Walt White

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (3)

The Urgent Need For Understanding and Implementing Sustainability part of SISL:Activities
Through the following activities obtained from http://www.yousustain.com website you will learn the following: 1) Read the definition of sustainability (under "How To Become More Sustainable) a) A perspective based on CO2 emissions (carbon footprint) b) What are the big contributors to these emissions 2) The top 10 easy ideas to reduce these emissions 3) Play a fun quiz game that will inform, increase, and test your knowledge of various activities that contribute to our emissions, "Are you a sustainability Guru? 4) Promote class participation by asking them the answers to the following questions which are contained in the quiz: a) What is the average fuel economy of the average new vehicle sold in North America? Ans. 20 mpg. b) What power source is being used increasingly by individuals in poor or war-torn, countries that do not have a reliable central electrical grid. Ans. Solar c) Which wood is generally considered most sustainable? Ans. Bamboo d) How long would it take a Styrofoam cup to biodegrade? Ans. Never e) How much world grain is used to feed livestock? Ans. 40% f) What is the best way to dispose of organic waste from your home? Ans. Composting which can reduce landfill waste by 33 to 50% g) Compact fluorescent light bulbs typically use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. The one downside is they contain a small amount of which harmful chemical? Ans. Mercury, which should be recycled properly? h) What is the fastest growing form of renewable energy. Ans. Wind, which presently only accounts for 0.05% of global energy I) Which type of animal farming requires the highest input of energy input for the amount of protein produced? Ans. Beef, 54/1 J) How many liters of water are required to produce one liter of bottled water? Ans. three liters 5) Join and collaborate with other members through the sustainability challenge in reducing our environmental impact

Making Sustainable Business Decisions In Four Different Industries and Their Effect on People (Social), Planet (Environment), and Profit (Economics) part of SISL:Activities
From the following two videos students will gain a clearer understanding of climate change/CO2 and the difficult decision making process that responsible companies and corporations must go through to balance the needs of the triple bottom line (planet, people, and profit). Additionally they show the need for governments' worldwide to act for the long term in legislating balanced and equitable laws for our continued sustainability in our ever increasingly complex world. Viewed as a dynamic Venn diagram in an ideal world, profit (economics) would occur in the area at the intersection of two overlapping circles representing people (social) and planet (environment). This area however large or small for a particular business is where responsible/sustainable business activity and decision making should occur. However as we all know we do not live in an ideal world and we make decisions/choices based on limited data. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAA7FEqYTjA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvFRB7HuLgo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d95qkMxSfm0 second informative video on the "Triple Bottom Line" Further, to better understand the decisions that businesses, that are trying to do the right thing, have to choose from, a fun and interesting game called CEO2 is included. CEO2 contains four industries from which to select. They are; insurance, automotive, chemical, and utilities. Once an industry is selected the CEO (you) is required to make strategic choices that will affect the next ten years starting in 2010. In 2020 you will receive feedback on your choices related to your goals and make another set of choices that will impact company operations through 2030. Your goal is to maximize profit, reduce CO2 emissions, support global decarbonization by 2030 to help in the fight against climate change, and minimize risk. Before you begin you can learn more about your selected industry or view a demo. From a stack of options you select the best ones to achieve the above goals. Additional information on each option as well as advice from various advisors is also available. Each option costs you a percentage of your budget and therefore you have to think and plan wisely to fully use your available budget, while minimizing expected CO2, risk, and improving profitability. After you have selected all your options for the 2010 2020 time frame you will see the outcome which is affected positively or negatively by world events. You then repeat the same process for the 2020 2030 time frame selecting from an entirely different set of options. Once completed you will see how effective your choices were in achieving your overall corporate goals. The game gives you considerable insight and knowledge into real life options and the decisions CEOs have to make for these particular industries. http://knowledge.allianz.com/ceo2/en_ext.html

Understanding Why Our Present Consumption Way of Life is Unsustainable part of SISL:Activities
First, the three definitions of sustainability are presented so the student becomes familiar with what sustainability is. They are: "Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." Ref. The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) "Sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of the Earth's supporting eco-system." Ref. The Union of Concerned Scientist "Sustainability is about stabilizing the currently disruptive relationship between Earth's two most complex systems, human culture and the living world." Ref. Paul Hawkin, Renowned Environmentalist and Activist Second, they view the video, "The Story of Stuff" http://storyofstuff.com under the movie tab, which shows how unsustainable we have become, what the root cause is, why it is urgently necessary for us to change our present high consumption/wasteful way of life, and some of the positive actions currently going on that will help make the Earth increasingly sustainable for us and future generations. "The Story of Stuff Project" has other informative videos that can be viewed at another time that will further the students understanding of both the problems and solutions. Third, within the "Assessment" heading there are nine short questions that each student should answer to further their understanding of the problems we face. A thorough understanding of the problems is essential before we can begin to develop/implement viable solutions.