We are not perfect, and most of us have at least one habit that is very hard to make sustainable. For me, it is coffee. Coffee is not inherently unsustainable; however, the way it is currently being grown, the normal working conditions for the farmers, and the large global demand, are all issues that need to be addressed to make it sustainable. I find it almost impossible to go without that cup (or five) of coffee every day.
What is your sustainability vice? That one thing that is not beneficial for environmental sustainability, social justice, or your personal health, but that you struggle to go without. Perhaps it is your iPhone, or a daily can of Coca-Cola, or your gas-guzzling Jeep. How can you make it healthier and more sustainable?
- What is it – What is it made of? Where does it come from? What is its history? What is your connection with it?
- What processes does it go through – What natural or human processes does it go through? For a consumable like coffee, this would be the production processes to go from a coffee tree seed to a steaming cup of coffee. For a product like an iPhone, it would be the research and manufacturing processes to create the working iPhone in your hand.
- How does it relate to sustainability? What are its negative impacts? What are its positive impacts? Be sure to address how it relates to the natural environment, to principles of social justice, and to your personal mental and physical health.
- How could you improve the sustainability of your vice? Is there a healthier, more sustainable, or more local alternative that you could choose instead? How would you change how the product is produced to improve its environmental and social impact?
The topic for this paper should be both specific and personal. Rather than focusing on coffee in general, I would choose to look at the River’s Edge coffee from Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. This is a specific blend from a specific company, which will allow me to go into depth on the ingredients and processes it goes through. This is also a personal choice because it is the coffee that I drink every day at home.
Length Requirement: Rather than a required number of words or pages, papers will be graded on how thoroughly they address each of the four bullet points above. Students should plan on writing at least 1,500 words, but grades will be based solely on completion.
Write a formal paper on your sustainability vice. The topic for this paper should be a resource that you use personally. This paper must conform to APA standards; title, abstract, and reference pages are required.