Do you like my play on words? I thought this phrase was fitting after the activity we participated in this past Wednesday. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about carbon dioxide or the way it is used within our atmosphere. Most commonly, I think that it will be there forever since we use it to breath. How can something we actually neeeeeeed go away? And then I realized that this is what our whole class is about. We are here to think deeper than we’ve thought before, to broaden our thought process and to gain new knowledge. As the final blog draws near, this week’s reading schedule focused on various topics, but helped me realize how widespread true sustainability should be and how this class is helping me realize that.
In our first reading of the week, “How Will We Conduct Business? Closing the Loops in Commerce: Running A Business Like A Redwood Forest”, we focused on emulating nature by “greening the industry”. I really found that phrase interesting and eye-catching. This section mentioned that “…pollution was not the root cause of our environmental crisis; fantasy was.” This struck me right away as I realize this is my (former) thought process about carbon dioxide. I never assumed crisis was coming, because I lived in a my own little fantasy world full of an abundance of natural resources that recreate as fast as humans take them away. I honestly don’t think ive had a class/reading combination that has brought me such an epiphany; my lack of sustainable practice comes from fantasy. I choose to not believe in the environment’s changes. I choose to not believe we are in trouble. Honestly, I’m trying to re-wire my brain on how I think about that world. Even today, I drove by a smoke stack and thought about what was leaving that plant and entering the air I breath; I find this to be a step in the right direction for me. After driving by the smoke stack, I realized my usefulness came especially from this reading. It has helped me realize that even what I considered “small things” are really hurting our environment. Another great point the reading brought up was that the economy puts no price on resources, which in turn, makes people think they really hold no value, or will repopulate quickly. This is really another point I have never even thought about before this reading. Side note: I really love politics and have an uncle who is very involved in Washington D.C. politics. I feel as though this would be a great starting point for implementation of some sort so that natural resources do become “powerful” to the everyday business-man. In my opinion, this idea has great potential and I plan to tell my uncle. Who knows if anything will come of it, but I feel like it’s an idea worth sharing.
Our second reading by Scheuer mentioned some really great facts about energy usage and life cycle assessments (LCA) for buildings. Before this reading I didn’t even know LCA’s existed and I am an interior design option, so I found this very interesting and useful. Indoor climate and infrastructure are very important aspects of a successful interior designers job, which made me take these facts close to heart. I was appalled at the massive amount of energy it takes to make any general material. The amount was almost 3 times as much as cement! This is very relevant to me as an interior design major and definitely makes me more aware of my future material selection. Also, electricity production is a huge component of all total life cycle ozone depletion. This means as a designer, I need to think creatively in terms of electric use within the building and figure out what is truly needed compared to what is wanted. Within the creative world this is what we have to do if we want change. As a profession, we have to decipher between wants and needs, and show our clients what we consider essential. And just because it’s essential doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, too!
After the readings this week, I would like to know more about global warming and ozone depletion in general. Although I admit I am somewhat reluctant to believe all that is out there about these topics, I would like to be informed from research I know I accurate so I can gain more knowledge in this area as it is pertinent to future material selections/etc in my career.