This week I developed a new outlook on sustainability. I think if we all thought of producing and consuming in a loop like that of the idea in Industrial Ecology, the world would look much different. It is amazing to me that no one has considered building and producing nature-inspired things like those in Michael Pawlyn’s Ted Talk. It seems like it should have been on the forefront of our minds to mimic nature in our designs because nature has obviously been successful for much longer than we have even existed. Michael Pawlyn suggests that we need to change our thinking from a linear use of resources to a closed loop. This idea was reiterated several times throughout our learning this week. This strategy is honestly a revelation and I can imagine that if many of us were to adopt this thinking, at the very least our resources would not diminish at such a high speed. Eben Bayer explained the environmental impacts of Styrofoam. This is an area where I need improvement. I am always running through the drive-through to get an iced-tea or a coke. If you think about the impacts he explained, it’s insane to imagine the effects of even one single company, like Sonic for example.
I liked the activity we did in class with Industrial Ecology because I am a strong believer that if you can teach a subject, you have really learned it and you will remember it. The topic that my learning community shared with the class was shop locally. I loved learning more about this topic. I am a big proponent of this practice, as I am from a small town in Texas that is greatly supported by small local businesses and the local environment. It has always been important to me to appreciate local artisans and cultivate talent in your area. This grows the community in every way! Another group talked about the subject remain in balance with the biosphere. This is something that I think people glaze over. I think people often prioritize personal gain and they don’t work to maintain the environment. The tenet use material sparingly is something that has been reiterated a lot throughout this class. It’s obvious that excessive use will create pollution. I could think more about this when consuming electricity or getting rid of things that I could reuse.
I have definiltey started with baby steps when it comes to living in an eco-friendly manner. I do have a recycle bin, and I sort through my trash. I would always forget or neglect to do this on a regular basis. So that is a baby step that I have taken when it comes to reducing my carbon footprint. I know that I can be a lot better and this class is really an eye-opener. It makes me want to know more about how things are produced and the impact I have when purchasing an item. The cradle-to-cradle process is the future for sure. I know that we need to move to always viewing production in this light. I will probably work with product development at one time or another in my life and I will definiltey consider this idea and try to make decisions that are compatible with C2C.
To add a little story, my aunt and uncle actually live in an “Earth Ship” much like those that Dr. Jayadas showed in class. They live on the edge of the Palo Duro Canyon in my hometown. Their house is built with tires and cans and covered in stucco. It is situated half underground to regulate temperature with less energy. They live on all solar power and well water that is recycled through a system in the house. They grow a large part of their food in a garden at their house. It is honestly amazing how it is its own ecosystem that is basically self-sustainable. At first, I thought the idea was almost funny, but I visited there and it is just like any other home, just so much more beneficial to the environment. Maybe we should all live in “Earth Ships”!!