The End, but Only The Beginning

After a semester of breaking down and learning the true aspects of sustainability, I feel like I understand it with so much more depth then at the beginning of the semester. At the beginning of the semester, I described it as a process that involves going green, recycling, and using solar panels. Throughout the semester, I’ve learned that sustainability is much more than that. Sustainability is a way of living. It does include going green, recycling, and using solar panels but that is just a glimmer into suitability. My interruption of being sustainable is thinking and living in a different way. For example, when you finish the peanut butter you automatically wash the jar and place it in the recycle bin. Also, when you leave your house, you turn all your lights off and your air up. Another way of being sustainable is by reusing or relocating your personal items that you no longer use. You can give away clothes, shoes, furniture, etc. That way, they are not sitting in a landfill. These are all little steps to participating in sustainability! These are all things I did not do before I took this class. I was not educated properly to recycle or reuse things. Today, I am proud to say that I automatically practice sustainability acts!

An epiphany I had while in this course was the amount of education that is lacking on using sustainable practices in everyday work/school life. I look back over the past 3 and half years I’ve been at college and I was extremely blind to sustainability until this course. I did not know that you had to completely rinse out whatever you recycled in order for the plants to recycle it. When I visited the OSU recycling plant, I realized just how impactful it is to recycle every item you can. The recycling plant carried thousands of pieces of cardboard, plastic, and paper that will be recycled and reused! I wish every campus organization followed strict sustainably practices. I feel like overall, OSU is trying to bring sustainability into its campus, but it takes a while to get everyone fully on board. During this course, I also was introduced to sustainable interior design products. I had no idea that so many existed. Learning how the product was made from recyclable items while it produced low VOC’s, and was LEED certified gave my a new passion to really research and learn about these existing products for my future clients.

 As the future approaches, I would like to expand my knowledge on more sustainable products. As an interior designer, it is so viably important for me to know these products so that I can recommend these to my clients. I want to know how they are sustainable, what their selling points are, how much energy they save, the level of VOC’s they put off, and etc. Very many design firms that I have come in contact with know very little about the variety of sustainable products. The LOLA shows really interested me because they educated me on the sustainable products that we all have access to! Before this course, my goal was to provide a design solution for my clients in a way that described their personality and fit their everyday needs. Upon finishing this course, I still have those same goals but I want to do it in a more efficient way. What good will it do for my client if I spec them a wallcovering that puts out high VOC levels? This course has really given me a new passion for using sustainable products in my designs and selling those products to my clients as not just a pretty piece in their design, but as a highlight for their everyday health.

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