5 December 2012
Environmental Science – Final Project
Environmental Science has been an interest of mine since high school. I originally planned on studying environmental science upon graduation, but my life took a different turn when I went straight into the workforce and actually ended up in the construction industry. However, I chose this course in the hopes that not only would I fulfill my science credits, but I would take something away from it that I could apply to my everyday life, and I believe that I have come to have a deeper appreciation and desire to make postitive decisions to keep this planet and the environment that we live in as healthy as possible for future generations. More than simply applying moral principles, actually learning about environmental processes will help keep me better informed and be able to assess motives and economic factors when I read or see reports from environmental impact naysayers. I will be better able to act and teach environmentally sound principles, and will hopefully be a positive example of how one can make environmentally sound decisions. Food
My diet consists of meat, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. I would say that I strive to follow the new FDA recommended guidelines of dividing up my plate – half vegetables & fruit, ¼ meat, and ¼ whole grains, but I definitely am not perfect. I am not a vegetarian, but I can appreciate the ideals that a vegetarian holds with regards to the humane treatment of animals and the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
I actually took it upon myself to watch the documentary Food, Inc. while I was taking this course to learn about the “big business” of the food industry. The most eye opening aspect while I watched the movie was learning that the growth of the fast food industry, driven by McDonald’s invention of the “assembly line” of fast food production, was really the catalyst to our modern food production methods, and how much control only a handful of companies really have on our entire agricultural industry. Honestly, it was an eye-opening experience to see how cattle, chicken, and pork are being subjected to horrid conditions prior to slaughter, fed hormones and antibiotics with their un-natural corn-based diet, and then processed in gigantic factories. Because of this, I am seriously reconsidering how and what types of food I consume. I don’t think that I would eliminate meat from my diet, but I would like to take a closer look at free-range, grass-fed meat products. I realize that these products are more expensive and I would have to examine how I can try to fit them into my budget, but by supporting these types of products I can do my small part to take business away from the large processing facilities. Also, I would like to learn more about how I can incorporate organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables in my diet. Giving my daughter a “fruit cup” with processed, packaged fruit, while convenient, is not the best decision from an ecological standpoint, nor will it teach her to make better decisions as she grows, so I will begin choosing products with little or no packaging as alternatives to the canned & processed foods that I have been feeding her for convenience sake. Energy
My family and I currently live in an apartment building with electricity as our only source of energy. We do not have any sources of renewable energy available to us and are completely reliant on our local utility company for electricity production, which primarily uses coal and natural gas, both non-renewable resources. The major appliances we use nearly every day are our oven, television, community washer & dryer, and, in the winter, our electric baseboard heating source. We don’t have a lot of options available to us other than to save electricity by replacing incandescent with fluorescent bulbs, blocking drafty windows and doors as best as we can, and turning...