This week I was presented with the opportunity to test my carbon footprint; I was confronted with results that I expected, slightly less than the national average. I feel that I do not try to reduce my carbon footprint in anyway and use the conveniences that have been presented to me without a second thought. As I was taking the quiz, answering very simple questions, it occurred to me it doesn’t take much to reduce my carbon footprint, and instead of being slightly below the national average I could be looked at as sustainable. Simple things like walking short distances, checking my tire pressure, changing my light bulbs, and using less water could help me, and everyone around me, reduce our carbon footprints to make for a more sustainable future. Below I attached my carbon footprint test, which created my epiphany that it doesn’t take much for me to create a cleaner, healthier life for myself, my peers and the future.
After realizing the difference I could make on a small scale, I reflected on what was discussed in class this week, one of those topics being industrial ecology. Though I still know very little about the subject, the idea of extracting resources, using them, and them transforming them back into something useful for the earth seems like something that can be done more often the more technology we begin to use and discover. I believe this is a vital way to live with the luxuries that I, and many others are used to, without completely taking away from our home. As a designer that works with natural and unnatural materials I believe it is important to dig deeper into this subject and become away of the opportunities it holds, so I can then not only affect my life but other lives as well.
Looking at the idea of industrial ecology, I believe designers need to look at biomimicry, another topic discussed, when becoming creative with what materials we use, how we apply them, and how we can make them better for our community. Using nature as a model, we can uncover several design options and ways to turn our waste back into something for the earth, something our ecosystem has been doing for millions of years. These new ideas on biomimicry and industrial ecology have spurred me to think outside the box while designing a space for a healthier world, while also keeping simple ways to reduce my carbon footprint in my mind to work on both a large and small scale.