The Implications of a Specific ‘Regular Activity’


So far we have looked at the breakdown of product life cycles into phases from “cradle to grave” and beyond. We have talked a little about the global and local implications of energy and material flows and broader social issues – some of the factors working for or against sustainability. If life cycle analysis (LCA) is to be a useful tool, it must be able to assess the impact of the products of our desires as they are involved in actions and activities, not simply as products by themselves (a means to an end), and with due regard for all their significant implications. We need to understand the need that they are satisfying, and the activities and infrastructures involved.


In 1000 words, identify the major environmental and social implications of a simple specific regular action/activity, such as drinking a cup of coffee, washing clothes, or communicating with someone in another city. Suggest ways in which this everyday activity may be improved from the perspective of eco-sustainability. The task should be specific to you and reference the way in which it was undertaken by you; do not generalize.
Feel free to use tables, diagrams and charts to make your analysis clear. Your project should be typed double-spaced, and simply stapled at the top left-hand corner with a clear title naming the Activity, and no cover page.

Criteria for Marking the Project

  1. Clarity & logical development and explanation of the issues.
  2. Judgement; sense of proportion, quantitative aspects and use of data, relation to the ‘bigger picture’ for the individual and for society.
  3. Organization and presentation: Introduction/background/story, analysis, conclusions.
  4. Good Use of research resources and references.
  5. Originality.

Sample Solution