Little Actions Result In Big Impacts

Do you consider yourself an environmentally conscious person? If so picture your kitchen for a moment. Now specifically focus on your refrigerator. What is in your fridge? If you consider yourself an eco friendly person you might say there is nothing in it but organic, non-gmo fruits and vegetables grown only using all-natural farming methods. If this is what the inside of your refrigerator looks like you probably consider yourself and extremely environmentally conscious individual. However, what if I told you your all-natural groceries could actually be harming the planet? Now you may be thinking there is no way your organic food could be harmful to the environment. You would be correct in a sense when thinking this because the problem does not lie in the food itself, but rather in the amount of the food. Leyla stated in her TED talk that refrigerators have grown over the years to the point that they are unnecessarily large. We now have fridges that hold more food than the average household can consume. This result in large amounts of food going to waste, being thrown out, and ending up in landfills across the country. Now that you are aware of this problem you may be thinking that you will just purchase less food. This should, in theory, solve this problem, yet ultimately it will not. As stated in the Western Values “No” reading asking someone to cut down on consumerism is like asking someone to hold their breath. They will be able to do it for a little while, but but not for very long. We have almost a fundamental need to keep consuming. Because we have this need, we must find ways to produce sustainable products. One area of sustainable production that we can focus on is fashion. The term fashion does not only refer to the cloths we wear, rather it implies change. According to the Fashion and Sustainability reading, if we want to move from an un-stainable world to a sustainable one, we need to employ those approaches characterized by fashion. This reading sparked a good in class discussion because everyone could relate to it. After realizing that the term fashion applies to more than just clothing, the students majoring in other areas were able to apply it to their fields as well. Another great in-class discussion was over the topic of biophilia design. Even though I am a merchandising major, my dream is to be an interior decorator. I am very interested in the biophilia design. I will definitely use biophilia design in the future when interior decorating. Research shows that biophilia design has numerous health benefits. It makes since that it would improve our health because if we stop and really think about how little time we spend outdoors and how much time we are indoors not benefiting from the natural resources (such as vitamin D) found in nature, it is clear to see that bringing nature (or at least an imitation of nature) indoors would vastly improve our over-all well being. There is almost a road map you can follow to create biophila design, and I personally feel that it is one of the most beautiful design concepts. I love the idea of merging nature with design and I feel that we need to be doing more to preserve the world around us so we can continue to strengthen the relationship between the two. For activity 3, because I am a merchandising major, I have been doing a lot of research about how detrimental the fashion industry is to the environment. I knew that water pollution was a big problem because of the dyes used to color the cloths, but I did not realize the amount of water that is also used in the production of various garments. For example, it take 1,800 gallons of water to grow the amount of cotton needed to make just one pair of standard blue jeans. Now think about all of the cloths we have made of cotton and how much water goes into making each piece. If we continue at this rate, water pollution from dyes will not be a problem in the because there won’t be any natural bodies of water left.For these reasons and many others this class has been overwhelmingly eye opening. I have been challenged to think about the impact even the smallest of my actions can have on the environment, and how they can hinder the sustainability of the planet. Now with all of this knowledge in hand, I plan to not only adjust some of my habits, but to also encourage those around me to embark on their sustainability journey as well.

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