Hope for the Future

This is a picture of the first cradle-to-cradle region in the world! The Venlo-region in the south-east of the Netherlands is developing initiatives at different levels which can test the concepts of cradle-to-cradle at a regional scale.

“The cradle-to-cradle framework means that we are native to our place; our waste is our food; sun is our income; our air, soil and water are healthy; we design enjoyment for all generations; we provide enjoyable mobility for all.”



The 6th and Final Update

Over consumption is a huge problem in America today, but unless everybody decides to contribute to using less, it is very hard for my efforts to have a strong impact. Although, I am going to still continue to use less and be as eco friendly as possible, it now comes down to spreading the word and making people want to save the world as well. In the cradle-to-cradle approach, my project would be seen as doing less bad, but not exactly doing more better. The doing ‘more better’ approach is people only using things that are completely recyclable or biodegradable. In my approach, I couldn’t commit to only using entirely recyclable things because I don’t have access to that many reusable products here on campus.

I know that my small efforts will not end global warming, but I am going to continue to do as much as I can, and try and make others help as well. The key to change is getting the word out there so I will continue to advise my parents not to buy the wasteful packaging and to turn off all the lights when they are not in the room and so forth. However, I am very curious to learn more about the cradle-to-cradle approach, and I hope in the future that approach is omnipresent. I have learned a lot about the environment and myself throughout this blog, and I hope that anyone reading this will attempt to lower their carbon footprint by using less or finding more cradle to cradle opportunities. Thank you for reading and happy holidays! Remember to buy recyclable wrapping paper and reuse!!

Paper Cups

These pictures from Chris Jordan’s Running the Numbers illustrate 410,000 paper cups, which is equal to the number of disposable hot-beverage paper cups used in the United States…every fifteen minutes!



Week 5 Update

After four weeks of making slight changes in my lifestyle in order to decrease my carbon footprint, I have learned a lot. Taking shorter showers and not wasting water while brushing teeth or washing faces is an easy adjustment. Not buying things in wasteful packaging is difficult for some because they are more concerned with getting their necessity then how much waste it comes in. It, in no way is difficult to make these minor changes, but the reason everyone hasn’t changed their ways is due to convenience. Many people leave their house and forget to bring reusable bags to the grocery store, yet conveniently there are plenty of wasteful bags available and no punishment for using them. Also, people tend to forget a reusable water bottle, but sure enough there are plenty of places to buy plastic water bottles. Similarly, many people would rather get coffee to go, and the amount of people that bring a reusable thermos are limited. Unfortunately, many people are very lazy and would rather have things in wasteful packaging than have to take the time to plan otherwise.

I have talked to many of my friends here at Lafayette College about how environmentally friendly they are and what they could do to change. Although, many of them do have reusable water bottles, almost all of them buy water bottles in bulk amounts for convenience. I did pressure my roommates into promising they would always recycle those bottles, but they are pretty stubborn in that they would rather keep the plastic bottles instead of an alternative method. Another problem is the amazing amount of consumerism that excites Americans in this day and age. People are obsessed with having material objects and the environment can’t keep up with this behavior. There are many things in the world that need to be changed in order to keep our planet healthy, and I think a good starting point is lowering consumerism and overconsumption in America.

Packing Peanuts and Plastic Bags

This picture for Chris Jordan’s Running the Numbers depicts 166,000 packing peanuts, which is equivalent to the number of overnight packages shipped by air in the United States…every hour!


The picture below from Chris Jordan’s Running the Numbers portrays 60,000 plastic bags, which is the amount used in the United States… every five seconds! The picture to the right is a close up of all the plastic bags.


Week 4 Update

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

In the United States, it is estimated that thirty percent of food is wasted, which is equivalent to $48.2 billion of food (http://blog.sustainablog.org/2008/08/the-shocking-statistics-of-food-waste/). So I hope that everyone does there part to eat leftovers and reduce the amount of food wasted over this Thanksgiving.

After three weeks of attempting to not waste food, I have found that when I eat at Upper Farinon, which is one of our dining halls that is a certain cost at the door, I tend to waste more food because it is unlimited. On the other hand, when I eat at lower Farinon, which is where people pay for what they are going to eat, I don’t waste much at all. In order to stop wasting food at Upper Farinon I have taken the time to really think about what I will actually eat before putting wasteful portions on my plate.

I also have limited my trips to the grocery store, and when I do go I try to buy one large tub of yogurt instead of five small yogurts. Food packaging is another serious waste component because so much of food is inefficiently wrapped. A candy that I use to love, Mamba, was wrapped as a whole, and then each group of flavors was wrapped so that there were three separate wrapped groups when opened. Then in those three there were six individual wrapped candies. I can not get over how wasteful this is, and I hope that they alter their packaging soon.

Junk Mail and Paper Bags

This picture in Chris Jordan’s Running the Numbers depicts 9,960 mail order catalogs. This number is equivalent to the number of pieces of junk mail that are printed, shipped, delivered, and thrown away in the United States…every three seconds!


This picture to the right is a depiction of paper bags from the grocery store. This is displaying 1.14 million brown paper bags from the supermarket. This number is used in the United States…every hour!