Step 1: Awareness

After reading the short story Easter Island and watching the film The 11th Hour, I have become much more aware of the many problems that our earth is facing. While we concluded as a class that these problems we are facing are not by any means new problems, I feel that now more than ever, people are beginning to wake up and realize that we have to take action. Not only do we have to take action to alleviate these problems as people going into the fashion and/or interior design industries, we have an obligation as citizens of the world to protect the planet that we live on. The good news is that there are things that we can do and changes that we can make in our everyday lives that will help lead us to a more sustainable way of life.

In the film The 11th Hour, they talked about how the extent of consumerism and human consumption today is such a huge issue that is having a negative impact on our environment. This was also one of the huge issues that ultimately lead to the downfall of the people’s society in the story Easter Island. It’s actually a really simple equation… When our consumption outweighs the resources that are available to us on Earth, the outcome is never going to be good. The story of Easter Island actually spelled it out pretty clearly in a worse case scenario kind of way. The people were not careful about how they used their resources. This created a downward spiral and before you know it, everyone was eating each other. In our society today, it has become a norm for people to constantly be wanting more. Statistics even show that we are consuming and buying more than ever, and it is taking a toll. We go out and buy something, use it for a while (if at all), and before you know it, the “newness” is gone and we are wanting to buy the next new thing. This was relevant to me because I know I am guilty of this to a certain degree, and I know I’m not the only one.

I think it is important to at least be aware of this issue of over-consumption. With marketing and advertising campaigns promoting products in our face almost 24/7, it can be difficult to grasp this concept. We as people need to focus more on living within our means. Basic needs are more important than luxury items such as the newest technology and fashions. If we do nothing else, we AT LEAST need to open our eyes and be aware of the terrible outcomes that we face if we don’t slow our roll and stop being so wasteful. From now on, I am going to make it a point to stop and think about differentiating between what is a want and what is something that I actually need.


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