At the beginning of this class, three months ago, I said that sustainability was taking care of today for people tomorrow. Today, I feel the same way but my definition would be more specific to include the home versus work place, which is different from how I conceptualized it in the beginning.
Watching the 11th Hour will always stand out in my mind as a pivotal point in my sustainability journey because it presented information and graphics that I had no idea even existed. It made me realize how small I am in this big world yet how much I take it for granted. It also made me realize that I have an obligation to change and I can begin in my own home and future workplace. I have always been a believer of upcycling, but I think it was because of interest, not necessity so I will approach my career differently in my recommendation of sustainable products and/or practices to future clients.
Another thing we learned about in class was biomimicry. I was fascinated by the TED talk, which explained so many inventions made possible by looking to nature and animals/insects to recreate what has been working for them for years. It was definitely a time in which a light bulb went off in my head, when I felt really dumb for realizing that I wouldn’t have even thought to do that! God amazes me with His creation!
Doing the carbon footprint estimator was actually embarrassing because I could see for myself, how poorly of a job I am currently doing to be sustainable. However, having the evidence and knowing that I can change it is also empowering and in our home, we have already made some obvious changes.
One of the best things we did in class, to me anyway, was the DesignSlam and we introduced “Bampoo.” Getting to be creative, sustainable and yet market our product in a witty way was fun. On a much more serious note, the trip to the recycling center on campus was eye opening! I had no idea OSU used wind power so much! The one thing that really bothered me though was the conditions in which the employees worked. It was cold in the winter, hot in the summer and yet what those men did day in and day out was labor intensive and disgusting. They deserve much better and I was kind of ashamed that OSU allowed for such an environment.
In closing, I have been changed by this class greatly and realize that it is necessary for me to be aware of the issues presented in class, to stay well informed, integrate sustainable practices in to my professional and personal life and be part of the change. I am also very interested in tiny house living but even more so, just the overall idea that having too much stuff is excessive, unnecessary and I need to (and will begin to) pare down sooner than later!