I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of sustainability. It is not something I think about on a daily basis and I feel like now after watching the 11th Hour documentary that not taking a notice of daily actions can be damaging to our world. The documentary was a little harsh for my liking but I feel like it also needed to be to get the point across. We are harming our environment everyday most of the time without even thinking about it.
What is sustainability to me? After being in this class for two weeks to me sustainability is trying to be a better person for the environment. Taking notice of your everyday actions and altering them to be less harmful on the environment. Living within your means and not using more than you need. I watched an interesting video about a woman who took living within her means to the extreme and can fit all of her trash from the past four years into one jar. ONE jar. I still do not fully believe that is possible, but it opened my eyes to how much trash I throw away daily and made me think about what I can do to reduce my waste.
Before coming to OSU I didn’t really put much thought into how companies make products and the environmental impact they have. After taking textiles and reading the ‘Fashion and Sustainability’ article it is really eye opening to how unsustainable the fashion industry is. If we could find a way to reuse more materials the fashion industry could be much more sustainable.
Working in a learning community is very interesting to see how everybody has a different way of thinking and a different way to approach each problem. The Wild Things exercise was a great way to see all of the different and sometimes out-of-the-box solutions we can come up with for these unsustainable practices involved with our fields. I also thought it was interesting as an interior design major to try and think of solutions for an apparel problem and to see the solutions that apparel and merchandising majors thought of for interior problems.
As for the carbon foot print I was a little worried about taking it, I thought it would be really awful. Surprisingly it wasn’t too bad. It basically told me that I need to recycle more and change out my incandescent light bulbs and such. Both of those things I can easily change!
Before reading about Easter Island the most I knew about it was the strange looking large statues, and that’s it. So, I had no idea why we were going to be reading about it but wow it was interesting. I never knew about the people that lived there and the way they destroyed their land and themselves. Growing up I always heard about how bad deforestation is for our environment because of many reasons, but I never thought about how we knew it was bad. That somewhere someone had to go through the process of stripping the land of all trees to discover how harmful it is, and that would be the people from Easter Island. I was amazed while reading the article that the people living there didn’t notice how much they were taking from the land and not putting anything back. I also found it interesting that once all the trees were gone it caused a chain reaction of everything else going wrong. They had no materials to build homes and were forced to live in caves, canoes could no longer be built for fishing or escaping the island, the soil was effected and would no longer grow crops to eat and in the end the different clans on the island turned on each other. They removed all of the trees and in return ended their existence. The same type of thing happened again in the Dust Bowl, people took the land for granted and wanted to get more and more out of it, but the land can only do so much and in the end, they caused a horrible dust storm and ripped the nutrients from the soil and caused people to flee and many to die. It is unfortunate that these events had to happen for us to learn the consequences of not taking care of our environment.
I am learning that it is important to be more sustainable in all aspects of my life including my home, the things I buy and the waste I have because it can all impact the environment. I am not sure how many things I will change as the semester continues, but I have already noticed my actions and think to myself about the things I could easily change to make a difference!