Throughout these blogs, I have not only learned so much, from the chemical dying processes of indigo, to polymers, lastly to bioplastics, but my eyes have now opened to the world just a bit more. I have a new deep appreciation for both the sciences and the art field and want to continue my learnings as an artist as well as a scientist. Also, I have made it my goal to raise awareness about the impacts of plastics on our environment and our own health.
In our last class meeting, we spent the time brainstorming for our final project. This project was to write a textbook for the CNSI summer program in respect to the plastic epidemic that plagues our planet and how these issues relate to our class. I will be discussing how plastic pollution effects the ocean, how countries export trash to other countries who dump into the ocean, and ways that we can use science and art to fix these issues. The outline of my final will first introduce the process by which plastic goes from your consumption and follow it to the ocean.
There were some extremely interesting projects that we discussed on our last day of midterm presentations. Some of my favorite included discussing how the US military is environmentally conscious and the army of trash. Historically, militaries are the least environmentally conscious, primarily because when your life is on the line, the absolute last thing on your mind is the environment.
Global climate change is the observed rise of the Earth’s average temperature and the related consequences resulting from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
As we talked about the plastic pollution and our book project, I reflected on the use of plastic in the makeup/skincare industry. Also, this was of interest to me because I have heard a bit of information on the contribution of skincare products to pollution in general, so this was the perfect assignment to really explore the topic.
During our last day of class, we brainstormed for our final class project. We are going to collectively write and publish a textbook for the students of the CNSI summer program regarding the plastic epidemic, or as we know it, the plastidemic. According to the UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis’ study, every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic are thought to accumulate in the ocean.
During the last class meeting, we brainstormed ideas about the contents of our plastic book and came up with a list of topics to write out. Out of the various topics, one that I am very interested in writing about and further exploring is the topic of plastic packaging. In class and over email, Professor Vesna mentioned that the book will be used as a textbook and that we are invited to give talks to students.
As this is our final blog entry for this course, I would like to share how much I have enjoyed this course. One of my favourite parts of the course, was the supportive and welcoming learning environment that we were able to create. It is a great change of pace from other courses that I have taken where large class sizes and grading policies (grade curving) created a competitive and stressful atmosphere that was often counterproductive to learning. Lastly, I would like everyone for making this course so great!
For my final paper, I want to focus on plastics on children’s toys in stores and in fast food “happy meals”. McDonald’s Happy Meals were first introduced in 1979 and have changed drastically over the years. From greasy cheeseburgers and fries to more healthy alternatives such as chicken wraps and apple slices, happy meals have undergone a lot of change. However, the one thing that has remained consistent are the small plastic toys each one comes with.