Introduction to Sustainability – Assignment


Choose a product or material you use in your own life and research its lifecycle, from extraction through disposal. You may choose any commodity you wish, but you are encouraged to research either one that you use on a regular basis or one you have a personal connection with. You may need to do some research in your local community, such as where nearby landfill operations are and how these facilities manage their waste. Think about where materials come from and where they end up.

Examples of commodities include cell phones, clothing, cars, microwaves, food products, and so on.

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In a 2-page paper, answer the following questions. Remember to cite your sources.

What is the origin of the commodity? Where does the raw material come from and how it is extracted? Include pictures or video footage of what the process looks like, if possible.
How do you use this product? Where do you purchase it? How often do you use it? What is your relationship to this commodity?
How is this product generally portrayed in the media?
How do you dispose of this commodity? Where does it go after it leaves your hands? Is there a local facility that it goes to, or a regional one? How is it treated at this facility?
How could this product be used in a more sustainable way or developed into a more sustainable product?

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