Environmental Shopping Assignment-Introduction Consumers can make a difference with regard to environmental issues. The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think about how your individual choices in the marketplace can affect the local and global environment. For Part 1 of this exercise, go to a large grocery store such as Winn Dixie or Publix, and obtain the information necessary to answer the questions below. (Note: you don’t have to purchase anything, just record the information.) Part 2 of this exercise involves the assessment of your own personal consumption patterns and the impact on the environment. By performing an honest assessment you may discover new ways to be more efficient and conservative in your use of materials. You may also become more aware of how your own personal choices have a global effect in patterns of consumption and solid waste management. Part 3 requires you to research an online product and evaluate the environmental claims of the manufacturer. Finally, the success of this exercise depends on the accuracy, honesty, and insight of the person performing the assessment. *Do not use the Lab Report template for this assignment. You simply construct the report as you following along with your activities. Part 1: Go to a Grocery Store! 1. Talk to the manager whether they recycle paper and plastic bags. Make sure to determine whether the bags are actually recycled, or simply labeled recyclable. What do you think are the environmental costs of paper versus plastic bags? Which do you think is better or worse? How do these costs change with recycling? How about reuse? 2. Choose five different products which come in different sized containers. Examples include flour and sugar (1 Ib versus 5 Ib bags), vegetable oils, or cereal and powdered detergent (small versus large boxes). Make a short table of the products you chose. For each type calculate the cost per unit volume of that packaged in small versus large containers. This is done by dividing the price by the volume. Which is cheaper? Which uses more packaging per unit volume? Which is the better buy? Make sure you make comparisons for the same brand name, packaged differently (e.g. small versus large box). 3. Choose ten different products that come in plastic containers. Examples include ketchup, milk, peanut butter, etc. Check the bottom or sides of each for the PETE, PET, or HPDE number, which is an indication of what type of polyethylene was used to make the container. Numbers should range from 1 to 7. Make a table of the name of the products and the numbers you found. Which containers can or cannot be recycled in your area? You may need to make a phone call to your waste collection firm to find this answer. 4. Choose any five different cleaning products and read their labels for ingredients and warning signs. Examples include floor cleaners, carpet cleaners, ammonia, bleach, bathroom cleaners, etc. Make a table of the products, the ingredients and the warnings. For each product you choose list alternatives which would reduce your use of these substances, many of which are toxic. Think in terms of non-toxic products that would get the job done. What do you think would be the savings for your household if you replaced many of these cleaning products? How about for the environment and human health? 5. Check the labels on five different products packaged in cardboard boxes. List the products you chose and indicate whether there is any indication on each about whether these packages are ‘recyclable’ or made from ‘pre-‘ or ‘post- consumer’ recycled products. What do these different designations mean? Which do you think is preferable and why? 6. Choose several (5+) examples of recycled paper products in the grocery store. List the products you chose and answer the following questions. What is the recycled paper content? Is it made from pre or post-consumer recycled materials? Has the paper been bleached? What are the environmental effects of paper production?

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