Michael Simons: Comparing my home town to other cities

My home town is Lindenhurst New York. To clarify this is on Long Island where most town are automobile suburbs. Lindenhurst is pretty small town and about an hour or so train or car ride to New York City. Lindenhurst is home to around 27,000 people as of 2010. I feel as though Lindenhurst (and most towns on Long Island) are very automobile driven areas. Although, you can walk to some places or bike to many places, it is most common for people to drive everywhere. I am connected to this town because this where I grew up and also where my family lives and will most likely live in for many years to come.


One city I chose to compare Lindenhurst to is Rochester New York. Both cities are examples of automobile suburb areas. Although there are some areas in my town that have sidewalks, most of them don’t get used very often. I feel as though this is similar to Rochester because even though some areas have side walks, most don’t because they mainly encourage people to use their automobiles to get around. But I do believe Rochester uses their side walks more often and efficiently. Lindenhurst can learn from this because using sidewalks and creating more sidewalks to use will reduce the towns pollution. By implementing more sidewalks and making it more common and easier to walk then the people of Lindenhurst can become a little more healthier while significantly cutting their usage of gas.


Another city I would like to compare Lindenhurst to is New York City. One reason I chose this city is because it is only a train ride away from my town. Many people use the train system from my town to get to work if their work is in the city which is great. I feel as though using mass transit is much better than driving just yourself to the city at least 5 times a week to get to work. One area that New York City excels in is using rooftop planting or farming. This is very effective in shortening the food miles you use and more efficient and healthy foods to eat yourself. I have seen a few areas in my town which use rooftop farming but I feel as though we can do a much better job with it.

Michael Simons- social norms

One social norm that influenced my food choice would be birthday cake. Typically when someone has a birthday this will mean they will receive a cake. This is very common in most people’s lives. I myself definitely fall under this social norm. I love having cake on my birthday. The social norm birthday cake falls under is food that tastes good but is bad for you. This falls under this norm because ice cream cake and cake made from scratch has too much sugar and doesn’t have a good mix of nutrients the body needs.

One societal issue the birthday cake connects to is obesity. Typically when eating birthday cake we don’t think of how we eat too much at once. I believe that in America we do this too much. I can say that I have done this myself many times. We don’t take into consideration that we are eating too much of food that isn’t nutritious. We also don’t take into consideration that we waste the food we don’t eat. A lot of times when we don’t finish the food we eat we will put it into the fridge to be eaten at another date. But sometimes we tend to forget that we put our uneaten food there and then notice too late after the food goes bad that it is there. Too most American’s this isn’t a big deal. But to millions of people this is major. The food we waste could be given to people who are starving and are unable to obtain food.


Michael Simons- Can I reuse this plastic bag?

Solid Waste Management: Ireland


This case study focuses on Ireland’s solid waste management, primarily about the use of plastic bags. This case study talks about the success Ireland has had by creating a levy that limited the use of plastic bags in supermarkets across all of Ireland. The goals Ireland wanted to achieve with this initiative were to decrease around 50% of the use of plastic bags. Within one year they skyrocketed past that 50% and decreased the use of plastic bags up to 95%! This initiative was very successful and other countries like Britain and Australia are interested in creating an initiative just like this one. This levy can relate to this module because now Ireland can save money and use that money for more environmental initiatives or other ways that can help the country further its development. Now that they have decreased the number of bags and the amount of litter in the country Ireland still sustains its tourism factor which in turn will help the country make more money.


Using high quality alternative fuel: Egypt


This case study if from Egypt where they use municipal waste as an alternative fuel. The goals of this case study are to use the 150,000 tons of waste as an alternative fuel for the cement manufacturing process. This can help Egypt as a whole develop more by using other sources of fuel to progress and do more within the country. While creating this initiative Egypt created over 140 new jobs within the Zabblaleen community and reduce its consumption of fossil fuels. These advances and will help Egypt even more because fossil fuels aren’t going to last forever so the less they use, the longer they can use fossil fuels when needed.


In Long Island, New York (where I live) we have many initiatives just like the rest of the country. One that is similar to one of these case studies is the one with reducing the use of plastic bags. In every supermarket you walk in on Long Island, you have the option to use woven bags over plastic bags. These bags are placed at the entrances of the store so there are visible to the customers to buy and use instead of plastic bags. What New York can learn from this study is that if we promote it even more and make it not worth it money wise to use plastic bags, then maybe the initiative will be more of a success. The initiative in Egypt is different from where I live because I’ve never heard of New York trying to find alternative fuel. Maybe if New York or America as a whole can learn from Egypt and use this study to save fossil fuels and create more jobs.

Michael Simons-Module 4


Lindenhurst (my home town) gets its water supply from the Long Island aquifer. To obtain this information I talked with my family and found information on line for some specifics. This aquifer is a combination of groundwater and a little mix of surface water. There are 3 main aquifers and Lindenhurst gets its water from the Magothy Aquifer. Now from the source it goes through a plant which filters any waste out of the water and then from the distribution pipe to you house. Then the water is used for what ever use the person chooses. After that the water gets drained into a waste water pipe which then leads to another plant which then filters out most of the waste so that the water can be used again. This system helps make it possible to reuse any wasted, non-used water.



1.B) During my day I use water when I…

Shower(5 minutes)= 25 gallons

Brush teeth(twice)= 2 gallons

Drink water= 3 gallons

Flush Toilet= 3 gallons

Wash my face= 1 gallon



Personally, I found this experiment very difficult. It was interesting to see how hard it was to live while only using 2 gallons of water. The areas I used water was when I showered, brushed my teeth, drank water, and flushed the toilet. I failed this experiment mainly because it is difficult for me to only shower for one minute. I shower everyday so a possible way I can cut down on my water use is by maybe not showering every single day and maybe every other day. One area where I was easily able to limit my water use was when brushing my teeth. It was easy just to turn off my faucet while brushing my teeth and then only using water to rinse out my mouth. For this experiment I put my main priority in drinking. I feel it is more important to be drinking the water than to be using it to wash yourself. This experience compares to 1.b because it shows just how much water I use on a daily basis. The day I recorded my water usage didn’t even incorporate the day I wash my clothes. Lastly, Geography may affect your usage if where you live has an abundance of fresh water readily available. Also, there are many areas in the world where people mainly value water for drinking and not so much cleaning themselves. This is understandable and I believe if it comes down to the people In the U.S. to cut down drastically on our water consumption, this would be the best way to do so.

Module 3- Ethics Views Michael Simons



  1. Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

I think it is more important to be a good person than to just perform good acts. My thinking is that by being a good person you will naturally perform good acts. Also, someone that performs good acts may be doing so just for looks, publicity, whatever it may be. So by just performing good acts doesn’t mean that someone is actually a good person at heart. If someone is a good person, then they will do good things when no one is looking because it is in their nature. If someone is just performing good acts then in their mind they may be thinking why am I doing this and not feel the same satisfaction of doing something good than someone who is a good person. The most important point of my argument is that a person who just performs good acts may be looking for attention and in the future may not be as willing to do a good deed than someone who is a good person at heart.


  1. Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?

I believe that Ecosystems matter for their own sake. So my ecocentric idea is that the Ecosystem was here before humans were. Whether humans were here or not, there would still be an ecosystem. Although, I do understand that the ecosystems would be different with out humans on earth, its still important to know that the ecosystems help us keep sustainable more than we can help the ecosystem stay sustainable. In The Fight for Conservation article Gifford Pinchot describes that conserving our resources is the way for our species to prevent from going extinct and to gain national success. So if we keep using our resources as if they will never run out will be detrimental to human life. But as long as we conserve our resources and renew them, then human life can be sustainable.


  1. Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?

I believe that my life and someone else’s life are of equal worth. I’ve grown up thinking that everyone is equal and I believe that. Unfortunately the past doesn’t show everyone treating others as equals, but we can learn from the past. The decisions I make for myself can be thought of as selfish, but if I don’t make some of the decisions I do then I won’t put myself into a position to help others to the extent I want. I believe that in any situation that would make me decide between helping myself and someone else that I will always choose to help the other person. Regardless if the person is a family member or not I think it is important to help others if you’re in a position to do so. Although, this may not always be true but I think that if you help others then at some point someone will help you in the future when you need it.

Getting to Know You- Michael Simons

Hey everybody! My name is Michael Simons and I am a sophomore studying Early Childhood Education. I live on campus in Nittany Hall right now. I am from Long Island New York. Specifically in Lindenhurst if anyone happens to be from Long Island. I plan to pursue a career in Teaching. My specific area of study is pre k-4. But if I had to choose I would want to be a second or third grade teacher. I am interested in this course because I have never really taken a geography class and I feel like this is a subject that I lack in because I have never been taught the importance of it through my own education. I guess an interesting fact about me would be that I am an Eagle Scout.


While doing the first module in occurred to me the importance of global warming and how we affect the world itself. Its very interesting to me that by what decisions we make now can make a huge difference in the future (both negatively and positively). In the first lesson we learned about how us humans interact with our environment and how the sustainability concept applies to various modules later in the course. I believe that Global warming is a huge issue because it can determine how much longer humans can inhabit the earth.