Final Thoughts

This week everything that I took in this course has come full circle for me. At the beginning of this course, I was honestly scared to take a sustainability class. When I hear people talk about sustainability and helping the environment I can’t help but feel uneasy. It’s hard hearing that you and your generation are the people who are killing the Earth that we live on but are also the hope of this Earth. It’s a lot of pressure, honestly. Someone in class said it “gives them anxiety” thinking about that, and I can relate. It’s a weird feeling thinking that you’re the problem and the solution. That the things that I can do either help or hinder this planet that I live on. I think the biggest connection I made this week is that sustainability does not only affect the Earth’s nature: like oceans, rivers, mountains, lakes, the air, plants, animals, etc. I made the connection that sustainability affects people. It affects me, the people in my circle of influence, America, and the world. Every single person that has ever lived or ever will live, has had a part in this. If you live on this Earth then sustainability should be your passion as well. It’s hard to think that a college student can make any sort of difference. I have become very good at creating excuses for myself and justifying them for myself. I have had to process everything that I’ve learned in this class and start to ask myself hard, sobering questions. I have had to quit pretending that it’s not my fault, that I can’t help, and that one person won’t make a difference. One person makes a difference. One person can make a change! I have decided to ask the president of my sorority if we can get recycling bins to put out next to our trash cans. I know that’s not extreme, but it’s a step in the right direction. In the movie, The 11th Hour, there was a couple of different quotes that have stuck with me. One of them said, “people are doing as best as they can with the amount of awareness they have”.  I think all it takes is people, openly and honestly, talking about sustainability, climate change, and consumerism. People will catch on, but a lot of people simply don’t know about it. My goal is to have more eco-friendly options in my sorority house! This class has taught me so many different things, and one of them is that it’s perfectly normal and okay to feel for the environment. It’s good to feel for these people in a third world country, who are working in a sweatshop, to produce the tee shirt that I have on right now. This class has definitely opened my eyes to numerous things, and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to take this class.

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