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Environmental Studies

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Workshop Five Future Development and Sustainability
Ayanna Poe
PHS 100A
Dave Lee
Warner Pacific College
August 21, 2012

Before taking this class I must say that I was uneducated about a lot of the topics we have covered. I now know more about the conditions of the environment and how our actions do have an impact on the present as well as the future. I never paid attention to my footprints on the environment. I am guilty of being carless and uneducated about the things I do and don’t do that have a direct impact on the environment. Such as eating out almost every night, constantly purchasing new gadgets every time they come out, never buying used clothing etc. Before this class I never gave a second thought to these things. Learning about the clean water act as well as the clean air act was really interesting. I take clean water and air for granted all the time. I am used to going outside and just expecting to breathe clean air as if it’s a right and not a privilege. When I want to brush my teeth or take a shower I don’t think about how my water got clean or where it comes from I just expect it to be there and to be healthy for consumption and use. It amazes me how we take so many of our resources for granted and we just assume that they will always be here for us to use.

I couldn’t believe how much resources and energy we use in the United States alone and how much waste we generate. Seeing video of water being so dirty that it catches fire and witnessing the death of a sea because of pollution and waste was uncanny. To know that one day we will be at war over clean water bothers me. In my opinion we have advanced firsthand knowledge of a lot of our issues. It’s not like we wake up one day and these things just appear we are forewarned and we take too long to take action which results in disaster. Lately I have noticed that more people (environmentalists, politicians, climatologists and environmental groups etc) are trying to educate and raise awareness on how serious some of these issues are in an effort to do something before its too late. I noticed that the government has extended tax credits and incentives to businesses that use fewer resources and exercise practices that are less harmful to the environment. I feel like this is a step in the right direction because most people only take action or participate in something if and when it’s beneficial to them. On another note I feel as though it’s a shame that you have to scare people (with fines, jail time or public embarrassment) before they take action. It makes me question the integrity of people. I have to ask whether or not they are doing things only because there is an incentive or because they know how important these issues really are.
We are all encouraged to recycle and that goes beyond paper and plastic. I have saw ads that advertise recycling electronics, furniture, cars, household items etc. I was even heard of a website called free cycle.com. The only rule to using this website is that the stuff you put on here has to be free. I checked it out before I wrote this paper and it was really cool. You create a profile and place the item/s on there that you want to get rid of and if someone wants the item they contact you and you guys make arrangements for them to come get the item. As the old saying goes one person junk is another person’s treasure. In turn you get to look through other peoples junk and pick what you want. I have found myself watching television shows about the environment and climate change. One show in particular followed a group of climatologists to Antarctica to conduct research for the government as to how global warming is literally melting Antarctica which is causing too much fresh water to mix with salt water which is causing drastic climate changes. It also showed the impact it’s having on polar bears and other animals that inhabit the continent. They have warned every one of the dangers we all face due to these findings and they are attempting to come up with ways to stop it before it’s too late. This class definitely raised awareness and provided me with the knowledge I need in order to be a part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem. There are little things I can do to help that I never thought of. I eat out a lot because I am always on the go. I have never paid much attention to how much waste is generated because of doing this. If eat out less I am reducing the amount of waste I generate. I also buy everything brand new not thinking about the carbon footprint that has on the earth. To manufacture, package and ship the product to the store has a huge impact in itself. Not to mention the fuel and pollution used and generated. I can easily look for gently used electronics, clothes and household items instead of purchasing everything brand new. Be mindful of how I dispose of my waste. I often dispose of things in the toilet or pour it down the drain which can be harmful depending on what it is. We all use hair products, lotions, perfumes; household cleaners etc with are which all have an impact on the environment.
I was amazed to see the lack of respect some people have for other people and the natural environment when it came to land and territory. We have so many beautiful places on the planet and it’s bothersome that people try to destroy them for monetary gain. Some things are just priceless and are better off when they are left alone. For instance many of the everglades have been drained forcing animals from their natural habitats; many parts of rainforests have been destroyed resulting in endangerment and extinction of species and plants.
My major is business management. As the future owner or operator of a business I understand the importance of social, economic and environmental accounting. My part of our presentation gives more insight to how managers can promote sustainability. Some of the things I list are conducting sustainability audits, strategic planning and focused objectives, periodic review and adjustment, education, training and incentives. It is my belief that if these things are done consistently they will make an impact and make a difference. In conclusion we all live on this planet and it is everyone’s responsibility to preserve our resources and reduce our carbon footprint. We need to actually enforce the laws of the land that pertain to the environment. We need to be willing to do whatever it takes to bring organizations to justice and hold them accountable for costs of clean up and or repairs from the damage that they cause. After gaining knowledge about biodiversity, population ecology, eco systems, different energy sources and how I can make a difference; I plan to be more cautious of what I do on a day to day basis that causes harm to the environment. I end this paper with this quote
The unreasonable bias of Industrial Society rejects that our planet acts like an attractive living organism and that we are like a cell in it. We don't think we need to 'Do onto Earth and nature as we would have them do onto us.' However, the deteriorating state of life on Earth tells us otherwise. “ - Michael J. Cohen

References
Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011). Environment: the science behind the stories (4th ed.). New York, NY. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN-13: 9780321715340 (Package including access to the Mastering
Retrieved November 07, 2011 from, http://www.escience.com
Retrieved November 07, 2011 from, http://www.quotes.com
Retrieved November 07, 2011 from, http://www.about.com

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