Recycling isn’t enough…

This week, we were asked to reflect on our sustainability journey thus far. The first thing I would say is that my awareness has definitely been heightened in the short time we have been in this class. I thought I was pretty good at recycling but quickly realized that I barely make a dent in the process. Just putting our recyclable items in a trashcan for the city to dispose of is not enough. So, we stopped buying the disposable water bottles immediately, we’ve tried to open our windows to allow more outside air in, especially at night, and we’ve tried to encourage our children to turn out the lights as soon as they leave a room. Other things we are going to try and implement are the installation of all LED light bulbs as the original bulbs burn out, switch to more eco friendly cleaning products and try to use less water for personal usage (showers, laundry, sprinkler system, etc). Another thing I realized is that I have to be more aggressive in my research and education of sustainability. There is so much information out there, like the nature.org website, organizations and teaching tools. The media makes it seems like we aren’t doing anything to protect our earth but there is so much good being done and such a huge population that want to do better. I think one major issue is awareness and exactly how to implement changes in our communities. For instance, I had no idea that OSU operates on 70% wind power (from Blackwell of all places!) so why couldn’t more of our city do so? I feel that the government could enforce restrictions and set regulations to further protect our resources as well. However, I’m also keenly aware that some of these resources are money makers (oil) and our government doesn’t want to rid of them or even reduce them because money is power. In regards to my profession, the two things I have been most educated about in this particular class are textile manufacturing and bamboo usage.    Finding alternatives to water consumption used during the manufacturing process is crucial, but being a consumer and promoter of such products, makes me part of the problem too so it’s my responsibility to seek out change.   Lastly, the information we learned about regarding bamboo was fascinating! I didn’t know it was so strong and durable so to see it used in architecture was eye opening to say the least. I would love to do more research on this material and see how it could be used more in the United States. And conversely, why it hasn’t been used here sooner and what are its limitations?

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