The Journey is Never Over.

When I first took this course, I think I cared more about the number of days until graduation than I did about actually learning anything. This time around, after each reading we were assigned, I finished with the feeling that I actually learned something that will be useful for the rest of my life. For example, I think I am finally able to truly define what sustainability is to me: sustainability is not just using “green” materials, it’s a lifestyle… and the only way to understand what that means is to start living it.

Sustainability spreads through each and every industry, each and every company, and each and every employee. The place that a company lands on the sustainability skill can be altered by the actions of a single employee. Which, to me, is why it is essential for every person that enters the workforce to understand what sustainability is.  Today, my guess is that if you interviewed 100 employees, only 10 of them would have a true grasp on the issue. Which brings me to my next point, industrial ecology. As we learned in the lecture, industrial ecology is all about looking at systems, and how each one is connected, in order to reduce environmental impact. Every company is a system, made up of employees – employees that need to understand how doing their part is essential in to adequately reduce the company’s overall impact.

During the group discussion of industrial ecology is the moment I had my first big epiphany. For the reverse lecture, my learning community was assigned to summarize the 10 approaches to surviving in place. We decided to research companies that implemented programs into their company that addressed these 10 ideas. The company that caught our attention was Adidas. They have begun to implement a sustainability training program for their employees, so that they truly understand why the guidelines they are asked to follow are essential to the growth of not only Adidas, but also the planet. It got me thinking about the company I hope to start a career with one day.

Because of the knowledge I have gained from this course, I feel a sense of confidence. A confidence that, for example, I could answer any job interview question thrown at me regarding sustainability. That, to me, is a good enough reason on its own that everyone should take a course similar to this. How great of a feeling is it that you could potentially ask your interviewer a question about sustainability that they couldn’t even answer themselves? Well, it feels awesome. In addition to that, I am certain that I want to work for a company that is actively working on doing their part to reduce the fashion industry’s environmental impact. In the future, I will never apply for a job without researching the company and their sustainable practices. To close, I am very grateful for what I have learned in this class and I am looking forward to continue expanding my knowledge of sustainability. In fact, I don’t think one can ever stop learning new things about living a sustainable life. Cheers!

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