Media Analysis- Plastic Pollution in Oceans (extra credit)

My media analysis is on an advertisement video that focuses on the ways that plastics are entering our oceans. It was created and published by an organization called Greenpeace UK. The advertisement also makes a point to explain certain products that contribute to pollution in the oceans such as: microbeads in toothpaste, synthetic clothing fibers, wet wipes, and plastics bottles. I love how there are pictures included that show how plastics are impacting the ocean and animals as well. There is text throughout the duration of the video that describes the numerous ways that plastics are winding up in the ocean. The video includes text, instead of spoken words, so the information conveyed is completely dependent on the text provided on each slide of the advertisement video. I thought it was a great strategy for the advertisement to only use text. This makes the audience pay close attention to the video and the message being portrayed, that way we are able to understand what was being explained. When reading the text on each slide of the video, the attention of the audience can also be directed to the pictures displayed behind it, which are very detailed and clearly shows how plastics are impacting the ocean. The goal is to present a visual of the different ways plastic can end up in the oceans. The main value represented in the advertisement are to know and understand the details of how this problem is occurring and how we should take the initiative to prevent this from happening. I feel as if the video s based on how our everyday use of plastic and other things wind up in the ocean, causing negative impacts. Therefore, there should be something done about this issue, instead of sitting around and watching it happen. When it is evident that something in particular is causing negative affects to the environment, we should want to take charge and do what is in our power to fix it. In my opinion, I feel as if the advertisement is from a negative view point. The message conveyed in the video isn’t positive because it shows how we contribute to plastic pollution in the oceans, which has become a large problem. I think that if there were more pictures included in the advertisement of how the animal are impacted than it would be really affective. Although the video shows the various ways that plastic winds up in the ocean and how the oceans look due to pollution, I think that the audience will not be as motivated to help resolve this problem. However, adding those pictures of creatures and other things that are affected may add more emphasis to the seriousness of the issue. The advertisement was very educational and serves the purpose to inform those who watch the video. This video was very easy to understand, and the message was clear. The advertisement did its job of educating and informing the problems just by including pictures and a few words. I felt motivated by the end of watching it to go out and make a change!


Personal Change (extra credit)

The homework activity that was assigned towards the beginning of the semester really helped me understand how individuals, including myself, can sometimes be wasteful of our resources. The activity required the class to calculate our ecological footprint and reflect on it, which really opened my eyes as to how my daily and weekly habits can impact the world. When I calculated my footprint, I received a score of 4.3 global hectares, which was significantly different compared to the ecological footprint of 1.7 global hectares available per person. The activity displayed that if everyone were to live the same lifestyle as me, we would need approximately two and a half earths. After completing the activity and discovering how high my ecological footprint is compared to our current global hectares, I felt that it was very crucial to consider things that I could do differently in order to live a more sustainable life. I noticed that one problem that could be improved is the amount of trash/waste that I produce. It’s normal for my roommate and I to fill three trash cans that are about one foot each, every week. The trash that we create tend to be things that can be recycled such as plastic, cardboard, and paper. I still struggle with recycling since our garbage room in our dorms doesn’t have a recycling bin. Therefore, the things that can be recycled winds up in the trash bag with other wastes. However, recycling is easier when I am home because we have two separate garbage cans outside, one for waste and the other for recycling. I also produced a great deal of trash from going out to eat and bringing to-go boxes back into the room. Yet, I can say that I have improved in this area. I hardly eat out as much as I use to, and if I do I try to make a tendency to finish my food. I also reflected that I use way too much energy than what is necessary. I am not always mindful of how much energy/power I am using in school and also at home. My mom always tells me that I have every light on in the house! It is very common for me to turn on the lights when they are not needed. I also have a tendency to leave the television on, while I am not in the room. I really need to work monitoring the amount of energy that I use in my dorm room and while I am home from school. I plan to make a routine and write reminders in order to limit my usage. This way I am making myself aware of things that can be unplugged and turning off appliances that I am not using at the moment. I love the natural sunlight, so it motivates me to turn off the lights and let the sun shine in. This course makes me realize how my lifestyle can really impact the world! It inspires me to make changes in my life that will result in positive benefits.

Documentary Review- What Happened to Monday (extra credit)

A few weeks ago, trying to pass time, I found an interesting movie on Netflix. There had also been post on Facebook mentioning that it was a great movie to watch, so I decided to watch it. The name of the movie is What Happened to Monday written by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson and directed by Tommy Wirkola. The movie is a dystopian science fiction thriller, which depicts the issue of overpopulation that is occurring in some countries. The film begins in the year of 2043, a time where overpopulation has caused a crisis worldwide. In order to confront this issue, the Child Allocation Bureau, implemented a strict one-child policy! The film can be very gruesome because it depicts how the issue of overpopulation should not be addressed in a way. If multiple children are born to one mother, each child except for the oldest, are pried away from their mother and siblings. They are then kept in a holding room located in the Bureau’s facility, until they are put into a modified cryosleep and incinerated. I believe that the Bureau’s initiative to implement a one-child policy was acceptable, however how these children were taken and processed was not an appropriate way to deal with the issue. A set of identical septuplet sisters are born, however their mother died by giving birth leaving their grandfather to raise them. Their grandfather names them after the days of the week, and they only leave the house on the day of their name. Also, each sibling must comply with the one identity that they are given, Karen Settman. They all wear the same wigs, makeup, and clothing every day. In order for the siblings to keep up their one-person identity, they arrange group meetings every afternoon to share information from what occurred that day. Mysteriously, one day a sibling doesn’t return home, which is very unusual! The siblings become very worried that someone has finally figured out that there is more than one of them. They have to find out what happened to Monday, without being caught by the Bureau. Yet, the Bureau finally discovers that they all have been acting as the same individual. Therefore, they try to eliminate each one. While trying to find Monday, a number of events occur throughout the film leaving Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dead. In my opinion, I found that this film was very interesting. Towards the end Thursday learns that Monday is the cause of all the commotion because she decided to work for the Bureau in order to live a better life. Monday also reveals that she is pregnant with twins, which was also another factor for turning against her siblings. It grabbed my attention in the beginning because it mentioned how over population was affecting the world. Since this topic was mentioned in class, I wanted to continue to watch to see how the authors would present the concept in the movie. However, I didn’t approve of the way that the film portrayed dealing with this issue. I felt as if there could’ve been another way, that wasn’t so gory, to solve the problem.



Sustainability Event- Race, Place, and the De-Gentrification of Nature Conservation in the South

On March 14, I attended a talk led by Dr. Drew Lanham, who is a professor at Clemson University. Lanham studies natural wildlife as well as the integration of race in nature. The name of the discussion was Race, place, and the de-gentrification of Nature Conservation in areas of the south. Dr. Lanham began the discussion by introducing a song: Mercy Mercy Me which was written by Marvin Gaye in 1971. Initially, I had thoughts as to why he presented this song to the audience. I supposed it was a simple tactic in order to gather the audience’s attention, ensuring that they were ready to be engaging. However, I believe that it was a creative way to start off the discussion. The reason the song was presented to the audience was because it held a deeper meaning and had connections to the topic of the talk. The meaning of the song ties to the topic of ecology and its comparison of how the world was in the past and how it has evolved. The song also explains the struggles of the environment: socially, environmentally, and economically. Although the song was written in 1971, the world still displayed signs of change that would have negative impacts on the conservation of nature.

The next thing he mentions is the topic of water, which is a very important aspect considering people and the environment depend on it. He made a statement about how water is everywhere and how it is needed to sustain life. He followed with a question that asked, “what is your water?” The question that Dr. Lanham was asking refers to something that you consider important to sustain your life. When he made this statement, I thought about the different things in my life that I felt are important to my survival, like food and shelter. Dr. Lanham managed to also tie race into the topic of water by stating that despite what the past consisted of we are all connected to water. No matter what race you are, your life depends on water!

He wrapped up the discussion with his personal connections to water. Dr. Lanham discusses a story of his personal experiences, which he wrote in his book, about times when his father would go to their spring well and collect water for them. Unfortunately, his father became ill and past away. Times became rough after the passing of his father, water wise. Dr. Lanham and his mother needed to find a new source to gather water. There was a pipe put into place for them to receive water, however it had a foul taste and wasn’t fresh compared to what his father used to collect for them. This really had a major impact on them because this one aspect that was important to sustain their lives wasn’t pure/fresh. He explained how crucial water is to our lives and how it can impact it as well. At this moment I realized how many individuals, including myself, take water for granted. His talk was very eye-open for me because he mentioned several things that will stick with me about water’s impact on individuals as well as the society.

News Report- Overfishing

The article that I came across was titled “Ending overfishing would stop the population declines of endangered bycatch species about half the time”. The source of the article came from a study conducted by the University of California- Santa Barbra and was published on the 15th of March 2018. The study mainly focuses on the issue of overfishing and the negative affects that come along with it. The article also makes a point to mention what/who is affected. The concept of overfishing is when fishers/fisheries are excessively fishing, which is ultimately causing decline in populations of fish and other species that are caught during fishing. It is an unsustainable use of the ocean! However, overfishing does not only occur in the ocean. Other areas that are affected are ponds, rivers, and lakes. An important question to ask is: why is overfishing happening? Today, fishing fleets are 2-3 times larger than what is actually necessary to catch fish. They are catching fish more than its ecosystem is able to recover/reproduce these fish and other species. There is also a lack of protection for these areas, which could regulate how large fisheries operate. Another problem is the mindset of fisheries who believe in open access, which refers to catching as much as possible neglecting the idea of leaving fish in the ocean. During fishing there are other species such as: mammals, turtles, and birds, that are unintentionally caught. They are known as bycatch. The article mentions that by ending overfishing populations that are on the verge of being endangered have the ability to make recoveries. When these marine species are endangered, it not only effects that population, but the oceans biodiversity as well. The article was very interesting because it had many associations with what we discuss in class. For example, the concept of the ecological footprint. Also, how unsustainable practices, like overfishing, is causing populations to deplete. If overfishing continues there will be several things that will be impacted. Certain species of fish will become endangered or extinct, which will ultimately create an endless trend. Therefore, when one species becomes extinct fisherman and fisheries will venture to other species. Eventually there won’t be anything left to fish for. Once this occurs fishers will go out of business, leaving behind a major problem that could have been regulated and prevented. After learning about this issue, I had other concerns and questions. I wanted to know what areas, city and state wise, are mainly impacted by overfishing. I also question whether these areas had any policies that could regulate the problem. The article suggests that in order to save endangered bycatch populations the fisheries would have to choose between two things. The first idea was that they would have to limit their amount of fishing, however they would be sacrificing profits that they receive. Another idea is to improve their technology that is used to fish with the aim of avoiding bycatch. The co-author of the experiment Rebecca Lewison, stated that, “Recognizing the benefits of rebuilding fisheries to endangered populations allows us to also focus attention on other key sources of endangered species mortality, like egg poaching, invasive species, pollution and habitat loss.” The article wasn’t biased at all, it simply focuses on the effects of overfishing as well as the benefits of ending it.  The article was very informing and eye opening to me.

Image result for overfishing bycatch

Consumer Product Analysis- Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub

As consumers, we do not always take into account of how the products that we purchase for our everyday use can be harming the environment. It’s typical for a consumer to focus on what is needed for the current moment, rather than considering the effects of the product in the future. They contain ingredients and other components that consumers are not always aware of, in terms of the complex names listed in the ingredients area on the product. These products can create cycles of unhealthy and harmful effects that not only effect the environment, but a great deal of living organisms.

One of the products that is used in my daily regimen is: Neutrogena’s Oil- Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub. The purpose of this product is to cleanse one’s face and smooth away roughness without over-drying and irritating the skin. Typically, I use the product 2-3 days out of the week. The product requires the use of water in order for the product to work properly. Although this product can be beneficial to my cosmetic need/wants it contains ingredients and other components that are harmful to the environment. The first active ingredient listed on the product is Salicylic acid, which serves as the acne treatment. Some of the inactive ingredients include: Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyethylene, and the list continues. I, personally, am unaware of more than half of the ingredients that this product contains! I am certain that the majority of consumers are not aware of the ingredients and other components that are used in the products that they purchase.

Neutrogena is a brand of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies and manufactures and markets their products in over 70 countries. I am unsure about the exact process that takes place to manufacture this certain product, however most facial washes and scrubs are mass-produced in a factory with the help of machines. The products are then packaged in large quantities and shipped out. The factories require a lot of energy, like power, in order to produce these products in large quantities. There are multiple machines in the facility that are operating at once, so you can imagine the amount of power needed to keep them functioning.

The main concern with the product that I chose do discuss is that it contains microbeads. There has been great controversy about products containing microbeads because they are negatively effecting our environment. Microbeads are tiny spherical particles that are made of plastic and are used in many products like: body scrub, facial washes, exfoliants, and some toothpastes. These items require water in order to rinse off the access product after use, which is then are washed down the drain and entering the water systems. Since the microbeads are so small it is difficult for them to be caught by wastewater facilities that treat the water. This is a major problem because the microbeads will eventually appear in river, lakes, and oceans. Fish often mistake these tiny particles for other things and consume them. These fish then become toxic and are consumed by humans and other animals. This creates a cycle of unhealthy and harmful effects not only to the environment, but many living organisms.

You’ve reached the end of the products functional life, once there is no product left. You then are left with the plastic tube that it comes in. Neutrogena’s Oil- Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub is packaged in plastic tube, which itself contains many chemicals that are harmful to the environment. They also are not recycle friendly and are unable to break down completely turning into microplastics, which animals can choke on. In order to reduce these negative impacts that these products cause companies need to eliminate the use of the microbeads! They should also consider using containers that are eco-friendly and recyclable instead of plastics that contain chemicals. However, due to the great amount of controversy the United States enacted a ban on the use of microbeads in products. Johnson & Johnson already began to phase out microbeads in their products, which means as did Neutrogena since they are a brand of Johnson & Johnson. As of right now if you were to go to Neutrogena’s website you will see that this product no longer contains microbeads, however there are other companies like Amazon and eBay where you are still able to purchase it with microbeads. Another desirable goal would be to discard the products out there that still contain microbeads and make them unavailable for purchase.



Sustainably Advertisement

My media analysis is on an advertisement that focuses on the sustainability and the impacts we, as a population, have on the earth. There is text throughout the duration of the video that explains what has been done to earth and what change can be put into place to fix these negative impacts. The video has no spoken words, so the information conveyed is completely dependent on the text given on each slide of the advertisement. This seemed to be a good strategy because I had to pay close attention while watching the video in order to understand what was being explained. This tactic also was successful in keeping my attention because of the images that was presented behind the text. Some of the images were very detailed and allowed me to see the devastation clearly. This ad was created by the company called Bioengineering Group in thought of Earth Day. The main goal of this ad is to convey to the public viewing the issues that are surrounding global sustainability. The goal is to give a visual of what these impacts look like in different areas in nature such as land and aquatic life. The main value represented in this ad are to know the issues and not to ignore them, not to sit around and watch it happen. This is based on a lifestyle of taking charge. When you see something wrong, you do what is in your power to fix it. In this case we see disaster and the video is showing we can not ignore it. The point of view is from a negative view point. I do not see much of a positive message as to what we as humans are doing to help this issue that has turned into a large problem. People might see this and feel somewhat offended due to the drive of the message that we are causing these issues. No one likes to have the blame on them even if it is true. Aside from the feelings may have, I think this video is more from an educational standpoint and just meant to inform. The video starts of with the pictures of pollution that is being caused worldwide. It then goes on to explain how short of a time we have been on this earth when compared on a large scale. This was the same thing we learned from the video in class. it also informs the viewer that we have changed earth’s surface faster than nature has. This fact surprised me. Next, the video defines sustainability which I found very helpful because some may not know what that definition is. The video then ends with motivation to change our ways to promote sustainability. This video was very easy to understand, and the message was clear. The ad did its job of educating and informing the problems just by pictures and a few words. I felt motivated by the end of watching it to go out and make a change!

-Ayanna Starks