It Begins with Us

Any time I begin a new class each semester, I think to myself, “I wonder what this class will be like?” I then start wondering what assignments will be handed out, how difficult the exams will be, if I will like the class and if I will be able to take away anything from the class. Over the past two weeks, we’ve been exposed to the beginnings of finding out what sustainability is and how it affects us as humans and designers.

Our first class was really just an introduction as to what sustainability is, how it affects us, and how we as students currently define sustainability. For me, I define sustainability as the act of trying to better use our world’s resources and finding better ways to reuse and recycle products. After meeting with my learning community, I believe all of our current definitions are roughly the same. We all believe that becoming more sustainable will help our world survive. It is up to us as humans to leave the earth better than it was when we were born. Personally, I would like to make sure that my kids and grandkids are able to live their life fully without having to worry about consequences of our generation and previous generations’ mistakes when it comes to protecting and preserving our world’s resources.

As an interior design major, this class is helping me to better understand the sustainability issues currently going on in the design industry. In the interior design field, it is up to designers to make sure that new buildings and renovated buildings are healthy and safe. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a big part of this as well. Being LEED certified in this industry creates a lot of business opportunities as well as allowing the designer to help contribute in making the world a more sustainable place. Not only this, but they are finding and implementing different designs for better renewable resources that consumers can use without polluting our air and water systems.

I personally really enjoyed The 11th Hour documentary. At first, I assumed it was a blockbuster movie, but once it got going, I was really into it and what they were all saying. After watching it, I believe it was one of those documentaries that I would willing watch outside of class because it was rather fascinating! Sometimes, it is hard to believe that not only are we the problem, but we are also the solution. It is because of the human race that forests have become desert lands, that there are dead zones in water where there aren’t any fish due to pollution and the dumping of chemicals into the oceans, that global warming is real because of the toxic gases being released into our atmosphere which is also destroying the ozone, that animals have become extinct due to over hunting. All of these problems could have been avoided had humans realized the long term consequences of manufacturing and dumping chemicals. I believe humans did what was the easiest and cheapest solution for the time without looking into possible repercussions. Just because it’s easier and cheaper, doesn’t mean that it is the best solution to the problem.

I am looking forward to the coming months and learning more about sustainability and how to apply it in interior design after I graduate. I believe that in working with my learning community, that we will be able to fully understand sustainability and how find better alternatives for currently non-sustainable designs. It takes one step, one person. It begins with us.

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