Sustainability means preserving and improving the environment through eco friendly designs and practices. The way things are going humans are using up nonrenewable resources at a pace that is too quick for the earth to handle. The earth has billions of years to preserve and create fuels and other resources but because humans are reproducing at an alarming rate, we are using up the recourses within a matter of years. We are also polluting the waters with chemicals, dyes and trash that in turn is killing off the creatures and plants that live in the oceans. In order to preserve the earth, we need to start implementing a plan that gives back to earth and nature any time we may take something from it. The way we think now, we assume that we are superior to nature and we can take from it whatever we want; however we need to think of it as we co exist with nature and need to give back as much as we take. We need to focus on using up renewable resources and only use nonrenewable resources in extreme cases.
The 11th hour was an eye-opening documentary that highlighted the effects we have on the environment. Humans as whole don’t fully understand the repercussions of destroying the earth. One statement that was said in the movie was “Every species has an end date, however the earth will remain” and this has really stuck with me because I think that humans will remain on earth until the end of time but if we really think about it, everything that has lived on earth has become extinct at some point. Just because we are here now doesn’t ensure that we will be here on earth forever. No matter how much we destroy earth, it will adapt and continue to be the home to many species but that doesn’t have to include us. What happens when we use up all the nonrenewable resources that all of us have depended on since we’ve been born? Are we going to be able to adapt and find new ways to live or will we perish when we can’t figure out how to make gas for our cars or the water is too tainted for us to consume. The film also had some interesting ideas about how to live from this point on in order to become for sustainable. One of my favorite ideas was living a minimalistic lifestyle. I love things as much as the next person but it has become excessive to a point that people are buying bigger houses only because they need a large place to put all of their collected things. If we pared down to only things we really needed we could have more space for the environment because we wouldn’t need big houses to live in. This would also reduce the clutter that is thrown away once we start getting rid of things. We couldn’t drastically cut the amount of things that are in landfills as well as polluting the ocean.
I thought that the wild things exercise was fun because we were able to see what other people thought were important about sustainability and the environment. We also got to see ideas that they had to fix these problems, which is helpful because maybe we wouldn’t have thought them ourselves. I think that most of the class had similar concerns with the environment such as excessive waste that has be collecting in landfills and the ocean. A lot of the ideas that I heard that day was to implement laws that would make recycling required the only problem was having to tax people more because it would be required by the government but would still need to paid somehow. I think that these are major issues that need to be addressed, it’s just a matter of the best way to go about the issue and what would be the most beneficial plan.
The exercise we did for the carbon footprint was very interesting. It really made me think about how much water, gas, and electricity I was truly using within a week. I don’t think much about it on a day-to-day basis but when I add it all up within a week, I realize that I am able to cut some things down. The largest part of my body was my hands, my tonnes are 11.9 but the ideal number was only 2. I think this is somewhat shocking because I don’t think that I use any of these areas excessively but if I don’t think I could get the tonnes number all the way down to 2, it would be a huge adjustment to my daily life. I suppose that I could try to implement carpooling more because my friends and I typically end up at the same place but were all more likely to drive separately. As far as water usage, I would say that the only issue I have with that is how long my showers are. I typically run y dishwasher only when its full and I was my clothes only once a week. The largest part that I use is electricity because i’m constantly on my laptop doing various things for school or personal things. I also typically leave my laptop on through out the day even if i’m not using it. Turning it back on takes time that I don’t want to sit though. Its nice to just open my laptop and immediately start working.