March 31, 2016

Dear Division 16,

You’ve done some great work this term on your Itadakimasu projects – thinking about the impact of the goods we use and the materials we consume is an important part of being a member of a caring, global community.

I found this article about the Tesla car – the new electric car that is new on the market.  The article below considers some of the hidden environmental impacts of electric cars.

Once you have read the article, please think of a hidden cost, externality or impact of a product that you learned about through your Itadakimasu project study.

You will need to name the product, be specific about what the hidden cost was and be clear about why you were surprised.  What beliefs do you hold that were challenged by what you learned in this project?

For example, the author of the article above points out that electric cars require lighter metals and rare metals that often have problematic mining processes attached.  This will have an environmental impact beyond the emissions from the use of the car.

I look forward to your responses!



  1. Amythest

    I’m doing an impact. I’m also doing the rare metals. I think the impact is that first of all they have to get to China and get to the special mine which uses up a lot of energy/ power of just getting there. Then they have to mine which in the article it said that you can only find the special metals in small amounts at a time so they have to mine and mine and mine until they have found enough metals which is probably a lot and probably takes a long time. The cars do also have a big big impact because they still have to use energy to drive anywhere so they still arn’t the best but they’re better than normal cars.The only good thing about mining is that more carbon dioxide comes out of the ground.

  2. Ginger

    I was very surprised that the main by-product of pillow making and usage was not even part of the pillow. We learned that the actual pillows do not create much waste because they can be used for very long periods of time and most fabric scraps made within the manufacturing stage can be reused in pillows and other fabric-made products. The main by-product is actually the metal baling bands used to bundle and transport the polyester batting. The baling bands are used for keeping bails of polyester together while being transported from the country they were made in. They can only be used once and sometimes are not recycled properly, although some companies will give them to neighbouring community members to redeem for a small payment.

    Though some synthetic materials could be harmful to factory workers’ lungs, polyester pillow material comes in sheets and rarely separates. The bigger problem is the feather and down pillows. Down has very small filaments and is quite prone to being inhaled by labourers, causing possible health risks. Overall, I was quite surprised that the main by-product of pillow creation doesn’t even make it to our homes, because, in this case, more waste is created by the manufacturer instead of the consumer.

  3. Rouge

    One of the things in socks that I was very surprised about was the ingredients in the dyes. In sock factories they use lots of dyes and colouring to dye the fabric and wool. Within the dye is loads of harmful chemicals that are unknown to the workers and buyers. They use these chemicals possibly to: strengthen the colour, speed up the process, and to spend less money on artificial dyes as opposed to buying and using organic resources. Workers in foreign countries are getting sick and slowly losing their health without knowing what is harming them. Or they do know that the chemicals are harmful but there is nothing that they can do to change that. Before I started the Itadakimasu project I knew nothing of what went into dyes and where we got those materials. I was shocked to learn that we are putting artificial colouring into fabric and food and we regularly use dyes but we don’t even though where they come from. Are we all slowly being affected from these fabric dyes? There are some alternative dyes that you can use made from trees, plants, and minerals but these are harder to transform into dyes and harder to access in large quantities so companies use artificial dyes to save money and time. I think that we should all know where our clothing and food dyes come from, that way we are aware of the consequences it may have over us.

  4. The Dude

    In the Itadakimasu project me and my project members, we are investigating the industry of comic-books and graphic novels. Hidden costs and impacts might include , the cost of colour printers for the comics, the money to pay the loggers to cut down trees to make the paper. Also the production of ink colours. Also the money to put that book into production for the publishers. And the money used to pay the workers in the factories and offices and services that make the comic books. There’s also the cost of delivery and transportation of the books to the stores and into your homes.

  5. THEMANGO404 mmmuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    The ingredient in electric batteries that I am going to talk about is copper sulphate a main conducting ingredient in electric batteries. It is a crystal inside the electric battery that transfers energy in the battery. It is used mainly in lithium-ion or lithium-oxygen batteries. The 1 issue with copper sulphate is that if it is dumped in vegetation when mined the it could kill the plants and trees and poison the animals in the area which is one of the externalized costs of making and electric car.

  6. 14A Dinosaur

    i think that many the batteries in the car might not be as eco friendly as they say they are because all the things you need to make the batteries are hard to mine and some of them are poisonous and that has to be bad for the environment

  7. smeagaleater10

    The product that I chose to investigate externality was the main, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery. The hidden cost/externality that I investigated was the mining of rare earth metals. I was extremely surprised mainly of the amount of earth consumed by mining to extract one pound of rare metal. Based on the percentages from the article I calculated the ratio for the amount of rare earth metals to common earth to be 1:500. The Tesla Model S main, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery weighs approximately 1000 pounds that means over 500,000 pounds of earth is mined and contaminated for this one battery. Before I read the article I underestimated the amount of common earth to rare earth and extremely surprised about the amount of environmental impact caused to produce a single rechargeable, lithium-ion battery.

  8. Joaquin

    In the Itadakimasu project we learned about e-waste which takes a lot natural resources to make electronics components. I was surprised about how many metals are put into making electronics components like cell phones.For example, for every 1 million cell phones recycled we can get these amounts of precious metals,35,274 pounds of copper,772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium. I believed that cell phones had a little bit of metal in them but i was wrong.

  9. DancingPorcupine

    For my Itadakimasu project I am doing socks. Something that I thought was a very big impact on was how the workers in the fashion industry are treated. They don’t get paid very well and have to work long days and most don’t get to see their families very often. I think that the media makes working in the fashion industry look much different than it actually is.


    For the itadakimasu project I have chosen to do t-shirts. One of the hidden costs is life, because in some of the places where there is cotton grown they will spray the cotton with pesticides and they aren’t wearing protective gear. When they spray the pesticides they have a chance of getting cancer, skin conditions and having kids with birth defects and then parents who can’t pay for the medical care that their children need, the parents will then just be waiting for them to die. In a addition the people who own the cotton farms could not have made enough cotton in time for the people buying the cotton or are in debt to bigger corporations then they will take there farmland away then the owners will then drink pesticides. I was quiet surprised to see how bad the the fashion industry is and how much pollution it makes. What was so surprising was that you don’t even think for a second that something we wear every day can be so horrible for others lives I would never want to wear something that hurts so many but it is a living a necessity. The people who are doing this make it really hard for others who are trying to stop it because they will do anything to stop it they will go past anything to make there money.

  11. Sr.fruitcake

    In my project we are doing pillows so it is only fit to something related to that. I was surprised that the people in the factories around the globe ( but mostly in developing countries.) are paid so little, I thought that after all they do and their long work hours they would be paid well above the amount they are being paid, I knew that the people (much of the time children) working in the cotton fields were paid terribly but some how I had hoped that the people higher up the supply chain were being paid better but the fact is the unfairness stretches for a long way before coming to the few parts of the supply chain where people are being paid lots of money. A this point however you realize they should be getting paid less because of the inequality I talked about at the bottom of the supply chain I firmly believe that this system needs to become more equal. If it does not it will only contribute one more thing to the inequality all over the globe, a problem we do not want feed the fire under.


    I was surprised that there was so meny impacts on earth from electric cars like the metels they mine.the big thing from that is people in China are getting sick and potentially diying because all of the chemical baths.
    Now that I know that so meny metals and chemicals are going into cars and phones I will think twice before buying one.

  13. Crazychicken lover

    paper is widely used and is one of the leading industries in pollution. Its hard to believe bju lots of deforestation happens and they use tonnes and tonnes of water to make a small amount of paper and most of the time you think that you only use wood but you use lots of other chemicals that are dangerous to the enviroment and workers who bind the book are expozed to it.

  14. Smallbrowndog

    I am choosing lead because it is used in plenty of batteries as a separator between plates that power the battery. Lead is mined in Australia and Chile but I will focus more on the mining in Australia. The mines leak loads of lead as much as 200 tonnes of lead dust have been put in the atmosphere from the mines. Due to this lead levels in the blood of residents in the nearby communities. One person had 0000.375 grams of lead per 1litre of blood. The mines are an economic river of money but are entoxicating the citizens of nearby towns.

  15. The Baconator

    I will be talking about the impact coins have on the environment. I didn’t know how many different metals go into coins and how far away they come from. The miners would go to an area and would take rare metals and then leave. They went through that long process to get valuables when coins can easily be made by another metal not so valuable and mined closer! That is why the penny was phased out!

  16. baconguy

    The product I will be talking about is paper. Paper seems like a fairly harmless product as far as they go, but it actually damages the environment quite a bit. The cost that I will be taking about now is the pulp mill. To start, part of the process includes a lot of water, and I mean a lot, a lot of water. The other bigger part of it is the chemicals put into the paper, usually just to make it white. Paper is not a very environmentally friendly product.

  17. Arcticowl

    In My and Amythests project on pencils. the true cost
    would be the supply chain
    And the workers throughout that. Like the logger to the middle man then to the shipper,the shops then to us who gets the least?the logger because he’s at the end of the supply chain.

  18. den10@sea43

    I am doing my project on T-Shirts and one hidden cost was all the labour in Uzbekistan and other countries. It is so weird how big companies can hide so many bad thing from you like all the cotton labour and you would never know if you went to H AND M.

  19. crazymemeslol123

    The lithium ion car batterie was what I was intrested in because as a learned from YouTube that it can explode in impact of water so it’s the lithium inside the batteries or outside as the cover might be dangerous to just open your car when it’s maybe a lesson to you when you open cars with lithium while it’s warned.

  20. Soccerboy123ABC

    For our Itadakimasu project we did books and I am going to link my response through mining because you need to mine carbon black to make ink .I was very surprised that at the mining site in China the workers would dig eight foot holes and put all the clay,dirt inot bags and put it into many acid baths then put it into a kiln and it separates rock from rare metals then they dump the earth back in the wholes which like they said is alot like fracking. I think it would be interested in knowing what conditions they were in because when we were talking and watching a video about the making of a computer they had to extract and I think that a lot of the people working are going to have long term affects on there body.when you mine carbon black it is toxic and alot of people get sick from it. Over all is wasaid surprised at how much they waste they produce on how much he metal they get out of it.

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