The past few weeks in sustainability we have been dipping our toe in the world of sustainability, and for me, simply defining it. The most exposure I’d ever had to the word “sustainability” was in our problem solving class my fall semester sophomore year so needless to say I have a lot to learn. To me, sustainability is about learning to use the Earth’s natural resources in a way so that we can live in harmony with the world and preserve it.
So far in this class, we have watched several snippets and videos including the “11th hour” where we learned about sustainability from a factual scientific perspective. Many things about that video shocked me – including the fact about the ocean in that if the temperature rises just a little more and warms the ocean enough, the ocean will stop churning, meaning bacteria would grow and kill all sea life and eventually all life in general. Apparently the last time the ocean temperature rose enough, it really did kill all life on the Earth. I had never heard this before and it was really shocking to contemplate.
We have ready many articles in class and for class, including “Fashion and Sustainability” talking about bad and good practices of the fashion industry, and articles focusing on the cause and effect of Easter Island and the Dust Bowl. The overall lesson that we can take away from all these articles is that change must be made or we will suffer the consequences. Easter Island is a direct example of this because they overused their resources once upon a time and had to result in cannibalism. The Dust Bowl is also a direct example of the consequences that come from abusing natural resources because farmers overused the soil and it became loose, allowing winds to pick up sand at high speeds causing mass destruction across the southwest. Throughout history there are continuing examples of society taking advantage of the Earth’s resources and abusing the wonderful things it has to offer. If something doesn’t change in today’s society, things discussed by scientist in the “11th Hour” will begin to happen to the world we know.
I enjoyed the activity we did in class “The Wild Things” because it gave us a chance to bounce our ideas off of essentially the entire class – we had nothing to move forward in the assignment except for the ideas of previous groups. It was a fun way to get out of our own minds and truly come up with something wild. I also really like my group, this was our first assignment together and I think it’s going to be a great semester! I like that we have groups in this class because again, it’s bouncing ideas off of each other and thinking in a way that maybe you hadn’t on your own.
Currently, based on that carbon footprint test we took in class, I have a problem with waste in general – energy waste, garbage waste, textile waste, etc. Recently, and something I will continue to work on, I have really tried to minimize my waste, especially when it comes to clothing I no longer want. I sell them at resale shops and donate whatever I can’t sell. Where in the past, I would have found it easier to just throw away pieces that I didn’t want because it saves time and effort as opposed to driving clothing all the way across town to be recycled.
Also, something interesting about the new house I just moved into in Stillwater on University Circle is that we don’t have outlets hardly anywhere in the house. Because of this, we have mostly had to resort to using battery-powered or solar-powered lights and energy sources. So we’re nice and sustainable and we didn’t even try to be!