Cowspiracy – You Are What You Eat

In watching the documentary Cowspiracy it truly amazed me how something we come in contact with so frequently day to day, such as food in our diet, can have such a profound impact on the environment. In thinking about the agricultural industry people may think about how sad it is for the animals, if they think about it at all, and before this movie not many people thought about the environmental significance of your diet. This documentary proves your diet has a profound impact on the world around you. Cowspiracy discusses how the agricultural industry impacts the environment on many different levels. Not only impacting climate change but also runoff into the oceans, deforestation, and food scarcity.

It baffles me that more people don’t have access to this information, and what’s even worse is the people that do have access to it and refuse to acknowledge these facts because it would be too difficult to change the routine of their diet. Many Americans are afraid of change, change in perspective, change in their education, and even a change in their diet. Another aspect of this issue that continues to amaze me is that even with this knowledge, our government isn’t making the slightest effort to make any change. One would this that in finding this information there would be a great revelation, in which there would be a large decrease in meat and dairy production in order to save the planet. But meat and dairy production are a huge source of income for our country, and due to this there is no willingness to change it. I don’t understand how people could value money and economic gain over the well being of the place we all call home, earth.

I would recommend anyone and everyone watch this documentary, even if it doesn’t affect your diet longterm it could persuade someone to be more conscious and thoughtful when it comes to something as seemingly minuscule as their diet.


Do you feel that recycling in your area is strongly encouraged and properly executed? Our discussion in class about the serious lack of knowledge when it comes to recycling really sparked my thinking about the topic. Not only is the awareness of recycling and it’s pros highly understated, but the general availability of recycling is truly lacking(at least at my home in Summerville.) It wasn’t until roughly 1 year ago that the stingy recycling company blessed my neighborhood with a full-sized 65 gallon recycling can for us to place our recyclables in! All of the time prior to this we were limited to a small 18 gallon recycling bin. For a family of 3 or more, it’s quite difficult to fit all of our recyclables in the bin (thanks Amazon Prime.) Do they really expect us to save our remaining recyclables for 2 more weeks until they return again? No, unfortunately I must put these extra boxes in the garbage bin. My point here is that recycling is encouraged, but we don’t have the physical ability to do so. Although I’m extremely happy now that we were so kindly upgraded to full-size recycling bins, I can recycle each and every product that I’m able to!

With my newfound ability to recycle all of my acceptable waste, I hope that the recycling companies are able to expand their services to other locations around Summerville that are lacking. As sad as it may be, if we don’t make recycling as accessible and easy as possible, most will not bother to do it. Therefore, going the extra mile and spending the money to provide everyone with recycling bins is totally worth it in the long run. While I’m on the topic, I also noticed that some of us have no clue what waste is actually recyclable, including myself until this point! Pizza boxes with grease on them isn’t allowed?! Why didn’t someone tell me sooner? Expansion of information about which products are recyclables and which are not is truly important! What’s the point of encouraging recycling if half of the products being recycled are not even allowed? That sounds very counterproductive if you ask me. Certainly more educating of the public must be implemented on something as simple as recycling. I sure hope I begin to see change in the near future.

Ecological Footprints

This semester has really opened my eyes on to how much we affect our planet. Using the Ecological footprint brought to realization on how much demand and supply of nature we use to fit our lifestyles. The results from the ecological footprint was quite shocking because I did not know that my lifestyle was so grand because I really never thought too much about it. My results stated that it takes a little over 4.1 planet earths and 18.4 global acres to satisfy my lifestyle. As you can see this is a great amount of space being took up just to fulfill my lifestyle, which is highly excessive in my opinion. I believe that I would have to make a lot of changes in my lifestyle to reduce the space my lifestyle takes up on the earth and global acres. For example, I could reduce my consumption of trash. Another way to reduce my excessive lifestyle could be to actually take the time to start recycling paper and plastic wastes. I rarely recycle which I know is bad, but actually taking the time to start doing so would help reduce a whole lot of space. Another way I could help make the planet better is less usage of an automobile. I personally do not have a car here in Charleston which actually is helpful to the environment, but I am frequently riding with people throughout the week. Using public transportation to get back and forth to my friends could help better reduce some of the CO2 that is being emitted in the atmosphere. Just incorporating some of these changes could greatly decrease some of the space that my lifestyle takes up based on the ecological footprint. I believe that more people should consider taking this quiz so they will know where they stand so they can make changes to better our planet.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

I watched this documentary before school started. I was intrigued because last semester I found myself frustrated and a little bit discouraged. My parents have decided to turn my bedroom at home into a guest bedroom so they asked me if I could declutter my room and throw everything out that I didn’t need anymore. This simple task made me realize how much stuff I had that I did not need. There were art projects from first grade that I didn’t need but it didn’t feel right to throw them away either. Over the years, I had collected so many random items such as an old-school Cola bottle that had never been opened. While I was throwing stuff away, I wondered how I could’ve let it get to that point. It is just so easy to put stuff in a drawer and never think about it again. I then began to walk around my house and look through drawers that hadn’t been opened in years and was just amazed at all the useless objects that I found.

After that experience at home, when I saw a documentary titled “Minimalism” I was very curious. The film consisted of hearing people’s stories of how they came to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle. There were entrepreneurs who realized that climbing the corporate ladder was not going to make them happier or a man who realized going to buy stuff for a new home would not cause his wife to come back to him. These people found peace in the opposite of what the big advertising agencies want us to believe. They found happiness by owning less objects, by only owning objects that added value in their lives.

After watching the documentary, I was inspired. I wanted nothing more than to tell everyone of it and I did. I told my mom all about it and she sent me a message the next day that said, “You inspired me. I am cleaning out my closet right now and giving away a bunch of my clothes to the shelter.” That made me happier than ever. I believe that once you declutter and get down to the basics of what you actually need, it is easier to focus on the things that are actually important. Keeping up with the latest fashion trends won’t be as important (although being a girl I know this will be hard) and it will be easier to focus on building relationships and making smart decisions for the environment. I feel like you take more notice when you are being wasteful and greedy. It makes you realize what you believe is actually important, not what ads or other people want you to believe should be important. It is a slow process to living a full on minimalistic lifestyle but taking steps to start is the most crucial step.

Lowcountry Foodbank

Over the past month, I have begun to volunteer at the Lowcountry Foodbank of North Charleston a couple times a week. Truthfully, I only chose to volunteer for this non-profit organization after contacting several other locations involved in animal rescue/ the environmental cleanup, which is what I am truly passionate about, and ended up with a lack of response from any of them. However, I felt I needed to give back to the community in some way, while simultaneously building my resume, so Lowcountry Foodbank it was.

The first day I showed up, I was less than optimistic. I figured I would just be doing mind numbing busy work, cleaning or organizing, while the employees did the important work. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Upon arrival, I was rushed right to the back of their huge warehouse and was immediately taught how to organize large bins of food into different categories, sorted into smaller bins. These smaller bins were then taken and boxed separately, before being sent out to Foodbanks around the area that individuals, who cannot afford to grocery shop for themselves or their families, can visit.

As if this was not enough of a good cause, I began to learn more about where all of the donated food came from the more time I spent in the warehouse. I found out that most of the food that comes into the Lowcountry Foodbank is actually donated from grocery stores once they hit the “Best Sold By “date. It turns out that most of these foods and beverages grocery stores would be forced to throw out are actually good 6 months to a whole year after this printed date, which absolutely blew my mind. Can you imagine all of the waste created by these products and their packaging in areas, which do not have organizations like the Foodbank?

Another thing I noticed during my time at the Foodbank was how conscious they are of waste produced in their own facility. Instead of using plastic bags, or continuing to purchase moving boxes in order to transport the donated food, they actually also ask grocery stores to also give them the boxes in which bananas are transported to their stores in. These boxes are used hundreds of time until they are literally falling apart at the Foodbank, cutting down an unfathomable amount of waste.

All in all, this may not have been the volunteer experience I had been vying for, but working there has really opened my eyes to how any company, business, charity, etc. can help the environment in the smallest of ways, such as recycling banana boxes, in order to reduce their environmental footprint on this Earth.