These first few weeks of class we have learned a lot about sustainability and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I have learned a lot more about how important sustainability is to our lives and to our world. If we do not pay more attention to sustainable practices and taking care of our environment we may not have that environment anymore. Sustainability to me is thinking and acting in ways that aim towards protecting our environment. I am excited to continue to learn more about the concept of sustainability and how I can play a part in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle.
In the 11th hour documentary I learned that there are many environmental issues we are facing such as climate change and global warming, natural disasters, and pollution that are caused by our lack of sustainable practice. We often focus too much on the economy and not enough on nature. We are greedy in the way that we take from nature. We are treating it as property when in fact we need to realize that nature has rights too. The movie discussed how we think that we are separate from nature, but in fact we are nature. I think that we should all think more like that. We should look at ourselves as a part of nature and learn from the things that surround us instead of draining our environment of its resources and treating it like a toy.
In the “Fashion and Sustainability” article they discussed how unsustainable the fashion industry is in terms of waste, materials and usage. It discussed issues with human labor and animal welfare. I found it interesting that a lot of the energy usage in the fashion industry comes from the consumer through things such as washing, drying, and ironing our clothes. This really made me think about how I could be more sustainable in the way I take care of my clothes.
The Wild Thing exercise was interesting because we got the chance to see what other students were thinking and build off of each other’s ideas. As the paper passed around sometimes ideas would be similar to what my learning community had thought of and sometimes not. I enjoyed this exercise because it allowed us to think outside of the box and exposed us to new and interesting ideas from our classmates.
I enjoy the learning communities because it gives us a time to discuss what we are learning in class and bounce ideas off of each other. It is interesting to see what we all think about sustainability and share our thoughts and concerns on sustainable practices.
I was surprised to find out that my carbon footprint value was only 4.9 tonnes. I expected to have a much higher one. To be honest, I think I may have answered some of the questions wrong because I was unsure of what the answer was on questions about things like light bulb watts in my house and how old my toilet was. Either way though, it was an interesting little quiz and the outcome told me that I needed to recycle more, so I have been trying to do that at home.
In both “Lessons from Easter Island” and the Dust Bowl resources were overused and it resorted in crisis. The people of Easter Island cut down all of their trees in order to move the rocks for Stonehenge and also used up all of their resources leaving them with nothing to eat which in the end caused them to resort to cannibalism. In the Dust Bowl, the famers were not careful with the way they were planting their crops. They over farmed their crops leaving the soil loose, which in the end resorted in all of the dust storms, which ruined all of the land. If the people of Easter Island and the farmers from the Dust Bowl had practiced more sustainable ways then they could have avoided their negative outcomes.
I have learned a lot in these first few weeks and I feel like it is actually rubbing off on me in my every day lifestyle. Since this semester started, I have been more cautious about recycling and the amount of energy I am using. I try to use as much natural light as possible and I have even purchased solar powered lights for my yard and porch. I think that this class will teach me a lot and I am excited to see how much more sustainable I can become throughout the course of the semester.