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Choose 2 products or items that you might find in a home or office. The products should be produced, sold and used in the United States or in a relatively affluent country. One product or item will be a simple mechanical and/or electrical device. The other product or item will NOT be mechanical or electrical. Keep it simple for example, a toaster or an automobile, and a plastic bottle or a basketball hoop.

Research each product or item production, manufacture, growth or whatever process is used to make the product or item available for use. Consider in your research the cradle to grave lifespan of the product or item.

For each of the two products or items, answer the following questions and provide the requested information:

Is this a product or item necessary for human survival?

What are the raw materials, chemicals, energy, etc. used to make the product and become part of the product or item?

Is the product made from a renewable resource (ex. A tree) or a limited resource (ex. Oil)?

Can the product and/or materials be recycled or reused and how?

Is there any other method for reducing the materials, chemicals, energy, etc. used to make the product?

Is there any alternative products or substitution for the product?

Describe how the product gets from raw materials to production, manufacture, growth, etc. to the store and then to your home. What is the transportation, energy use?

How is the product or item disposed of or how would it be disposed of? (even if it can be partially recycled or reused)

Does it decompose to basic elements, nutrients if placed in a landfill? If yes, then how long does decomposition take?

List all the negative environmental impacts of production, use and disposal of the product or item.

Would you expect the production of the product or item to most likely increase as the human population increases? If yes, then what impact would you expect on the size of each person’s ecological footprint? (note: keep in mind the product or item production, sale and use is in the United States, a relatively affluent country)

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