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Paper, Plastic, or Cotton Tote Bag? What Life Cycle Assessments Tell Us About the Sustainability of Everyday Items

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Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Lecture for spring 2013 will feature Dr. David Tyler from the Chemistry Department of University of Oregon. Dr. Tyler will deliver a fascinating talk on the relative environmental costs and benefits of common consumer products, and the difficulties associated in making a reasoned conclusion. We are confronted with choices every day that impact our environment: Paper, plastic, or reusable tote bag? Disposable plastic cup or reusable ceramic mug? Biodiesel, gasohol, or gasoline? Prius or Hummer? Incandescent bulb, compact fluorescent light, or LED? Local or shipped produce? Recycling or incineration? How do we really know what’s best for the environment? This talk will focus on how we evaluate the environmental impacts of various materials and products and some of the fundamental principles of green chemistry and sustainability as well. Warning: your intuition about environmental impacts is not always right! Dr. Tyler wil help us understand how these issues play out in the world of energy, pollution, waste streams and climate change. Please bring your questions and comments for the discussion time after the formal presentation. Join us Thursday April 11 at 7pm in the Diversions Room, downstairs in The Stephenson Union on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, Oregon. Free to the public, but donations gratefully accepted.