What do we mean by stuff? Anything that is produced, which you purchase, use and then dispose of. Cars Clothes Appliances Food Books Magazines Forks Lamps Pens Electronics Clocks Etc.
Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks Associated with the Material Life Cycle
Creating stuff creates emissions Where does it come from? How is it produced? What emissions are associated with producing this item? What emissions are associated with transporting this? What emissions are associated with the sales/marketing of this?
Using some stuff causes emissions Are emissions created when this is used? Does it require a power source? Electronics
End of life emissions What happens to it after you’re finish using it? What is it made of? Does it decompose? How many different materials are in it? Can they be Reused? Recycled? Does it go to the landfill?
Waste produces emissions Landfills produce methane Harms wildlife Requires space
Recycling reduces emissions Saves energy inputs Reduces the need to extract virgin material Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 2000lbs CO2 Recycling steel and tin cans saves 60-74% of the energy used to produce them from raw materials and reduces associated air and water pollution by the same percentages Oregon saved 28 Trillion BTU by recycling in 2004 (2.5% state’s total energy use)
Results – Energy (by process) Recycling is Up in Oregon, But So is Waste Generation 45 Recovery + Disposal = Generation 0.0 = Generated = Disposed= Recovered Key Total Solid Waste Disposed, Recovered & Generated Pounds Per Person Per Day Pounds Per Person Per Day
Composting reduces emissions Methane produced in landfills come primarily from food and yard waste Decomposition in compost is aerobic Produces some CO2 (but has a much lower impact) Decomposition in landfills is anaerobic Produces Methane
Some materials Paper Metals Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy used to produce them About 70% of all metal used just once and is discarded Plastics
LANDFILL 95% of total energy used and pollution generated comes before can is even created!
The Life Cycle of a CD or DVD Working in groups of two see if you can create a lifecylce of a CD or DVD. Write the steps on a paper and be ready to share with your classmates. After everyone has shared we will see the EPAs version.
Most landfill content shouldn’t be there
So What’s The Problem? Resource & Environmental Issues Personal Debt + Stress + Happiness In Question Impacts On Quality of Life Throw away Culture – Use It Once Mentality Corporations Using Planned Obsolescence Model Economy Tied To Growth Model Having ‘Stuff’ Can Be Equated With ‘Status’ Media Promotes Consumption Model Policies Encourage Growth & Consumption
Consumption and Waste: Ethics 35 times more resources for him …than him
Options for Change
CreateUseDispose Close the loop!
Conscious Consumption: Deciding Deciding to buy Do you really need it or just want it? Am I trying to fulfill an internal need with an external thing? What would I do if I didn’t have this? What impact did this have? What else could I use?
Once you decide to buy, ask: Do you want to support this company? Green alternative? Local alternative? Recycled content? How much? Recyclable? Will use emit GHGs? How long will it last? How much packaging?
When you’re using it, ask: Is it using energy? Can it be unplugged? Can it be recharged? Does it really have to stay cold/hot?
When you’re done with it Reuse Reuse for another purpose Donate to a charitable organization Sell on Craigslist, etc. Recycle Turn it into something else Compost Dispose
Analyze Your Consumption Look At Your Decisions…….. Cloth vs. Disposable Paper vs. Plastic Disposable Cups Paper Use Styrofoam Cotton vs. Synthetic Use More Than Once Recycled Content Buy It Used Repair Stuff Re-gift Buy Durable Goods CLOSE THE LOOP
Pairs Activity Think of one gift your received this past Holiday season. Do you still have it? If so, what are the qualities that made you keep it? Think about a gift you did not keep, what are the qualities it had that made you not keep it? How could you change the throwaway gift problem next year?
► Recycling still takes energy, makes pollution: Reduce vs. Eliminate Impacts ► Most environmental impacts occur in the “pre-disposal” stages (i.e., extraction, processing, transportation, marketing). Reduce: eliminate impacts upstream & downstream Reuse: using a product in its original form, without the repulping, melting, grinding, or other mechanical or chemical reformulation associated with recycling. e.g., reusing a personal computer saves times more energy than recycling it; reusing a corrugated box saves times more energy than recycling it. Recycle: mechanical or chemical reformulation of materials. Reduce Waste at the Source Recycling is not enough!
4 steps in conscious consumption 1. Reduce Waste at the source 1. Consider whether it’s a need or a want. Buy less 2. Buy recycled & recyclable goods 2. Reuse 3. Recycle as necessary 4. Compost food and yard waste
For more info on the link between material consumption, recovery, landfilling, and waste, visit: The Resource Innovation Group