In Germany, there was an effort to reduce solid waste by recycling packaging. This was done by requiring manufacturers to reuse or recycle their packaging, as well as facilitating them to comply with the ordinance. This led to the creation of the “Dual System.” This effort contributes to sustainability by combating resource depletion. However, it is not complete because the oversupply of recyclable waste. To make further progress, the recyclable waste needs to be used more frequently for production of goods.
a. My home uses a private water system. Groundwater from an aquifer is collected in a well and pumped into a storage tank, where the water is maintained at a constant level. The water is filtered before it reaches the tap. Water from the toilet, sink, shower, etc. runs down a single drainage pipe into the septic tank. This tank is water-tight and allows the various components of the waste fluid to separate vertically. Liquid water goes to the drain field, in which the water is absorbed by the soil.
Cooking/washing food/dishes: ~ 7.5 gal/day
Washing clothes: ~ 8 gal/day
Flushing toilet: ~ 35 gal/day
Washing hands: ~ 1 gal/day
Showering: ~ 25 gal/day
Total: ~ 76 gal/day
c. Cooking water can be reduced by using the microwave, but this amount of water is already negligible compared to other contributions. Water for washing dishes can also be saved by not using the dishwasher. Using the toilet can’t really be avoided in our society, though. Instead of using a shower, you could try pouring water from a bucket. Still, the total is way more than 2 gallons. I did not actually bother doing all this, though. The local economy and available technology are important to our water supply as it influences the options we have for obtaining our water – can we have faucets and showers, or will all the water we get have to be transported by buckets carried in our hands? The local environment is obviously also important – can we get our water from the ground right next to our houses like I can? Or will we have to transport it from further away?
1. I think that being a good person is more important than performing good actions. To me, being a good person is synonymous with desiring good actions. Performing a single good action isn’t contingent upon being a good person, but being inclined to perform good actions is, I think. To clarify what I mean by a “good person”, consider someone who asks, “Am I being selfish for trying to land a job better than one I am already offered?” I would say a person asking such a question is already a good person, and the person strives not to improve what may be called their “moral character” (how good they are as a person) but rather their ability to choose good actions. Performing good actions requires more than just being a good person. It encompasses more – it requires knowledge, experience, perspective, ability to remain unbiased, etc. I feel we would certainly hold a higher opinion of someone who is good person than one who has no sense of justice, even if the good person does not take good actions.
5. First off, I think many of us (myself included) would be far more willing to sacrifice our lives for another human being than for an animal, however unwilling we may be to do the former. Even considering something not so heavy, if there is a spider in my house, I will just kill it. I don’t spend time trying to figure out how to return it to the wild safely.
(Sorry, I know this is incomplete.)
Biogas technology changed human-environment interactions in India. Before its introduction, the rate of collection of firewood for cooking fuel was not sustainable. Biogas technology reduced the demand for firewood, thus creating a more sustainable situation. But biogas technology had other effects besides cutting down on smoke, reducing firewood depletion, and increasing children’s time for school. The by-product, slurry, also improved the lives of the people via the trade and use of compost produced from the slurry. To start comparing my diagram to Marten’s, both include reasons for introduction of biogas generators, and effects beyond better cooking fuel. One difference, however, is that the diagram in Marten includes the positive-feedback effect that demand for cooking fuel had prior to introduction of biogas generators. My diagram doesn’t include that because that aspect wasn’t mentioned in the video. Also, I included the compost business as that aspect was not discussed in the Marten text. Obviously, there are similarities between the two diagrams because they are about the same subject. There are differences because they address slightly different aspects of it. One thing we can say from comparing the two diagrams is that things can have greater consequences than we might initially anticipate. When we draw a diagram, we can choose to emphasize different aspects of a topic.
Hi everyone, I’m Yeeren Low. I’m a senior majoring in physics and mathematics at Penn State University Park. I’m currently residing at State College while I have my permanent residence in eastern PA and I grew up near Raleigh, NC. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Malaysia before I was born. I am the second of three brothers. I am thinking of pursuing a career in STEM research/development. I am using this course to fulfill a general requirement, and it appeared interesting but prior to this course I really knew nothing about geography.
One topic that has been around is human-caused climate change. This is an example of human-environment interactions. These interactions run both ways — the environmental changes we humans bring on can come back to affect us in ways we might not even know. However the ones most severely affected may not be the ones causing such changes. This issue has an economic dimension as depletion of natural resources will change trade. This means sustainability is key as our lives can change drastically if resources are depleted.