What do you think sustainability is? This was one of the first questions asked to us in our Sustainable Design class. I thought that sustainability meant to renew something old to repurpose it into something new that wouldn’t hurt the environment. After being in the class and learning more in depth about it, I found out sustainability is, “Development which meets the needs of the present without prohibiting future generations to meet their own needs.” (Bruntland Report, 1987). This introduced interrelationships of environment, society, and economic systems. Through my life I have seen sustainable sparks come and go as it comes to reusing and recycling. I found I do not have the right tools at home to recycle the way that I should, but I have also found it should not hold me back from recycling. Since I am in apparel design, I have seen lots of fabric scraps thrown away. The Apparel Design class also has a place for the fabric to be recycled which I think should be open to any students who have an unwanted article of clothing that they are just wanting to throw away.
We watched a movie called the 11th Hour during class. This was an interesting movie that mentioned the Industrial Revolution and how that has effected the environment today. It also mentioned many dysfunctional sustainable philosophies from filmmakers. We found out a lot about ecological verses environmental issues we face in the world today. These were just a few things we were asked to talk about during the video, but the thing that stood out to me the most was when they were talking about future sustainable designs. The ideas that they proposed were so thought provoking! Some of the concepts talked about included: making buildings with the structure and sustainability of a tree.
As we found out who our learning communities were, we began our small class discussions. One thing that we needed to do was the Wild Things exercise. This was an exercise that we had to find a problem in relation to the environment. After writing problems we passed our paper and would have to write solutions and problems again on the next paper. This continued again until we had to find a way to solve a problem with a sustainable solution even if it seemed impossible. It is a great way to have out-of-the-box creative thinking. I also learned that when you are working with a learning community, or just a group in general, is so much better than thinking creatively alone. There are so many more ideas formed from groups than just one.
The Fashioning Sustainability article was interesting to me. It had a vast amount of information on clothing that can harm the environment. Some ways that hurt the environment through material are: use of oil in synthetics, disposal, animal welfare, water use, pesticide use, use of chemicals, untreated waste, and many more. There is also harm in production, transportation, and disposal. I learned a lot from this article that opened my eyes to the harm that can be done just through clothing alone.
Over the past couple of weeks of classes I have learned so much already. From a sustainable standpoint I am going to try to recycle more and be a more sustainable thinker. By reducing the use of objects that I would throw away most often I will reuse them. This would help the environment in a little way. Even if it is one person at a time, one person can help make a difference.