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April 1 - April 30, 2021

Deloitte Atlanta Feed

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  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Stay on the Ground
    What was your process like for restructuring your trip? How can you avoid more air travel in the future?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/26/2021 8:36 AM
    I have only been looking for local trips that I can make via car. I have also been trying to figure out a way that we can travel via bike once we arrive at our vacation destination. I have been doing this by finding accommodations equidistant from the locations we are looking to visit once we arrive.  
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Research the Climate Impact of Refrigerants
    What did you learn about the climate impact of refrigerants? How do supermarkets contribute to this impact?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/26/2021 8:33 AM
    I learned that the synthetic hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants is a terrible greenhouse gas that is leaked into the atmosphere and is causing increasing temperatures on Earth. There are natural refrigerants that could be used in place of the synthetics but it would take a massive overhaul to make this change and it is currently not incentivized. Supermarkets have massive networks of refrigerants across the world and are leaking a majority of the hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere. 
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Advocate For More Packaging Options
    What concerns you the most about how we are affecting the planet? Consider both local and global actions.

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/26/2021 8:24 AM
    I think it can be difficult to get organizations to change how things have always been done. Especially when those things are convenient. Living in the SE US I think about how many companies have stopped using Styrofoam for to-go meals especially when it comes to cups. But I also think about how some of those places that tried to do better were boycotted because peoples drinks weren't as cold in the new plastic cups as they were in the Styrofoam. I just think in my mind there has to be a fundamental shift in the way the world thinks and what we prioritize for there to be actionable, profitable, and lasting changes at large corporations. Before COVID when I was going in to my local office quite often I always carried a metal tumbler with me. I would use it to get tea in the break room at the office and I would pay for drinks when I went out for lunch but ask if I could fill my own cup up instead of using theirs. This worked very well for me and I felt like I was doing a good job by at least changing the way I did things. But I don't see many others making this same conscious decision because of the convenience of the Styrofoam cups in the breakroom or the cup at the restaurant. So I really hope that by spreading awareness we can change the personal habits of our employees and that will maybe impact the decisions of other organizations. But it is hard to say if it will make a difference. 
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Recycle Everything I Can
    How could you incorporate other "R's" -- reduce, reuse, refuse, repair, repurpose, etc. -- into your lifestyle? How does considering implementing these "R's" make you feel?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/26/2021 8:18 AM
    I incorporate the other "R's" into my daily life through a variety of ways. Anytime I create waste I consider what would be a better use of the item than putting it in the trash or even taking it to be recycled. There are many useable items that can be created out of "waste" and reused in a variety of ways. For example you can use plastic "packing material, uncontaminated food coverings, etc." stuffed in plastic bottles to make plastic bricks which can be used to create infrastructure like benches or even shelters. Since plastic only has a certain amount of times it can be recycled, it is better to instead upcycle these items to have a "greater purpose" and I know for sure that the items are being reused. I think it is great to find new ways to use an repurpose things but I think at the end of the day having the ability to cut the hard to recycle or unrecyclable things out of your life is the best way to go. To me it is the education or the "retraining" of the way we think about the environment, our role, and what we can do to improve things that is the most important thing that can be done. 
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Watch a Video about Methane Digesters
    What does your vision of a sustainable community look like? What would need to be changed in order for such vision to become reality?

    Kate Moss's avatar
    Kate Moss 4/26/2021 6:18 AM
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Stay on the Ground
    What was your process like for restructuring your trip? How can you avoid more air travel in the future?

    Kate Moss's avatar
    Kate Moss 4/26/2021 6:16 AM
    Would love better transit options in Atlanta.
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Reduce Single-Use Disposables
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/22/2021 3:07 PM
    I try to reduce my use of plastic bags but when I do get them I always reuse them for trash backs or as a floor or table covering for DIY, hobbies, or construction projects. Aside from plastic bags most of my single use items come from take-out and packaged foods and drinks. I try to get cans when I am getting sodas since aluminum is more viable recycles but there are lots of snacks I get that are in plastic singe serving packages and so I am trying to get away from those by making my own snacks and using paper bags or beeswax wraps to carry and store them on the go. 
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Practice the 5 R's
    What are some more "R's" you could add to your daily practice to reduce your waste?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/22/2021 2:43 PM
    I didn't come up with these but these are some other I have seen: rethink, refuse (don't shop at places that use Styrofoam or plastic packaging), reduce, reuse, repurpose/repair, recycle, rot (composting), replenish (regenerative farming), replant (instead of removing and trashing say weeds or even something like a tree from your yard you could take the extra step to replant it somewhere where it could do good). I think anyone who is climate conscious is doing many of these things its just about going that extra couple of step to think out side the box some times to do even more.
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Reduce Animal Products
    Why do people in richer countries eat more meat than people in other places? How does eating more meat affect our bodies, our planet, and other people?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/22/2021 2:26 PM
    Meat is expensive to raise and even thought it is considered a nutrient rich food it is environmentally damaging especially at large scales. Meat also has cultural and societal significance as expensive meats are considered status symbols in many societies. Because of this more wealthy countries spend more time and resources in producing meat because they have the funds to do so. However, while meat can be a good source of nutrients most of the meat produced for mass consumption is riddled with hormones and fat and is considerably less healthy for you than a lean non-hormonal meat but those aren't as profitable at mass scale. Because of this eating a lot of meat creates adverse healthy effects (cholesterol, blood pressure, unhealthy weight gain, etc.) in addition because meat is so popular we raise livestock at mass and the consumption of nutrients and water to bring that livestock to a point of harvest is astronomical. My wife has been a vegetarian for over a decade and most of the food I cook is vegetarian or vegan and while I do enjoy meat still myself I do try to limit it to eating out at nice restaurants that sustainably source their meats and its more of a splurge item for me than the norm. 
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Choose LED Bulbs
    Changing lightbulbs is an excellent first step toward energy efficiency! What's next for you?

    Jacob Highsmith's avatar
    Jacob Highsmith 4/22/2021 2:19 PM
    I have always used led bulbs wherever possible and so has my family - my dad has always swore by them mainly because they aren't glass so when they break it isn't as dangerous and they don't get as hot. I also try to unplug appliances and other things when I am not going to be using them for longer periods of time but I am looking to upgrade many of the appliances that I use often to more energy efficient ones so they are not pulling as much energy even though they are staying plugged in for longer durations.