End of Chapter Questions Objective 1: State (a) the concept of a life cycle and (b) its various stages as related to assessment of products. 1. Describe the major activities in each of the five life cycle stages of Figure 1 for a soft drink beverage container of your choice. Describe also the activities needed to support reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling activities for the container chosen. Objective 2: Illustrate the complexity of life cycles for even simple products. 2. Draw by hand or with software a diagram of a life cycle for a simple product (other than a paper clip as shown in-chapter), with words representing the various activities in the life cycle needed to make the product, and arrows representing connections between the activities. Annotate the diagram with colors or shading to represent hot spots for two inputs or outputs that you believe are relevant for decisions associated with the product. 3. Do the same exercise as in Question 2, but for a school or university, which is providing a service not making a physical product. Objective 3: Explain why environmental problems, like physical products, (a) are complex and (b) require broad thinking and boundaries that include all stages of the life cycle. 4. Power plants (especially fossil-fuel based coal and gas-fired units) are frequently mentioned sources of environmental problems. List three specific types of outputs to the environment resulting from these fossil plants. Which other parts of the life cycle of producing electricity from fossil plants also contribute to these problems? Objective 4: Describe what kinds of outcomes we might expect if we fail to use life cycle thinking. 5. Across the life cycle of a laptop computer, discuss which life cycle stages might contribute to the environmental impact categories discussed in the chapter (global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain). Are there other classes of environmental impact you can envision for this product? Chapter 1: Life Cycle and Systems Thinking Life Cycle Assessment: Quantitative Approaches for Decisions That Matter – lcatextbook.com 31 Synthesis of Objectives 6. Suppose that a particular truck requires diesel fuel to transport freight (that is, moving tons of freight over some distance). In the process, carbon dioxide is emitted from the truck. a. In the terminology of life cycle thinking presented in this chapter, what does the diesel fuel represent? b. What do the freight movement and carbon dioxide represent? c. What stage of the truck life cycle is being presented in this problem so far? What other truck life cycle stages might be important to consider? d. In considering the environmental impacts of trucks, would it be advisable to expand our system of thinking to include providing roadways? Why or why not?

 

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