“Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.” This expression is applicable to all aspects of life and is used frequently in our world today; however, it doesn’t always seem to be that anything is ACTUALLY possible, as we all experience failure in some form. Perhaps this is because we are not putting enough emphasis on the “…if you set your mind to it.” You don’t pass a class, win a competition, or land your dream job just by confidently reminding yourself that anything is possible – you must be proactive by planning, preparing, and doing things that will bring you closer to these goals. To put this expression into a more realistic perspective, take the people of Easter Island. The island failed socially, economically, and culturally because “the increasing numbers and cultural ambitions of the islanders proved too great for the limited resources available to them. (A New Green History of the World: The Lessons of Easter Island)” In other words, the competing clans of Easter Island believed that it was possible to continue to meet the needs of their never-ending goals, but they did not ever prepare, plan, and act proactively and efficiently in relation to their resources—the primary of these being trees. If the islanders had considered that deforestation could be a potential roadblock in the continuation of their economy, then they may have been able to develop alternatives before the issue occurred so that they may have continued to flourish. The islanders were creative thinkers, just like each and every one of us, and they surely could have developed means of preventing deforestation, if they had set their mind to it before it was too late.
I had an epiphany while reading about the tragic decline of Easter Island. The United States alone is consuming our resources at a similar rate to those of Easter Island; however, we have not experienced hardships, simply because we are living on a much larger scale. Fortunately, we have global resources outside of the United States and advanced technology to adapt to common issues. If we set our mind to preventing the extinction of our resources through preparing, planning, and doing, then it is possible to save the United States socially, economically, and culturally. The key is to set your mind to it. WE are the only ones that can effectively make our world a more sustainable place. WE must take action now.
Fashioning Sustainability: A review of sustainability impacts of the clothing industry opened my eyes to a list of issues that we are facing that are comparable to the issues that Easter Island unknowingly faced. If we start to take actions toward reversing these issues now, then we can stop future hardships. I want to learn about the actions people are already taking toward issues such as animal welfare and how people can contribute to making these changes. An issue that I find exceptionally interesting is the energy being consumed when we are washing our clothes. Of course the obvious fix would be to encourage people to wash their clothes less frequently and more efficiently, but is there technology being developed to decrease the issue?
We are living in a material world – a world that could one day be nothing if we do not set our minds to making the possibility of living in a sustainable world a reality.