One thing I have learned from this class is that nature has a lot to tell us. My learning community focused on the activity that links trees to industrial ecology. In elementary school I remember learning about trees and the way they live, but before this class I only thought it as just the way a tree works. I did not think that different areas of life could look to the tree as a model. My group focused on the way trees give back to the environment and what I learned from that is our buildings could also give back.
Trees are known to help purify the air and I do not see why are buildings cannot do the same. It might not even have to be buildings. In Las Vegas they disguise the internet towers as trees, they are not very pretty trees but it still looks better than what we have here, so what if we had fake trees that help take pollution out of the air? I think there is so much we could do to better the world around us even if it is a small contribution. In large cities there usually no trees and cities have a lot of pollution in the air, you smell it just stepping outside in NYC for example. But if there was something on the sidewalk to help the air it could make a big difference over time.
We also discussed what the roots do for a tree, they take nutrients as well as give it back. I think we could find ways for buildings to give back to the soil. A possibility could be that all restaurants are required to compost what is not used or eaten. I am not talking about a left over hamburger, but a lot of veggies are left uneaten or even untouched and just thrown away. Even if it is just vegetables being composted it would be a small step closer to making a difference. Sometimes we just need to take a moment outside and truly think about how plants and animals survive and thrive.
Nature also gives you a sense of tranquility. My biggest takeaway from the presentations is adding nature inside buildings has a multitude of benefits. One of the benefits was reducing stress. Adding nature in work buildings I think will make a huge impact. Most people are stressed out because of work, and it can be depressing being inside an office when it is really nice outside. Bringing natural sunlight and plants to the people stuck inside will help them be happier and increase their quality of life. I know for me it is hard to be stuck inside when it is nice out and you just do not have motivation to work your hardest. Just watching the presentations made me want to go out and buy plants for my house. People long to be outdoors because it is so calming and relaxing. It makes you forget about what is stressing you.