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Julia Huggins

Rethinking Recycling - 0 views

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    And lastly (for now), just to stir things up a bit, check out this piece on Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a monthly journal of peer-reviewed research and news published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
    This piece certainly raises interesting questions and offers unexpected claims. For example, in the Environmental Gains section it says, "Instead of recycling office paper, Gaines says, it should be used to generate energy in coal-fired power plants. 'Then you burn less coal and displace some of the coal emissions. Paper is a really good, clean fuel,' she says."
    I'd caution against jumping too quickly on the "rethinking" bandwagon, though, especially considering the fact that this claim is followed by, "But Dennison argues that Gaines' analysis glosses over an important factor. 'The wood has to be harvested from a forest and the forest has to be managed to produce the wood. And that set of management practices has important environmental consequences with regard to biodiversity, habitat, and so forth, that have to be counted...' " ... DUH. If this is where the debate is, I'm not convinced that these ideas have been fully flushed out yet.
    It's certainly important to challenge our dogmatic practices, but we also must make sure we've got our arguments all straightened out before we run with them. This is a place to start, at least.
    (There are, also, a number of other interesting points in this article, not all of which are so obviously undeveloped. I do recommend this piece if I've succeeded in interesting you with questions about "waste")
Julia Huggins

Waste Management 2010 Sustainability Report - 0 views

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    This is a report from Waste Management. WM is a company, not a governmental organization; this makes for an interesting report that addresses their "sustainability" from both the perspective of how their services contribute to global sustainability AND how they themselves are sustainable in their practices as a company. A great example, especially for an institution like Lewis and Clark -- as we also aim to contribute to global sustainability (e.g. ENVS department) but must also function sustainably as an institution (e.g. Facilities department). This report provides a model of how these two ideals can be integrated in one collective outlook.
    Additionally, following the trend of my previous posts, this report is yet another source of data about our waste stream. There is a strong focus on the future of our waste stream and the role WM hopes to play in it. There is a lot of emphasis placed on recycling, regenerative practices, and the use of waste as a resource.
Julia Huggins

Chapter 2 Waste Stream Components Analysis - 0 views

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    A report from a waste stream analysis conducted in Arizona (cough cough situated research). Includes insights such as, "Feedback from small com- munity stakeholders suggests that mandating recycling in Arizona at this time could be counterproductive. It would require cities and towns with scant financial resources to initiate recycling programs having capital costs and transportation costs that, alone, make recycling economically burdensome."
Julia Huggins

US EPA Industrial Materials Recycling - 0 views

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    For those who aren't convinced that action at the individual level is the best focus of our energy and/or activism:
    "Management and recycling of industrial products and materials are key priority areas. While typically not seen by the general public or part of most of our daily lives, these wastes are often generated in large volumes. Learn about EPA initiatives, such as the Coal Combustion Partnership Program, and the recycling and beneficial use of industrial byproducts generated during manufacturing processes.
Julia Huggins

UNEP Vital Waste Graphics 2 - 0 views

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    This is the sequel to my last post. Though still introductory in language and targeted audience (this is designed for the general public, not college students) this report does at least lead into some deeper, more fascinating, and perhaps more controversial issues. Of particular interest are: "Recycling - the right choice?," "The relativity of "basic needs," and "The making of international legislation."
Julia Huggins

UNEP Vital Waste Graphics - 1 views

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    And, just to further ensure my rightful position, erm I mean further encourage academic discussion... I have a series of articles and websites with useful information about waste to share with you all.
    The first of several, this UNEP report is a fantastic overview of and introduction to the idea of "waste." You all may or may not have already covered many of these ideas in 160, but if not, do take a look. Though much of it is basic, I did find myself learning a surprising number of things (e.g. I never considered just how many definitions of waste there are and how that can affect effective measurement of the human waste stream).
    It's worth taking the time to flip through the pages of this report as it touches on some of the questions I posed in my previous posting. For example, in the "Municipal Waste" section they report claims that, "Although our garbage bins represent only a small part of the total waste generated, it is an important part: the one in which everyone can take action. The part where we can take responsibility by deciding to reduce waste - by recycling and avoiding the purchase of over-packaged goods." Do you agree?
Julia Huggins

Juniper dorm goes trash-free - 0 views

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    Just noticed that I have been demoted from most active member position (not that I was paying very close attention to the group, ironically). And so, to feed two birds with one seed (as we environmentalists prefer to the phrase "to kill two birds with one stone"... unless of course, if the birds are proportionally overpopulated...) I figured I would both re-claim my hierarchical position and take part in shameless self-advocacy by sharing a link with you all about a project that my community in Juniper Dorm is currently undertaking... which many of you already know about because you live here. Nonetheless, in addition to the previously outlined motives, I figured that posting this link here could start up some needed academic discussions around this project; on both the specific questions we outline on the webpage, and the more general merits of this endeavor.
    What are the academic merits of endeavors like this? What are the potential academic drawbacks: could projects like this potentially encourage focuses that are too short-sighted? Is there value in examining the consumer sector's waste stream even if it is true that other sectors (e.g. industrial) have bigger contributions at the national and global level? I not only welcome, but explicitly solicit your thoughts and further questions on this matter.
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    This discussion is, I hope, an opportunity to start connecting the academics with other aspects of sustainability at LC (e.g. clubs like SEED and campus life groups like PEAS). I'll admit that, while I tried to be mindful of the academic/learning potential of this endeavor when I initiated in my dorm, I certainly haven't thought of everything we could learn from this, nor have I entirely digested whether or not this project is a worthwhile endeavor. My plea for your thoughts here is more than a formality -- this is personally important to me, and it also reflects bigger goals that have been developing this year regarding the future of sustainability at LC in the Sustainability Task Force and in other groups as well.
Julia Huggins

The True Cost of Coal - Beehive Collective - 0 views

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    For those who attended the recent presentation at LC by the beehive collective, or for those who weren't able to make it, here's some followup information on their coal mural. Check out the "Narrative Book" link at the bottom of the page for an in-depth description of the stories in the picture.

    Here's more about the group in general: http://www.beehivecollective.org/english/aboutus.htm
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