Being an Interior Design student, we’ve discussed sustainability within our classes numerous times over the years. Although I have the knowledge on how to design using sustainable materials and finishes, I don’t seem to carry that knowledge into my own personal life. With that being said, I do strive to someday pursue a lifestyle of minimalism using eco-friendly resources which is what I believe it means to be sustainable.
Although I was only present for one of the class lectures last week, I was able to takeaway new material and concepts from Tuesday’s viewing of The 11th Hour. The 11th Hour made me realize just how much humans impact the environment. The video explained how humans think that we are superior to all other living organisms and how that processing of thinking is only making our life on Earth shorter. It’s kind of common sense that humans are what is destroying our environment, but by hearing the video talk about superiority, it struck a cord in me. Another point the video talked about was how the Earth is capable of limitless growth and expansion using natural resources. However, we as a society are not allowing Earth to achieve this capability, and that’s a terrifying thought. I compare it to owning/driving a car. You want to take car of your car in order to get you safely from point A to point B. We wouldn’t want to purposefully put our safety at risk by not upkeeping with the vehicles needs. But how come we do that with the Earth? Humans do not upkeep with the needs of the environment and it’s putting our safety at risk. These are the thoughts and discussion points that went through my mind during and after the viewing of The 11th Hour.
Being an Interior Design student, I haven’t fixated too much on how the fashion industry affects the environment, however I’ve come to realize how important it is because fashion and clothing is an everyday thing. After reading the Fashion and Sustainability article, I was surprised to learn of how unsustainable the industry really is. Clothing trends are extremely wasteful because of how often the turnover is. It would be beneficial for both users and manufacturers if we were reusing material. It would be both cost affective and environmentally friendly instead of over-using our resources.
My Carbon Footprint results let me know that I need to recycle more often and watch how much water I am using. Although it says I need to recycle more aluminum and steel cans, I would change that to plastic and glass because I do not purchase anything in steel or aluminum. I do love to take baths as a form of relaxation, I didn’t realize how much water was used vs how much is used when taking a shower. That was good information to find out especially in order to cut down cost.
I’ve really enjoyed speaking with my Learning Community. One great thing about it is that we’re all Interior Design which helps facilitate our discussions in the same direction. Although sometimes we have different ideas and concerns, it’s been a great opportunity to learn and gain new perspectives. Especially when talking about problems and how we as designers can address those problems. This was something that was brought up during the Wild Things exercise. We each had different ideas about what we felt should be addressed and how to problem solve. One thing about this exercise was that it was VERY fast paced and that became a difficulty for my Learning Community.
As far as the Easter Island and Dust Bowl readings, I think it’s very important that we takeaway from them and learn. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful world that is able to provide so much for us. However, we need to make sure that the resources we’re using aren’t going to keep the Earth from continuing to provide. The more resources we use the more the Earth has to produce and we as a society need to make sure that we’re mindful of that in order to prevent our society from diminishing just like it did in Easter Island and The Dust Bowl.
I hope to begin my journey of a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I would love to get more involved with the USGBC on campus in order to help me with my understanding and knowledge. I’ve recycled in the past, especially when there are the appropriate bins in public to discard the used material, however, I need to implement some type of recycling system at my own apartment, and I plan on doing so soon. With the weather being especially nice lately, I’ve enjoyed taking advantage of walking more and driving less. The more I’m outside the more happy and relaxed I seem to be.