The future for sustainability

Oh the future for sustainability. I could talk about this for days and not get tired of it. This class has so many major takeaways. I have learned so much about the pollution on this earth, poverty, and the fashion industry. Considering I have a little more knowledge throughout this course (I feel) than most, this time I was really able to dig deeper. I learned most of the course materials already so this time I was really able to analyze the text deeper for a better knowledge and understanding of what I’m reading. My favorite part of this course was the meditation we did. I feel so relaxed every class after we do this mind-focusing activity. I come into class pretty tired considering it starts at 9am and this always wakes me up. I have been practicing meditation for quite some time now, even in my personal time and after about a month or so of this, I feel more aware, awake, and focused, especially when doing homework. My major takeaway from this past week classes was how terrible people working in sweatshops are being treated. Being that our group project was over this, I learned so much. I feel like sweatshop working conditions are something that need more attention. Granted, it is hard to try and change these conditions or change where you shop based on this since almost every store has problems like these, but being more mindful about it might slightly help somehow. I have recently decided that I will probably give less money to companies I have learned about while working on my project because they seem to be some of the worst. Since I was already not a huge fan of walmart, who seems to be one of the worst companies when it comes to sweatshops, I will definitely not being giving them my money anymore. Another way I felt I could help contribute to this issue was by making people more aware. I used my social media and added a link to one of the articles I read and encouraged people to read it. Although it might not have had a huge impact, I know people at least saw the title. Before this week, I didn’t know anything about sweatshops and just thought apple was a company known for doing this. I couldn’t believe some of the things I read and it really opened my eyes to these issues. The one that was most concerning to me was that there is 10 – 12 year olds working at sweatshops in India instead of going to school and we are using them to make our clothes. Overall, the entire project was something I am not finished with. To me, this is just the start. I would like people to be more aware of the problems with my topic subject and try to help me make a difference. Another thing I would like to continue learning about is how people living in poverty create so much pollution. If you walk or drive by homeless populated areas, you see garbage everywhere but I feel it’s not completely all their garbage. Another thing I thought about is where does the garbage come from before they got it? Most of the time, people living in poverty get their food from our leftovers in the trash or something we give them, that we have polluted first. We give homeless people our leftover food or drinks not putting into consideration that if they don’t live in a city, they have nowhere to throw it away. During this class this is a point I brought up in discussion that I think a lot of people saw eye to eye with me on. Another big thing for me was fast fashion. I have to admit I fall guilty to this habit but I also feel I contribute to fashion a lot less than most. Thrifting has become more popular in teens and young adults and it’s something my friends and I love to do. I feel that thrifting is such a good solution to this issue on the consumer side because we are reusing clothing instead of just throwing it out. I also don’t throw clothes out like most either. I like to give my clothes I no longer want to family friends or donate them. Not to mention, I don’t shop very often (I can’t lie it’s mainly because I’m a broke college student) but regardless I shop less than most. I still wear some of the same clothes that I wore in the beginning years of high school and have no shame doing it. I think in these ways, I can’t be considered someone who partakes in fast fashion because I truly don’t.  I impact positive change to all my friends in family every time I talk to them. I tell my friends on the phone what I learn about in class and explain it to them and they push me to stand by the change I tell them I’m going to make and they try to do what they can alongside me to help push me and I feel it’s easier to do it as a team. This class is useful to anyone and everyone, not just design major students. All Americans could be affected by this course considering we could change how we live and learn a thing or two. Spreading the word through social media is super effective as well in my opinion since that is where we get all our trends from and that is what I will continue to do. It only takes one person to start a change movement and I know I can be that one person. My mom has followed me in this trend and teaches her students about the sustainability things I tell her I learn in this class. I am just getting started.

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Bean Bag Chairs, Mindfulness, and The Degradation of The Earth

In all my years of going to school, never have I ever not had to sit in uncomfortable desks and chairs. I was beyond surprised on the first day of class of Wicked Problems when I walked in and there were no desks or chairs, but instead bean bag chairs. The bean bag chairs added an element of comfort, it made the 9:00 A.M. class more welcoming. I also have never had a teacher or professor who encouraged students to meditate and focus on improving their mental state. Throughout the class, I was able to gain new pieces of knowledge from every single class about the Earth, it’s environmental state, and its inhabitants.

During this course I was able to contribute knowledge I had previously learned before starting the course as well as knowledge that I learned from the course-either in class or from the weekly pre discussion readings. The knowledge that I contributed was knowledge regarding what I knew about the environment and what factors harm the environment. The group and class discussions were a huge outlet for other students and I to participate and share. Personally, I felt it was easier to contribute to discussions when I was in small groups rather than the whole class. Even though the class was only twelve people, I still felt more comfortable talking to and expressing my views to three people. The class helped me a little with my fear of stating my opinions and views in front of people.

This course was the most discussion involved class I have ever been in. Every class was a different subject where every student was able to talk and state an argument, counter-argument, view, or opinion. From this course I was able to gain knowledge from readings, the documentary we watched, my professor, and my peers. The class started off with a documentary that starred the beloved Leonardo DiCaprio and introduced the mayhem going on on Earth. From the beginning to the end of the class there was a never ending flow of information being given to us. Throughout the class, my favorite thing that we did, even though it caused me anxiety, was the class discussions where we would be called on or sometimes we would toss Pixie around. Unfortunately my argument and counter argument skills did not enhance, probably why I was never and never will be in debate. What I will probably never forget is the ‘sustainable’ bowls and cups product that we learned about that was made from cow’s milk. That product made absolutely no sense to me.This class overall offered me a lot and educated me in a different way than any other class has. Most classes involve an overload of information but with this class was different, the information we were learning was at a steady pace and it was information that we actually need to know because it impacts us and by knowing this knowledge we can take action or atleast better understand what it going on in our world.

The documentary we read that discussed whether or not poverty affects environmental degradation was one that I found very interesting and would like to gain more knowledge on. I read the ‘YES’ reading so I am not sure what the ‘NO’ readings author’s take on the matter was. I disagreed with the ‘YES’ author’s argument, especially when he said that poverty is a social relationship. I just don’t see how he found a way to blame poor people for the cause of environmental degradation. His argument makes me want to do research about why people would think like this. This also plays into how recently on Twitter I have been seeing multiple discussions regarding billionaires, millionaires, and capitalism. Most of the discussions are arguments between people saying that millionaires and billionaires worked hard for their money and pay taxes and other arguments pertaining to that, and the opposing view is people saying that no one ever needs that much money. I agree with the view that no one needs that much money, probably because I, myself am a broken girl but oh well. I want to learn more about why millionaires and billionaires are always pushing regular people to make the change to better the world when they have the funds to do so. Adding on to that, I also want to learn what I, a regular person with a regular level of income, can do to help make the environment a better place. I know there are things like recycling and trying not to use plastic, but I know that there are more things that I am able to do to make a difference. 

I enjoyed and learned a lot from the groups that I was involved in. I was able to learn about as well as learn from my classmates. The group of girls that were in my class were a group of extremely smart girls. I feel like each and every one of the girls impacted me in some type of way; whether it be that they educated me, shared something about themselves with me, or expressed their opinions or views. This class and the people in it motivated me to go harder when it comes to life, my major, and overall learning and educating myself.

I understand that as a young adult I do have a strong impact on this world. I can help to pass knowledge to my family, friends, and associates. In the smallest of ways I can introduce sustainable habits of living, as well as mindfulness to my loved ones. It is so important for old and new generations to be knowledgeable about how they can live life peacefully. To know that I could impact my peers and that that impact will go on to others which will eventually improve the world is extremely important to me. In my circle of influence I can begin a cycle of positive influence that promotes humans to care about their mental health and their environment.

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I can not believe it came to an end. I feel both sad and astonished at how fast these four weeks flew by. I remember the first day of class, watching the 11th hour documentary, getting only a tiny scope of all the problems we were going to cover. The collapse of ecosystems, extensive damage to climate, exhausting non-renewable sources of energy, all these topics had a single most reasonable solution. Stop messing with the planet! But little did I know that it is more complicated than that… It is based on the structure of law. It says you are either human or property. Thus, all property has no rights and it can be exploited for the better of the economy.

This are wicked problems, and we learned that they are complicated from every perspective. In my case, my most contribution came at the beginning of the semester when we talked about the eastern islanders. When we had our debate, I think I provided with good reasons about why the eastern islanders are a representation of us now. We are deploying all available resources for the consumption of now and forgetting about the tomorrow. Why must we not learn from our mistakes? I feel uneasy when I talk about sustainability because it is something that has to do with more than just the planet. It is something that has to do with yourself and with how you much you believe you can make a difference. It resonates your mental state. I am writing this and thinking about how many of us will do something to change and it is sad to come up with the answer. Because., truthfully, not many will do something. I care. I can empathy with earth and the thousands of animals suffering from hunger and from entire ecosystem collapsing, their home. There are people out there making a difference and we must do our part. It is simple, be sustainable. The hard part is that no one teaches you these things, there isn’t a high school class that prepares you to live on your own. No. Instead they have students wrapped up in science and math, teaching them about the importance of high paying jobs and not about how to maintain sustainable life style. Little will you know when you grow up that in order to be happy you will need to services others and that includes the environment.

My major takeaway. That question is hard to process. I have learned that the biggest change a human can make is change their habits. Habits, such as were you shop and what you shop for are the most significant choices you can make in order to help the environment. I decided about two weeks ago that I was going to stop using plastic bags and also stop buying brand new clothes. To give an update on that, I definitely stopped buying new clothes, but it was not because I had overcome that superficial temptation. It was simply because new clothes are too much of a big expense, finding myself wanting to save every penny I can I opted for thrift stores. To be critically of that, you will not always find something that you like, I know that with brand new clothes is the same, but the difference is that if you are looking for a specific garment you will most likely not find it. That, I am still getting use to. What I want you to get from this is that we, as humans, do not want to practice sustainable habits unless we have to, and do not get me wrong there are those who are brave and strong enough. Sustainability can be overwhelming, there are so many questions of how? How do I get rid of plastic bag waste if I need it as my kitchen/restroom bag? We have been taught by society that using plastic every day is ok, and now that we know it is not, is hard to detach from it. Thus, my major takeaway is the social disease that we live in. Let me explain, social disease for me is all the unsustainable practices that society agrees with and justifies by saying that nature is just a resource.

Oof, now onto the hardest question. What are the problems or solutions that you are taking away from this course as things you want to learn more about in the future? I think the biggest takeaway needs to have a relationship with my major. I would say energy. Energy is something I really want to concentrate on because it is the one where I would be making the most impact and helping the most in. If I can reduce the building energy intake in construction and simultaneously have a quality design , then I would have fulfilled my quest in architecture. I am, however, worried. Because as much as I would like to make energy efficient buildings, I cannot pay them myself. I need a client, a developer, and just like we saw in class, they might and probably will have a different opinion on the problem.

The impact starts with the people around you, professor Armstrong gave us the example of her garden and how that impacted her whole neighborhood. I think the people I am closest with are the people in studio. One thing I can do is to start bringing in my metal utensils and food on a glass container instead of going to the union and having to get a new plastic fork every day. Or even say no when someone asks me if I need a plastic bag. I think the best way to start is with something so simple and small as that. As architecture students we spent the majority of our time inside studio. The hours go by so fast now we do not even acknowledge them but by the time we look at the clock its already past 5 p.m. Everyone rushes to the union, we are all hungry after a 4+ hrs of class. The bad thing about consuming fast food is that there is always plastic waste. If I start bringing my food maybe I will inspire other to do the same.

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Goodbye Beanbags, Hello Sustainable Future

As I begin to write this blog I am sad to inform my fellow readers that this will be my last. Writing each of these blogs has been a new experience for me and I have to say that for someone who has never been one to enjoy writing this is quite enjoyable. This class, wicked problems introduced me to new concepts as well as a new way of thinking so that I may in turn take this knowledge and apply it to my everyday routine. It was throughout this course that both my prior knowledge and experience gave me the opportunity to share with my twelve other classmates information about the field of interior design, and how it has caused harm to the environment as society has progressed. It was in class that I had the opportunity to contribute this knowledge, which consisted of explaining what I found important or interesting from each of the articles we were asked to read before class. By engaging with my classmates it helped me gain experience through listening to others and what their views and personal stance is and how they could see it as beneficial or detrimental to the environment.

Coming to the very first class of wicked problems, I will never forget walking into the classroom and seeing all the beanbags on the floor. At first I questioned why beanbags but then I thought why not beanbags, it was then that I realized that this class was going to be both interesting and informative so that when the time came I knew I would miss it. Learning about what defines a problem wicked and the possible solutions we as consumers can adopt has been very interesting, and to say the least has shifted my way of thinking in order to make a change for both myself and the environment. This course provided me with three main takeaways that I found very informative and hope to continue learning more about them. The first being able to learn more about the environment and how everyday you and I without even realizing cause damage to it. For example, did you know that by having low tire pressure you could actually be harming the environment and that although growing our population is seen as a positive it can also affect us negatively because we demand a lot of goods which leads to overproduction. Secondly, if you haven’t realized by now those who enter into the field of design, housing and merchandising our careers greatly cause harm to the environment. I as an interior designer, have become more informed as to how this career specifically causes harm, which can be seen through overproduction of products, dying of textiles, and demolition. The third concept I took away from this class was understanding how listening to both sides of an argument regarding a wicked problem helped enhance my understanding as to how authors view possible solutions and the outcomes they could produce. 

During the entirety of the course, a problem we talked about and one that my group and I particularly focused on was deforestation. Deforestation itself has been an evolving problem that if a change isn’t made we could lose all of our trees. As a result my group decided to put emphasis on this problem because trees are a vital product for our industries and with the high demand from consumers we are rapidly cutting trees down and not replacing them fast enough. It was interesting to learn how we largely depend on our trees and how much of our products come from trees. However because deforestation is a wicked problem it has been difficult to provide a set solution that will benefit both the environment and our industry. Being able to learn about deforestation and its effects on my career has been intriguing and has encouraged me to continue to learn more about and how as I continue in my career what are some of the steps I can personally take in order to cause less harm to the environment. After watching the movie the 11th Hour and hearing that it is up to my generation to create a change towards a sustainable environment, it left my feeling both a lot, I mean wouldn’t you feel pressure it someone told who that the fate of the earth is in the hands of your generation. But aside from feeling pressure it also gave me the motivation to try and push for a change. For the future of my career this can include utilizing different materials that don’t necessarily harm the environment as well as possibly implimiting building up rather than expanding and using up more land. Based on the articles we read in class I found it particularly interesting how a solution proposed was utilizing plastic waste to make kitchen cabinets, which in fact is actually being distributed by IKEA as of today. Of all the wicked problems we discussed in class, I personally thought it was fun to come up with possible solutions to these problems because it gets your brain thinking and in a way helps you to visualize the future.

Creating a change or movement that involves everyone on this planet can be particularly difficult because there are so many different opinions and various factors that have to be taken into consideration. However that does not mean that you personally can’t instill change, it can be as simple as influencing those in personal circle of friends or those whom you see regularly enough to talk to them about why you think this change is important. I know that in my personal group of friends we always motivate each other to try and reach our goals, so I know that if I were to explain to them why they should try and shift there routine to make it more sustainable they will listen and hopefully I will be able to influence them. After taking in all the information from the course I personally feel much more inclined to change my lifestyle in order to better the environment. So my final point is, what is something you can do differently?

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Initiate: Sustainable Journey.

During one of our previous classes, we discussed the concept of mass population. One of the solutions that many people come to overlook and neglect is participating in adoption. There is a huge amount of kids that are in need of a safe and caring home. There are children in need not only in the united states, but all over the world as well. During the classes this semester, I also contributed that polyester takes 20 years to break down when cotton materials only take a few months, so if you are buying fast fashion materials, just try to make sure they’re not made out of anything that might be more damaging to the environment. When we had our first reading assignment, “The Lessons of Easter Island,” I mentioned that they didn’t use their resources to find help or travel the distance to figure out what’s beyond their own community. Asking for help would have been beneficial to them.

Just because we have the internet doesn’t mean we have power. If it’s just me behind a computer saying what I feel is right, then it may have no value. What has value is the fact that if a community picks up on it then there is a movement awaiting to happen. This is an example of social psychology and the means of having a good leader. If you have a leader, you’re likely to be a follower for what you believe in, but when that leader is not in it for the right reasons, then you’re not moving towards a good cause. What we need is good leaders leading our nation as well as on a global scale. In order to have the best chance at a successful and sustainable future, we need a leader who thinks on the behalf of the people and the people even after that.

I never realized the true impact of the wicked problems that we covered. Maybe I knew of them but didn’t know enough or how much of an impact they had on our environment. You could say I was very naïve before this class, but at least during my outside life before this class, I practiced sustainability daily, I just wasn’t thinking about how I was helping, I was just doing it because I knew it was kind to the earth.

I had no idea on how consumerism played a part in being a wicked problem. That was an aspect where I didn’t even stop to think about it. I knew about fast fashion, but I never thought of who caused fast fashion. On my first day of this course, I knew about it, and I knew that it was harmful because it was such a large amount of clothing being produced, and it’s not sustainable materials so it’s not breaking down fast, but I didn’t realize that the materials being used was causing toxic waste and producing carbon dioxide and methane being released in the air, leading to global warming and climate change.  

Overall, I took away that these issues are more harmful and more pressing than I thought. But I also learned that with a wicked problem, there might be a solution, or many different solutions, but it might take years to integrate that solution on a global scale. By swiping my card, I want to make more of an initiative by thinking to myself, “Do I vote for this?”

I want to learn more about the effects of poverty on the environment. When we were learning about it, I didn’t fully retain on how exactly it’s a wicked problem. I know that they’re not treating our environment equally, because most likely they’re not being treated equally. I want to learn more about how to help and be able to design for people in poverty or making an adequate living being able to help people out maybe just even by finding resources to design with that’s affordable for everyone.

I’ve definitely been the one to start more green initiatives around my house personally and I bring up these pressing issues that we may have to my family. When my family wants to buy something from these fast fashion websites, I try to remind them that the materials that they’re using is not good for the environment in many different ways including the carbon emissions it takes to even get the product here from shipping it over seas and then potentially to your house. Even driving to buy these products produces carbon. I know that fast fashion is convenient because it costs less, but I try to let them know about how cotton is less dangerous to the environment, so they should at least be aware of what materials they might be “voting” for.

Even from just a mindfulness aspect, by starting yoga or just simply asking a friend to join me in some kind of mindful activity, it could lead to more considerate thinking. What I mean by more considering thinking is just a more intentional way of going about in our daily life. When we’re clear minded we might be more aware about the effects of what we’re doing on a day to day basis, and be willing to change to be more kind to our environment around us.

From living in Los Angeles, I got used to the negative looks I got from saying I wanted plastic bags at checkout instead of bringing my own bags and I never want to be that person again. I also never want to be the person to judge anybody, no matter what they’re doing. This world doesn’t need any more hate. But the person I want to be is the person who sets an example at the grocery store by bringing my own bags and using public transportation and trying to eat vegan and looking for clothing that’s cotton instead of polyester. By simply setting an example, I believe that the world will start to change. It’s just like with how trends and “fashion” goes. If everyone starts to do it, most people will pick up on it and anything else will be borderline not socially acceptable.

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Beanbags, Pixie, and…Cautious Optimism?

     Over these last few weeks I’ve learned a lot. How to find the most supportive beanbag (the black one with a lot of beads), how to avoid spilling my coffee every time I move my belongings around, and how to toss a stuffed unicorn to people. Most importantly though, I learned to discuss wicked problems with logic and compassion in order to move towards a more sustainable future. 

      During this course I had the opportunity to discuss with and learn from my classmates. I also had the opportunity to impart some of my knowledge and experience to my classmates to hopefully improve their learning experience. In Week 1, I think I contributed to the learning community by discussing some of what was wrong with not only the fashion industry, but with how the world consumes resources. We discussed how we thought that humanity was nearing the brink of being unable to stop cataclysmic change to the environment and we came to a general consensus that we were almost certainly doomed. In Week 2, we began our mindfulness practice and then broke off into our YES and NO groups for our Western Values reading. I contributed to that discussion by helping to discuss details about how our values aren’t congruent to a sustainable lifestyle. During Week 3, we started gathering sources for our infographic and discussed our reading over whether or not poverty causes environmental degradation. I contributed to the learning discussion by asserting that a single cause can’t be attributed to environmental degradation and like all other social issues, this degradation has a web of factors that contribute to it. In Week 4, we had our final reading over whether or not the market or the government is better at creating meaningful long-lasting change. I contributed to the learning environment then by saying that the government can create long-lasting solutions because they exert more control over our day to day lives. During Week 4 we also did our infographics and I contributed to that by helping my group mates create a cohesive graphic that addressed our problem of fast fashion and its effects on human health. Overall, I think I used my experiences and my knowledge I gleaned from the readings and class to hopefully enhance both my and my classmates learning experience.

      My major takeaways from this course were that none of the wicked problems we discussed had a singular cause or source, and that these problems may not have an obvious or perfect solution. Before I began this class I had thought that some of these problems were very cut and dry and only had one cause and one solution. Since taking this class, I’ve learned that these problems are complex and have a web of causes and a web of possible solutions as well. One group might identify a problem differently than another and may both come up with a different solution. What works for one may not work for another and vice versa. It’s important to look at these problems through their eyes in order to come up with compassionate solutions that work for everybody. The solutions to these problems might also end up causing even more problems that exacerbate the issue already experienced and may permanently impact the environment and the people in that area.  Therefore, coming up with solutions is a delicate process that needs to be examined and re-examined to keep the proposed solution(s) as helpful and sustainable to human happiness and health as possible. 

      Some of the problems and solutions I’d like to learn more about include the impacts of pollution on various aspects of human health, how the fashion industry can cause unrest and poverty in developing countries, and how we as both consumers and laborers can more adequately meet the needs of consumers while minimizing our footprint on our environment. As I am going into the fashion industry, I’d like to make sure that I am being ethical and helping to maintain and protect the environment that we live in so that generations ahead of us can still use the resources that the earth gifts us. I think that by learning about these things I will be able to meet my sustainability and ethical long-term goals. 

        As I finish up this last blog and this class as a whole (not going to lie I’m really sad it’s over), I think it’s important for me to reflect on how I can bring what I learned into not only my circle of mentors and peers, but into my future industry as well. I think I can start by taking more sustainability courses and increasing my knowledge on problems so that I can relay to the people around me the most accurate and up to date information so that false or out of date information does not cloud or confuse people. I can also take small steps to curb my consumption like avoiding shopping places that don’t use resources and labor ethically and by reducing how much waste I put into the environment. I can also utilize my vote to put lawmakers in office that are passionate about sustainability and are willing to put policies into place that help the majority of people thrive while minimizing our collective footprint. I can also impact positive change by educating people about their role in wicked problems and how they can impact meaningful change within themselves and their communities. I can also help point people to resources that they can use to educate themselves and others with. As I get into my future profession I can use what I learn in college to help change industry practice and how resources and labor and consumed by advocating for fair trade policies and policies that help vulnerable populations to help prevent them being exploited. I can also influence those around me by setting a positive example (i.e., recycling and reusing, reducing consumption, buying secondhand, etc.) so that others can see and model positive sustainable behaviors. I think that by being a good example for myself and others, I can help to promote a more sustainable future. 

     Overall, I really enjoyed this course and will utilize the things I’ve learned in the future. I loved learning in an environment that was accepting and non-judgmental where we were able to discuss ideas with no worries about judgment. When I began this class I thought that there was very little we could do to prevent humanity’s demise, but now I’d like to approach the future with cautious optimism. Maybe we won’t be able to do everything in our lifetimes, but I think that with a change in how we consume resources and a change in our culture, maybe we will be the generation that changes the world.

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Maybe We Aren’t Doomed?

I think what I contributed to the learning community throughout the course was a knowledge of how both Architecture and production effect the environment. Buildings require so much energy to run and it is kind of crazy that we let it. If we were required to use LEED (or other similar design standards), our energy consumption would be much less and we would have a better chance of survival. I think it’s important that Architects and designers. During last week’s discussion about whether or not LEED should be implemented federally or not, I brought up the point that local conservative governments would be less likely to implement green building laws. This would mean that in order for large scale change to happen, we need to act federally because conservative states would be less apt to these types of building restriction. Discussions about production was also something I felt I could contribute to the class. The ways we make, produce and distribute products is not sustainable. By that I mean the waste produced, the energy required to make and the transportation required to distribute these products is too great to continue. By producing products locally, we could become more aware of how these practice effect our environment, because we would be feeling the effects where we live.

I’d say the biggest takeaway I received from this course was learning about how we are not living in harmony with the earth, and that is why we need to change. Since the Industrial Revolution, we have become dependent on resources that have taken years to create. Old growth trees, oil, and coal just to name a few. And at the rate we are consuming these resources, we will end up like the Easter Islanders. Like the Easter Islanders we are consuming resources at an unsustainable way. The islanders, who’s main cause of collapse was deforestation, ran into larger unseen problems which led them to cannibalism in the end. Our society needs to learn from the mistakes that these people made. We are now at a place where we have to choose whether our way of living is more important than our future on this planet.

As individuals, we should try to be sustainable in our daily lives. If every person made small changes to live more sustainably, then globally there would be a large scale change benefiting everyone. For instance, if every grocery shopper brought their own shopping bags, think about how much different our landfills would be. Also, if every consumer stopped buying fast fashion items and instead bought more utilitarian clothing, or bought second hand clothing, think about how that would affect our waste and pollution. However, with this being a wicked problem, this would drastically effect our economy and the fashion industry. This class has done a good job at explaining how we need to look at different perspectives to understand the whole issue.

Because of this course I am walking away an interest in alternative building materials and systems. In my first blog post, I explored this some due to our discussion about deforestation in class. I think that it’s worthwhile to explore because our industry definitely encourages deforestation through the materials that we use. In our info graphic project, I discovered that only about a fifth of surveyed Architects believe that the building industry encourages deforestation. I truly believe this is a huge problem. If Architects and designers alike are not aware of this problem, who is going to educate and encourage them to use or find other materials? Personally I’d like to further my research on this topic because it doesn’t seem like there is enough attention about this in the profession currently. I think I’d also be interested in learning more about LEED certification and other green building technologies. From what little I’ve researched so far, I can become a LEED Green Associate before I graduate! In the future I’d like to take these principals and design building that yes are beautiful, but are also energy efficient.

Within my circle of influence, I feel that I can influence those around me. For example, whenever I eat at my desk at studio I bring my own fork and drink out of a reusable water bottle. Over time I have noticed my classmates doing the same. I think that this same idea could be used in other ways too. I’ve noticed that since I have begun recycling this semester, my roommates have too. I put a bin next to our trash can and it’s amazing to see how much waste we produce that can be recycled. Between the three of us, we recycle between one and two trash cans worth of products a week! And by seeing how much waste we generate, I have begun to buy products with minimal packaging. I think that I can also start to educate my friends and family on small ways they can help to reduce their carbon footprint. Recycling is a really easy first step, but beyond that I would advise them to not participate in fast fashion practices and to only buy things when they need them. Because there is no reason to be buying a new iPhone, or really any product every single year.

Considering everything I’ve learned in the last four weeks, I really think that in order for survival it will take everyone to make changes, large and small. I think that educating the public is key to a sustainable society. People can only do what they can with what knowledge they have, and I think the majority of people aren’t aware of how large our issues really are. While it’s scary to think that our generation will have to be the leaders in the sustainable movement, I think that we are off to a great start. With young people like Greta Thunberg being so instrumental in enacting change, it’s kind of inspiring. I often hear talk about both her and sustainability in general with my friends. It won’t be easy to change our ways, but from what I’ve seen, our generation is very passionate about saving the environment.

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