I am sure many of my classmates would agree that we all have a new definition of sustainability after taking this course. I even stated in my first blog how I was kind of rolling my eyes to the thought of it and how I would have to listen to people telling me how horrible I was to live my life a certain way, or how a lot of people are just jumping on another bandwagon with “going green”. My definition of sustainability before this course was very uneducated. I just went with what I assumed, being that sustainability was unattainable without sacrificing everything humanly possible. However, I have grown to become very interested in sustainability and its importance.
As the course comes to an end, I’ve realized my definition for sustainability is much more realistic. It’s about not wasting the resources of our home, thinking of the big picture with every small thing we make, purchase, or throw away, and being at all times, conscious of these actions and how each decision we make can have a positive or negative impact. My definition of sustainable design goes right along with this definition, in that when we are designing something, we choose the cheapest route. One day, we aren’t going to have that option and we will be choosing from what the Earth has left for us because we took it all away.
I was about half and half on the assignment of blogging throughout the semester, but I have really enjoyed it. It made me think more about my opinions on topics and theories, instead of just what I needed to know for a test or a quiz. The absolute most important thing I will take away from this course is how the social side of consumption and sustainability is truly at the core of our environmental impact. When we began on the social topics, I thought it was all going to be about how to get everyone else on board and marketing with sustainability. However, I was blown away by how much research had already been done on human needs and consumption. I shamefully went home several times after these classes and went through old clothes that I wasn’t going to wear or that didn’t fit. I put them in piles to repurpose them, and others to give away.
I am very surprised looking back at this semester on the outside involvement that this course had on my life, without a requirement or assignment. I feel that I can honestly make an impact, if not on an industrial level, then in my own home and in the homes of those who surround me. I’ve spent 5 years in college, but this is the first course I have taken that I have used outside of the classroom, and that I can also see myself using very far into the future.
At the beginning of the semester, I talked about looking into a career that I could use all of this information in. However, a lot of the topics we had were strictly design based. I would have really liked to see more merchandising focused topics and specific examples of how we can look forward to working with all of the information we have gathered over the semester. I have looked a little into it myself outside of class, but having that in the classroom would definitely help.