Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Auxier, Randall


Gifford Pinchot’s principles of conservation embody the democratic principles of the United States and how those principles remain relevant today. The three central characteristics of Pinchot’s principles of conservation are wise use, avoiding waste, and securing the autonomy of democratic citizens by preventing monopolistic control over our natural resources. Pinchot’s aim place democratic aspirations at the fore. A case study of the environmental degradation revealed throughout the life-cycle of the cellular phone exhibits how Pinchot’s principles are not only relevant, but sorely needed today. Furthermore, this case study also reveals how globalized corporatism has become the antithesis of the democratic aims of the global citizenry. Pinchot’s principles advise us to check the global monopolies of multinational corporations and greed for greed’s sake to secure a democratic future for the most people, in perpetuity. Though his principles are often neglected, they are more relevant now than ever.




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