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INT-110 Guide to Going Green Spring 2013


Sustainable Agriculture Buzzed On Coffee

education for the entire community so that everyone can learn more and have a better future. Lastly they provide fair wages for the farmers so they get paid for the hard work they do in full and they can have a better life for their families and themselves. Now some of the difficulties of obtaining these certifications are that, as I mentioned before, the guidelines are hard to follow. Inspections come around by surprise and if one farm fails the inspection surrounding farms are at risk of being closed without further inspection based on that one farms evaluation. Secondly for smaller farms it is hard to keep up with the costs of these certifications because they don’t have as much output and don’t bring in as much revenue. Now this isn’t fair because half the time these smaller farms have a better product than the larger farms and just because they can’t afford to keep up with the costs they have to lose their certification and their credibility. Lastly certification companies don’t like to consider new entries because they don’t want to take risks in certifying these new farms and them down the road giving them a bad name. So the big question most may have is how to lower the cost and/or make it easier to obtain these certifications for all farms.

Coffee. It’s one of the most important things in our society today. People have multiple cups every day and don’t even stop to think where it comes from and if it’s beneficial to the world as a whole. Now different coffee companies have stepped up to the challenge to certify their beans and make their company more sustainable. . When a company chooses this noble path, their farms have to go through a sometimes rigorous evaluation. Even though it may be difficult at some points it benefits the greater good by far. One they help feed the farmers families who aren’t able to provide very well. Then they provide

The reason why the costs and guidelines are the way they are is because there are government standards that need to be met. The struggle is to find a way to ease up on guidelines and costs so that everyone can join. One way is to petition these companies and show them how much they do love their certified beans and that they would love to see more of it at a lower price and to see more or all of their farms be certified so they can enjoy coffee that’s better for everyone. So how can you make a change? Do some research on the coffee you drink, see if it has any sustainable certifications and go to the company and ask them if it’s a possibility to gain more certified farms and lower costs? We can make a change one step at a time through just simply asking a few questions.


Sustainable Food What Are You Really Eating? Most people believe local, organic food to be priced much higher than the average food from grocery stores. Would you add yourself to that large percent? But what they don’t see are the hidden costs to buying commercialized food products. These hidden costs include taxation to fund industrial sized farms, the physical harms caused by pesticides and unnatural fillers, and the reduction of arable farmland in our country; All of which us citizens pay for in the end. So, what can be done to end our consumption of commercial foods? What steps do we take to implement local, sustainable food? The solution is simple: purchase from local farmers and expand our school’s garden. Kendall has already taken large steps toward the implementation of “green” food. But, the garden only supplies so much of the institution. Also, there are programs to start a “farm to school” plan. A plan to source all food from local farmers may seem extensively expensive but would ultimately better the college and its student body. Our garden at Kendall is a great first step to a much bigger idea; the idea to source 75% of our vegetables and herbs from our own garden. It does not supply all three of our dining rooms. Most of the garden’s vegetables and herbs are sent to the Dining room and not the QSR or cafeteria. A garden is actually a great financial investment with high return rates. According to Investopedia, the average home garden costs only seventy dollars. Sure, ours would be larger than the average home garden. But, Investopedia went on to say that the average home garden returned $530 to the initial seventy dollar investment. Since the garden here is sought over by experts, there is no reason why we could not have the same returns. That means if we were to expand our gardens according to plan, we would profit by seven and a half times more than our initial investment. The second step to sustainable food consumption at Kendall College is to purchase the rest of our needed produce from local farmers. Recently there has been a push in the “farm to school” movement.

In fact, there are nearly 13,000 schools nationwide that have already started this program. Since there is so much money being pumped into our school and the student body is so small, there is no reason why we can’t implement “farm to school” sourcing. Even if this program isn’t feasibly possible on our own, there are plenty of funding opportunities. Hundreds of national and statewide grants are given to schools that strive to sustainably source, ranging from only hundreds up to tens of thousands of dollars. The solution to implementing sustainable food is elementarily simple. First, we see our gardens expansion as a highly profitable investment. This would bring a return of seven and a half times our initial investment. Secondly, we make a push to start a “farm to school” program. There are vast amounts of grants that are willing to provide us with money. If both steps can be taken head on, Kendall College would be able to produce a fully sustainable food operation.


Frank Hutman

Intro to integrative studies with Cheryl Boncuore

Great Pacific Garbage patch What I learned about a widely unknown global crisis.

Issue: June 2013 Understanding the effects plastics have on our environment is obvious. One only has to look at the oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a permanent collection of our single use plastic products we so frequently discard without thought to the consequences. After discovering the swirling soup of pea size pellets, Captain Charles Moore started the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in order to help understand the problem, and bring awareness to this crisis (Kostigen, 2008.) Unfortunately, due to the planets ever growing population and our dependency on single use plastics, the demand for more of this unsustainable material has continued to increase. Not only has the problem with the patch become worse, the impact it has on humans is still heavily debated and largely unknown. Becoming aware is a small step in our collective recovery. The real

change must come in the form of action. The true recovery will come when consumers decide to choose a sustainable, multiuse alternative to their one and done containers, bags, and bottles that end up churning in the plastic soup that is the garbage patch. According to oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, 10,000 years from now, a layer of plastics buried in the ground may provide scientists evidence of “the plastic people” (Johnson, 2013.) If we are to change this future, a “call to arms” so to speak, must be made immediately. Some of the changes that can be made are actually quite easy to implement. Choosing to use bar soap instead of liquid soap would help eliminate the plastic container.

Using metal utensils when eating, instead of plastic utensils is another simple alternative. Choosing to purchase powdered laundry soap that is stored in a cardboard container would help eliminate the container that cannot be recycled. Reusable water bottles made from metal, travel coffee mugs, ceramic plates, reusable shaving razors are all practical and easy to implement alternatives to their plastic relatives that are designed to be purchased, used once, thrown away, bought again, and round and round it goes. Choosing even one of these multiuse options helps reduce the massive amounts of plastic waste per year. By reducing or eliminating permanent garbage like cups, bags, toys, and containers made from plastics, we take positive steps forward to lessoning our negative impact on the planet.

It is not easy to solve an issue in which the problem is interwoven into the fabric of normal, everyday life. It takes discipline to enact lasting changes, however, continuing on a path that includes tossing away valuable resources is not a legacy we should want to be a part of. I contend that the more we covet sustainable products and rely less on things we throw away after using them for such a short period of time, sets us on a course to repossession of values we can truly be proud of. Instead of being labeled “plastic people”, perhaps we can become “the sustainable citizens of a global society” or “the critical thinking people who realized the error in their ways and decided to do something about it.” The former is quite a bit longer, however, I’d rather be in that group. pg. 3


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Electronic Waste and the importance of Recycling By Patrick Praxmarer Recycling today is a very gray area in modern society. The United States market economy has flourished off of making products outdated or oldfashioned. Specifically with electronics like televisions, computers, cellular phones, printers and the list continues. Consequently, making electronic wastes the fastest part of the solid waste stream. Unlike most un-recycled products electronic wastes withhold many dangerous toxic substances. This contaminates all other substances that the electronics come into contact with. When people are finished with these products recycling the parts isn’t what comes to mind. Getting the clutter out of the way and disposing the items in the trash is generally what is on the agenda. According to the Environmental Law and Policy Center only twelve percent of electronic waste is recycled. But in fact, with every piece

of electronic equipment most parts are recyclable and reusable. The EPA states that

I believe the reform for improvement is a great step toward green living and recycling. But it may not be good enough to solve the ongoing massive problem of electronic wastes. I believe the media needs to help with the problem. Making it almost popular to be green and environmentally friendly. However opposed to buying the new “ Apple IPod” every year. Making individuals responsible and aware of their wastes that they dispose of. I believe there should also be benefits for being financially friendly. For example, tax cuts for properly disposing of their electronics. Making citizens appreciate going green in many other ways. But sincerely when it comes down to brass tax “Going green” is very expensive and in some cases very time consuming. So it will take great change from the

community as a whole. Every small effort counts. Recycling electronics is a growing problem. It is a grassroots movement to improve our planet. Will you be a part of it?

between the years of 2000 and 2005 alone, as many as 250 million computer systems were simply junked. They also state 100 million cellular telephones were also just tossed into the junkyards with no questions asked.

Electronic waste is clearly a growing problem. But what exactly is the government doing to stop the on-going battle? Well, New York, Illinois, California, Colorado and Michigan are ahead of the gate. Making laws to mandate electronic waste recycling. The new laws mandate that manufactures pay for the collection, handling and recycling of electronic products to keep materials that may contain toxic metals like lead and mercury from going into the trash and later into incinerators and landfills. These laws are making it easier and cost efficient for the consumer to recycle. Putting pressure on distributors to be responsible for proper recycling habits. But unfortunately the law doesn’t completely go into effect until January 2015. But then it will literally be illegal to improperly dispose of electronic wastes.

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Why Oil Recycling is

an Important Step in helping our Global Environment

By Aaron Patten

A major problem in today’s world is the improper disposal of waste. In Particular I will be talking about how important it is to dispose of oil and grease properly. Disposing of fats and oils improperly has detrimental effects on the environment. The manufacturing of oils is very intense process and potentially has a huge impact on the environment. The manufacturing takes up land space, uses chemicals, fertilizers, there is transportation and processing stuff that happens that all affects the environment. There are many different types of oils and not all have the same effects on the environment. It

is important for

consumers to choose their oil just like they choose any consumable product to have the lowest impact on the environment. The proper way to dispose of oil is to not throw it down the drain. When oil reaches waterways it forms a film on the surface of the water. The film prevents air from entering the water and marine life dies. When in the sewer system rancid oil becomes a sanitation problem and can contaminate waterways and pipes. The proper way for people to dispose of their fats is to put them in a grease trap and have a reliable grease recycler pick it up. After the oil is picked up it is used in feed for animals or turned into bio fuel. Instead of having all the energy going to waste and destroying the environment the oil is going to something useful after its life in food is over. Just like recycling anything it is very easy, however it is very

important and only

requires seconds of extra work, but the work in the end pays off because it helps out the environment and does not clog your pipes and make them unusable.

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Team 2

INT 110 Spring 2013

Environmentally Preferable Incandescent Bulbs vs. Alternative Bulbs Who knew that switching a single light bulb per household could power 3 million homes for an entire year? Well, according to National Geographic (2013), it is just that simple. Energy.gov reports that CFL lights use about 75% less energy than the average incandescent light bulb and can last up to ten times longer. With a light bulb’s lifespan as long as that, it practically pays for itself over time. If a consumer is thinking long-term, the LED lighting is the right way to go. LED lights use only 20 to 25% of energy and last 25 times longer than that of the incandescent light bulb. Of course, the LED light bulbs will cost more upfront, but will pay for themselves in the long run. Replacing 15 incandescent light bulbs saves a household an average of $50 per year. Why is saving energy so important to our environment? It isn’t only about saving money for consumers or businesses; it’s about saving our world. Coal is reported by the Union of Concerned Scientists to generate 44% of our electricity and at the same time is the biggest air pollution in the US.

Consuming more energy only leads to more pollution. We are in a dilemma: with energy consumption up and the dire need to make a change, most consumers are faced with the conception that they can’t do anything about it with high upfront costs of switching to energy efficient appliances. Being mindful, making small changes, and thinking long term will all start us in the right direction to stop the energy problems? The best part about being mindful is that the change is free. Turning off lights when not in the room, remembering to power down computer monitors and televisions, and using power bars can make a big difference. Turning off lights (or not using them at all in the daytime) will not only save energy, but preserve the already lengthy lifespan of the energy efficient light bulbs. Plugging office appliances to a power bar and simply powering down the power bar would be an easy way to ensure that a consumer doesn’t forget to power something down at night.


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Giant Factory vs. Small Farming By Phillip Camper

Giant factory farming of poultry is destroying our environment; the many pesticides, steroids, and other chemicals used to grow chickens bigger, faster are ending up on our land, in our water, and in our air. One solution to begin fixing this problem is raising chickens in our own backyards and the utilization of Farmers Markets for poultry.

When comparing this to buying eggs at a grocery store for $0.98 a dozen, you would make your initial investment of $4.95 for the chick back in two months. Obviously, there are options that would cost more, like feeding the chick food from a farm and home store instead of scavenging.

Many cities and regions have different laws regarding raising chickens in cities. According to Chicago’s municipal code, raising chickens is legal as long as you are not raising them for slaughter. In a city where backyards seem to be non-existent, this could be a difficult task. My proposal would require further utilization of “urban farms” that are already in use in these neighborhoods. Urban farms are neighborhood farms that offer classes and small plots for everyone and could be further utilized to store free-range chickens. This could be done by expanding on the plots that are already in place then adding a covered chicken coop to protect the livestock from predators. This would serve a dual purpose, as the chickens would be free to roam and eat the bugs that may otherwise attack the produce.

However, this would not completely beat out the problem. The second part of my plan is to utilize farmers markets to purchase poultry. This would not be necessary in all cities, but Chicago’s city laws prevent slaughtering of chickens by private individuals within the city. This would lessen the impact on the environment because chickens that are privately raised are generally free range and are not pumped up with steroids. Many of these farmers also slaughter in facilities that don’t utilize harmful chemicals as giant slaughterhouses do. Buying poultry in this way would lower the need for pesticides and could potentially eliminate the use of steroids and other chemicals harmful to our environment.

If you purchase chickens online the average cost of a Barred Plymouth Rock is $4.95. The hen of this breed has the capacity to lay 200 to 280 eggs per year. The American Egg Board estimated household egg consumption to be 248.9 per year as of 2012. This means that by purchasing one to two chickens the average family could more than sufficiently provide eggs for their consumption and help protect the environment.

In conclusion, raising your own backyard chickens is a good way for a family to save money on eggs and to protect the environment. To further that environmental protection one could slaughter these chickens once they have aged to a point where they are no longer laying eggs, or in Chicago purchasing poultry from farmers that have raised their livestock in an environmentally friendly way. Giant factory farming operations are destroying our environment and we can stop it by raising our own backyard chickens and purchasing poultry from Farmers Markets.


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Alternative Energy Production & Expenditure

Solar

By Max Herlache The three most common and widely accepted forms of alternative energy are Wind, Solar, and Biofuels. Despite their (current) limited ability to produce enough energy to sustain our lifestyles, these forms of alternative energy production can be implemented into nearly any standard of living to lighten our dependence on existing energy manufacturing processes. Listed below are the three most common sources for alternative energy and how someone like you can do you part in joining the alternative fuel revolution. Wind

There are various methods of harnessing the power of sun: solar photovoltaic cells, solar thermal transformation, and concentrated photovoltaic. Each method is utilized to maximize the output of the desired location. For examples, photovoltaic cell farms are spread throughout the plains due to their cooler temperatures and large amount of sunlight. On the other hand, Arizona manages to use solar thermal transformation to transform the direct sunlight and surrounding heat into usable energy. For those locations that have limited sunlight or are interested in benefitting from solar energy can install solar photovoltaic cells on their roofs to help cut down on their energy use. Another benefit of these cells is the ability to sell the power generated back to the energy grid. Biofuels

Wind energy is the least complicated form of energy production in both implementing the concept and in cost. The first major issue with wind energy is determining a place to install either a wind farm or a single turbine. Most commercial operations utilize horizontal turbines that require linear wind from a single direction. This puts these types of turbines at a disadvantage for home use due to the sporadic nature of wind in many urban/suburban areas. Vertical turbines on the other hand do not require linear wind patterns and will function in nearly any wind pattern. For those interested, a single vertical turbine for home use can be purchased from various retail locations including the Home Depot and Amazon for less than $500. Such turbines can generate enough energy to power a couple large electronics such as a television, refrigerator, and washing machine.

Gasoline and diesel are "fossil fuels," meaning they're derived from petroleum, fossilized plant and animal matter. These energy-dense products contain flammable hydrocarbons, which provide the power to internal combustion engines when burned. Biofuels contain very similar hydrocarbon chains, except that these are refined from freshly grown plant matter. The most well-known (and endorsed by various vehicle manufactures) is E-85 Ethanol. E-85 Ethanol or E-85 for short is a compostable grain alcohol derived by fermenting the sugars and starches from a wide variety of sources—wheat, corn, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. Ethanol only releases 2/3 the amount of energy as an equal volume of petroleum product, but it does have a higher octane rating (which increases the engine's compression ratio) and produces far fewer greenhouse emissions. With a similar story, bio diesel converts our used cooking oils (sunflower, peanut, etc) and with some added grain alcohol a combustible alternative fuel is born. Depending on your make and model, you cars can run on either straight E-85, a blend of E-85, or biodiesel.

Boiling Point 2013  

How to be an environmental steward - sp13