Thursday, December 15, 2011

Going...going...gone...or is it?

At first when I saw this comic, I was just going to post it and that would have been that. But then, I started working on my curriculum design unit. A huge (huge) part of my portfolio here at Wheelock, basically my thesis!

My class' theme was sustainability and my group chose to design a unit on trash and it's impact on our earth.  We researched all about trash and how it effects our planet. My section of the unit was all about the trash that winds up in the ocean.

Did you know that 14 billion, (yes billion) pounds of trash makes it way into the oceans each year? Nasty right?

Did you know that much of the trash in the oceans will make its way to massive trash islands floating in the oceans and that some of those islands are larger than Texas?

What I learned really opened my eyes. Never before did I know that an aluminum can can take between 200 and 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill. Yes you read that right.

In the past two months, I have learned more than I ever thought I would about trash. No, I'm not going to get all self-righteous and live a trash free life, I recognize that is impossible and impractical. But, I have been more thoughtful in my "trash practices."

I think twice now, is this trash or recycling? Can I reuse this myself? Do I need all those ziploc bags or will a container suffice?

Smart choices and big thinking got us from homo-sapien to the age of electricity and ipads. Smart choices and big thinking can lessen the impact our trash has on our planet.

One thing I also know for sure, it's a good think we turned in this unit electronically, because we couldn't in good conscience print a 58 page unit on trash!

13 thoughts on the matter:

Ellie said... {Reply}

Wow, it's scary stuff isn't it. Thanks for posting about it. Thanks also for you visit and comment on my blog - I appreciate it. :)

Mom of M&Ms said... {Reply}

SOunds like you learned a lot!!!! We are aware of our trash in our house, and my hubby is the head of several departments for a major medical university which include recycling and sustainability...


and for my last post.. that was a client..

Kim Stevens said... {Reply}

Actually yes I did, and it's kinda horrifying! It also can take a cigarette butt up to 15 years to break down because they are photodegradable, and yet people just continue to throw them out their car windows, and then they end up in our streams and rivers.....I wish there was a way to educate all the parents about this stuff too! You are doing a great job!!

Barb said... {Reply}

eek! I don't like that ocean bit . . .

{ T G L } said... {Reply}

200 to 500 years? Woah!

Thanks for that post, that was very educational. I try to minimize trash but it's difficult. Part of trash is just unavoidable.

The cartoon is interesting because I guess you can also interpret it in another way. Of course, it's about the evolution of man... but perhaps if we don't become sustainable and keep on polluting our planet, we might 'devolve' into a worse state? Gives food for thought.

Be well!
This Good Life

Anita Johnson said... {Reply}

I think it's a great thing to study...we have got to do something about trash and maybe these kids will come up with a plan. I try to pre-cycle...buy things that only can be recyclable, but it's hard. A simple thing like yogurt, a #5 here can't be recycled or purchased in a container that can. It drives me crazy!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said... {Reply}

what a brilliant and thought provoking post!

thanks so much for sharing.

AJ said... {Reply}

Love your thoughts...

Lisa said... {Reply}

WOW! Unbelievable you know, I think I saw something about this on Front line or Nova I forget.BUT it was unbelievably sad. Your so right we have to start thinking ~ what are we going to do with that when we are done'

Great Post!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said... {Reply}

It's staggering how much trash we produce -- we recycle our aluminum and I do what you do -- use a container when practical.

Interesting post and the cartoon sums up your point very well. :)

Danelle said... {Reply}

Wow! I had no idea there was so much trash in the ocean.

deb duty said... {Reply}

I didn't know about this either. Thanks for the info.

Mari said... {Reply}

If there's one thing that scares me about the future is that to see that the beautiful, clear ocean I've grown up to becomes a large bucket of trash. I do not wish to see that happen...I do not wish that to happen at all. I've been always conscious with my trash since I was a child. Maybe it is because my grandparents made me understand the consequences of littering and I understood that it'd hurt the things I love, re:the ocean.