Sustainability has been our main focus the past few weeks. We talked in depth and shared with the class about what we think sustainability is. Being the Student Vice President of USGBC has given me another level of awareness of what sustainability is and how to incorporate it into a much broader and wide reaching approach. The true definition is, “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” This is the definition that I reference to when thinking about what sustainability is and how I can correlate these practices into my daily life, future business endeavors and with brainstorming ideas that could benefit our student organization on campus. LEED accreditation is a major part of not only sustainability but also the interior design practice. We as designers are the ones that have the obligation and duty to not only the firm that is implementing these regulations but also the world. This might be a huge burden for some but I see it as a purpose. We are the ones that will bring about the change that we wish to see in the world. Sustainability to me is being conscious of the materials that we use and reducing, reusing and recycling material that could be harmful to the planet.
The 11th hour documentary brought up a lot of key factors that we as a human race need to take into consideration if we want to respect and love the land that we take for granted on a daily basis. The documentary shed a light on corporations and the negative practices that they employ on the earth. This I feel is the biggest take away from the documentary that is something mankind can actually make a huge change in turning corporations into sustainable practices.
Unfortunately, I was not able to participate in the wild things exercise due to other obligations in Tulsa. My learning community is made up of friends that I have known for quite a while and we hang out pretty often outside of class so I am really comfortable with interacting with them.
My carbon footprint is 25 tons CO2/year. Living in a 4-bedroom apartment with one other roommate that is not conscious of living a sustainable life style is what leads to my high energy costs. I try and recycle as much as I can and I drive a V6 Chevy Malibu so driving back and forth from Tulsa at least 5 – 7 times a mouth is a huge contribution to the calculation.
The biggest lesson that we can take away from Easter Island and the Dust Bowl is that mother Nature is very unpredictable. We cannot just assume that something will stay the same just because it has been the same for so many years. The earth is a living organism and is forever changing so being prepared for the worst will put mankind into the best possible position for when things start to go in the wrong direction.