Week 4 was quite exhilarating! Our discussions were complex and conflicting, causing me to think if the solution is so simple then why do we as the human race not see it. It was riveting to see such perspectives such as Michael Pawlyn’s in his TED Talk. He discussed Biomimicry and using nature’s genius in architecture. In order to be successful in this sustainable revolution, he believes we should radically increase recourse efficiency, (also a life principle we discussed this week,) shift from a linear way of using resources to a closed loop, and most importantly change from a fossil fuel economy to a solar economy. This opinion he backs up with the fact that we will never run out of sunlight, so instead use the energy that is already supplied for us instead of digging for the more harmful fuels down below. Michael believes that if we are to use nature as a design tool, we will find just how beautiful our world can be. By creating closed loop cycles we can create somewhat of a domino effect on being sustainable, there solutions could be never ending.
The life principle I find the most lucrative toward a leading a sustainable life is being resource efficient. It mainly includes using low-energy processing, recycle all materials, and using multi-functional designs. Like I mentioned in class, because of its simplistic characteristics I believe this to be a life principle that we may all practice. By making just a few minor modifications with how we wash our clothes, dishes, and even bodies, we can save energy. Simple changes in our everyday lives can mean making a difference for lives in the future. It mainly includes using low-energy processing, recycle all materials, and using multi-functional designs.
I learned that industrial ecology is the means by which humanity can deliberately and rationally approach and maintain a desirable carrying capacity. We talked about looking for the root of the problem and fixing it. I believe this relates back to biomimicry as well. Jane Benyus main argument is that we should use nature to its full potential to find the solutions to our problems. One root problem, is that we live in a very consumer based world where we strongly influence the C2G theory. We buy things because we want or we think we need them, and do not care about what happens or where it goes after it is no longer of use to use. The solution to this is C2C.
C2C, Cradle to Cradle, is the concept that a product is designed to function efficiently while at the same time designed in such a way that it can be broken down at the end of it’s life cycle and that all parts can be up-cycled or re-purposed. The 3 tenets of this protocol are using current solar income, celebrate diversity, and knowing that waste = food. We need to gather and use energy efficiently, shop locally, and use waste as a resource, which is the key to mastering C2C.
I was schooled on learning that many of the things I called myself recycling, truly belong in the reuse category. I can greatly improve of recycling and making my lifestyle more sustainable, and I hope that I am able to grasp a greater sense of that through this course. I am pretty good about saving energy, but not so good a waste. Yes, I am a consumer, I would like to think that I only buy what I need, but when I buy I do not ask myself “where will this end up?” and I think that if I can stop and try to do that then that will make me a better buyer in itself. Being sustainable isn’t hard, I think that I just have to understand that there can be different aspects of my lifestyle where I meet that criteria, and for now, some I do not.