Blog 3

Week 4 Lectures

The past two lectures during week 4 expanded on Briomimicry and tied biomimicry to Industrial Ecology. Two key principles that play a great role in designing for a sustainable future. Learning more about these principles helped me understand their usefulness and how they function within society and the economy. Nature centered design was one other element we covered and I feel has the most impact of all. The Waste Hierarchy really describes the process of waste and recycling, which can really help people understand why and how they should recycle. Also we touched on the various ways we recycle goods, whether its making something old into something new (upcycling), or taking something old and using it as a replacement for something else perhaps (down cycling). All which are valuable principles in recycling and living a sustainable lifestyle. Overall I really felt I learned a great deal on ways I can increase the amount of recycling I personally do and also how I can educate others to do the same.

Michael Pawlyn (TED talk)

Michael Pawyln’s TED talk, in my opinion, was one of the most interesting TED talk’s we’ve watched so far. Understanding how we can use nature to build and design is really fascinating and inspiring. Michael explains just how much of nature we can use to recreate something that would prove to be sustainable. Nature has so much to offer us. The flora and fauna hold the key in sustainable design because they have such unique properties that make them able to endure some of the harshest environments on earth. As we have created our own harsh environment to live in we can learn from nature to then make it easier for ourselves to continue living in our environment and make it healthy again. We would also then make it easier for nature to flourish so we can continue learning from it and building a more sustainable future.

Industrial Ecology & Closing The Loops in Commerce (reading)

Three tenets I found helpful in ways to practice sustainability include the following. Using waste as a resource, this principle can be found to be highly impactful. It is the basic principle of recycling. To reuse waste by creating something new from it. This is done executed by consumers and decomposers who work to close loops. Gather & use energy efficiently is also a very important principle to understand. As we have renewable energy in play currently it is important we use that energy as efficiently as we can; while decreasing the amount of unrenewable energy which we all know is harmful. We should also continue to look for new ways of renewable energy. So that we can take the next steps toward a sustainable future. Shop Locally is another idea I myself need to partake in more often. Supporting local businesses and farmers is healthy for yourself and your community. It supports your local economy and is healthier for the environment. Ways I can use these tenets include recycling my waste as often as I can, use the energy in my home as efficiently as possible, and support businesses in my community vs shopping online or commercial businesses. What I learnt from my peers is how they partake in being more sustainable which can inspire me to do the same. I also felt we educated each other on the tenets which helped us understand what it takes to be sustainable and how effective sustainable these principles can prove to be.

My current sustainable practices

As of now I unfortunately am not as sustainable as I would like to be. I do not recycle my waste as often as I know I could. What I do however includes thrift shopping and recycling those thrift goods into new garments I wear and sell, most which includes denim. As well as utilizing old things and turning them into something useful rather than buying something that would serve the same purpose. I usually do not leave lights on in my home as I open my blinds during the day to let sunlight in, and use energy efficient lights I plug into an outlet to light my room at night. I also have various plants in my home which can purify the air in my room. I am also a vegetarian therefore I do not consume any meat based products which many families throw away and waste weekly because of expiration. Also while being a vegetarian I am helping the environment and not partaking in the harming of agricultural animals.

Life Principles

Be resource (material & energy) efficient I found to be the most important principle to live by. I like the idea of using multi-functional design which to me means using something that has various purposes. Using low energy processes is a key reminder to always find ways to be efficient in your home. Recycle all materials inspired me to find ways I can implement this principle.

C2C (Cradle to Cradle)

I learned that C2C is one of the most efficient ways to use recycled goods over and over again. Which is very sustainable and includes various way this can be done. Such as creating an efficient product from old goods and when that products life is over it can then be broken down and used for other purposes.

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