Jon Heaton – Unit 3 Final Project
My Goal for this project is to do more than just bring about awareness, it’s to call people to action, to show them the actual picture. If you think about someone dropping a plastic bottle on the ground, it doesn’t seem like the biggest problem. My project helps illustrate the big picture. What would happen if 1 person in the world littered just one thing every week? The would be over 7 billion pieces of trash making the world dirtier every week, 364 billion pieces of trash just blowing around the world or floating in the oceans, lakes, and rivers. That’s a huge impact. That’s literally a mountain of trash. I’ve seen those commercials that say we all live downstream which is true, our garbage that ends up in streams, gutters, drains, ends up in oceans and lakes. I want people to hold themselves more accountable, because yes, it’s illegal to litter but that’s so hard to police and control. If somehow we took more control of our actions and were more aware of what we’re doing it would reduce our litter problem. These pictures are kind of extreme, but they’re reality, we do a good job here in the US cleaning up litter from the beaches, lakes, and parks. (11 billion dollars yearly in clean up efforts) On the other hand, in other countries where they have our infrastructure or matched clean up efforts, we see the actual impact. The oceans and beaches are becoming disgusting. I don’t want beaches to get so disgusting that people can’t even go there to enjoy it anymore. I don’t want our planet to get literally “trashed.”
It’s very effective to use rhetorical strategies. I used imagery with the photos to illustrate the giant problem that we face, and people can’t deny photos or imagine them as a lesser problem. I use empirical evidence/claim of fact also, because it’s proof that’s purely objective that can’t be disputed, it’s true that millions of tons of waste end up in the ocean yearly and it’s increasing, mass amounts of animals are eating or getting choked killed by this litter daily. I use claim of value a little to get people’s pride and make them feel their own personal duty to take care of their own trash and dispose of it properly for their own and everybody’s benefit.
Originally I thought about doing a presentation about the importance of education but it was hard to think of a good medium to get the point across, that school kids haven’t already seen. Unfortunately, after all the evidence and proof of why school is important it comes down to the fact that some people just hate it and won’t go or take it serious, regardless of the consequences. I also wanted to talk about destruction of forests and recycling, but just the topic of littering by itself was so jammed packed with things to talk about and focus on that I thought this is a good first step, and if people are conscious enough to not litter their plastic maybe they’ll take the time to recycle it, which helps a lot in these efforts as well because of the amounts of plastic that are littered, especially into the ocean. After spending a lot of time in brazil and literally seeing “rivers” of sewer water also filled with garbage spill into the ocean really opened my eyes to this problem, it’s just a bit more hidden here and so we don’t notice as much. The fact is that this is a growing problem that we need to seriously try to reverse and make some progress in reducing littering rather than increasing it.
Reflection on this Course
At the beginning of this course I always dreaded writing because it was going to take time out of my night and it just seemed pointless to me, like I was only writing for a grade not a purpose, because I didn’t want to be an author or journalist. What I’ve learned is the purpose writing serves with the use of rhetoric, it can be informative or a call to action and just about any career or profession needs literacy in writing , but above that you need to be a good writer to prepare speeches and to be great and excel in a profession, to climb that ladder.
Our assignment about making a call to action really opened my eyes to my own beliefs. I’ve always looked on littering as not that bad because it’s just a little piece of trash here and there that I’d throw on the ground. I missed the big idea that, if every single person does this once a week that’s & billion pieces of trash where they shouldn’t be. That’s crazy, it made me feel like I’m more powerful. Even though this assignment will never be published it makes me realize people like me, or anyone can write educated pieces and be heard and change problems and issues in our world.
The articles about blue collar workers really struck me. I’ve always grown up thinking it’s necessary to go to college and get a degree to get a high paying and reliable job and to be “smart”. I never degraded blue collar work because I always saw it as necessary and important but just something I didn’t want to do because sometimes it’s frowned upon or it seems hard to make a lot of money, but it’s a constant industry and these people are so intelligent and master’s of their craft, amazing spatial workers, and problem solvers. It really helped me to open my options and mind to the possibility of blue collar work being a career path for me, because it’s not a boring desk job, but is necessary and it’s possible to make a “comfortable” salary.