Blog 2: Becoming more sustainable

During week 3 of sustainability, we explored and discussed a variety different topics! I feel like I am becoming more self aware of my sustainability habits and I hope to keep building on to that. In class, I learned that if you want to start living a more sustainable life or have a more sustainable business, it all starts with changing the way we think. A paradigm is a collective mental mode made up of our values, beliefs, assumptions, etc. The paradigm is where we must start the transformation into a more sustainable community! Once addressing the paradigm, we then start to change structures, which changes our patterns and then ultimately changes the tip of the iceberg, the events that happen because of it! All we have to do is make one transformational change, which will then lead to changes in other areas, but we must first individually start by changing our self-narrative. In my learning community, we talked about the problem of energy use when it comes to washing our clothes. A small role we could play to bring about change is to wash more clothes together and do a full load of laundry at once instead of doing a ton of small loads separately. This means we would not be using the washer as much as it would cut back on energy use.

Out of the three articles we read this past week, my favorite was Looking at the Future through a Cartoonist’s Eyes. I love how he imagined the future in a way that most people do not. He created silly and whimsical futuristic products that made people laugh, but also made them think, “huh, that actually makes sense.” Many of his futuristic thoughts and ideas have been proven correct with inventions such as the Google Glasses and the bulletproof vest for students. I admire him for never limiting himself or being too scared to cross the line.

When we first started the in-class meditation, I was thinking to myself “this is weird,” but once I finally got myself to fully relax and got all the thoughts out of my head, I could really start to reflect on my future! I imagined myself being married having one kid. We lived in Colorado our house was surrounded by beautiful mountains! When it comes to sustainability, I imagined my little family going on hikes and camping when we had free time instead of doing things like staying inside on the computer or watching TV. Not only is this sustaining the health of my family, but it is also cutting down on energy use.

I honestly think biomimicry is so cool! Being able to look at nature and create products modeled off of it is amazing and I think it is what we were suppose to be doing all along. Being a merchandising student, it is hard to think of a situation where I would use biomimicry because I do not design many things, but I could find products for a store that were created/designed by using biomimicry. Janine Benyus is amazing. I first learned about her a couple of years ago when I was in Problem Solving and she just seems to know everything you would need to know about biomimicry! She makes me question things like “why have we not been doing this all along?” For example, when she talked about the locust and its ability to collisions, I thought, “why have we not been modeling cars after the locust since the second we found out about this?” It just really blows my mind that nature is giving us all the answers and we are just now starting to listen.

I have never heard of Yin Gao until this class and she is absolutely inspiring. Her garments are a mix of futuristic looking designs with her use of technology that are modeled after the environment, which I believe is the future of fashion. I have seen some designers try to do this which is amazing, but sometimes the product turns out looking like something I would not consider fashionable, but all of Yin Gao’s designs are beautiful!

The Living Product Challenge is about creating products that are actually good and beneficial for the environment. There are seven petals of the Living Product Certification and they are place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity, and beauty. In order for a product to be certified, it must meet a minimum of 4 petals and one must include water, energy, or materials. The article goes on to take a closer look at each petal, explaining what it is and how to achieve that petal. If the products we bought were Living Product Certified, we could start feeling good about what we buy! It would feel amazing to be able to go to the store, buy a few products, and know that you are benefiting the environment just by buying those products!

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