Matching Items (7)

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Measures of a Sustainable Commute as a Predictor of Happiness

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The ways in which we travel—by what mode, for how long, and for what purpose—can affect our sense of happiness and well-being. This paper assesses the relationships between measures of

The ways in which we travel—by what mode, for how long, and for what purpose—can affect our sense of happiness and well-being. This paper assesses the relationships between measures of the sustainability of transportation systems in U.S. metropolitan areas and subjective well-being. Associations between self-reported happiness levels from the Gallup Healthways Well-being Index and commute data were examined for 187 core-based statistical areas (CBSA). We also supplement this quantitative analysis through brief case studies of high- and low-performing happiness cities. Our quantitative results indicate that regions with higher commute mode shares by non-automobile modes generally had higher well-being scores, even when controlling for important economic predictors of happiness. We also find that pro-sustainable transportation policies can have implications for population-wide happiness and well-being. Our case studies indicate that both high and low scoring happiness cities demonstrate a dedicated commitment to improving sustainable transportation infrastructure. Our study suggests that cities that provide incentives for residents to use more sustainable commute modes may offer greater opportunity for happiness than those that do not.

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Date Created
  • 2017-07-13

The History and Practical Applications of Video Games as a Medium for Dispersing Knowledge of and Generating Discussion Around Sustainability

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Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as

Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as “gamification” in the educational and business sectors, as well as educational games. While gamification itself is very prolific, its application to sustainability issues has been somewhat limited. With the progression of technology and the high percentage of gamers within the population, the time is ripe for a paradigm shift. Humans have always played games to inform themselves and others, and though this takes many forms, they always will, be their efforts dedicated to education, entertainment, or profit. While teaching and entertainment may sometimes be at odds with one another, they do not have to be. Many audiences respond well to varied forms of entertainment, and when the ability of a thing designed to further educate or gamify is given room to be entertaining as well, all involved benefit. Sustainability as a whole is an incredibly nebulous and broad concept, such that current educational and entertaining games exploring the subject largely addresses it on a smaller scale, or looks at a piece of the picture instead of all of it, as smaller pieces are easier to break down and address. There are ways that games can be and are vehicles for both entertainment and education, and by combining the two end goals in relatively equal measure, a solid platform can be built off of which both learning and personal growth can occur.

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  • 2019-05

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The Negative Externalities of the Fence between the US and Mexico

Description

The fence between the US and Mexico had been and continues to be a controversial topic in both the U.S., Mexico and around the world. This study will look at

The fence between the US and Mexico had been and continues to be a controversial topic in both the U.S., Mexico and around the world. This study will look at the negative externalities related to the environment, society, and economy of the current fence on the border. The central question behind the thesis is whether or not the fence has a direct impact on the ecosystem and people around it.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Energy Subsidies: Cheaper Energy or Energy Abuse?

Description

This paper seeks to analyze the relationship between energy subsidies on fossil fuels by countries and corresponding energy consumption, specifically electricity, by its citizens and occupants. The purpose of this

This paper seeks to analyze the relationship between energy subsidies on fossil fuels by countries and corresponding energy consumption, specifically electricity, by its citizens and occupants. The purpose of this was to determine whether pre-tax subsidies and post-tax subsidies have an effect on that consumption. This paper will discuss the prospect of accounting for post-tax subsidies as a method to curb rampant energy consumption throughout the world, with the focus being on residential electricity use. The two case studies, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, will illustrate the consumption patterns in relatively similar economic societies with different subsidy policies. Saudi Arabia will be a high pre-tax subsidy example while the Netherlands will be shown to account for some of the post-tax subsidies through an externality tax system. At the end of this analysis, this paper will show that the heavy subsidization of electricity production is strongly correlated to residential electricity consumption at levels that many officials would deem unsustainable, and that as such, subsidy reform is both beneficial and necessary.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Investigating Current and Future Opportunities of Voluntary Carbon Offsets

Description

Voluntary carbon offsets have become a key strategy of climate action efforts in the wake of worldwide anthropogenic climate change. The voluntary carbon market has grown rapidly as more institutions

Voluntary carbon offsets have become a key strategy of climate action efforts in the wake of worldwide anthropogenic climate change. The voluntary carbon market has grown rapidly as more institutions gain interest in contributing to decarbonization efforts to reach emissions reduction goals. The voluntary carbon offset market has introduced decarbonization solutions through various carbon removal, reduction, and avoidance projects that provide accessibility to climate solutions and credit affordability. However, the variability of projects and verification systems has led to some criticisms of the validity and accuracy of these solutions. This thesis assesses the current state of the voluntary carbon market policies and future opportunities and trajectories for this market.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Social-Life Cycle Assessment: Oil Extraction in Section 1002 of the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Description

Drilling in Section 1002 has been an ongoing debate since the region was designated as a potential area for drilling projects, pending congressional approval in 1980. In 2017, the area

Drilling in Section 1002 has been an ongoing debate since the region was designated as a potential area for drilling projects, pending congressional approval in 1980. In 2017, the area was officially opened up for oil and gas development through its passage in the GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This act requires 2 lease sales of 400,000 acres, with an allowed 2,000 acre physical footprint (not including pipelines, ice roads, or gravel mines). Using Social-Life Cycle Assessment methodology to assess the process of oil extraction in Section 1002, significant benefits and drawbacks of drilling in this region, with economic, cultural, and social impacts ranging from the local level to the state level to the national level were identified.

Stakeholders impacted by oil development in the Section 1002 region include the Kaktovik community who lives within the Program Area, the Gwich’in people who live south of ANWR, the corporations who will be leasing the land, as well as the employees who will be working on the projects. These stakeholders share similar values and interests, however, when it comes down to the attainment of these values, there are significant differences in opinion. This debate comes down specifically to the desire to ensure stability for one’s family and community, as this means 2 different things to the majority stakeholders on this issue: The Inupiaq and the Gwich’in. The Inupiaq ,who live in Kaktovik specifically ,are particularly keen on the idea of drilling in the Section 1002 region, because the revenues and opportunities that come with the oil and gas development provide access to better standards of living and a more westernized way of life. The Gwich’in, however, value their relationship to the land and the caribou that are at risk of significant change. These 2 groups are critical to the debate, but the state and federal governments have the final say, and a financial incentive to move forward with the lease sales.

Utilizing the S-LCA framework, life cycle impacts of drilling on society are found using indicators that are identified and assessed using both qualitative and quantitative means. Although some conclusions are uncertain due to the forward-looking nature of this S-LCA, the Increasing/Decreasing trends can be identified and confidently attributed to the specific indicators.

Significant Results:
Significant issues this study has highlighted include the resulting impacts, both positive and negative, on the communities affected by oil and gas development in Section 1002. Significant stakeholders include the Kaktovik community, the Gwich’in people, the oil and gas workers in the state of Alaska, and the oil and gas companies themselves. The local residents are the most affected by the impacts of development, with significant issues pertaining to potential for significant lifestyle change, the increased risk of impact on subsistence species, the risks associated with pollution, and the effect on the economy through revenues and job availability.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Construction and Demolition Waste Impact, Policy and Diversion

Description

Humans, throughout the world, build houses to live in and raise their families. The construction of houses and other buildings produces a large quantity of waste during this process. This

Humans, throughout the world, build houses to live in and raise their families. The construction of houses and other buildings produces a large quantity of waste during this process. This waste is not necessarily biodegradable or derived from environmentally friendly materials. They often damage the environment causing pollution and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions (Tam, V. W., & Tam, C. M, 2012). This type of waste is categorized as Construction and Demolition(C&D) waste. My culminating experience focuses on C&D waste and this summary is divided into three parts. In the first part, the report covers the impact of the C&D waste in sustainability. Considering the three pillars of sustainability the effect of C&D waste on these three pillars are analyzed. The second part is the policy analysis surrounding current C&D waste in cities within the states of Arizona, Oregon and California. This section also covers the current practices and impact that the policies have had in diverting C&D waste from landfill. The report features application of conceptual mapping to explore the issues surrounding C&D waste in the circular economy, and intervention points for waste diversion. The third part of this project focuses on a selected intervention point: Community engagement, and education. The report also discusses the processes and strategies applied to organize an event to create art from salvaged building supplies. Stardust celebrated their 20th year anniversary in April 2017. In collaboration with them, the “Salvage This” event was organized to engage with artists, to exhibit arts created from salvaged building supplies, and promote reuse concept in the community.

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Date Created
  • 2017-04-28