The reports linked on this page are derived from student projects in an undergraduate course at the University of Vermont taught by Dr. Saleem H. Ali, professor of Environmental Studies and director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at UVM.

Here was the charge of the assignment:

Project: Choose a consumer product of that is widely used and which has some potential alternatives for use and prepare a general sustainability assessment for the product and at least one of its alternatives. Where possible research existing literature on life cycle analysis and other measures of sustainability as well as the development impact of choosing one product versus the other. Prepare a report which should include the following:

a) Introduction and rationale for choosing the product for this assignment;

b) A material assessment of the product and its alternatives (this can be presented as a table for the product and its alternative). List the raw materials which go into making the product and where possible a list of where they come from;

c) An evaluation of the environmental and social impacts related to this material assessment with a particular focus on potential for recycling or other factors which may impact its sustainability of use;

d) A discussion of corporate practices and any other relevant information related to the social and political aspects of the product and its prevalence;

e) Your recommendations for consumers and policy-makers regarding product choice based on this preliminary sustainability assessment.


Longboards -- comparing conventional and ecologically conscious brands (Loaded vs. Comet) (Stephanie Haynes, Neil Brandt, Laura Weiskotten, Jake Shumsky)

Seventh Generation Diapers versus gDiapers (authored by Alie Sarhanis, CJ Turn, Emily McLaughry, Katie Hartin, McKenna Hayes)

Brita water filters and alternate products  (authored  by Kendal Dean, Kyle Gaffney, Jon Bergman, Ben Post, Alexandra Anrtsen)

Budweiser beer and alternate product New Belgium 'sustainable' beer
(authored by Aaron Caum, Nash Hall, Andrea Haney, Jackie Lepre, Zach Zimmerman)

Frito Lay Sun Chips biodegradeable 'foil' versus conventional bags (authored by Kristen Peach, Laura Rose Dailey, Trevor Michalak, Nate Clark, Jay Warren Tandan)

Levis Strauss company jeans versus alternate products (authored by Scott Camp, Gordon Clark, Laura Duane & Aaron Haight)

Fiji water versus other water products (authored by Ian Lynch, Colin Francis, Stefan Lutter, Daichi Takase, and Brendan Buckless)

Drano toilet product versus CitraDrian "sustainable" product (authored by Lesley Bristol, Jamie MacLiesh, Chris Ripley, Erin Schminke, Matt Spaulding)

Nike shoes versus alternative products (authored by Andrew Derrig, Pearson King, Jake Stocker, Ethan Tinson, Luke Warren, Ellen Winston)

Dr. Bronner's soap versus conventional soap (authored by Ryan Donnelly, Devon Byrne, Paul Eberts, Dan Murphy, Tyler Hall)

Australian plastic versus US paper currency (authored  by Chris Ahlers, Melody Martin, Ben Olsen, Paul O’Neil, Miguel Sanchez Jr.)

Interface carpets versus conventional carpets (authored by Katie Crowley, Pat Hurley, Marty Schneider and Jared Singer)