After week four of Sustainability I am finding myself being more and more conscious of the environment around me. My roommates and I have started recycling things at our house and also we are all trying to save as much energy and water as possible. We keep the lights off when we can and try to wash our dishes and our clothes together so we cut down on water usage. When I found out what my carbon footprint was it really made me want to change some of my habits. I have really enjoyed some of the different activities we have done in class the past week.
This week while talking with my good friend I found out he is the president of SERC (Sustainability, Energy and Resources Collaborative). He was explaining to me about a “the box” that they have a grant for that is used to purify rainwater in third world countries. He told me it is really one of a kind and is specifically an off grid solar box and the solar panels are on top and around the box. I thought that was really awesome that we have that here on display at OSU, just west of the OSU construction lab.
One activity we did that really helped get everyone involved and stay engaged was when we discussed the article by Benyus titled “Closing the Loops in Commerce”. Each learning community was assigned to a specific section of the article and had to go in front of the class and present over what their section was about. My group talked about “Don’t Draw your Resources”. A few of the big take aways from this section was focused on taking from the land only what will allow more to grow back. It suggested that one of our greatest missteps was to replace this economy with one based on non-renewables such as oil, gas, coals and metals. We read that the best remedy of all is to find renewable substitutes for these non-renewables, for example: biopolymers, plastics from plants and fuel from corn.
Another thing we discussed in class this week was the “Life’s Principles” which talked about Design lessons from nature. One of my favorite life principles was the “be resource (material and energy) efficient. This is something that I have been trying to focus more and more on each week as I discussed in the beginning of this blog. One tip this gave was to meet multiple needs with one elegant solution. Also recycle all materials and close the loop. I like the idea of “closing the loop” I think it is something good to keep in mind while trying to live a more sustainable life.