Are you ready for the Challenge?

Sustainability, What is sustainability? How does it affect the way we live, learn and experience life?

I might not know much about sustainability especially having grown up in a small city in West Texas that believes recycling is the wind blowing our trash to a new town. I do not recycle or conserve, but hopefully after this class I will grow to love the environment and through understanding will not let West Texas winds take away my trash anymore. The past two weeks have come to make me realize, through discussion, videos, readings and more, that our society is growing. No, I don’t just mean by population either. People are growing in numbers, but in character, intelligence, laziness, and many other traits that are helping and hurting our environment. Take for example: people like me. I’m a growing individual who has not ever been around recycling and as I grow older, I become conscious of the growing economic problems; however, my laziness grows more in the fact that I still don’t recycle. My friends; however, were taught to recycle and they have grown up in a way to acknowledge the environment and continue to recycle as they have moved away from home, gone to college and become adults. It begins with how we are taught. After the few hours spent with my discussion group and listening to other peers talk about their opinions on sustainability, it seems that we all have the same opinion and knowledge of the matter. We don’t know much about it and we all believe that it is something that we can be taught, but hard to implement and put into action.

According to the past readings this week, the destruction of the world’s environment has been happening for years and years now. The story of Easter Island is by far one of the most impacting stories I have read about sustainability and deforestation of what was once a thriving island into one that is desolate and no one can even live there anymore. It stands as a monument of ancient times, but tells us stories and teaches us lessons on what we should do better for ourselves and for our future. Just like in the 11th Hour, how one interviewee talked about the “ancient sun” and how that is what we should look to. That is what we need to fall back to and use because it is the “ancient sun” that helps us to live and be sustainable. The fact that living on a day to day basis sustainably is hard enough, to think about designing for it is even harder to comprehend. Designing buildings that are made from material waste, reducing the off-gasing of VOCs and harmful chemicals, indoor air quality; all of these factors come into play when designing interiors and could be the first step in designing for the future; the future for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and the world. As discussed in my learning community, we are a society that longs for that “NEW CAR SMELL” but do we really know what that new car smell is from? Again, this all falls under how we are taught, what society teaches us to like and not like, and what we should want in order to be “cool.” Teaching is where we start.

How can you teach others about sustainability? Are you ready for the challenge?

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