After learning about many of the environmental challenges the world is facing in ENT-352, many students start to ask themselves â€“ â€œhow can I help now?â€ If youâ€™ve had those thoughts or are at least willing to entertain the question, this assignment is for you!
The goal of this assignment is to push you beyond your green comfort zone and to reflect on the experience of trying some new green products or services. Do NOT repeat something youâ€™ve already done or your reflection will lack passion and interesting details (the grade is based on the reflection of the experience more than what you do â€“ i.e. donâ€™t just â€œcheck a boxâ€).
Review the paid and/or free options lists below and choose to complete THREE. You will need to document each activity with photographic evidence and write a thoughtful and passionate reflection on each experience. In addition to answering the activity specific questions located in the sub bullet below each activity, students must take pictures of themselves doing the activity (as long as it is safe and not rude to do so) and answer the following questions for each activity they complete:
- How did you feel before, during, and after completing each activity? For example, did you feel more â€œgreenâ€ afterwards?
- Why did you choose that specific activity?
- How did completing that activity help the environment and tie into what weâ€™ve learned in ENT-352 so far this semester?
- How easy or difficult would it be to convince more people to do each activity you chose?
- How likely are you to continue each new green activity you tried?
Options that will cost a little money
- Rent and ride around on a blue bike (or any other bike-share) for at least 20 minutes.
- Why havenâ€™t you used a bike share program before? Describe how hard or easy it was to use. Do you think a lot of people use this service? How could it be improved? Where did you ride to?
- Buy 2 different brands of vegetarian â€œhamburgersâ€ in the store and make them for you and a friend/roommate/classmate and conduct a taste test.
- How easy was it to find these â€œburgersâ€ in the store? Were they expensive compared to beef and turkey burgers at the store? How did you make your burger? Which burger tasted better? Describe the flavors of each brand.
- Eat an Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat Burger at a restaurant (ex. Burger King, Walburgers) or at Suffolk.
- How easy was it to find these â€œburgersâ€ in a restaurant? Were they expensive compared to beef and turkey burgers at the restaurant? How did the burger taste? Describe the flavors you tasted. Ask the server/cashier how poplar these burgers are â€“ did their answer surprise you?
- Replace one of your cleaning products with a do-it-yourself DIY cleaning supply and use it.
- Which product(s) did you replace? What did you replace it with? Did your homemade product work just as well as the one bought in the store? How does yours smell compared to bought one?
- https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tip… or https://greatist.com/health/27-chemical-free-produ…
- Find one hygiene sustainable product — without microbeads or harsh chemicals, etc. and try it for a few days. Examples could include toothpaste, shampoo bars, etc.
- Which product(s) did you replace? What did you replace it with (describe and provide the weblink)? Did your green product work just as well as the one you usually use? How does yours smell/feel etc. compared to your usual brand?
- Visit the Walden Pond/Thoreau Memorial Visitor Center (small parking fee) which was designed by our guest speaker, Haskell Werlin.
- What do you notice about the design of the building and area? How many EV chargers are there â€“ how many are being used during your visit? Take a picture of the cars charging and of the solar panels on the buildings. Take pictures of the visitor center. Do you find the building appealing? Take a walk around the area â€“ how does it feel? Would you go back or recommend the Pond to others.
- What would you need to own in order to shop there for most of your purchases? You donâ€™t need to buy anything for the assignment but did you? If so, what? Would you go back in the future? Why or why not?
- https://bostonzerowaste.com/ or https://www.cleenland.com/about
- Go to a vintage or second-hand clothing store that youâ€™ve never been to â€“ take pictures with 3 items you would seriously consider buying (you donâ€™t need to buy anything).
- What did you think of the store? You donâ€™t need to buy anything for the assignment but did you? If so, what? Would you go back in the future? Why or why not?
- Take a test drive in an electric vehicle (there are dozens available in the Boston area).
- Name 4-5 EV cars you considered test driving. What about each of the cars appealed to you before you drove it/them? Why did you select the car you chose (you can test more than one if youâ€™d like!)? What did you like about the car you drove? Describe the acceleration? How many electric miles does it get per a charge? Could you see yourself driving an EV in the future?
- Borrow, acquire or purchase a metal straw, reusable water bottle, or hot beverage tumbler and the use it every day for at least 7 days.
- Which beverage-related items did you cut out? How easy was it? How long have you been doing it for (needs to be a minimum of a week to count for the assignment)? What actions did you have to take to reduce your use of single-use beverage containers?
- Organize a collection for old clothes or technology among your friends/family and then bring them to an organization to donate the items.
- What did you collect? How many items to you collect? Where did you take the items? Were people surprised by your actions? Did you bring them to a charity? If so, which one?
- Cleanup the litter on your block, street, park, or other green space.
- Take a picture of the area before and after as well as a picture of the garbage/litter you collected. What types of items did you collect the most of? How do you think the litter got to be where you picked it up? How will your efforts help the environment?
- Start cutting out single use plastics (water bottles, to-go cups for cold beverages, cutlery, etc.).
- Which plastics did you cut out? How easy was it? How long have you been doing it for (needs to be a minimum of a week to count for the assignment)? What actions did you have to take to cut out these plastics (brew coffee at home, buy wooden forks, etc.).
- Repurpose an item you no longer want/need (or one a friend/family member was going to throw out).
- Describe the item and take a picture. What options (yes, come up with more than one option) did you come up with to repurpose the item. The repurposing has to be useful â€“ it canâ€™t just be decorative. Describe how long the process took to repurpose and what other materials you needed to buy or use that you already had on hand to make it into something useful. How much did it cost to repurpose? How much would it have cost to buy new? Are you happy with the way it turned out?
- Visit a zero waste (or low waste) grocery store â€“ take note of how many items you could buy that day.