Nature Inspiration (extra credit)

I feel like I’ve been connected to nature in the sense that I appreciate its beauty and don’t mind spending time outside and going hiking or camping. I feel most connected to nature when I do go hiking because you are surrounded by nature everywhere you look and you are excluded from the world. I think its essential that we have that connection with the world to understand that the world in a living, breathing thing and that it is truly our responsibility to take care of it. Overtime though, it has gotten harder to hiking because we do go to school in Charleston and there are no mountains nearby. I find myself never really taking time to just walk out and appreciate the beauty of nature anymore because of the busy schedule that I know many of us have. It truly is a struggle to make time and you really have to be proactive and set a specific time to actually do this or else it wont get done (at least in my case). I found some time this weekend to leave my phone off and just take a walk on the beach. It was chilly but it was nice to just walk and look out at the ocean and admire the beauty of its waves and the soothing sounds that the ocean gives. While walking on the beach I realized that it is truly amazing how much life is in the ocean and how many animals call the sea home. Its hard to wrap your head around this when you can’t see the animals on the surface of the sea. Being able to think about this just also reminded me that we, as humans, have responsibility to the ocean and the animals living in there to restore and reverse the damage that we caused. It would truly be a devastating thing if the damage done to the seas couldn’t be reversible. When I was on my walk I also noticed that many people were careless with their trash and many sort of just left it lying in the sand and leave without disposing of it properly. This is a prime example of what we are doing to harm the ocean. The trash that is left in the sand is eventually carried away from the sea and it can end up harming marine life. Essentially I think people just have to be more aware of their habits and make a conscious decision to change them. A good thing that I saw was that there were many trash cans so that people could throw away their trash, which was good. In the end, I enjoyed the walk on the beach and got to break away from the stress of college for a moment and sort of reconnect with nature and be able to appreciate the beauty of the sea. I would encourage everyone to do this at lease once a week to just take a moment outside to just sit and be. I found it to be distressful and encouraging!

The media and the Oceans (extra credit)

As we all know the media plays a major role in society today. Many of us use social media on a daily basis and for several hours a day. There is no doubt that the media influences the publics points of view on certain things. One of these things is obviously climate change and global warming. I found and article in Science News that talks about the media and how they talk about the ocean and the effects that climate change is having on them. In the article it says that the media is accused of having a ” doom and gloom” tone when they talk about the environment and the state of our oceans, but this study says something different. In a research done by New York University and the University of Miami shows that this kind of “doom and gloom” tone was only seen in ten percent of the analyzed U.S newspaper articles. The article also says that, “optimistic language- such as, ‘ the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health- were present in more than a quarter of these stories.” Another thing that I found interesting was that, according to the research, half of the analyzed stories provided potential solutions to the problems discussed in that particular article. When I read this article I was pleasantly surprised that the articles actually tried to provide potential solutions to the issues that they were talking about. I think that that is a great way to promote the conservations of the oceans and trying to get a larger amount of people caring about the oceans. On the other hand, I think that the “doom and gloom” tone is necessary and should be portrayed in most articles so that people can see that climate change is a real thing and that action needs to be taken and soon. I think that this “optimistic” language is a good thing, but that it can be sugar-coating or masking how in danger our oceans actually are. Many people could see the article and think, ” oh its not too bad, the ocean will just bounce back on its own” and that kind of passive attitude is not the action that needs to be taken. Although it is true that if all of the articles had ” doom and gloom” tone people could think that nothing could be done to save the oceans and then they would not take action because they could think that nothing can be done so whats the point. I think it should be a mix of both tones so that the article stresses the importance of action and also keep the hope that something can be done by us to save the oceans. I am impressed that they offered solutions which is a good way to show the public that there is hope to save the seas. Media is tricky thing because it could be harmful, but used in the right way I think it could raise awareness of climate change and the danger that our oceans are in. I’ll attach the link of the article if anyone would like to read it. Its fairly short and really interesting.

A delicious healthy plant based recipe from my kitchen!


On March 27th, 2018, our class had the opportunity to have Justin McGonigal, a promising nutritionist and  researcher  at MUSC, as our guest speaker who gave his presentation on sustainable nutrition. He advocated for plant-based diet heavily. He also stressed about the association between animal product consuming and cardiovascular diseases. He also explained why the atherosclerosis ( hardening of the arteries) has already begun and what to do to prevent coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and other heart related diseases. He also mentioned the effect of phytochemical, which only can be found in plants are so important to fight cancerous cell. After taking this class, I am now aware of my ecological footprint and I try to consume more vegetables than meat (especially beef) to not only for the sake of my body but also to lower my carbon footprint. I am inspired by Justin McGonial’s lecture so much that I’m almost every day cooking a plant based food that are rich in protein. Today, in this blog I am going to share one of my favorite recipes  from my kitchen.


We know that the protein is a macronutrient, which must be consumed to maintain cell function, growth and to build muscle. Amino acids are the monomers which make up the protein.  We need 20 different kind of amino acids, of which nine cannot be synthesized by the human body and needs to have them from the diet, and those nine amino acids are called essential amino acids. We get protein from meat, but the fact is we can also nourish our body and meet the need of protein simply from legumes, bean, lentils which are the excellent source of amino acids. But we have to keep in mind that the plant based protein are not complete protein so that various typed of lentils and legumes must be added in diet to meet the need. The following is the recipe I want to share:



¼ cup yellow lentils

¼ cup chana daal

¼ moong daal

¾  tsp turmeric powder

¼ chili powder (optional)

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ cup various kinds of bean( kidney, lima bean)

1/3 cup oil/ ghee

1 chopped onion

1 tsp cumin seed

Chopped garlic 2 clove chopped

Ginger chopped 1 tsp

1 bay leaf

1 or two whole green chili

Lime juice 1 Tbsp




1 Boil all the daals, lentils and bean in water. Put turmeric powder, chopped garlic and bay leaf, and cumin seeds and give it soupy look. Add salt according to your taste.

  1. Heat the oil/ghee in a separate pan. Sauté or fry the chopped onion until it become brown. Careful to not burn the onion but make it brown to give the soup its rich flavor. And pour the boiled lentil-bean mix. Now reduce the heat and cook it on stove for 7-10 more minutes. You can add chili and chopped ginger now.
  2. Garnish your protein rich soup with cilantro, if you want you can add few drops of freshly squeezed lime.
  3. You can also add chopped potatoes, okra, tomatoes to make it more nutritious. In that case you will have to increase the amount of other ingredients (onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric) if you want.

All the ingredients are available in Bombay Bazaar, an Indian store, on Rivers Avenue. Turmeric is also can be found in Sam’s club and Whole Food market. Following is the picture of my cooking, “Delicious Daal”.

Save “Sundarbans”, a World Heritage site, the world’s largest mangrove forest from “Rampal Coal Plant”

Do you know the name of the world’s largest mangrove forest? It’s name is the Sundarbans. In Bengali “Sundar” means beautiful and “Ban” means jungle. ” Yes, this jungle is as beautiful as one can dream about in stories such as The Jungle Book.  It is in Bangladesh, a small country in South Asia, and the forest is situated in the southwest part of the country. It is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, incredibly ferocious, marked with black stripes all over its yellow body. The region also has pythons, deer (chitra with white spots), elephants, alligators, monkeys and birds of many species. The forest is also the home for many trees which are endemic to the area. Unfortunately, the trees are being cut down for the need of expanding the human habitat to support the country’s massive population. Smugglers  are also cutting the trees as it has high demand to be used as the raw materials in many factories, cooking, producing matches and paper illegally.

But the Sundarbans faces its largest threat right now when the government agreed to establish a power plant called the Rampal Power Plant. The power plant will be a coal-powered power station to be founded  in the Rampal area in the Khulna division in Bangladesh. The planning of this proposed power plant was agreed between two countries: India’s National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). The joint-venture company is called Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company. Perhaps it was for friendly relations between the two countries, but plan is not friendly to the environment. According to environmentalists, this project is designed in a way that highly violates the preconditions that was set up by the Department of Environment (DoE) which says that the “location of plant, 14 kilometers from the Sundarbans, violates one of the basic preconditions which says such projects must be outside a 25-kilometer radius from the outer periphery of an ecologically sensitive area.”

The Sundarbans is in the List of Wetlands of International Importance, deemed by the Ramsar Convention to be incredibly important, not just in an ecological matter, but in culture, economic, and other matters. The proposed location will not only occupy over 1800 acres of land, but India has abundant coal as a natural source, so millions of tons of coal that will be brought to the power plant in Bangladesh by ship. Environmentalists say the ship that will bring the coal will not be covered which will pollute the air with coal dust and other toxic substances, and also it will pollute the nearby Poshur river with its waste and other debris which will affect the waterbody of the mangrove forest and will be highly detrimental to the marine life and surrounding ecosystem of the Sundarbans. Many species are already endangered by the human encroachment, which will be made even worse by a large industrial presence.

The Sundarbans are a part of UNESCO world heritage. The Indian and Bangladeshi government deny the allegation that this coal based power plant will be detrimental to the environment to the environment, but construction of the Rampal Power Plant has temporarily stopped nonetheless due to protests. The Sierra Club, a highly esteemed organization with roots stretching back to the beginning of the environmentalist movement and founded by famed activist John Muir, and several other organizations are demanding a petition to stop this project. I think the Sundarbans is not solely the asset of Bangladesh, it is an asset of the whole world. We as world citizens must protest this industrial encroachment to save the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger and join to abolish the Rampal Power Plant.

This is my blog # 5. This blog is very close to my heart, I spent two years of my childhood living in Jessore, Khulna division which is close to Sundarban.  Sundarban is considered one of popular tourist destinations in the world.

You can get  a glimpse of Sundarban by visiting following link

Urban Outfitters bag (extra credit)

I have been working at Urban Outfitters for some time and we do not use plastic bags for the clothes but we use what Urban Outfitters likes to call “reusable bags.” So since I work at Urban and have acquired a few of these bags I wanted to see if the bags are actually reusable and for how long. I went to the Urban Outfitters website to see if I can find something that talks about their bags. This is what they say, ” We are passionate about eliminating single-use items, especially those that pose a threat to the environment like plastic. Our Urban Outfitters stores use lightweight, fabric shopping bags that customers can reuse for many purposes beyond retail. Made of polypropylene fabric that does not tear, the bags can be washed and used for many years. We love seeing our customers using them for grocery shopping, a book bag or even an overnight tote!” After reading this I decided to take their advice and use the bag to do all of these things. If you’ve never shopped at Urban Outfitters than you wouldn’t know what the bags look like, but in my opinion they’re really cute and they come in different colors and sizes. Since I shop there alot I had all of the sizes and decided to use them for different things. The smallest bag I used to hold some clothes for a “overnight tote” like they suggested and it worked fine I couldn’t fit too much stuff inside because it was too small and it was a little awkward to carry because one of the straps had ripped off. I would’ve been better just using a purse or something. Then I used the big ones as grocery bags and it was terrible. I guess I put too many things in each bag, even though they were pretty light things, and it ripped as I was walking up to my dorm. Then I wanted to see if the bag was actually washable. It shrunk some after drying it and when I was stretching it back out the bag ripped. In the end I think the bags can only be used for really light things and they aren’t really durable. But on the bright side the bag is made of polypropylene which is a recyclable material and you can use it more than once if you wanted to. I appreciate Urban for at least trying to reduce their ecological footprint and attempting to make their bags reusable and recyclable. I now just reuse the same bag for putting in clothes that I just purchased, that way I am reusing the bag and not taking a new one every time. Im not sure if the production of these bags costs more for retail stores but I feel like if all retails stores decided to be a little more conscious about their impact on the environment like Urban Outfitters then there would be a significant impact on plastic in the world. Also Urban Outfitters has cute clothes so I definitely recommend shopping there.

This is a picture of their bags.

Tiny Microenvironments in the Ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cylcle

I was reading an article by Environmental News Network about how microenvironment in the ocean could tell us more about the global nitrogen cycle. According to the article nitrogen is essential to marine life because some sea life require nitrogen in processes such as photosynthesis.In a research study done by Thomas Weber at the University of Rochester they saw that small mircroenvionments in the deep ocean can help track the cycling of nitrogen in the sea. If you don’t may not know what a microenvironment is it is the immediate small-scale environment of an organism or a part of an organsim, especially as a distinct part of a larger environment. In the research they found that the small microbes that remove nitrogen from the water that are in these microenvironments are more widespread than scientist previously thought. Weber says, “the previous understanding of the nitrogen cycle was that nitrogen was lost from the ocean in only three regions where oxygen is scarce. If we wanted to predict how the nitrogen cycle would respond to climate change, all we needed to do was predict how these three low oxygen regions would expand or contract. Our study changes that picture by showing that nitrogen loss is actually happening over much larger regions, and we think about how the ocean as a whole is changing.” The three regions that he talks about are: two off the coast of the Americas, just north and south of the equator and one on the Arabian Sea. These three regions are known as “dead zones” because only anaerobic microbes can live here because most sea life “breathe” or respire using oxygen. When there is no oxygen in the water the microbes respire using other compounds like nitrate ( a form of nitrogen). Which removes nitrogen form the ocean. Weber made a computer model that takes this new genetic information from these microbes and found that, ” anaerobic microbes exist not only in areas of unoxygenated water, but somehow thrive in areas of the ocean where there is oxygen, Nitrogen, therefore, may be lost across much of the ocean, not just in areas where oxygen is scarce.” With this new information they can redraw what the nitrogen cycle of the ocean would look like and according to Weber this change suggests that this anaerobic metabolism is a response to climate change because global warming causes ocean temperatures to rise which results in and increased loss of oxygen and therefore affects the nitrogen budget across the world. This relates to our class because we see the effects of climate change and how these microbes could be adapting to the changes in sea temperature. I tried to sum up the article as best as I could but I will attach a link if anyone would like to read it. Its very interesting and I think its crazy how these findings can shift major things like nitrogen cycles in the ocean. This is just a reminder that climate change is a real thing and that we have to do everything we can to save our oceans.


Blackfish (Extra Credit)

I decided to write my review over a documentary that has caused a lot of financial instability for this specific theme park, and tugged at a lot of heart strings; Blackfish. First off, if you haven’t seen Blackfish, I highly recommend you do. It’s an amazing film. As a huge animal rights advocate, this a film that I hold dear to my heart. I make all of my friends and family watch it and I’ve probably watched it myself about 20 times, as each time you learn something that you might’ve missed before.

For those who do not know, Blackfish is about Seaworld, more specifically,  the Orca whales or “killer whales” that they have there. The whole documentary is narrated by previous Seaworld Orca trainers. They all have a different story as to how they ended up as a trainer. However, after staying in the business for a few years, they started figuring out for themselves that Seaworld was not an animal friendly place. I think that if this film had any potential bias it would be from outside influencers such as PETA. But it’s important to keep in mind that these people telling their stories at one point, loved what they did. So I don’t think that there is any bias from them as they have been on the supporting side of the business and now on the opposing side.


Some of these whales were bred in captivity, but some of them were illegally captured and that is the case for Tilikum. Tilikum was the largest male whale Seaworld had. They captured him from Canada when he was just a baby and he was then put into the facility “Sealand of the Pacific.” He was the whale that all of the trainers looked forward to working with, they trusted him the most. But Tilikum was trained in a method that was highly unethical. They paired him with two trained whales and would send all three off to do the same behavior and if one of them (aka Tilikum) got it wrong, then all of them would be deprived of food. At night, these three whales were stored in a steel box on the water that wasn’t large enough for all of them. There was so much hostility between the whales that every morning, Tilikum would have new scratches on his body where the females would rake him with their teeth. The scientists believe that this 24/7 bullying eventually led him to a mental psychosis. In the wild it’s a matriarchal society. Male whales are kept at a perimeter. However in captivity, there is no escape. Tilikum took his first life at Sealand of the Pacific and was then purchased by Seaward with the promise that he would not be used in shows and would not be used for breeding purposes. Long story short, he was used for both and now a good amount of Seaworld’s whales have his aggressive tendencies. In this documentary it is noted that Orcas have a part of their brain that humans do not have. This part of their brain extends out to the right adjacent to their limbic system, the system that processes emotions. It processes emotion on a much deeper level. They have a sense of self and of social bonding that is at a much deeper level than humans. It’s unfortunate that these animals live the lives that they do.

We took these animals out of their natural environment where they swim hundreds of miles everyday, stay with their mother their entire lives, and communicate with one another and stuck them in a pool. Each group or family of whales has their own set of behaviors and communication. Seaworld has composed a random group of whales for each attraction they have, often causing a lot of aggression and ultimately leading to many whales dying in captivity. In the wild, there is no documentation of any killer whale doing harm to a human. Whales are a part of our environment and we are, unfortunately, using them to our advantage. This is just another example of human’s negative impact on our environment and the wildlife.


Can find Blackfish on Netflix. (I really really recommend watching it.)


CofC Office of Sustainability Event (Blog by Allyson Peurifoy)

I attended the “Environmental Activism and Solution” panel discussion this afternoon hosted by the CofC Office of Sustainability. This seminar was a perfect topic for my fourth blog post—and a good recap to my semester in an Environmental and Sustainability class—because we discussed the causes and effects of climate change and what can be done to inspire people on the local, state, national, and international levels. The two panelists were clear advocates of local legislation, and the multifaceted impacts it can have on climate change and other environmental issues. To begin the discussion, they compared the debate on climate change to a dangerous rafting trip; as the boat inches nearer to a deadly waterfall, the passengers begin to argue on what to do, and eventually run short on time. This illustrates how rapidly our problems are growing, and how these environmental issues should be met with intensity and urgency.

The discussion was extremely interesting to me because they mentioned much of what I have learned throughout the semester. They explained two extreme climate scenarios the Intergovernmental Panel have predicted could happen: A2 and B1. A2 is the negative extreme, where there would be a doubled and displaced population, little technological advance, drought, starvation, and a temperature and sea level rise. B1, on the other hand, indicates a stabilization of population, rapid growth in technology, and a gradual, maintainable temperature and sea level rise. The solution to A2, and the way to achieve B1 on a local level, is through continued political engagement and the monitoring of our own lifestyles. The panelists suggested participating in habits such as “Meatless

Mondays”, using a small amount of plastics, and taking public transportation. From this, they explained the polycentric society we live in that has multiple centers of power and decision-making, and how incentives are different from local level to state level to national level and beyond. Specifically, in the coastal city of Charleston, we look at concerns such as whether or not we should make sea walls, or keep rebuilding Folly Beach, or if we should move inland. However, these are not the main concerns at the state or national level; they are more focused on things such as laws, taxes, imports, and exports. This led them to their next point of interest in the discussion that was about adaption vs. mitigation. Adaption, as we learned in class, is the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects, and mitigation is technological change and substitution that reduces the cause of an effect, such as implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their debate was that mitigation should be happening on the national level, while adaption is happening on the local level.

This seminar was a very interesting experience because we had a conversation with the panelists. We were able to ask questions, listen to their answers, and respond in ways we felt were appropriate. Although a lot of what was discussed I had heard in class, they also presented statistics and definitions I had never seen before. I would strongly recommend attending one of the Sustainability Week events in the upcoming few days.

Notes from the discussion:

* Takes government action on state, national, international level

* State has not allowed local action on a lot of climate change issues

* Compared to rafting toward deadly rapid; wasted time on arguing about what to do (ex. speed of current, amount of rainfall)

* Intergovernmental panel have been working on climate models and scenarios to predict climate change

* Two scenarios panel came up with:

o A2: population keeps increasing until it doubles, new technology is slow, 5 degree F increase and great sea rise, drought and starvation, refugees from flooding (displaced populations)

o B1: stabilization of population, rapid growth in technology, temperature and sea level rises gradually

o We need to reduce rate of carbon emissions by 2/3

o This is why it is a political science problem

* US is 2nd largest emitter in the world; we import from China which is the 1st larger

* US needs to take leadership in this because we have the power and should serve as an example for the rest of the world

* Paris Accords—green climate: fund 3 billion dollars toward reducing greenhouse emissions ($10 per person)

* Problem should be met with urgency

* CofC by 2030, 0 waste: large percentage of waste doesn’t go to landfills

* Dining halls compost

* Importance of knowing where your garbage goes

* Landfills generate a lot of methane (potent greenhouse gas)—keeping food out of landfills is a great contributor to reducing greenhouse gas

* Continue to reach out to your elected representatives

* Looking at our own lifestyles: “Meatless Mondays”, reduce personal consumption of plastics, take public transportation

* Political engagement and own life style engagement

* Citizens climate law: tax on carbon content of fossil fuels (carbon tax)

* Climate policy in terms of mitigation and adaptation

* As a coastal town, should we make sea walls, keep rebuilding Folly Beach, should we move inland? – different than state level, national level, international level

* Polycentric: multiple centers of power/decision making, what are the incentives of local level vs. state level vs. national

* Local=adaptation and national=mitigation

* 3rd world countries can’t afford adaptation (is adaptation going to happen on a global stage)

* We have the responsibility as affluent section of the world to take care of others needs

* Climate change goes across many domains; a public health issue also

* Solutions that are broad based, more about innovation

* This Changes Everything book


– Allyson Peurifoy

Nature Inspiration – Extra Credit Blog Post

I have always known that I am in tune with nature. I love to hike, camp, and vitalize any time that I can have by being outside. It is something that I have always cherished, and I know that it’s a special aspect of life. I have always wondered how some do not enjoy being outside. There is something very enlightening when taking time to dedicate to explore and appreciate what is given to us freely. It is relieving and a great emotional support when needed- and its right in your backyard! Ever since I was a little girl, I was opened up to the beauty of nature. My parents would take me on their camping trips when I was growing up. We would sleep in tents, eat by the fire, and shower in an outhouse. My dad never let my mom and I take the easy way out when it came to camping. Sometimes I would get mad because all my friends were going on trips to the tropics, while I would go to North Carolina in the middle of nowhere surrounded by mountains. Now, I love that. My favorite type of trip is to go to the mountains, instead of going to a resort in the islands. I feel like you learn so much by embracing the freedom that comes with nature. The simplicity is a beautiful thing that can be overlooked because of money, infrastructure, or what is currently trendy. I understand that it is all about perspective, but to have a connection with nature is to have a connection with yourself. Regarding this blog post, I took some time out of my chaotic school schedule, and went to the Battery. I left my phone at home, and walked to the water. I make that walk many times, but this time was different. I noticed things that I hadn’t before. At first, I was skeptical about leaving my phone at home, because I am so used to having it. But I sent out a text to my mom and boyfriend that Id be gone for 2 hours to have some “me time”. I felt extremely weightless just as I stepped out my door. Once I got to the Battery, I sat on the grass and let my mind wander. The first thing that came to mind was school. I stopped myself from getting stressed, and focused on the trees and the squirrels that were running around. I imagined what it would be like to live like this everyday- to not have direct connection to the Internet, and to have nothing but what was infront of you. I find technology amazing, and I would be lying if I could say that I could live without my phone. But I do think that its healthy to take a step back from life and reflect on what is surrounding you. I have taken so much for granted, because I get wrapped up in what is going on with others. Just by dedicating a couple of hours to nature and myself, I found that it was much needed.

Documentary Review: A Plastic Ocean

For my second extra credit blog post, I watched A Plastic Ocean on Netflix and here is my review:

Message: Refuse single-use plastics and spend your consumer dollars wisely because plastic waste & styrofoam are damaging our oceans and inevitably affecting us. We will show you why plastics should cease to be produced and then dumped into our landfills and the ocean – because it never goes away.

Summary: The documentary, A Plastic Ocean, begins with the Director Craig Lesson, attempting to follow and record Blue Whales off of the coast of Sri Lanka. Craig has always had a fascination for these animals, which began when he was a child. While filming a juvenile pigmy Blue Whale, the camera glances up towards the surface of the water – where loads of plastic and trash are floating and bobbing in the waves. This is how Craig begins the story…The waste problem is disproportionally affecting Blue Whales because they feed by opening their mouths and sucking in up to a hundred gallons of water and cannot distinguish between krill and plastic before digestion. The scientists in the documentary even found plastics along the ocean floor, where sunlight never reaches. The documentary quickly touches on Earth systems, particularly the 5 massive gyres that can be found all over the world.

Biases: The Director, Craig Lesson, has major devotion for the ocean to where he understand its intrinsic value. This attribute would greatly sway the way this documentary is directed and the messages he intends to spread. In addition, it is plain to see that this documentary was targeted towards Americans because it mostly discusses American influence on waste.

Reflection: I found it rather shocking that almost every plastic product made on the planet is, in one way or another, still around. This revelation further proves one of Barry Commoner’s Laws of Ecology that we learned about it class – but it’s still disturbing to realize that the massive amount of plastic that I have encountered and use throughout my life is somewhere now, even years after I enjoyed that Starbucks Frapp! Another reflection I’ve made while watching this film was the blatant environmental injustice that occurs in countries outside of the United States. For instance, the documentary highlights on a country where 2,000 families live on a 123.5 acre lot designated to be a landfill in 1998. Just like we’ve discussed in class, this community also faces birth defects, cancer and other implications due to the pollution that they are surrounded by. It is so unfortunate that these people do not realize the connection between the place they live and their health – some even burn plastic to help cook food! I feel like awareness to the health effects of plastics and living on landfills is desperately needed in these areas!!