When I calculated my carbon footprint I must say I am very disappointed in myself. I knew that I was not the most economical person but to see how many tons of carbon dioxide I give off per year it is very sad that I am just one person but I am impacting the whole world negatively; and I am just one person. After talking about everything in class that could make us more sustainable like with our old clothes or even just recycling, those are some easy steps I could add into my everyday life; they are simple steps that can really make a change in the way I live and the health of the world I live in.
While in class when we worked on the cradle to cradle activity I really saw how sustainability connected to my major. Before I had a hard time seeing how this topic related to merchandising but now I really saw how I can change my ways in the work force that will be more sustainable and beneficial to me and the earth I live on. I believe my learning community came up with some smart ideas when it came to decorating a store front. We believed that we could use old lighting fixtures and make them into decorations along with paper mache which would be created with old newspaper. We also thought it would be a good idea to refurbish wood/ pallets to use for the ground and even for the background of the display (really whatever needed to be steady). I believe that there are great ways to be more sustainable with the way we use visual merchandise in a store and I am sure there are millions ideas of what we could do.
One of my favorite lectures this past week was when we discussed cradle to cradle and cradle to death. I am not sure why this topic stood out to me but I found it very interesting to think about how things we get are already predestined to continue on or for it to have a certain time where we are done with the object and we dispose of it in many ways. After being in this class for about a month something I have learned is that there is a way to be more sustainable with just about every aspect of our lives so I think that we could possibly get rid of cradle to death and really work on cradle to cradle; this is something I would like to see become a possibility in our everyday lives and not just for me but for majority of the people to think this way.
In one of our lectures we talked about Industrial Ecology. Industrial Ecology is the study of industrial systems aimed at identifying and implementation strategies that reduce their environmental impact and there are many examples of this term. A principle discussing industrial ecology is closing the loop; view waste as a resource and make it a big part into ways that we can solve our waste problems and turn it into a solution to make the world more sustainable. Another principle we need to keep in mind is improving the efficiency of industrial processes meaning if we redesign our equipment we can store energy and use less of it which will make the world generated with recycled energy instead of wasting it. One of the principles of industrial ecology that I believe will be the most effective and possibly one of the easier ones to maintain would be to de-materialize the industrial output meaning if we use less virgin materials and reuse industrial equipment more than once we can easily save energy and waste making the world that much healthier.
Being in this class it reminds me of the many different ways I should change to make my life seem more of an impact on the world and make every decision I make seem worthwhile. Becoming more sustainable can be changing drastically or subtly and it is something that I want to be a part of. I will admit, before this class I never thought twice about throwing products away or old clothes away but because of this class I am thinking outside of the box. I am starting to see ways I can use old materials and products and use them as something completely different as the reason I first bought them. One thing I really want to work on is being better about my clothes, I sometimes become too lazy to do something with them rather than just toss them. Instead I need to get it together and either take my clothes to a Goodwill or a resale shop or find creative ideas to use the material for something else.