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Describe what materials are recyclable in your area and how you would recycle if you chose to (i.e. curbside recycling, taking to a recycling center).  Pick one material that you could recycle in your area and describe what product(s) can be created from this recycled material.  Do you think it is worthwhile to recycle this material in your area?  Why or why not?


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Student replies 3 sentences each


1. Damon Lancaster

  1. Were you surprised at the current size of the human population or at its changes since your year of birth?

Honestly I was kinda shocked at how the population has changed since I was born. I was born in 1999 and according to Ined.com there were 308,978,000 people on earth the year I was born. Just  twenty years later and the population has multiplied by 1.19. There are 366,601,000 people living in Northern America today. This means that in that twenty year time span there were approximately 57 million people born.

  1. How many people do you believe the Earth can support without dire environmental damage? 

I believe that earth can support everyone's basic needs but the problem is when people start to get avaricious and start thinking of only themselves and taking more than they need not the next person.

  1. Should developed countries help slow the population growth of developing countries? If so, what sorts of methods should be employed to do this?

I don't think developed countries should slow the population growth of developing countries because we all have different beliefs and morals. For example, if we were to adopt China's One Child Policy many Americans would not be very pleased with this because they would have to lose their child. According to an article written by Kristen Bialik on Pew Research the average household has “anywhere from 2 to 3 children in it”. After doing more research on Statista.com I found out that there are about “7.13 million families with more than one child”. This policy would affect this nation tremendously.


2. Most of the electricity which is used in my area comes from a dam on the Chattahoochee river.  There are two dams on the river which are the Oliver Dam and the North Highland dam.  The majority of the power that is used in my area comes from the North Highland power plant.  Where I live, Georgia and Alabama are very close.  The river is a natural boundary between the two states. The two dams are owned by Georgia but it is shared in respect to the power distribution.  Alabama Power has transmission lines which come from the North Highland dam.  Although the river provides power to the power plant, there are effects from the dam on the local ecosystem. The two dams block the natural flow of the river thereby trapping sediment, logs, and nutrients which the organisms in the river need.  The river beds are disturbed by the build up of sediment and other things which harms the spawning of the fish and hinders the other freshwater creatures.  Not to mention when the flood gates open, the force from the rushing water pushes away any creatures that are close to the churning water. The damming of the water actually decreases the water's quality.  The water which comes from the river is turned into potable for the local communities as well.

  It is even believed that dams cause water born illnesses, global warming, and even earthquakes.  The artificial reservoir changes the ecosystem upstream.  The lack of oxygen in the dammed water does allow for the natural plants and animals to survive.  The organisms upstream and down stream both have to adapt or die.  All in all, a dam may help provide power, but the organisms in the river and the people using the power are feeling the direct effects of the dammed waters.  Really the only solution would be to not use the dams for power.  Maybe one day the benefits of having a healthy river would outweigh the need to draw power from the river.  Personally I like having clean lakes and rivers.  Removing the dams would allow the river to become cleaner and thereby making the environment healthier.

Hinton, Kevin. "5 Environmental Effects of Dams." Environment 911, www.environment911.org/.  Accessed on 11 Nov. 2019.


3. I live in Valdosta, Georgia which is Lowndes County. After using the energy map I found out that there are 2 petroleum power plants, 2 solar power plants, and 2 biomass power plants in the Lowndes County area. I like that there are 2 solar power plants because while they are expensive to build, they do produce clean energy. However, between the biomass power plants and petroleum power plants my main concern is air quality and the affects that it is causing to the o-zone. I think a way to reduce some of the impact would be to look more into solar power plants, we do have two that are in effect right now so we know that they obviously work but maybe we can rely a bit more on them. I think it might be hard to completely rely on the solar power plants because they are weather dependent and expensive but it would be a start to cutting down the negative emissions. During months when we have a large sunlight exposure we can use the solar energy and months when we are not able to use solar energy we can turn towards the biomass source since it is less of a pollutant than fossil fuels like petroleum. I think that over all the cost of the changes would be worth it. It may be a bit expensive upfront to make these changes but in the long run it could have a positive effect and return of the money that was put into it. 

“U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis.” United States - Maps - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), https://www.eia.gov/state/maps.php. 


4. I recycle everything that can be recycled here in Columbus, Georgia.  Such as papers or cardboards, plastic (even bags).  Mostly I use the curbside pick up that comes around with the regular waste removal or if it is too big a local park has a large recycle drop off.   When I moved here I discovered they did not recycle glass which I found really bizarre and bothersome because I think glass has a lot of uses.  Just a few would be for countertops, being recreated as another type of container or if it is ground and used as an additive to other products.  I also discovered that some types of plant containers (non decorative) sold at our local home improvement stores are not recyclable.  Which with such a broad distribution seems wasteful.  I think its useful to recycle overall if it reduces the impact on the environment.  However, if recycling becomes better for our soul than the actual environment then the entire premise would be moot.


5. Dalton, Georgia is known as the carpet capital of the world and with that being said the carpet material that is leftover should be recycled. It can be left at the carpet plants and the workers can break it down and reuse it. Almost all types of carpet are recyclable. Depending on the makeup of the carpet, it can be broken down into fibers, or plastic pellets. The leftover carpet and materials can be recycled into new carpet or new construction projects. It is worth recycling in my area considering there are so many carpet plants, roughly 150 of them.

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