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Shawnee Hullinger
ANTH 2281
28 April 2016
Global Problems Local Action
Many threats are facing the environment of our world, whether through deforestation and
destruction of habitats, pollution or climate change. Habitat destruction throughout India and
China is devastating Slow Loris populations. The land they, as well as many other species of
fauna and flora, dwell in is often being converted to agricultural land or to make room for human
settlement (Gron, 2009). According to the World Wildlife fund pollution comes in many forms
impacting all living things. Air, noise, light and water pollution are a few types. We all know air
pollution and have seen it here in the Salt Lake Valley due to the smog. Air pollution can cause
problems with our respiratory systems and even lead to cancer. If it’s doing this to us then it will
in turn have negative effects on wildlife. Noise pollution in the arctic has led to problems for
beluga whales, among other sea life, in their breeding and feeding habits. Baby sea turtles are
hatched on land then instinctively follow the light of the moon to the ocean. However light
pollution from cities confuses them and they can end up going the wrong way leading most
likely to their deaths. Lastly water pollution affects us all because everything needs water to
survive. If a waterway is polluted in the habitat of the Proboscis Monkey, for example, then they
could get very sick (Unknown, 2016). Climate change is something we have all heard of even if
some of us choose not to believe it. Rising water levels and temperatures leading to melting ice
caps is a big deal. A study conducted on four New World Monkey species showed that in El
Nino years when it was warmer there were a larger number of fruit produced. However in

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following La Nina years when it was cooler less fruit grew leading to famine among the
monkeys. These events will most likely become more frequent as global warming progresses
(Shipman, 2009).
Some helpful definitions are as follows. Conservation is, “the act of conserving;
prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss; preservation (Conservation).”

Sustainability is, “the

quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby
supporting long-term ecological balance (Sustainability).” “Environmental sustainability is the
rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion
that can be continued indefinitely. If they cannot be continued indefinitely then they are not
sustainable (Daly, 1990).”
Salt Lake Community College has put in place sustainable practices by reducing the
amount of energy they use by installing LED lighting. This will save 2,959,907 kWh of energy
annually. The Environmental Health and Safety Department also recycles old cell phones and
batteries. Non-recyclable batteries are properly disposed of as a hazardous waste material. The
SLCC recycling program recycles the following items,” all clean paper products, clean
cardboard, empty plastic bottles, empty aluminum cans, assorted scrap metals, toner cartridges,
batteries, motor oils, paint, computer and other electronic items, pallets, and much more.” They
have recycling receptacles all over campus where you can sort out materials. In 2015 958,366
lbs. was recycled by the school (Unknown, Facilities Services, 2016)!
Something that has been done in Salt Lake City is that downtown there is Greenbike
which is a bike share program. There are lots of stations throughout the area to encourage people
to ride bikes instead of driving and contributing to air pollution. Also many more bike lanes

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have been added throughout the Salt Lake Valley and electric car charging stations have also
been added (Department).
Utah’s Hogle Zoo and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) are working
together to implement the Wild Aware Utah program. The three main messages they stress are;
be aware of the wild, share the wild and care for the wild. They aim to educate the public on
wildlife in Utah and how to avoid conflict with them as Utah’s urbanization grows (Staff, 2015).
The Conservation Garden in West Jordan, Utah is working to reduce water consumption
and teach the public about water saving practices and wise planting and irrigation practices.
They offer free classes to the public in spring and summer and also offer field trips for schools
(District, 2016).
These things are important and should be taken seriously. However one may ask what’s
it matter if I ride a bike? Why should I worry about recycling or my water consumption and why
should I learn before traipsing off into the wild on my fun planned weekend?
Riding a bike instead of driving your car, aside from good exercise, cuts down on the
amount of pollution put into the air. Less pollution we breathe in, the better off we all are. On
red air days were not even supposed to be outside because of potential health risks.
The 5 R’s expanded from the traditional three are; Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and
Rot. Refuse what you don’t need, reduce what you have, reuse what you can, recycle what you
can’t refuse, reduce or reuse and rot, meaning compost, the rest (Johnson, 2013). This is not so
easily implemented but if we do recycle and be conscious of our impact the world would be in a
better place.

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As for water we need to conserve it. There are many people in the world who do not
have access to clean water and here we take it for granted as something that is always there. On
the Navajo Reservation there has been an ongoing water crisis for a while now due to their water
being tainted. These are things that affect all of us or why else would we be asked not to water
our lawns in the summer? Lastly knowing about the wildlife in your area will keep you and the
animals safer overall.
The reasoning behind teaching biodiversity, conservation and sustainability in a
primatology course is common sense. So many of the world’s primates are in danger of
becoming extinct so we need to understand about them needing protection and that the impact of
humans on the environment is what is pushing many species over the edge. Biodiversity is very
important as it keeps everything in balance and if we lose an organism that is part of the web it
could throw everything off.
Things I try to do to live a more sustainable life are things I have implemented in the last
few years. Although I have always recycled it has become more difficult for my family to do so
sense moving into an apartment and not having curbside recycling so I take it instead to school.
I recently started making my own toothpaste and using a compostable bamboo toothbrush. I’ve
also begun the use of wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets and reusable metal straws my
boyfriend got me to phase out plastic ones at restaurants. My family also uses reusable water
bottles on a daily basis and tries to remember our reusable bags for shopping trips.
In the reading on conservation it talks about the need for teaching children to care and
love the environment because there is often too great a lack of caring. When you try to instill
values in college aged students you are generally less effective because they are in a very busy

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transitioning time in their lives and are set in their ways. If you could start developing that
caring at a young age there would be a huge difference when that generation becomes adults
(Owens, 1999). I think this is true. I am a person who cares deeply about the environment and
has since I can remember. There are people who are just naturally like that. However many are
not but if they learned about it when they were little maybe they would be more concerned about
the issues our world is facing.
Things I would like to do is stop the use of plastics in my daily life. Every piece of
plastic ever made is still on this Earth. It would be difficult to completely eliminate it because if
you just think about it what isn’t packaged in plastic these days? However I am trying to not use
plastic bags that are single use so I put my sandwiches and chips in Tupperware which although
it is still plastic is at least reusable. I would also like to start making more things myself like
deodorant and soap. I just haven’t because I still have regular deodorant and such to use up.
There is much more I can do and I look for new things to implement into my life every day.

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Works Cited
Conservation. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved April 25, 2016 from
Daly, H. E. 1990a. Boundless bull. Gannett Center Journal 4(3):113–118. —Daly, H. E. 1990b.
Toward some operational principles of sustainable development. Ecological Economics
Department, S. L. (n.d.). Air Quality: What Salt Lake City is Doing. Retrieved from SLC Green:!energy-slc/m2a1c
District, J. V. (2016). Conservation Programs. Retrieved from Jordan Valley Water Conservancy
Gron KJ. 2009 March 18. Primate Factsheets: Slow loris (Nycticebus) Conservation .
<>. Accessed 2016 April 25.
Johnson, B. (2013). Zero Waste Home. New York: Scribner.
Owens, J. A. (1999). Teaching Conservation Effectively: A Lesson. In J. A. Owens,
Conservation Biology (pp. 453-454).
Shipman, P. (2009, October 28). Global Warming Cycles Threaten Endangered Primates .
Retrieved from Penn State :
Staff, H. Z. (2015). Be Wild Aware. Retrieved from Utah's Hogle Zoo:

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sustainability. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved April 25, 2016 from
Unknown. (2016). Facilities Services. Retrieved from Salt Lake Community College:
Unknown. (2016). Pollution. Retrieved from World Wildlife Fund: