Blog 1: Sustainable Beginnings

Over the last two weeks in class I feel as though I have taken away a lot of useful information.  I find myself becoming more self-conscious of the things I am throwing away and making sure to do little things like turn up the AC when everyone leaves for class for the day.  The carbon footprint as well as the 11th Hour video have stood out to me the most and I feel as though I have taken both of those exercises and have been able to relate it to the lecture materials.  I find that living a sustainable life can actually be fairly easy as long as I am aware of things that I am doing.  I also find myself talking about some of the Ted Talks we have watched and sharing those with my friends because I want them to become more aware of what kind of impact they are creating.

Sustainability

Sustainability in my own words is creating an eco-friendly environment that can self-sustain while producing little to no waste.

11th Hour

Overall the 11th hour movie was very interesting.  Some of the bigger take away for me was the idea of limitless growth.  This was prominent during and after the industrial revolution.  Because of this people felt as though they were separated from nature, because humans were the superior form of life.  Humans are using resources too quickly causing a depletion in natural resources.  The lasting thought I took away from the movie was that “extinction is inevitable” even for humans.  While we will not see this happen in our lifetime, if the world keeps on this path of being industrial as opposed to sustainable, humans will eventually go extinct.

Fashion and Sustainability

One of the takeaways I got from this article is that fashion should be viewed as time.  By that I mean that if something is in style or in fashion it will quickly be surpassed by something else.  This does not just have to relate to clothing but can also be compared to things such as materials, furnishings, or even ideas.  While change can be viewed as good when it comes to the market and economic growth, it is not necessarily the best for resource conservation or environmental stewardship.  A con to fashion is that people have become very materialistic and view new goods or services as a way to achieve happiness.  While change to become more sustainable is not something that will happen overnight, but instead in increments of time.  As the fashion trends will change things will become more environmentally conscious.  If a fashion trend, then becomes popular and in such high demand other manufacturers to want to jump towards that method that the product was made in order to create a similar product to turn profit.  We need to learn and adapt on how to use less and be more aware of what is already available for consumers.

Wild Things

This exercise to me was interesting.  I did not think it was very effective and I did not find our learning community or the ones that we had to base our things off of to be overly creative.  I think that if we are going to do an exercise where we need to be off the wall, the topics should not be everyday things, but instead something creative to begin with.

Learning Community

While interacting with my learning community I learned that this class is very diverse.  My group is more focused on sustainable design and ways to improve upon that.  Most of the other groups are focusing more on apparel or merchandising which can make interaction between us a little challenging.  I felt as though some of the things we were passionate about got lost among the other groups.  I am hoping that with more interaction we can share our knowledge as well as learn from the other groups, so that way we broaden our care for what others view as important sustainability factors.

Carbon Footprint

After doing the carbon footprint assessment online, my habits show that I am producing 5.2 tonnes of waste.  It states that ideally I should be at 2 tonnes which seems to be a big decrease from where I currently stand.  I live in a home that is around 20 years old, with two other people, but we have focused on upkeep of the property.  Some of the things that the website suggests for me to reduce my carbon footprint include, buying green energy, lowering the amount of dishwasher uses per week, and not leaving my PC at home on standby.

Easter Island and Dust Bowl

Easter Island is interesting as it is isolated from the world.  They had to learn to become self-sufficient.  Because of this they used up all of their resources and left the island to have little to no life left on it because they did not practice sustainability.  The dust Bowl also felt like a manmade and natural disaster combined.  Humans using too much of the soil and not allowing it to replenish itself caused the soil to erode.

Fashion Sustainability of Environmentally Healthy Design and Historic Interiors

This article stood out to me over the rest because it touched on things that I feel very passionate about when it comes to design.  Many of the things needed to make a space sustainable are fairly easy to implement when it comes to design.  I want to obtain my LEED certification to help create spaces that are environmentally friendly.  Some of the things like materials and resources and air quality were touched on in the article.  Materials used during a project are vital when it comes to creating a space that does not harm the environment.  Things such as picking the right paint can help with the air quality as you can get some non-harmful paint products.

Sustainability Journey

Over the next few months I hope to learn more about sustainability and how I can do little things to help improve the environment.  I want to be able to retake my carbon footprint and have a smaller impact on the environment.  I want to be a part of the solution not the problem when it comes to the future of sustainable interior design.

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