This week the lectures were insightful in providing me information about the seven wastes and how waste offers us opportunity. Along with that I learned about the difference between reusing and recycling. Overall this week was productive for me by giving me more information on sustainability and the technical terms for the many processes. During Michael Pawlyn’s TED talk about the Earth and how we should be inspired by nature when designing structures. He mentions three big changes, which include the increase of resource efficiency, nature circle systems, and movement away from fossil fuels. He mentions that the Earth is a very large green house that changes constantly. This can be due to the constantly changing consumption that humans do on Earth as well as natural occurrences. One of the ways that humans can change consumption patterns is through recognizing the 7 wastes and providing solutions to each. The 7 wastes include over processing, rework, transportation, motion, waiting, inventory, and overproduction. The closing the loop article discusses many tenets to reduce these types of waste. In particular I liked the tenet that mentions how humans should not draw down resources. The law of sustainability, according to Benyus, states that we should use resources at the sa,e speed we replace them or develop substitutes. This idea was also included in the other reading we had called Industrial Ecology. In this reading the author mentions that industrial design focuses on the short-term needs of the consumer rather than the long-term consequences. However, in my opinion if they were focused on what the consumer truly needed, they would also focus on the long-term aspect of every decision made. This also applies to individuals. We all need to live day-to-day recognizing that our decisions to use resources impact our futures and those around us.
Speaking of the waste, Professor Jayadas mentioned several times throughout the week that waste equals money and opportunity. We, as people, need to recognize the opportunities that waste provides to the human race that produces it. One of the ways to do so is to recognize some other tenets mentioned by Benyus in the closing the loop article. Two of the other tenets mention that using energy efficiently, as well as optimizing rather than maximizing. I recognize that my own lifestyle I often maximize resources I have available to me. An example is ordering food at a restaurant. If I think that there are enough fries to upgrade to a large instead of medium, I may get it and then feel the need to eat them all if I am not as hungry as I thought. One of the things I actually do feel that I do well when talking about sustainability is using energy well. I consistently turn off lights, appliances, and fans when I do not need them, even if I am using the room. I also use the energy efficiently by only using it when I need it. However, I do not always see waste as money. Before being explained the difference between recycling and reusing, I thought I recycled. However I see now that I only reuse items or hand off items to the people who do recycle.
Lastly, this week provided me with a plethora of information regarding the C2C and C2G cycles. The C2C concept is that a product can be broken down at the end of a lifecycle back to the “cradle.” The technical processes and products are all part of the technosphere. However, natural items and things are part of the biosphere. As a definition for recycling, it means to collect, separate, and reprocess a product. Where as a definition for reusing means to use reclaimed materials as is. I learned many terms this week that I did not know before. Some of them include Gyre, which is plastic in the ocean that is built up. On top of that kaizer is the elimination of waste. I really enjoyed the game or quiz at the end of the class because it allowed me to truly process all that I had learned in the class. Overall this week made me realize that I have much to learn when it comes to learning about sustainability.