Sustainability in my opinion is any practice that will protect and conserve the environment around us. We have spent some time in class discussing how companies are sustainable and what companies can do to become more sustainable. We talked about a designer called Zero Waste Daniel and he designs clothing from scrap material that would never be used. This new outlook on fashion design is so revolutionary. There are very few people out there that are doing this. However, if high fashion designers start adopting more of these sustainable practices it will put a huge dent in the apparel waste from our industry.
The 11th hour movie was very interesting to me. It not only covered global warming but it covered sustainability as well. Sometimes these go hand in hand but they don’t have to. I found it awesome how passionate the people were about sustainability practices. You could just feel how much they cared. In the movie, they covered a lot of topics but one of the most interesting topics to me was sustainable design for the future. They talked about how much of an impact sustainable design could make on the world. I found the fact that they said the industrial process needed to be reinvented very compelling. They are saying that a process we already use needs to be completely redesigned. If these processes actually got redesigned and we put people on these jobs that would create more jobs and help the environment! I can’t think of anything more exciting than that!
The wild things exercise brought a few things to my attention. First, I realized how many things need to have more sustainable practices. I also learned how many ways we can approach making industries and products more sustainable. If everyone would put a small amount of thought into the things they are buying and how they are being made and disposed of we would be able to make a huge difference without even noticing it. Most of the topics were on recycling which is something I also need to get better at. But since that exercise I have been more conscious about recycling and have made more of an effort to recycle. During this exercise, I also learned a little bit about how my learning communities’ brains worked. Some were very eco-minded already and some weren’t. I’ll be the first to tell you that I wasn’t one of the eco-friendly ones in the beginning of the conversation. However, the more we discussed it the more I realized how small changes here and there could make a major impact over time.
My carbon footprint value was 6.1 tonnes which isn’t incredibly high but is still higher than what the website told me I should be at. The website said ideal was 2.0 tonnes and gave me pointers on how to reduce my carbon footprint. The first thing it suggested was for me to recycle more paper and cardboard. I have already started implementing this in my life and it makes me feel better than I did before I took the test. I feel like I’m making a difference now. The second thing it told me was to reduce my usage for electrical appliances. I have been trying to use less electrical appliances by not watching as much television and using my computer only when necessary. To help me with this transition I went out and bought a book so that instead of turning my television on to watch a television show I can read and reduce my energy usage. Lastly, it told me not to leave my PC on standby. This is something I have always been guilty of because I get in a hurry and I forget to turn it off. However, after taking this test I have been more deliberate in turning not only my PC off but my printer as well. This is not only reducing my carbon footprint but it will also save my electronics from power surges or anything like that while I’m gone.
The main lesson I learned from the Easter Island and Dust Bowl readings was that we need to be careful we aren’t using all our resources. Sustainability doesn’t just have to mean recycling things that we are using but maybe it also means that we limit the amount we are using in the first place. In Easter island, they were an advanced and thriving society but they were growing at a rate faster than they could replenish their reusable resources and therefore the society collapsed. I think this is relevant to what we are doing as a society because we are using massive amounts of not only renewable resources but nonrenewable resources as well. The dust bowl was similar because we used up all the resources in the soil which caused an incredible erosion of the farmland soil.
The fashion and sustainability article made me think about the way animal fibers, leathers, and furs are harvested. I love the look of real fur and the durability of real leather. To me it screams luxury. However, I need to do some soul searching and think about if I agree with house these products are farmed and harvested. I think I have come to the conclusion that if the animal wasn’t hurt in the making of the garment I will purchase it. However, a real fur or real leather won’t be accessible for me because I don’t know how humane it was for the animal it was harvested from.
My sustainable journey over the next few months will be what I discussed earlier. Putting a bigger focus on recycling and researching what all products I can recycle. Also doing more research on companies that I buy from to see if I agree with their sustainability practices. And lastly im going to focus more on turning electronics off and conserving electricity. This will not only cut down on my carbon footprint but it will also lower my electric bill!