Blog 1

Carbon foot print:

In our first week of lectures, we were introduced to the idea of a carbon footprint. On the website, we were asked questions regarding the way we use energy and how we live our daily lives as they pertain to the interaction with the environment. My carbon footprint value ended up at 6.6 tonnes and I was given the advice to eat less dairy, recycle more aluminum and steel cans. I believe I was given these recommendations because first of all, most of my diet consists of dairy products and I have been told by doctors that I need to cut this down. As for my recycling habits, my house in Stillwater does not have a recycling bin inside. With that being said, most of the trash, including recyclable items, all end up in the same trashcan. I need to start utilizing the recycling can that the city provides us outside of our house and I think I would help the environment significantly because I do use a lot of plastic and aluminum items.

Past two lectures:

The past two weeks of this class have been very eye opening for me. As an interior design student, I have been taught sustainable practices because we are growing up in a time where the environment is at a downhill slope and it is our job as growing thinkers to imagine ways to stop this deterioration. We have only been in this class for two weeks now and it has already got my mind flowing with a greener and more sustainable mind set. It is very eye opening to think that our world will not be anything like it is today, by the time that we are adults and have a family. This should give us even more motivation than before to use our careers to build a greener world.

Define sustainability:

I believe that sustainability has not yet become a way of life to enough people; however, I do see it as more of a mindset. For me, I know that sustainability is important and I need to start changing my ways but I have not quite been motivated enough to change my lifestyle. With these classes that we have been taking at Oklahoma State that incorporate sustainable thinking into our lessons, I have become more motivated to change because I know it will benefit me, as well as many others in the future. Sustainability in my eyes is changing daily tasks and aspects of life that we do not really think about and allow them to become less depleting of natural resources and more beneficial to the environment, while not changing those aspects drastically for individuals.

11th hour movie:

I am glad that we had the opportunity to watch the 11th hour movie in class because I am not sure I would have watched it on my own. I found it very interesting to see the domino effect of how the environment came to be what it is today and what all the deterioration of our environment truly affects.  According to film makers, the major barrier to sustainability is the creation of corporations. Rivers and all other parts of the ecosystem have become property. You are either a human or property and all of nature has become property and lost its rights and we do not have the authority to bring these issues to law. The higher power is the fossil fuel industry and it is clear that wealth has power over anything else. The five top fossil fuel companies in the world are worth 33 billion total. With that being said, it would cost us 35 trillion a year to pay to do what nature does for us for free. That is double how much all the counties incomes add up to.

“fashion and sustainability”

This article focused on the pros and cons of the fast changing realm of fashion, whether its in clothing, manners, music or customs. Looking at the pros, we see that changes are beneficial to society because it encourages imagination, competitiveness, and distinctiveness. Most important of all, this constant need for change also inspires innovation which is crucial in such a fast growing society. However, looking at the cons of the growing fashion industry, we see that this emphasis on innovation can create an over-emphasis on materialistic lifestyles. One solution is to use less and find ways to use what is already available to us. For example, recycling clothes and using them to create other things, whether it be new clothes, blankets, baby clothes for the homeless. The important message of this article is that we do need to start moving towards more sustainable practices when it comes to fashion; however, we still need to keep in mind what individuals have grown to like.

Wild thing experience:

This exercise was a fun experience because we were able to collaborate with the fashion merchandising students, as well as my fellow interior design peers. It was a challenge to take the problems and ideas raised by the fashion merchandising students and try and think with their mindset. However, my learning community enjoyed it because it forced us to look at the environment in a different realm, rather than just how interior design can benefit the environment. On the other hand, it was a growing experience for my learning community to work together and try and find solutions to problems that we had never thought about.

Interaction with learning communities:

Having a learning community is my favorite part of this class because having a group that you discuss problems with opens up the table for amazing solutions and more thoughts to go off of. I think it is very important as interior design students to learn to work with others and our classes do a very good job of making this happen. Our field of study is not a job that people take on if they like to work independently. Interior design is all about collaborating and thinking of solutions for problems and combining different aspects of this solution to create the best answer possible. I think it is also beneficial to create a learning community with students in the same field as you because we think the same way and can come up with numerous answers to problems we are aware of in our field. On the other hand, it is also important to interact with the fashion merchandising students because they can offer beneficial thoughts because they are on the outside looking in when it comes to interior design.

Easter Island and Dust Bowl:

Reading about Easter Island was terrifying and it was incredibly eye opening because it is more realistic than we all realize. Living on earth now, we see so many advancements and the earth seems great that we refuse to ever think that it could just give out on us. However, sustainability and the environments well being are becoming hot topics because the deterioration of our earth is occurring at a rapid pace and it is not going to slow down until we put our put down and take the first step. If we keep taking advantage of the earth and all the resources if offers us for free, we will eventually have nothing left. The scariest thought is that the earth most likely will be ever to bounce back and naturally go back to normal. On the other hand, we as humans NEED the earth. The earth does not need us. The dust bowl is another example of how the earth and its natural patterns have the power to completely wipe out a population if these patterns are disrupted. One important thing that I have already taken away from this class is that we humans have the mind set that we are at the top of the food chain, which may be true; however, we have to realize that nature and everything underneath us is not dependent on us like we are on them.

Fashion sustainability of environmentally healthy design and historic interiors:

This is an article that relates to me and how I think in my field of study. Healthy interiors are so important because we spend a good majority of our time in our houses and indoors. Energy use is a huge problem in our society and there are many ways to solve this issue. For one, population sensors are important when it comes to when lights can turn on and when they need to be shut off. Instead of keeping lights on longer than needed, these sensors will sense when someone is in the room, and when the room is not occupied. On another note, when it comes to asbestos and bacteria building up in an interior space, Sherwin Williams has come up with paint that has no asbestos and is also anti-microbial which can benefit individuals who suffer from asthma and other breathing issues. As a future interior designer, I need to keep in mind energy use in interiors and constantly think of solutions to this major problem that will continue to grow.

My sustainable journey:

The more classes I take that relate to sustainability, the more I realize that I need to change my lifestyle. I have already gone to Walmart and purchased a recycling bin for our kitchen, so we have more motivation to recycle all of the plastic and other recyclable items we use in our house everyday. I also want to start finding companies that will take old clothing and recycle it or give it to other who will continue to use it. There are many other changes I need to make to the way I live but taking one step will get me further in my sustainable journey.

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