This week in our Sustainable Journey, we began to discover the ideas of Cradle-to-Cradle and Cradle-to-Grave and how these concepts are important in understanding how we make our planet a more sustainable place to live. For this week’s reading, we read Waste Equals Food by McDonough and Braungart and I personally found this article to be extremely interesting as well as very eye-opening. We also had the LOLA show this in which some of the girls in class talked about different products that had been produced around the ideal of c2c, as well as closed loop products and a circular economy. The more that I had become exposed to these ideas, the more that I began to think about how the ways in which we utilize the Earth’s resources and the impact that we, as the main consumers of these resources, have on the planet and the fact that we can potentially use our past mistakes on with the Earth as lessons to help lead us to a more sustainable future.
While I read Waste Equals Food for this week, I was especially interested in the fact that the industrialization of our world was a large contributing factor in the fact that we are so unresponsive to the consequences of our actions when we take advantage of the Earth’s resources. Cheaper methods of producing large amounts of materials began to lead to producing more supplies, as opposed to reusing materials that were already present. Before the era of industrialization though, as McDonough and Braungart described, people were more likely to consume products and the products were biodegradable after usage. As I read this, I realized that it seemed that before the advancement of technology in our world, we were more susceptible to sustainable practices with the Earth’s resources. I found it to be very mind-boggling that while trying to industrialize our world, we only ended up doing more damage to the resources provided to us by our planet, as well as the fact that before industrialization, we were so much more conscious of the effects of our overconsumption on the Earth’s natural resources.
Furthermore, reading this also gave me a sense of hope for not only our planet, but for the people of our future generations as well. The fact that people during the preindustrial times understood the importance of using the Earth’s resources wisely means that at one time, our planet had the potential for environmental sustainability. I truly believe that we have the chance to make our planet a more sustainable place to live. I also believe that we can use the examples of the ways in which the people of the preindustrial times in order to develop a sense of how we should be reducing overconsumption and waste of resources. So, this week during the LOLA show, the girls in the learning communities who had presented talked about various ideas and products that emphasized the importance of consuming the Earth’s resources wisely. For example, one of the ideas that had stuck out to me was the Bioneers presentation. Bioneers are known as biological pioneers who emphasize breakthrough solutions for restoring our people and our planet. These bioneers are also influential in helping the human race use Earth’s resources in a less wasteful manner.
From all of the things in the cradle-to-cradle system that I have learned this week, I am the most excited to learn about cradle-to-cradle and how we can use the readings such as the Waste Equals Food article to help us achieve an sustainable planet.