Things: Bottled Water, French Fries, E-Waste

Bottled water is drinking water (e.g., well water, distilled water, mineral water, or spring water) packaged in plastic or glass water bottles. Bottled water may be carbonated or not. Sizes range from small single serving bottles to large carboys for water coolers.

Chapter 15 explores the rise of the bottled water industry over the last few decades in terms of its causes and consequences. The risk perception and political economy approaches are used to explain how bottled water use and its environmental consequences vary by location and level of affluence.

Bottled Water slides here.

Paul Robbins, John Hintz, and Sarah A. Moore, Environment & Society: A Critical Introduction (2nd edition), Chapter 15.


French fries, or simply fries, chips, finger chips or french-fried potatoes, are batonnet or allumette-cut deep-fried potatoes.

Chapter 16 takes the French fry as its object of concern and views the health and environmental concerns associated with its consumption. Specifically, this chapter views French fries through the risk and hazards, political economy, and ethics perspectives.

French Fry slides here.

Paul Robbins, John Hintz, and Sarah A. Moore, Environment & Society: A Critical Introduction (2nd edition), Chapter 16.


Our formerly beloved E-junk everwhere.

Chapter 17 takes electronic waste, or e-waste, as its object of concern. E-waste presents a difficult puzzle because poor and marginalized communities suffer the health and environmental consequences of e-waste rather than the wealthier consumers of electronic devices, yet many do benefit from the treatment of e-waste as a tradable commodity or resource for raw materials. E-waste is thus viewed in this chapter from the Risk and Hazards (Chapter 6), Markets and Commodities (Chapter 3), and Political Economy (Chapter 7) perspectives.

E-Waste slides here.

A New Generation of Students Is Teaching Us How to Reduce E-Waste
In colleges and universities across the United States, students are taking classes on how to repair our electronics that normally end up as e-waste.

Paul Robbins, John Hintz, and Sarah A. Moore, Environment & Society: A Critical Introduction (2nd edition), Chapter 17.