- My hometown is Pottstown, PA. Pottstown is located in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania in Chester County. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to Philadelphia. Mostly all of Pottstown would be considered an automobile suburb. Everyone drives their car from place to place in my town because everything is so spread out, it would be impossible to walk everywhere. There is also no bus or subway system in my town, so people need their own mode of transportation. I specifically live in a part of Pottstown called North Coventry. There are about 7,866 people that live in North Coventry as of the 2010 census. I have lived in my current house for exactly 14 years as of this past February. I only moved there when I was five, so most of my childhood memories are there. One of the main reasons why I like my hometown is its location to other things. It is relatively close to Philadelphia, the King of Prussia mall, the Exton mall, and other towns that surround us.
- The first city that I’m going to discuss is Detroit, Michigan. This city was discussed in the module in respect to its up-and-coming sustainability method of urban farming. Since this is a fairly large city consisting of many hi-rise buildings, there is not that much space for locally grown food. However, Detroit is taking the initiative to start little gardens all throughout the city in order to increase their currently small amount of locally grown food. My hometown could very much benefit from this sustainable idea. Pottstown used to be covered in farmland, but now with an increasing population and the demand for more residential living areas, the land for farming is dwindling. The population of Pottstown could use the method of urban farming, so people can start to make their own food. It also provides healthier food choices, and it leaves less of an ecological footprint without the need for transporting the food.
- The second city I’m going to discuss is Curitiba, Brazil. This city was discussed in the module in respect to the fact that this city has the best bus system in the world. There is a decent amount of people living in this busy city, so they designed their city around the bus system. Since they couldn’t afford a subway system in the early stages of development, the people of Curitiba designed their city around the bus system. It makes sense now because of how cheap and efficient it is. My hometown could also benefit from this method of sustainability. Having a bus system in my town that mostly everyone would use could make transportation much more efficient and better for the environment. Pottstown does not even have a bus system set up right now. But with one, we could decrease traffic in high-density parts of my town.
- My first case study was found on the Colby – Sustainable Development website and the link is: http://personal.colby.edu/personal/t/thtieten/Famplan.htm. This case study is about improving the huge population size in India. The Indian government has set forth many policies and acts in order to decrease the size of the population. They have tried controlling the sizes of the families by contraception and sterilization. These new developments are to hopefully lower the population to a more sustainable and maintainable size. This case study relates to ideas learned in the module because since India’s population is so large, the country is becoming less sustainable for its people. More and more resources are becoming scarce, so people in India are living in terrible living conditions. Throughout history, India has struggled with trying to sterilize people and have them use contraception in order to limit the amount of people in the country. These means of contraception and sterilization were dangerous and forced, which is why people did not want to participate.
- My second case study was found on the website: http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/mar/27/japan-solution-providing-care-ageing-population. This case study is about dealing with the large population of older people in Japan. The Japanese government has introduced several policies and systems in order to manage this large portion of older people. The problem with all of these older people is that they are unable to be part of the working population anymore. So the amount of people working in Japan is decreasing at an alarming rate. Also, the younger generation is having to pick up for their lack of work. Japan introduced a new insurance plan for this older generation. It also is attempting to bring more foreigners into the country to even out the generation problem. This case study relates to ideas learned in the module because Japan is becoming less sustainable because there aren’t enough people in the working force. With less people working, it is difficult to get more things made and accomplished which is a problem in an efficient country like Japan.
- I am from the town of Pottstown in Pennsylvania. Both of these case studies and problems relate to the area that I am from. Both of these case studies have to do with population problems. But my hometown relates more to the first case study about overpopulation, instead of the second case study because the majority of our population here is not elderly people. We have more of an influx of people coming into our town. Also, recently the majority of our population is younger people because of these people moving into our town and having children. Because of all these people moving here, parts of our farmlands are turning into residential living areas. So now that there is more people, there is less farmland, producing less food, even though we need more food for more people. It is a difficult balance to maintain sustainability and a growing population and an efficient economy.
Part 1-A: The water supply chain in my hometown of Pottstown, PA depends on whether you have a well or you use the township’s water. Personally, my family uses water from a well that is located in our backyard. The water well was drilled when my family first moved into our house in 2002. There are underground water tables that we drilled a hole to in order to access the water. So the water from underground travels through the pipes that we drilled with, into my house and out of the tap. Once it goes down the drain, the water travels into sewer drains under the streets and is then transported to either one of two locations. The first would be the North Coventry Township Water Treatment Plant, so the water can try to be purified and reused. The second location for the extra water is straight into the Schuylkill River, about 2 miles from my house.
|Daily Activity||Amount of Water for 1 Use||How Many Times||Water Use for Activity|
|Brushing teeth||1 gal/min||2 3 min brushes||6 gallons|
|Washing Hands||1 gal||6||6 gallons|
|Shower||2 gal/min||1 15 min shower||30 gallons|
|Flushing Toilet||3 gal||5||15 gallons|
|Drinking Water||8 oz.||8 glasses||64oz. = 1.89 L = 0.5 gal|
|Washing Dishes||2 gal/min||1 5 min wash||10 gallons|
|TOTAL:||67.5 gal = 255.5 L|
Part 1-C: If I had to live on only two gallons of water per day, I would use that water for brushing my teeth, washing my hands, showering, flushing the toilet and drinking. In this experiment, my priorities would be drinking water and daily hygiene (shower, washing hands, brushing teeth). In order to cut down water, I could attempt to only shower every other day and try to only use about a gallon of water. I could just clean my body with soap and then wet a washcloth and rinse my body, and wash my hair. Also, when going to the bathroom, I could cut down all of that water by just not flushing at all. If more people would not flush the toilet, until they were the last person to use that toilet for a while, we could conserve so much water. I could also quickly wash my hands so that I kill some germs, and then use hand sanitizer after to kill the rest of the germs. Another way that I could cut down on water usage would be to only use water to quickly rinse out my mouth after brushing my teeth. So I would devote 0.5 gallons of my water to drinking because I need that to stay alive. Then I every other day I would use 1 gallon of water to showering, and the other 0.5 gallons to brushing my teeth and washing my hands. On the days where I do not shower, I could use the 1 gallon to shave, do the dishes, or wash my clothes. This experiment epically failed. I could sometimes get away with not flushing the toilet, but it was impossible for me to only shower with one gallon of water every other day. The amount of water saved for brushing my teeth and washing my hands worked out nicely, but since I couldn’t bathe with one gallon of water, it didn’t even matter. I do not think that I could ever live in this type of lifestyle because as seen in part 1-B, I use almost 34 times as much water on a daily basis. I would have to make some serious, drastic changes in my life if I lived off of 2 gallons of water per day. Geography has a huge impact on water usage because a lot of countries that rely on large amounts of water everyday, like China or India, do not even have this necessary water supply. They need to import lots of water into their country. And most countries that have access to large amounts of water, do not necessarily need all of it. Most countries that contain deserts or dry lands are the countries that do not have a lot of access to water. The countries that have a lot of rainforests and other wetlands do have plenty of water access. Geography is very important to water usage.
- It is more important to perform good acts, rather than be a good person. I hold this view because I believe that actions speak louder than anything else. A person is defined by their actions, so it is more important for people to perform these good acts. If a person is just a “good person” they could just have good ideas or thoughts about a problem and how to fix it, without actually doing anything about it. A person that performs good acts will actually take action and try to help out with this problem. For example, a person can be a good person by thinking that domesticated animals should not be neglected. But on the other hand, a person could perform good acts by donating or helping out at the animal shelter and offering to take care of the neglected animals. By performing these good actions, I think that it makes them a good person, of course, but I think it is more important to actually perform the good acts. I believe that this is true in any kind of circumstance.
- Ecosystems matter for their own sake, not just to the extent that they impact humans. I hold this view because I think ecosystems are what ultimately matter in the world. The world would not be a world suitable for humans and other species to live if it were not for the ecosystems. The human race would not be alive right now if it were not for the perfect conditions of the ecosystems. Ecosystems are so important because it is sustainable for the human race and all other species. This means that it can provide the right conditions for any species to live and grow. Without the ecosystems supporting all the other species, besides the humans, the human race would have a hard time surviving because we rely on other species for everyday activities. The human race needs animals for their meat and other aspects. The animals need the ecosystems to sustain them. Without the ecosystems, the humans and the other animals would be out of luck, and the world would not be able to sustain us all.
- Personally, I believe that each person’s life should be valued the same. So that means that my life is worth the same as the lives of others. I hold this view because I believe that each person has the potential to live however they want to live and help whoever they want to help. Not one person’s life is worth more or less than any other person’s life. Even though this is my general view on life, there are some exceptions. For my sake personally, I sometimes believe that other people’s lives matter more than my own life because of the things that they have been through or done in their life. Because of this, I try to help others out others in any way that I can. Sometimes these people have had it much worse than I have, so I do what I can to make them feel better. An example that resonates close to me is THON. Children should not ever have to go through something as awful as cancer, so I put their life in front of my own. I try to donate and fundraise and volunteer as much as possible. That’s why I feel as though some people’s lives should be valued more than mine.
The core idea that I tried to incorporate into my diagram is the idea of sustainability. This is the main idea in my system diagram because with all of the factors that result from the use of the biogas plant, hopefully, the impacts on both humans and the environment are not as severe as before. With less severe impacts on each other, the environment becomes more sustainable for humans. The biogas plant has so many advantages with just a better standard of living for humans. When it is burned in the kitchen, it results in a cleaner kitchen and safer cooking. Also, before children and their mothers would have to go out looking for wood, and this would negatively interfere with the children’s lives. It would also be difficult to find good wood sometimes. Not only will the biogas plant be better for humans, but also the environment. The waste that it creates is safe and even beneficial to the environment, so this is another advantage that I included on my diagram. The two diagrams are the same in the way that they both include social and environmental aspects. The two diagrams are different in the way that his diagram includes way more concepts and arrows than mine does. There are similarities and differences because each person interprets information differently and people all have their own perspective on ideas. What can be learned is that system diagrams can be really detailed like the one in the reading, or they can be very simple like mine.
Hi, my name is Annaliese Long and I am a freshman here at Penn State University. So right now, I live in University Park, PA at Penn State, but I grew up in Pottstown, PA. Pottstown is a town in the suburbs about an hour outside of Philadelphia, near King of Prussia. I love my hometown because it is a great location and has great scenery of Pennsylvania. I am thinking of pursuing biomedical engineering with a possible minor in leadership development. I am taking this course because I have always been really interested in the environment and geography ever since I was younger, but more recently I have become interested in sustainability around the world. Some of my hobbies include all kinds of sports, whether I’m playing or I’m watching, traveling the world, hanging out with my friends, and trying new things.
An issue that I am very passionate about and that geography would be well suited to address is the topic of climate change and/or global warming. Geography, in the most basic sense, means the study of the earth, but it can also describe the human impacts on the environment. In recent years, the average temperature of the earth has increased which is causing major changes to the environment. It is important for people to understand what climate change is because it affects all of us. There is a significant amount of species that are going extinct because of the climate change. Not only are the animals being affected, but mostly all ecosystems are impacted as well. This is a huge, yet important, problem because the earth is our home and it won’t be able to sustain us if we do not take care of it.