last updated: 10/25/04

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Waste & Want
The Psychology and Business of Consumption
Fall 2004 - Winter 2005

The Evergreen State College

Program description


Beginning the Journey

Frequently asked questions
Book list







Resources for your research prospectus:






Field trip info -- what to bring
- where to pay what
- field trip agenda and logistics

Attached is a Powerpoint presentation Philip Kovacs put together for auditing an environmental program at a large landfill facility. He is the person who will be giving us the tours at the Municiple Landfil and the Chemical Waste Management Facility. He thought that this presentation would "give an indication to students on the appropriate relevant federal and state laws that may apply to the landfill site. In addition to the landfill operations there may be regulations and requirements that apply to ancillary supporting operations as well (i.e. mainentance, water usage, oil storage, etc.) that are required. Such regulations may include the development of operating or inspection plans, monitoring and recordkeeping requirements, and reporting requirements as well."

Managing a chemical waste facility Here is another document Philip sent us that goes into quite a bit of detail about what the site looks like, who works there, what's involved in treating and storing the hazardous waste, the kinds of regulations they pay attention to. It also explains some of the environmental and geologic issues that they need to pay attention to.



Student Self-Assessment
(word version of these questions)

  1. What are you interested in? Do you have any long-term goals/visions for yourself?
  2. What led you to choose this program? What do you hope to learn? What are your goals for this year? What skills would you like to develop/learn?
  3. What are some of your assets? That is, what are some of the skills and experiences that you have developed over the years that you'd be willing to share, teach or use some how to enrich the things we do together as a learning community (e.g. play an instrument, a mean chili recipe, cook for large groups of people, CPR, photography, water color, cool and challenging group games)?
  4. How would you describe your skills in the following areas? What are your strengths and weaknesses

a) Writing

b) Critical thinking (critical thinking involves: "following evidence where it leads; considering all possibilities; relying on reason rather than emotion; being precise; considering a variety of possible viewpoints and explanations; weighing the effects of motives and biases; being concerned more with finding the truth than with being right; not rejecting unpopular views out of hand; being aware of one's own prejudices and biases, and not allowing them to sway one's judgment." (Kurland in Fowler, 1996)

c) Quantitative skills (these skills include a whole slew of skills revolving around thinking and manipulating numbers -- anything from thinking about measurements to making calculations to interpreting numbers and tables that you see in newspapers or books)

d) Handling responsibility

e) Getting yourself motivated

f) Handing things in on time

g) Working in an interdisciplinary setting (that is, working in either work or school setting where you have to take into account a range of perspectives and types of knowledge -- e.g. social, political and biological; or psychological, economical and environmental)

h) Working with a diverse group of peers (diverse, for example, in terms of culture, experiences, preferences, skills, and opinions)

i) Working in groups

5.   Are there other skills that are important to you that you either have or would like to develop?

6.   Is there anything that you need particular help with?

7.   Is there anything else you want to communicate to the faculty?

adapted from Fowler, B. (1996). Critical thinking accross the curriculum project. Retrieved September 27, 2001, from the Longview Community College website

Book List for FALL 2004

Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage by William Rathje. Paperback: 263 pages ; Publisher: University of Arizona Press; (March 1, 2001) ISBN: 0816521433

Stuff: The Secret LIves of Everyday Things by John Ryan and Alan Durning. Paperback 88 pages ; Publisher: Northwest Environment; (January 1, 1997) ISBN: 1886093040

Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser Paperback: 368 pages ; Owl Books; (September 1, 2000)
ISBN: 0805065121

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn Paperback: 272 pages ;Publisher: Bantam ; Reissue edition (May 1, 1995) ISBN: 0553375407

The Consumer Society Reader edited by Juliet Schor & Douglas Holt: Paperback: 496 pages ; Publisher: New Press; (August 2000)
ISBN: 1565845986

The Sneaker Book by Tom Vanderbilt. Paperback: 177 pages ; Publisher: New Press; (August 1, 1998) ISBN: 1565844068

The Coffee Book by Gegory Dicum and Nina Luttinger. Paperback: 196 pages. Publisher: New Press; (May 1, 1999) ISBN: 1565845080

Influence: Science and Practice (4th Edition) by Robert B. Cialdini. Paperback: 262 pages ; Publisher: Allyn & Bacon; 4 edition (June 29, 2000) ISBN: 0321011473


1. There will be additional readings in the form of articles and book chapters, etc. We may also decide to order couple of extra resource books.   We'll keep you posted if there are other books to purchace

2. Our bookstore will carry copies of all these books. See .