I was really excited for this week in sustainability! Going to the Botanical Gardens for class was a fun way to get outdoors and out of the classroom for a little while. I hope that in the future we get to more activities like this. As for me, I am not only a student who stays in Human Sciences for all my classes, but I am also an employee in Human Sciences so I spend all day everyday inside the Human Sciences building. It was so nice to be able to get out of the building for a while and be outside because that is not a luxury I am given very often.
Of the activities that we did, my favorites were activity 2 and 3. I really enjoyed activity 2 because it forced us to look around at our surroundings and notice little details that could be solutions to real world problems. I think once you stop looking at nature in the big picture and really break it down into the little details there is nothing more fascinating. We, as a group, took particular inspiration from trees for this activity. Trees can be an example of biomimicry in many ways and I really enjoyed looking at them in a lot of detail to find those characteristics. Activity 3 was one of my favorites because it was something that I had never done before. I do think it’s a little infeasible to be able to track a plant by yourself, while blindfolded, but I did like the concept. It forced us to use senses other than sight to observe nature. I personally think I am usually just an observant person in the sense of sight so making myself use other ways of finding plants was really interesting (even though I wasn’t very good at it).
I thought that the design slam was a fun and challenging activity. Usually when we are coming up with creative solutions we have far more time to work on them (problem solving), so it was a good challenge to try and get it done in just 20 minutes. My group was asked to redesign the classroom to be more ecofriendly and sustainable. Our catchy name was “Let’s be Corky” because we implemented the use of cork as much as possible. I think my learning community works well together. We are good at bouncing ideas off each other and all using our strengths to better the group.
Two other groups that I thought did a really good job were “BamPoo” and “ReDz.” I thought both of them did a really good job of explaining their prompt and how they planned to solve the problem in a sustainable way. I thought BamPoo was extremely creative and did a good job of making other WANT to buy the product that they came up with. In the same way, ReDz made their merchandising idea sound exciting and useful and something that stores and shoppers would want to get involved with. I also thought it was good that they addressed the issue of needing there to be less things sold, but being merchandisers their livelihood depends on products sold. I thought they did a great job of addressing how that could be handled.
Overall, I really enjoyed both activities this week and it was great to get a break from lecture for a few days.