How does the chemical composition and structure of a substance determine its properties with regard to its use, capacity for reuse, and capacity for recycling?
I learned a lot about how the main chemical composition of the material is affected by placement on the periodic table. The recyclable materials that are most common are aluminum, and plastic compounds this is due to their main compositions. Aluminum, being a metal has a strong bond that is able to be remelted many times. Along with this cans are made out of purley aluminum making it possible to do this because there are no other factors needed to take into consideration. On the other hand more organic matter like food and plants are able to decompose and not to be reused. It is made out of things mostly like Hydrogen, and Oxygen. Due to this it needs Oxygen to properly decompose and turn into CarbonDioxide instead of Methane gas like it would if placed into a landfill. Lastly there are things like paper and plastic, compounds that are able to be reused. Paper is a fibrous compound with long strands. As it is recycled the fibers are shortened and after 5-7 times the fibers are too short to be reused. Similar to this when plastic is recycled it decreases the quality. When it is recycled it makes the compound less strong to the point where it can no longer be reused.
How do the choices we make as consumers (purchasing, use, reuse, recycling, and discarding of materials) impact our local community and environment, and the global community and environment?
I think that the way we package and purchase things is making a great impact on the environment. Things like plastic bags and packaging are used every day and are normally sent to a landfill or a recycling plant. I think that using things like these unconsciously are very harmful to the environment. Along with this many people that use recyclable items don't actually recycle them when they could be reused. This is why things like plastic made out of corn is only a small solution to the bigger problem. I think that in places like Durango we are more conscious about how we use single use materials, such as using metal straws and reusable bags. This is something that more and more people are starting to do which helps with the amount of trash that ends up in the environment, ocean, and landfill.
What else did you learn through this project? I learned a lot about how we cut down on waste by doing things like recycling. Now we are finding more ways to reuse materials that would otherwise go into landfills. Along with this I learned about the chemical composition that makes it possible to do this. I went a lot deeper into the content of this project than I have before. Before doing this project I had knowledge on recycling but not to the extent I have now. I now know that there are different types of plastic handled in different ways that I had not thought of before.