Overview of the Project:
We just went through Project Consume. During this project, we learned all about the different types of plastic and the effect that they have on the three pillars of sustainability (environment, economy, society). We did a lot of research on our product we chose made out of single-use plastic, from the impact of extraction of the petroleum to what happens after during disposal, where we also added in scientific facts. In the end, we used our research to write a narrative in the perspective of our product and made a video that showed the relationship between consumption and sustainability and how we can make a sustainable change/choice.
Some important ideas people took away was that single-use plastic is really bad, and we shouldn’t use it since it affects the environment and our community. Some people were surprised about how workers are forced to work for 16 hours a day in the toxic factory. I was able to change some people’s minds about buying stuff, to refuse to buy single-use plastic and to reduce consumption. They learned about the hidden cost behind a product they consume, as the damage being caused to our planet are significant, from the environment to the society. I would probably make another shorter video since it can get boring sometimes to watch a five-minute long video, but overall, I think I did a good job of making the steps clear and easy to understand.
Reflection to the Driving Question:
What is the relationship between consumption and sustainability? How can we make a sustainable change?
One thing I found really surprising was that recycling single-use plastic actually does not make such a big difference in the impact of overall on the environment, the economy, and the society, which made me think how plastic can be disposed and consumed with no harm, but the truth is, there isn’t. For example, during my research for LDPE plastic, I learned that the plastic that gets recycled or thrown away both mostly end up either in the Ocean or in a landfill. Adding on, plastic will eventually break down into tiny pieces of micro plastic, but that stays on Earth forever.
Before this project I used to think that consuming plastic which was my everyday life didn’t have too much harm to our planet, now knowing the dark truth behind every single product, I know that even consuming a single bottle of water can affect the entire world’s sustainability. For example, when we went to the plastic factory to see the production of plastic, I realized that the workers there were highly exposed to toxic chemicals every day, not to mention that most workers are forced to do hard work for over 16 hours a day. Furthermore, the plastic affects the environment from contaminating the soil and water to poisoning and killing animals. This is the hidden cost behind a single product.
Looking back on this Project Consume, I realize that the relationship between consumption and sustainability is like domino cards. If we keep on consuming at a rate we can’t handle, we will not be able to have a sustainable community. Most of the goods and services we buy are a want that is not crucial for survival, but it creates more garbage than we can imagine. Most of this garbage is non-biodegradable like plastic, where it leads to the danger of the society, extreme harm to the environment, and even the loss of balance in the economy. So, we need to refuse to buy single-use plastic and reduce consumption to be sustainable for future generations to come. However, a big question I still have is if we did not have single-use plastic on this planet, what would be the best alternative that can replace the use of plastic that is also sustainable.