In the beginning of this course I thought that sustainability was just recycling your waste when you’re done with it. I thought the main focus of sustainability was to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint as much as possible and then everything would be well. At the end of this course I realize that sustainability is so much more than that, and such a larger issue than carbon footprints. Now I understand that sustainability is such a more in-depth topic that focuses on not just nature, but humans and catering to their needs as well mentally, physically, and emotionally. Although it is true that we want to help preserve the environment, it starts with humans. Fashion is such an unsustainable industry, which is something that I had never realized before. This is where it becomes so important that these designs that are being made in fashion are not only made in an environmentally friendly way, but are meeting the consumers needs physically mentally and emotionally so that these consumers will invest into these products and not throw them away after one season. Concepts like biomimicry, empathetic design, cradle to cradle, nature in architecture, biophilic design, and many more concepts.
A concept that really struck my interest was biophilia and the affects of nature inside establishments. As humans we are born attracted to affiliate with other forms of life, including nature. Frank Lloyd Wright built stunning homes that were surrounded by beautiful landscapes from nature. The houses he built could be anywhere from the side of a mountain to the middle of a forest. I also liked how his homes flowed with and fit into their surroundings rather than a house that was just plopped down in the middle of the woods. I love to run outside verses inside and feel so much more motivated outside than inside the gym and didn’t really know why; for all I knew it could have just been a coincidence of my mood that particular day. After learning about the mental affects that nature has on humans it makes sense that my temperament and motivation are so much better outside. I am very interested in yoga and other types of stress relievers so once I learned about the positive affects of nature on my mood and temperament I have started changing my habits day to day. I have started doing most of my workouts outside, studying outside, and hanging out with friends outside. When I graduate college I definitely want to live somewhere that has a patio or some sort of outdoor area to spend time rather than being cooped up inside. I have also invested in some plants around our house because living in a duplex makes us have less windows and site of nature.
Over all I have changed my mindset and way of thinking through my sustainability journey. I am more aware of the issues on this planet and the affects that my day-to-day actions have. I never really was conscious of what was going on in the environment and just thought I was doing enough by recycling; little did I know there are so many more things that I can do to help protect this planet. I also have never been one who is huge on nature and camping because I am a wimp and hate bugs and such. However, after this class I have gained a new appreciation and respect for the environment; I learned that I could appreciate nature and the environment in ways other than camping and being thrown into the middle of the woods. The environment is so much more than just trees and greenery, and we can learn so much from other creatures and organisms who do everything that we do, only more efficiently and sustainably. In my life going forward I plan to look for the most sustainable way to go about my daily tasks and to stay curious about the world around me. I also plan to educate the people around me and help open up their eyes to the things that I have learned; I believe that education about sustainability can and will go a long way. All in all, I did not expect this class to pertain to my major or myself, but I learned that sustainability is relevant no matter what your field of interest is or degree of study.