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What it is

Think about what is in your trash can right now. What's in it? How many bags of trash do you take out every week? All your stuff has to come from somewhere, and when it does, it doesn't get created without the use of materials and processes that all have some environmental impact. This section covers the importance of looking at the amount of energy and other impacts of the process of creating your stuff.

All of us need to start thinking about what's in our stuff
This section is all about thinking about how your stuff gets from natural resource to you.Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Look at the room around you. You're probably sitting at a desk that is made of trees and some metals mined from the Earth. Your computer is made of plastics that at one point came from the same oil that became the gasoline you put in your car. The glass in your monitor was once sand. More or less everything came from stone, wood, metal, oil, or sand at some point and required large amounts of water and electricity to be turned into the product you use everyday. Now think back to your trash can. How many natural resources, water, and electricity were used to create the materials in there. These things are now going to end up at a landfill, unusable for many years.

The information in this section is likely something that you don't think about often. Everyday we consume many materials, but where they came from and what it took to create them is not usually a part of our decision making process. All of us need to start thinking about what's in our stuff, what went into creating it, how to reuse it, and what happens to it at the end of it's life. Look at the How We Get There section to see how to identify the criteria you should be looking for in your stuff.

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