The overall project we created for this unit was an art piece created by all three of us that entails four different messages that are all very crucial to help save our planet. The art piece we created includes scrap wood we found at our school, recycled paper, paint made of various compost items, and recycled plastic bags. Our four different messages we wanted was the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling and composting. Did you know that each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide and that for every 200 plastic bags an individual uses only one of them gets recycled. We as individuals can reduce the amount of plastic bags we waist by using reusable bags instead. This is just one of the many things we can reduce to help make our Earth a happier place. A huge part of our idea for this project was the idea of making something as simple as paint to symbolize something that could really help improve our environment, this being compost. Compost reduces methane which is a greenhouse gas, it improves soil quality; food grown in composted soil has shown to contain more nutrients and be more beneficial to eat and composted soil reduces the amount of water consumed by plants so, in the long run, it helps save money. By including the scrap wood as our base, we wanted to use that as our way of including the importance of reusing. By reusing simple things like old newspaper for wrapping paper to reduce the amount of cutting down trees or by reusing torn fabrics to make a new blanket, by doing simple tasks like this it not only helps reduce the making of certain items which can reduce other things but it can also help us to become more aware of how we are treating our earth and help us to appreciate it more. The final and probably most important piece is recycling. Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. We recycle to reduce pollution in the world when we recycle, it means that we aren’t creating more waste. Our hopes for this project is that it makes a difference in our community by having members of our community see and understand why we made the art piece and that they will take the information we give them and put their own personal ideas to use to start acting on these four main points and slowly start contributing to help save our planet!
How does the chemical composition and structure of a substance determine its properties with regard to its use, capacity for reuse, and capacity for recycling?
By using things that are made up of items that are biodegradable, it helps make our world cleaner, causes less pollution and by reusing materials slowly cleaning up the world one step at a time. Many don't use items that are not biodegradable and that don't decompose. One of the things that our project project very well was the over use of plastic bags. There are many different reasons why we should decrease the amount of plastic bags we use for many reasons. For instance plastic bags clog up landfills and water drainage systems, they harm wildlife, and they contaminate bodies of water. Worst they are not biodegradable. By using reusable bags made of things like hemp and other items decrease the consumption of normal plastic bags which in the long run if we all used reusable bags, the amount of plastic bags would decrease causing less pollution and less harm to our environment. In one year the US goes through 380 billion plastic bags each year and to compete with plastic according to reusethisbag.com, and according to earthier.gizmodo.com regular cotton bags would need to be reused 7,100 times, 20,000 times for organic cotton, and paper bags would’ve needed to be used 43 times to compete. Overall if things were more commonly made by recycled objects or if things were recycled more our environment would be a lot cleaner.
How do the choices we make as consumers (purchasing, use, reuse, recycling, and discarding of materials) impact our local community and environment, and the global community and environment?
We as individuals have a huge impact on the world. Even though you are just one person, you affect the world in many ways. If you begin recycling, reusing materials and buying from people that promote those things, then you are helping change our environment one step at a time. For instance an the average American family throws away 6 trees worth of paper according to reusethisbag.com. So when we as individuals start to change the way we do things and the way we treat our Earth and if we begin telling others how bad things are for the environment or how simple actions can really help change the environment than we will all slowly start to change for the better.
Reflecting back to how I thought I did at exhibition, how well I met the requirements of this project and how much I took away from this project makes me really begin to think about how much more I wish my group members and I would have done for this project. Although my group had a very creative and cool idea for this project there were many flaws with the overall product. The first problem being time. For me personally I don't think that we had very much time to complete this project. We hardly had enough time to create our overall final product. We focused too much on the aesthetics of the project and not thinking about the chemistry behind it as well as not having time to truly answer the essential questions in short TEA paragraphs to show at exhibition. Another reason why I think this may have happened for me personally is because I decided to take on a bigger role for the humanities exhibition which is something I don't tend to do. I decided to be a part of the logistics team and I ended up feeling like I had too much on my plate. I felt like since I had taken on this role that I should pay more attention to the work I was trying to complete for the humanities exhibition rather then for the chemistry exhibition. I felt an incredible amount of stress all on one day because I had three different exhibitions to go to, a Spanish project due, a math quiz to take all in the same day. I really just wished that the teachers would have talked a lot more because I feel like it had a huge affect on my ability to truly meet success with this project. For me personally I think the art piece we created is really good and the description that came with it was as well but I think that we as group spent too much time on creating and not enough time researching and truly focusing on one element of chemistry. As for my exhibition skills I believe that I answered all of the questions in a professional manner and to the best of my ability and that what we created as group was not only beautiful but also extremely creative.