The U.S. Needs to Eat Their Veggies and Lay off the Candy.

This week has really been a lot to take in for me. Sustainability at this point is tied to some pretty grim realities. After watching “The Eleventh Hour” and taking in all that we are up against when it comes to creating a sustainable world, I was left feeling more defeated than hopeful. At this point I am not sure that big businesses will allow for creative sustainably to thrive at the risk of their bottom line. After learning about the demise of Easter Island due to their overuse of resources, I think we have a lot to learn and take away from their lessons. The Easter Island situation seemed like the best example of a worst-case scenario. I think it is almost a concentrated look into our future if things don’t change. Fossil fuels cannot be the only thing we rely upon. The U.S. cannot continue to act like a greedy kid that won’t eat their vegetables. We need to think greener and maybe lay off the candy.

I knew that things in our industry were not the most eco-friendly, but I was shocked to learn just how bad cotton is for the environment. Just earlier this week I was myself preaching about cotton and how we should be using natural fibers. After reading Fashioning Sustainability, I feel like I was miss lead as a consumer! I would NEVER have known just how terrible it was without the education in this class. I bet 9/10 people would never know just how bad the production of cotton is. Cotton seems to just suck all the water out of the soil and use too much energy and way too many pesticides. The biggest thing that shocked me about this week was the social pressure associated with cotton. Learning about how Indian farmers committed suicide because their cotton crop failed?? How is that worth it? How can someone trade his or her life for COTTON? Something that I thought was a better alternative and more sustainable than some harsh man made chemically modified fiber, is really pretty darn bad itself. The only epiphany I have really had this week is that things are real bad and I am struggling to find the hope in our situation.

After reading about Easter Island I was a little confused. I was having a hard time drawing comparisons between the U.S. and this tiny Island in the middle of the ocean. After class discussion, I understood things much better. As started earlier, the Island was the best example of a worst-case scenario. I found the aspect of rivalry between the clans ringing true today. We seem to fight over dominance of certain aspects of life. But after seeing how the island failed…why would we want to act in a similar way? I think the article could have maybe drawn some parallels into today. I would have liked to have read if our author feel the same way as we do today. Now I am really anxious to learn about all the ways in which we can improve our situation. Fashioning Sustainability put things in black and white for me. The article really started plainly how bad things are and I believe the facts presented can be used as a real motivator for change. The cotton situation is startling. This is the best article we read all week. It was no frills, just facts. I loved that. It offered great solutions and I appreciate that. The article added to the validity of sustainability. After watching the documentary, learning of a society that failed, and taking in all the unsustainable practices facing the fashion industry, how can anyone argue with sustainability? It seems so obvious! I am so worried for the U.S. if things don’t change.

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2 Responses to The U.S. Needs to Eat Their Veggies and Lay off the Candy.

  1. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    I know it’s a little overwhelming! Hang in there, we’re on our way to the solutions portion of the show!

  2. paulsustainopreneurship says:

    Regarding Eastern Island reading, I found it very interesting. In fact, I think the author discusses that humans need to have future consciousness to assure their future.. Similarly, the 11th Hour film, discusses various topics such as acceleration of evolution and economic development.
    Eastern Island reading is more a descriptive theory; the 11th hour in some extent is science since there is a unanimity in findings.

    There are a lot of things Governments around the World are doing. If you are interested here are some conferences arranged by the United Nations: Millenium Summit in New York (September, 2000), Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico (March 2002), World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002).

    As you can see, there are people doing something right now. The question here is: what are we doing?


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