This week we were able to take class outside and let nature inspire us. At first I was a little skeptical about what I would really get out of this activity. I didn’t think I needed to go outside and physically look at a tree in order to complete this activity. After all I know what a tree looks like. However, I was proven completely wrong. As I was working with my group outside, I was able to think of several different ideas and opportunities on how we can learn from nature that I don’t think I would have thought of had I been in the classroom. It really made me reflects back on previous reading where they talked about needing to slow down and see nature’s beauty. Our society gets so caught up in itself that we often forget about nature and all it’s beauty, and I know that I am guilty of doing this. Every time I’ve been at Library Lawn, I am usually speed walking pass it to get to class, an appointment, or meeting on time. I haven’t taken the time to really look and admire it. I was able to sit outside and let nature do the talking. I think that if we as a society could listen and learn from nature we would appreciate it so much more. I wonder how we would react, and what impacts it would have on our society if one day we woke up and the beautiful nature we walk/drive by everyday was no longer there.
We also had our first LOLA presentations this week. The two presentations that really grabbed my attention were from Learning Community 1: Closing the Loop Using Waste as a Recourse and Industrial Ecology in Fashion. I really enjoying learning about Domestic Stencilworks has innovated away to product no waste from chemical discharge using only organic materials. I was surprised most by how they use mostly coffee grounds and other food grade dyes like red wine, black IPA beer, beets, and kale. My mind automatically thinks negatively and to stay away from those things because they stain clothing, so that really changed my perspective and opens the door to other food related dyes. Industrial Ecology in Fashion definitely was a topic of interest for me, because I’m an Apparel Merchandising Major. I learned that by extending the life of a clothing item by three months, it reduces its carbon, water, and waste footprint by 5-10%. That really put things in perspective for me and I will definitely remember that the next time I go shopping. As a consumer, I have the ability to purchase items that are of higher quality and have a longer life, even if it’s just by three months. Every one of those months adds up. I also really enjoyed learning that the company Reformation makes everything in-house from manufacture to the racks in retail. I was starting to lose hope with our industry thinking that the majority, if not all, has moved overseas to cut costs. I also love that they include RefScale that tracks the environmental footprint by adding up the pound of carbon dioxide emitted and gallons of water used, and even take it a step further and provide this information in the clothing label. That is something that I hope all companies within our industry will start doing. That would lead to a new positive kind of competition for our industry and would make some major progress in our world living more sustainably.