Letters to the Editor, June 2022
Published: June 21, 2022
Thank you for your article “Studying Our Stuff: Life Cycle Analysis Activities for Grades 6-12.” The activities are timely and educational. Most people, not just school children, are not aware of or choose not to think about where stuff comes from or where it goes. By learning about “stuff” they will become better stewards of the planet. It is never too early to begin teaching kids about the life cycles of stuff and the importance of the “three Rs” (reduce, reuse, recycle). I give presentations about water and climate and other environmental issues. I like to ask young students about where water comes from. Most say that it comes out of a faucet, but when asked where it originates from, how it gets purified for drinking, how it is transported to the faucet, and where it goes when it drains—most are clueless. And most think that water is free and are shocked to learn that it must be paid for.
Humans consume and throw away way too much. In our neighborhood we have weekly trash pick-up, and I am amazed at the amount of reusable furniture and other items that are left at the curb to be picked up and driven to a landfill. Our town has a yearly electronics drop-off day, and I am equally amazed at the mountains of electronics trash that will be headed to a landfill.
Your article has inspired me to continue incorporating “stuff” studies into my lesson plans. I’m sure that after reading your article, others will do the same.
First, in response to some letters in the March issue, I always like reading the letters—it is nice to know others feel like I do about overpopulation. So I enjoyed both Frank Pittman’s and Cory Davidson’s letters. I couldn’t have said it better on both issues, so thank you to both of you.
Also, thank you to Population Connection for finally giving us an article about men and their responsibilities (“Men Across America Are Getting Vasectomies ‘as an Act of Love’ ”). I have been asking for one for some time. I admit I get tired of reading about birth control and abortion but never anything about men and what they can do. So this was refreshing and a start. Thanks to all men willing to do this.
Keep up the good work. You seem to be the only group that gets (or will admit) the connection between too many people and all of our environmental problems—food shortages, fresh water shortages, too much logging, etc.
It must be said that no discussion of a ‘lack’ of any fundamentally life-giving resource should be taken seriously that fails to bring in the balancing subject of overpopulation (contextual locally and writ large globally), with its myriad unrealistic demands thereof.
We must begin to take into account the planet’s finite realities as the starting point for such discussions.
Thanks for the great recent issue! I read it cover-to-cover. As someone who lived in Mississippi as a high school teacher with Teach for America and witnessed rampant teenage pregnancy there, and then as someone who had a vasectomy a few years ago, for all the reasons pointed to in this article, this issue hit home on many fronts.
Population Connection Board Member