The article for merchandising majors addressed the impact of greenery in a retail setting. It presented a study in which they found that greenery can reduce stress and increase the overall pleasure of the shopping experience. It provides a break and literal “breath of fresh air” to the shopper. I know that in my opinion this is very true. I personally have always felt that if a store has greenery, it brings about a nurturing and relaxing vibe. I have also always thought that if a store has greenery and is taking time to take care of plants, they probably are more likely to take time and care for their customers. The article provided a point that since shopping can be stressful at times, it makes sense that the calming effect plants have would be beneficial. I have learned in other classes that people do often feel anxiety and high stress when shopping because the environment it over-stimulating. It also makes sense that there would be some stress because they are spending their money and the decision of how to spend hard-earned money is never easy. The environment in which I shop has always had a huge impact on the level of stress I experience. There are some stores that I don’t mind taking plenty of time in and others where I make impulse buys because I am uncomfortable or feel rushed, etc. The greenery providing even a little bit of subconscious relaxation could make a difference in a customer’s return to a store.
We visited the OSU recycling plant here on campus last Tuesday. I had no idea that OSU had such an extensive sustainability program. During the presentation, she told us that thus far they have saved $445 million in energy just by notifying students through signage and simple requests. I do think that students could be better informed about all of the initiatives the sustainability office has taken. I had no idea that OSU does its own recycling on campus and the extent to which they do so. I also never thought about the fact that throwing food or other trash in the recycling bins can end up being very unpleasant for the recycling team. Just the other day after our trip to the plant, I saw a girl throw her entire tray into the recycle bin in Human Sciences. The bin was labeled “bottles and cans only”, but not very noticeably and no differently than the bins right next to it labeled “trash”. I think the girl was just mindlessly throwing away her trash and did not realize the implications of that action and that the men employed at the plant will have to sort through that bin to find a lot of things that don’t belong. I really feel that sustainability is a topic that is not addressed enough. I think it could be a good idea for OSU to present the on-campus sustainability process at new student orientation. They could at least give students an idea of what goes on and give them the chance to participate or not. I think if this girl had known the extra (and gross) work that would have to be done because she simply threw her trash in the wrong bin, she would have made a different decision.
I loved the bamboo TED talk. It was so crazy to see that they manipulated organic bamboo to be structurally effective. I also was very interested in the fact that they provided luxury and pleasing aesthetics even with their material limitations. It was obvious that this was a task that took a lot of time and calculation and I think that is something that is much lacking in building these days. You don’t see much thought put into new homes as they are all built almost identically with no regard to materials used or pollution caused. This TED talk and the images of the “Earth Ships” Dr. Jayadas showed last week reminded me of a video I watched on Facebook. It was a house in Australia that was almost 100% self-sustaining, only costing $2.34 in energy per year! This is what makes it like the “Earth Ships”. But very different from them, it was incredibly beautiful. It was sleek and modern in design and all of the amenities were what you would imagine in a perfect house. There was no way that you could tell it was special just by looking at it. I think the aesthetic appeal would be important to a lot of people and it would make it easier for them to move to a more environmentally friendly living environment. It was great to see the advances in energy conservation and I can definitely see houses like this popping up a lot more in years to come.