Photo Essay Ideas: Wasted Resources

The inspiration for our Photo Essay activity is the wasted water essay by Praveena ( . Extending this theme of waste, there are a few other topics for the photo essay:

(1) Wasted Paper. I got the idea of this topic when I got a Staples Rewards application and card from the store – it was the 4th or 5th that had been hoisted on me, and it always ends up in the wastebasket. It’s not that there is no use for it, but why isn’t there an easier (non-paper) way to sign up for these rewards? Coupons have already gone mobile and online, so why can’t this card have gone paperless? I think the Borders card is a lot easier too, only requiring an email address. Another wasted paper scenario that makes you thump your forehead is the copy machine that runs a big job only to find out it needs to be run again for some reason (eg, missed copying the flip side of the original). Why can’t there be more intelligence built into a copy machine’s interface? And what about all that junk mail?

(2) Wasted Plastic: Why do so many products come in large plastic packaging? Some are worst than others but is there not an easy solution? Then there are plastic containers such as yoghurt cups or shampoo bottles. Some containers such as restaurant food bowls may make great candidates for reuse (such as planting pots).

(3) Wasted Light: Sun tunnels are a great and efficient way to get light where it is needed. How else can we address wasted light?

(4) Wasted Heat: People have spent quite some time thinking about using waste heat – such as in data centers. Are there are any ideas pertaining to other sources of wasted heat?

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