our impacts necessarily mean reducing our quality of life? Why or why not?
  5. How might businesses be encouraged to produce these items in ways that have more positive impact on the environment and on people?
  6. Often negative impacts associated with an item are not paid directly by the people who purchase and use the items. Who might end up payiong for those impacts? Why do you think these impacts are not included in an item’s purchase price?

Resources

The Life Cycle Of A Cell Phone
The Life Cycle of a CD or DVD
The Hidden Life of Paper and Its Impact on the Environment
The hidden cost of your hardwood floor
 Global Exchange Website: Fair Trade Coffee

This lesson for environmental science students is a modification of “Buy, Use, Toss” from Facing The Future.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »