Sustainable Practice 3

Fifty Shades of Green

Before green design was cool, concern for the environment only really applied when the economy was strong. However concern for the environment is now enshrined by law so that the government can not just pick and choose when they do and don’t feel like caring about the environment.

In groups we thought about something we did before coming into university and tried to map out all of the impacts that it had. My group chose having buttered toast with peanut butter.

The bread:

  • Ingredients needed to be grown, processed, transported, made into bread, then packaged and transported to a shop and transported home.
  • The machines used for the steps above need to be produced and transported and take up energy to use.
  • Shops also take up space and energy
  • The transportation needs to be made and the infrastructures for the transport made and all takes space, resources and energy.
  • To toast the bread you need a toaster or a grill, both of which need electricity.

The butter:

  • There needs to be space for cows.
  • Cows need to be breed, feed and vaccinated.
  • Cows need to be pregnant to produce milk.
  • Cows need to be milked.
  • Milk needs to be processed into butter.
  • The butter needs to be packaged and transported.
  • The butter needs to be refrigerated in a shop.
  • It then gets taken home and put in a fridge which takes up energy.

 

The peanut butter:

  • The ingredients for peanut butter need to be grown and harvested.
  • One of the ingredients for some brands is palm oil which comes from the rainforest.
  • The ingredients are made into peanut butter.
  • This is then packaged and taken to a shop
  • The product is bought and placed in the home

In doing this exercise we began to appreciate the huge tangle of chains of processes that go into even the most insignificant product. This made it easier to appreciate part of the reason why some people are reluctant to deal with sustainability because it is such a rabbit hole.

 

 

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