Final Blog: It’s Just the Beginning.

Wow, this is it, the final blog! I remember when we talked about writing the final blog back before we had even written our first blog. I remember wondering what my sustainability journey would look like and what I would say in my last blog. In blog one, when asked about what I thought sustainability was, I said, “to me, being sustainable is doing something now that can be maintained for a long period of time that will benefit people, the planet, and the economy for future generations.” While I still think this is a decent answer, I now know that sustainability is WAY more than just doing something now that can be maintained. While that may be part of it, there are many more aspects to sustainability than that. Sustainability is not one big thing that can save the planet. To me, sustainability is a verb. It is an action. When we say things like, “that is a sustainable company,” or “that person is living sustainably,” it may sound like an adjective being used to describe something, but if we take a closer look, there is typically an action being done by that company or by that person to cause us to make that statement. That company or person is doing something (taking action) in order to create an enduring and healthy environment that is not only beneficial for future generations but also for the current generation. The actions that we can take to create this type of sustainable environment are what we talked about all semester long.

At the very beginning of this class, when I thought about living “sustainably,” I thought that meant to “go green” and to recycle. Now I know that that is just one of many actions that can be done to reach a sustainable environment. I think the biggest epiphany I have had in this class is that sustainability is not only about saving nature, but it is also about using nature as a guide for designing the built environment as well as for the people who live in it. When I first heard the term “sustainable design,” I thought that simply meant designing our built environment around nature and to not harm nature in the process. While this may be an aspect of sustainable design, I quickly learned that it is not the only aspect. Sustainable design actually plays a major roll in the process of designing the actual built environment, and not just where to design it. This leads me to one of the most important things I learned in this class: designing the built environment by imitating nature or by bringing aspects of nature into the built environment can provide many health benefits and stress relievers for humans. As a merchandiser who would love to design store layouts someday, I think having this bit of knowledge is the key to success within this field.

The knowledge I have gained through this course and knowing what I know now about sustainability has only made me want to know more. I want to continue to expand my mind and learn more about the actions I can take as an individual to contribute to the worldwide sustainability movement. This course has honestly made me look into jobs in my field that are related to sustainability. The only thing I wish we had learned more about is how to find these types of careers. If Dr. Jayadas has any suggestions, I would love to hear them! 🙂

I think it is so cool how OSU is breaking the sustainability class up into separate courses so students will get to have a more in depth look and gain more knowledge about each individual module. Sustainability encompasses so many different fields and subjects that I think it needs to be broken down into separate courses. I wish I could have taken these courses, but I think Dr. Jayadas did an amazing job at laying a solid foundation for myself as well as for others to be able to start our journey of living sustainable lives. This class may be coming to an end, but I believe it is just the beginning to my journey to sustainability. Thank you so much, Dr. Jayadas, for helping me open my eyes by teaching us what is truly going on in the world and in our industries. With graduation coming up in a little less than 3 weeks, I feel equipped and ready to use the knowledge I have gained in this class to take on the sustainability issues in my field.

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