For my volunteer blog post, I chose to work along with my boyfriend’s dad one weekend while visiting down in Greenville, SC. He is the founder and owner of the company called PowerSPOT Power Products. The website is http://www.powerspot.solar/. The company’s location is 2607 Woodruff Road, Suite E-520, Simpsonville, South Carolina 29681, USA. This company’s main focus is to focus on the production of electricity through the manufacturing and creation of solar powered products. While learning alongside and what his company does, I discovered that their main focus is to create energy efficiency through the use of their products by running electronic and other technological devices through solar powered energy. What was very appealing about the company was the solar panels outside of the building where the products are made and manufactured. This means that sustainability is a huge focus here because power and electricity within the building itself, is being run through solar powered panels. Some of the products that I got to discover were a solar powered flashlight, solar panels for homes, a portable home outlet to help start up power in case electricity went out, a PowerPak battery which has a USB port for charging phones and laptops, and a PowerPak Mover which is a battery with two USB ports and an LED Lamp. All of these products have built-in solar panels that run off of natural energy. What is nice about these products is that these are things we all use in our everyday lives and do not realize how much energy and electricity are being used. This can be emphasized with the battery products that include USB ports. Every day, on multiple occasions, we use USB cables that help us plug our phones into the walls so that they can charge. This is one of the main ways in which we use so much electricity on a day to day basis. If we knew about more products such as these, we could create a more energy efficient and sustainable environment.
Author Archives: Lauren Gladding
Extra Credit: Media and Politics
Politics and the media have been a big issue for years now. Politics and media benefit from one another in different ways. One of the main ways is that political outputs and politics in general give the media plenty to talk about and as they talk about it, it gives them plenty to misconstrue. When it comes to polls and who you want to vote for, this is one of the main issues with knowing which candidates are actually reliable and knowing if what the media is saying about them is even reliable information. People who work for places like Fox News or CNN, they are the main news sources that like to play around with political information and completely bash different candidates that are running for things such as president. A great example of this is when Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump ran against each other back for the 2016 presidential race. Media outlets were constantly bashing the two pulling up things from their pasts to have something to make a story about them and grab the audience’s attention by doing so. When they do this, they are portraying negative images to the audience to make them feel a certain way about whatever is going on. The media outlets during presidential elections will feed off of negativity for whoever they do not like and give that to the audience or they will take something that they have said in the past or present and add more to it to make it more interesting or to make it have something negative about it. With this being said, I think it is important to realize that not all media outlets or news sources give the most reliable information about politics. They make everything seem so much bigger than it is or they make a politician’s accomplishments seem smaller than they are.
An example of greenwashing that I have experienced on a weekly basis is when I go to the grocery stores and there are a different choice of bags to purchase which requires you to pay more money. When purchasing these bags, you are not only paying for additional bagging but you are paying for being green. Going green should not have to cost so much money and should not require additional labor and work to create something that is technically not benefitting the environment. This go green idea is actually washing the go green aspect away because to the public or the shoppers, this looks like oh if you spend your money, then you are supporting the idea to make better decisions by buying bags that is actually just making profit for the company or organization that is selling the bags. Not only is the company wasting its money to get these bags made for customers, but customers are wasting their money as well. One problem that came to my mind when thinking about people reusing bags for grocery shopping, is the amount of contamination that each one of those bags contain after shopping previously before another time of grocery shopping. If you think about it, think of the meats that may be leaking blood or something from the packaging or how the bags are laying in the shopping cart where others hands have touched. These bacteria then get into the bag and are contaminating the newly bought groceries. Also, it is important to think about what products are being used to manufacture and produce these so called go green bags. The resources being used to produce these bags, are taking away from the environment themselves. Therefore, the green bags are typically just portraying a greener friendly environment to the customers to attract their attention more.
Watching the movie FoodInc., was an eye opener to how disgusting it is to the way our meats are produced. Not just that, but how entirely unethical food production can actually be. Our food industry is something that all Americans need to be concerned about. Not only are we putting foods into our bodies full of antibiotics, meats that are cloned, foods consisting of chemicals, but we are supporting these companies for the unethical things that they are doing by buying a pack of meat at the grocery store. I myself have bought chicken and beef at the grocery store. I have even bought Tyson chicken nuggets, which completely grosses me out to know that I have consumed these food items after watching how the animals are so poorly treated. Chicken growers who work for companies like Purdue can only afford usually like two to three poultry houses and they cost a couple hundred thousand dollars each. This is where overproduction comes into the picture and makes it observable to the viewer how overproduction leads to unethical issues. There are chickens in these poultry houses, not able to walk around due to so many piled in there. They pretty much have no area to walk in so they are walking and laying in their own feces. Then they are just grabbed and strangled, with their heads chopped off. Furthermore, for the housing of cows in the production of beef, they are not allowed to venture out into pastures, they are not allowed to live their lives freely. They are barely able to breathe. I think it is crazy how animals cannot have some of the same rights as humans do. For example, if a human treated another human like that, they would be imprisoned. So my question is, how and why is It okay that humans can do that to animals in the unethical ways that they do without being punished?
While watching the documentary called Minimalism, I think it is very important for people to realize how sustainability connects with the ways people over consume with materialistic things in our society. Having the mindset of someone that overconsumes, seems to be more of an increased trend here in America. While watching this video, I realized that sustainability can become a complicated to achieve when one does not know the idea of Minimalism. Not being able to know that, means one can never appreciate the minimum, there always has to be more. Therefore, having the most eventually becomes their minimum making that individual want more and more of what they already have. In the film, a great example were people who go out and buy these extravagant homes and barely use the spaces. Then they fill the spaces they do not use with items that are a waste of money. In other words, this is land that is being used for a big home that is actually not needed. These are resources that are already scarce being used more and more for these big homes. This means less land for sustainable agriculture. There were a few people in the film who had a great solution to this. That was to live in tiny houses. They require less resources, they are inexpensive, and they are created to help sustain the environment more. Individuals need to begin to realize the more important things in society and that is not going out and buying lavish, materialistic items. Materialistic things are not going to help make the Earth more green or sustainable. But the problem is that there are not enough people caring about the environment like they should, but instead, putting their time and money into stuff that takes away from sustaining resources and also takes away a healthy lifestyle for those who are trying to be minimalists, so there can maybe one day be an efficient amount of resources that exist.
While watching the Overpopulated documentary, I found it very interesting how overpopulation can lead to so many problems. You do not really think that there is so many overpopulated areas around the world until it is actually brought to our attention. However, it is a major issue all around the world today. With the world and our environment being in this position, there becomes less and less resources available. That being, natural resources. The more, people that there are, the more resources that will become used. The earth cannot naturally produce but so many resources on its own. One way in the documentary to show ways to prevent overpopulation was a woman in Bangladesh who went around door to door educating woman on the importance of the environment and giving them resources to access ways of things such as birth control methods. Women conceiving at such a young age and continuing to do so has become a big issue in today’s society and for the environment. Not only is it affecting our government but it is affecting our environment as well. When people are living with larger families and little income, they begin get aid from the government. When the government runs out of money that makes it harder for it to aid to things such as bettering the environment. Therefore, people themselves have to take money out of their own pockets to create groups and organizations to help and educate communities about the importance of the overuse of resources from overpopulation. This makes it harder for people to do because to get a legit organization started, it takes money, people, and educational factors to get it started. This documentary helped me think about the environment a lot differently and encourages me to make changes within my own life to be more sustainable.