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Social Sciences
Lab Report
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Office Manager: Food Services Department, Water Everywhere (Lab Report Sample)


Human activity changes the natural environment, and now there are more humans than ever. In fact, there are over seven billion people in the world, and people make, use and throw out a lot of stuff. How does all of that affect the environment, and what, if anything, should we do about it? In this Project, you will create a report that addresses these questions by tracking the journey of a single use water bottle from its beginnings as raw materials all the way through its transportation and consumption to its disposal.
As office manager, you are responsible for directing what the Food Services Department supplies at breakfast and luncheon meetings. For drinking water, you can choose to purchase water bottles or serve chilled tap water and ice served in reusable water pitchers and glasses. You have already determined that the difference in cost is negligible, so you can choose based on a different factor: environmental impact. Of course, your boss will want to know how you came to your decision. So, you will produce a report, supported by research and mathematical calculations.
First, complete the Water Bottle Tracking Worksheet. Then, create a report in which you discuss effects of human actions on the environment related to the water bottle life cycle. The calculations you make on the worksheet will give you some ideas and figures to supplement your discussion specific to transportation; other resources will offer different angles of approach for your analysis. You may include charts, diagrams or other graphics to enhance your materials, but be sure to write in your own words and cite sources as necessary.
In your report:
Describe the cycles of four chemicals essential to life on earth: water, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Be sure to use appropriate key terms and explain them in your own words. Consider:
How do the cycles normally function?
How does the production cycle of water bottles change each of the cycles?
Explain biodiversity and how it is affected by human transportation (that is, transportation-related systems such as trucking and manufacturing) as detailed in the worksheet and other resources.
Explain the population-growth model. How do humans live in relation to this model? How does this affect the environment?
Select four different variations from the normal processes identified in parts 1, 2 and 3 above. Offer at least one possible restorative measure for each variation, explaining how each measure could mitigate negative effects on the processes you described. 
Analyze each restorative measure critically by addressing the following questions:
What benefits would each measure have?
What drawbacks might result from adopting a given intervention?
What kinds of complications could make the adoption difficult?
Identify and discuss at least three different ethical issues that face humans (as consumers, citizens, businesses or governments) due to human population growth and/or consumption of resources. Consider the information and ideas you have developed in researching the topics above, as well as the results of the Water Bottle Tracking Worksheet.
Completed Water Bottle Tracking Worksheet

In this worksheet, you will calculate the amount of carbon dioxide, or "carbon footprint," emitted by just one stage of a plastic water bottle's life cycle: transportation. You will also perform some other calculations related to bottled water consumption in the United States. Use the answers you calculate to inform your report's discussion of the environmental impact of using bottled water.
For this worksheet, we will consider the best-selling product of the Warsaw Springs Bottling Company of Warsaw Springs, Maine: the ½-liter (.5 L) spring water bottle.
Perform the following calculations to identify roughly how much carbon dioxide is emitted from transporting the product. For each problem below:
* Include the equations or formulas you used.
* Explain, in words or with mathematical steps, how you arrived at your answers. You do not have to submit sketches, but you may find that drawing parts of the problem on scratch paper can help you understand the problem.
* Include all relevant units (such as miles or cubic inches) in your final answers.
* Round answers to one decimal place unless indicated otherwise.
1 Warsaw Springs bottled water is shipped away from the plant by truck, which will travel an average speed of 65 miles per hour.
1 How many hours will it take the truck to drive from the bottling plant to the BigMart store located 121 miles away in Manchester, New Hampshire?
Speed=65 miles/hour
Distance=121 miles
Time= distance ÷speed
121÷65=1.9hours≀1 hour 54 minutes

2 Convert your answer above to minutes. Round to the whole minute.
1hour=60 minutes
60+54=114 minutes

2 The carbon footprint from transporting the water depends in part on the number of products that can be transported at one time. The water bottles are shipped upright in shrink-wrapped cases, 24 to a case.
Case Dimensions

Figure 1: Case of water. Note: Diagram not to scale.


15.1 in.


8.3 in.


10.2 in.

Using the numbers in the table above, what is the area of the base of one case? What is its perimeter? Its volume?
Note: Area units can be expressed as square inches (in2); volume units can be expressed as cubic inches (in3).
Area= length×width
Perimeter=2(length+ width)
Volume=length× width× height
15.1× 8.3 ×10.2=1,278.4inches3

3 The cases are then placed upright in a truck, with as many as will fit in the truck lined up and stacked. The diagr...
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