and the journey begins…

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I started this course, not really understanding what I was about to get myself into. After only having a few classes, I already have a better grasp on what sustainability is and a preview for what I am going to learn this semester.

My view of what sustainability is includes being conscious of the environment and taking steps to better the environment in the long run in innovative and creative ways and to avoid harming our world for short-term gain. My mind has also grown from just thinking about activities such as recycling water bottles as being sustainable, but also thinking of more outside of the box things such as fashion and thinking about how I, as a merchandising student can try to be more sustainable in my field.

The 11th Hour movie that we watched in class last week was beneficial because it opened my eyes to topic that I had not paid much attention to before. Global warming is something that I know is happening, but I have been living more in the moment and not really paying attention to the future. After watching this movie I have found myself more aware of the environment and the issue of sustainability. I have even taken initiative in my household to start being more sustainable. In the house that I live in I have five roommates and we have two trashcans in the kitchen so we dedicated one of the bins to trash and the other can to items that can be recycled such as paper plates, and plastic water bottles. I learned that we can recycle plastic numbers one through seven. I also even looked into how to recycle glass in Stillwater and we learned that we could request a tote from the city of Stillwater to put glass in and to set it out on the side of the road with our trash bins and recycling bin to get picked up on Wednesday mornings. I definitely know that this is just the start of my sustainability journey and will continue to find other ways to be more environmentally friendly.

The Wild Thing exercise has been interesting to work on so far. I like how we are getting to “piggyback” off of other group’s ideas and thoughts since our learning communities are comprised up of related majors and most of us think similarly that have the same major, so I enjoy getting other input as well. It has expanded my mind and contributed to my learning instead of being limited to just what my learning community thinks we are getting other input from other communities and sharing our ideas with others as well.

Another thing I found interesting over the past two weeks of class is the video about the Native American. I am Native American, I am not as culturally in the loop with my heritage as I would like to be, but I have been involved with my tribe in some small way since I was a little girl. I found it intriguing when it was discussed how they don’t just see the environment changing, but they can feel it too.

I also enjoyed the reading Fashion and Sustainbility. It is interesting to think about how fashion revolves around trends and change and it really isn’t very environmentally friendly and is viewed as wasteful, but we need to use sustainable practices to alter those views. I also enjoyed the quote from Walker, “Change itself is not inherently positive nor negative- it is the nature of change that is important.” To me I think what he is trying to pinpoint is that there is always going to be change in our world, but we need to look at why we are changing something. Are we making this change because it could better our future as well as the future of others or are we making a change to something because we are driven by greed and instant gain?

I also find it easy to compare the Easter Island story to the present time. I believe that history repeats itself and with the Easter Island story the people on that island started out as a technologically advanced civilization when they were first visited, but when they went back the civilization had depleted to savages that had harmed their environment with war. I see the people of our time as being technologically advanced, but we are turning into savages because we are driven by greed and wanting more and more without caring about the consequences of our actions. I am excited for this class and to see where this journey will take me.

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