Counting the Cost of a Convenient Container:
A Case for Christian Stewardship of Creational Resources (1)
John E. Silvius, Professor of Biology

Discussion Goals:


Aluminum Mining and Smelting:


Cost of Cans: Table 1. "Can Computations:"
Energy or Economic Component: Quantity:
1.  Energy required to produce 1 aluminum can (from above) = 2.33 kWh
2.  Cost a Consumer pays per kWh to Dayton Power and Light  = $0.09/kWh
3.  Cost of manufacturing the 6 aluminum cans (from item 2.) =  
4.  Sale price of a six-pack of a generic brand of soft drink =  
5.  Profit to be divided among aluminum refiners, container manufacturers, beverage manufacturers and beverage handlers =  

Dams and Fish:

    This discussion guide has briefly examined some of the issues related to aluminum refining and use in beverage packaging. A few sources have been cited and linked for your further reading. Questions have been inserted above which are intended to prepare you to enter discussion of the questions below. However, two more preliminary questions are appropriate as we prepare to analyze the complete scenario and apply environmental stewardship principles toward better aluminum management:

    Question #7: Do you believe the references cited present an accurate picture? Explain.

    Question #8: You may wish to consult other sources dealing with aluminum refining and usage. Bring them to
       the discussion and be prepared to share insights which you have found.
Group Discussion Questions:
    1.    In view of the above considerations, do you believe the manner in which we currently handle aluminum
        is a  moral and bioethical issue? Explain why or why not, and present Scriptural support for your position.
    2.   In what ways should a proper "environmental ethic" be applied to determining the cost of energy used by
       industry and residential customers? Include "externalities" (indirect costs of aluminum refining) and
      discuss how the cost of aluminum should be set?

    3.  Having discussed #2., how could Christians influence political decision making so as to favor
              stewardship of aluminum?

    4.  Summarize the constraints against proper Christian stewardship of aluminum and propose a plan that

      addresses and overcomes these constraints.
Compiled Internet Links to Aluminum Resource Usage

A. Aluminum Smelting: B. Possible Hindrances to Recycling Aluminum

C. Recycling Statistics

Christian Stewardship Implications for Recycling -- Internet Articles by Dr. Calvin DeWitt, AuSable Institute: 

1. Presented at the 
Fourth Annual Conference on Bioethical Issues, 1998. Mt. Vernon Nazarene College,
          Mt. Vernon, OH,

2. McConnell, R.L. and D.C. Abel. 1999. 
Environmental Issues: Measuring, Analyzing,
    and Evaluating. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.