I chose this documentary because it covers most everything we have discussed in our class. It begins with a man named Johan Rockstrom who gave a TED talk and showed people how CO2 has impacted the planet and that we had reached a level of stability in the last 10,000 years and after the industrial revolution the CO2 levels spiked and the earth is not at a point where it’s stable anymore. He also adds that in that period we were in the Holocene and as of now we are in the Anthropocene and in this we have lost of valuable assets to our earth. Starting at the polar ice caps as we all know they have been melting for some time and they are responsible for cooling our earth. In Sweden the icecap are melting at an increased rate ever since we have entered into the Anthropocene as a result the earth is getting warmer and adding to the loss of ice caps. It is also destroying habitats for animals that live in these cold environments.
His next topic for how we need to change our way is land configuration and this is to stop deforestation and the destruction of forests for habitat and farming the more that we continue with deforestation the more animals wont have a place to live. It also causes the soil to be dry and not be able to distribute as much water throughout the forest. As observed the forest that has been torn down and allowed to grow back is not growing back into forest it grows into a savanna and this process is called savannization and is irreversible. In the Amazon alone they have lost about 20% of their forests. With the trees dying there is an increase in the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere. Another big problem with deforestation is the loss of biodiversity and in nature there are many species of animals that are on the brink of extinction and after our last mass extinction we are once again very close to it happening again.
Johan Rockstrom was particularly impacted by the the extinction of many animals. In Sweden bees have been taken by the UK because they don’t have enough bees and their best solution was to take bee queens to their own country hoping that they can fix their damage. He is astonished that another country had to steal key pollinators for their country just to have a functioning ecosystem. So much of todays crops rely on pollinators and now due to monoculture has lead to the decrease in insects due to pesticides and other crop solutions. I see this particular part of the documentary biased since it is directly impacting his country and he has a personal tie to the situation. Johan sates to keep the extinction rate from reaching the dangerous levels we need to strive for not losing any populations in the year 2022 2023. the risk of losing even on species we could be a risk for another mass extinction.
Another important aspect that need to be protected is fresh water we as a society need a lot of fresh water. Weather it be for hygienic reasons or for consumption people in the rich world use even more water for household needs and then industry needs a couple hundred more and the rest is for our food this is another subject where I feel there is biased because Johan’s PHD was biased off of fresh water and where it being used. To add on to his biased opinion he discusses how when he was younger he would fish in his local pond and come back home with lots of fish and now in his local pond there are no more fish he says that this is due to fertilizers and overfishing. When growing crops they explain that to produce that amount of crops they need fertilizer but they are giving the plants more than they need and when it rains or the plants get watered the fertilizer washes away and runs off into other water ways and polluting it. When the water mixes with the fertilizer it creates a reaction called eutrophication and this produces lots of algae and it decomposes creating a rotting smell and is using up oxygen and in the water it creates a higher build up of phosphorous. This process also happens in the ocean and over time causes the ocean to be acidic and many animals they rely on calcium shells run into the problem of their shell becoming weaker. In all this is a very well done documentary but it constantly used the same metaphor when comparing the different levels of danger.
Today there are many different forms of art and today there is also a lot of pollution and some artist will collect plastic waste and make it into art. An artist I found named Eduardo Srur one of his pieces of artwork is very interesting in this art installation the setting is in what one would a assume is an aquarium and in the aquarium is all types of plastic and waste. That could be found in the ocean and there are people there pointing and looking at all the garbage and being in awe.
What he is saying about us is that even if an issue is raised and is put in front of people they will still be ignorant to it even if its in their face. It can also be thought of as plastic taking over the wild life and if the pollution is not stopped our marine life will be the equivalent of plastic bags because that will be all there is for them to eat. I really enjoyed all the angels that the pictures where in. It reminds me of angels that would be used to take pictures of fish but in fact it is garbage that is possibly in the oceans.
To observe some possible biased when looking at Eduardo’s site with all his art installations he has a few pieces that relate to the plastic pollution problem. In each piece there is the idea of people ignore the issue at hand and continue on with their lives. I think he does have a biased when it comes to the subject of plastic pollutants.
all these pictures are taken by Eduardo Srur from 2014
As we are all well aware we have a lot of plastic items in our life that we deem as important to us and upon reflection and after watching the journey of a plastic bag in class I have found one of my most important plastic items I use daily is my medicine bottles I looked at all the ones I have and I saw a wide range of different types of plastic. Before I looked I believed that they would all be the same numbers for recycling and thinking this I when recycling I would put them all in the same bin but seeing this today It has taught me something new. When researching bottles similar to the ones I have I found a site where there are all types of plastic medicine bottles and it tells how they are made and after reviewing the different types of plastics I believe the plastic that is used for making medicine bottles is Polyethylene terephthalate or PET it is a hard plastic that is recyclable. This type of plastic is made in factories and is only touched by machines and only uses good raw materials to form their bottles. They then pack their bottles into sterile bags and box them and send them off for shipping. They mark on their website how long it should take them to make the order and it usually ranges from30-45 day unless there are specific time the costumer needs them.
“pills” by plasticrevolver is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
The usage depends on what is put into the container and how many. It also depends on how often you use what is in the container. For me a medicine container would last 60 days and I use the container everyday. Now that I am in college I will be recycling differently I will use the recycling bin down stairs that are for specific small plastic containers and hope it will be disposed of properly. At the end of its functional cycle it will depend on the person using it I already said what I would do but for others that depends entirely in them. Some may chose to throw it in with the trash others may chose to find a recycling center that the number of plastic and throw it away there so it can be reused. The environmental impact of this product during the stages of development is putting out toxic chemicals in the air when using the machines to make the plastic after its use if not disposed of properly it can damage the environment through animals eating it to it being in places it shouldn’t be and not going away.
“21/365 – western medicine” by jypsygen is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The social impact it has is the people who get the raw materials and their working conditions, the people who work in the factories to make sure the machines are working right and them being exposed to harmful chemicals, the people who stock them in stores and are payed not enough for the work they do, and they people who will be impacted by this product if it is not disposed of properly. This would be called the economic snapshot. Way that we can reduce this is by voting with our wallets , selecting our majors that support our ideas. My assumption based on todays world is that the youth will start the change and will enforce sustainable products throughout generations. I can always be wrong and the people who believe our world is fine how it is could take control and further damage our world causing a number of catastrophic events to occur.\
Group, Foerhao. “HDPE Pharma Bottle.” Foerhao Pharmaceutical Packaging Co., Ltd., 2011, https://www.foerhao-pharmpack.com/solid-bottle/225ml-hdpe-pharma-bottle.html.
“What Materials Make up Plastic Bottles.” MJS Packaging Blog, 30 Sept. 2014, https://www.mjspackaging.com/blog/what-materials-make-up-plastic-bottles/.
I have been through a lot of change recently and upon so I forgot to take a minute and think about what I can do too change my lifestyle to better the environment. So on the first of October I was asked to think about one thing I would change about my life to live more plastic free. I ignored this question for a few day because It was a particularly hard question to answer. Also because I didn’t know I was supposed to answer this question until today. We all make mistakes we have busy lives and recently I have been so engrossed in my work that I forget to take a minute to think about my impact on the environment. To start off I began thinking about my daily activities that I would like to change in my life. On thing I would like to change is the amount of times I go out to eat me and my partner like to try new foods and by doing this we produce a lot of waste and costing a lot of money. Although the dinning halls are not pleasant I need be using them more often they have biodegradable products and are free.
“GMO free food container” by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Living in a city such as Charleston it is often hard to cut down on waste but there are places that have plastics that are better for the environment. For example I work at a restaurant that have biodegradable packages but behind closed doors we clump the trash and recycling together when throwing it away which doesn’t allow the biodegradable packages to decompose the way they are supposed to. When I take out the trash I make sure to keep the bags separate so that everything is disposed of properly. We are probably one of few that do this when throwing away products. So why do I still decide to spend my money at places where they use products that are not good for the environment? The more I think about it the more I realize I was not thinking about how the packaging would impact the environment but more focused on the food rather than the impact and knowing so know I am encouraged to change. There are many things that have just become habit and buying foods that come in packaging that isn’t biodegradable and tossing the waste without thinking.
“Pollution (plastic bag)” by garrettc is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
In my efforts to change by choosing with my wallet and giving my money to places that have biodegradable options and not spending my money at places that don’t. I also find it hard biodegradable alternatives while shopping recently I went to the store to get more trash bags and now sitting here writing I realize I didn’t have to spend my money I could have used the paper bags we have in our dorm as trash bags for specific trash. But for trash that could easily tear paper and are wet plastic is the only bag that can do the job but by doing this small effort of using less means I wont have to buy as many plastic trash bags. A few items I feel like I can replace such as paper towels by using rags instead. By buying paper towels you also buy plastic it comes in and when using a rag yes it uses water but in all it is less harmful than paper towels. Another thing I wont be buy anymore are is plastic silverware and plates and or Tupperware from now on I will be using glass wear what keeps food better.
As someone who cares about the environment and the animals in it I tried by best to buy items that would not hurt the environment. When taking a look around my room I realized I only touch a small amount of objects repeatedly. In this aspect I think this one trial was not enough to really show really how much plastic I used. I say this because I fell asleep for a lot of the day and the only Items I touched were due to school and free time I had.
When I looked around my room I noticed some of the items where label as cruelty free and when thinking about that statement it is not all that true. Yes they may not be testing their products on animals but the packaging they are using to is harmful to the environment. Since the packaging cant be recycled it ends up in the ocean and birds mistake it for food. Consuming so much plastic and not actual food causes them to starve and eventually die.
On campus there are different places to recycle and they are found right outside of dinning halls. Some are found in education buildings. People don’t ever stop and look at the materials they have in their hands they choose to just throw it away. If they were to actually look most of the dinning wear is actually compostable.