Sunday, 14 June 2015

A career to dye for

Careers in chemistry
Really, what in this world, isn’t chemistry? There’s so much to explore and you’ll never be bored in this department, so why not turn your passion into your daily life—and get paid for it? 

There are many interesting and unexpected career choices in the vast world of chemistry. One that caught my eye was dye chemists! Dye Chemists analyze and improve dyes. From clothing dyes, to nail polish, to food dyes, these chemists test and create them! Their main purpose is to find a recipe to create durable, consistent, pigmented, dyes with less side effects. You’ll never go through a day without being in contact with at least one object which has dye in it. So of course, we’ll always be in need of dyes. With the fast pacing industry the search for better and more sustainable pigments. 

I personally think this career is such an interesting choice! Who wouldn’t want to conduct research on new ways to improve colour—a large part of our everyday lives! What do you think? Do you think that this is really a good amount of time spent or is there other more seemingly important matters? 

You are what you eat!

Eating local: Gases and atmospheric chem

When you go to the grocery store and see the local section and throw something in your cart for an extra 3 dollars you get the satisfaction of helping your local farmers. But now you can also give yourself a pat on the back because buying local reduces you carbon footprint! It is actually the best and easiest way to greatly reduce your carbon foot print. (Nazak 2012) 

By making our diet consist of local products, we can cut the major environmental costs of the greenhouse gases emitted by food transportation, also known by “Food miles” (the distance from the time of a food’s production until it reaches its consumer). This concept has been introduced in the 1990s and has only been increasing since. This is due to the globalization of trade; food supply bases in fewer, larger districts; and the major increase of packaged foods. These factors have led to a bigger need for more modes of delivery. Food miles create 83% of all emissions of CO2. (Weber, 2008) 

Often, people buy the cheapest product, which is not always the local stuff. So this leads us to the thought, what should be done to promote the local products? 
QOTD: What options are there that doesn’t inconvenience consumers and still promote local products? 

Golf courses aren't as green as you may think!

Golf courses are known for their pristine greens, never having a blade of grass yellow or a weed poking out. As you can imagine, it’s not just nature’s blessing, but they get a little help from fertilizer and pesticides. There are many environmental and ethical issues with the use of pesticides especially since there have been reports of chemical runoff into local water systems and contaminating both drinking water and wildlife habitats. (Malcom 2009) In 2013, a study was conducted on a Bahamian coral reef and found that due to the fertilizer from the sea side golf courses it has dramatically impacted the growth of algae. (Goreau 2013)

Firstly, I decided to do a little research on what fertilizer and pesticides were composed of to get a deeper understanding of the chemical breakdown. Fertilizer typically consists of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium elements which excel the growth rate of the vegetation. Pesticides consist of many dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, ammonia, benzene, chlorine, dioxins, ethylene oxide, methanol, and many other various substances to repel pests. (Tox Town 2015)
The contamination of the fertilizer into the coastal areas of Bakers Bay Golf Course in Guana Cay, Albaco resulted in new blooms of algae. (Goreau 2013) Although Bakers Bay insisted that it wasn’t their fault and that it was just natural caused by hurricanes or due to leakage form local sewage systems. (Goreau 2013) But after examination of water samples, there were traces of phosphorous in the water where it is normally limited in Guana Cay water, and the abundance is found near the golf course. 

The effect of an overgrowth of algae can result in an unbalanced and unhealthy ecosystem. This problem can be expected to be found in any tropical golf courses. To prevent this contamination, stronger water quality standards, monitoring, enforcement, improved fertilizer management, and planning controls would be needed. 
QOTD: So do you think that the environmental contamination is worth the luxury of a perfect putting green?  Should there be more laws preventing the construction of go courses near bodies of water, or just regulate the use of fertilizer and pesticides?