This week of class was the most promising and confusing of all the previous weeks because I felt like every time there seemed to be a solution to a problem, there was some aspect of the solution which caused another problem. This continuing cycle of trying to create solutions can be very frustrating, but it gives me hope in a way because we are acknowledging the problems and caring enough about them to brainstorm solutions for them. During this week there was a lot of arguments of who should take control of sustainability, people, markets, or government, but I believe that they all need to work together as a whole to create a sustainable society.
The government should be a part of creating a sustainable design because they are the “big men” and influence many of the choices people make and the way people do things. I believe the only way to get people to listen or to care is by giving them no other choice. The government can hit people where it hurts, which is their freedom and money. I believe there should be a tax on any kind of pollution to start the chain of events because taxing people for their pollution isn’t going to significantly change everything but it is a starting point for the leaders of our country. This is when I think market comes into play. The market can also give them no other choice option to their customers by creating only sustainable products. Although this will take a long time to achieve, I believe that if businesses start slowly incorporating more aesthetically appealing, sustainable products it will give the customers more options than ones that already exist. Then, this is where people come into the mix. Although the more sustainable options markets are creating may not be the most fashionable and stylish items on the shelf, people have the power to create sustainable as a fashion. If markets are making the sustainable items and they become popular by people, then the whole chain of events leads to a more sustainable society. I would describe this as a trickle-down effect, even though I don’t know if it is the correct way to use that phrase. I think it should all start with government, trickle down to markets, and then finally reach to people.
This class has taught me that even though I am one person, I can make a small difference in sustainable design, especially with the field I am going in. I am in the next generation that can make sustainable buildings and homes. Not only can I make a difference because of my profession, I can personally make a difference by choosing sustainable products, recycling any of my items, and inform others of the problems happening around us as well as inspiring them to change. I can’t promise that I will become a completely different person after learning everything in this class, but with more information and practice I can change the ways in which I degrade the environment. I am working on a project for one of my classes in which we create a dorm for the future, and the main thing I am going to focus on for creating the dorm is having sustainable materials and practices incorporated because I believe that sustainable design is becoming more fashionable and popular among people. Just like how the government can start a chain reaction, I can start a chain reaction within my little circle of life and people within my life.