This week’s lectures we started off listening to Annie Leonard’s Ted Talk on “The Story About Stuff.” This story talks about our production and consumption patterns. The story of stuff is informational about how we can make our world more sustainable by helping solve our environmental issues. Some interesting facts from Leonard are: “If everybody consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets,” “Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable,” and “In the U.S., industry admits to releasing over four billion pounds of toxic chemicals a year.”

The next Ted Talk we watched was from Jessica Jackley about Poverty, Money, and Love. She talks about her story growing up and how she grew up hearing and listening to stories about the poor but did not necessarily know what to do about it. She mentions change for the poor and how they are the best people to know what they need to make their lives better, they just need help to be able to do those specific things. She later donated money to Uganda for the poor to be able to change their lives around. She started Kiva which is an organization where people can send loans to those in need. Kiva has greatly impacted the world.

The third one we watched was A Wide Angle View of Fragile Earth from Yann Arthus Bertrand. He shows the human impact on the environment through video of the world from a distant. He shows his pictures of pollution in the air, the water and how coral reefs will start to disappear due to global warming, and he shows the North Pole and how the thickness of the Artic is decreasing. I think this was a useful tactic because he was able to show real life pictures of how the environment is changing.

The first reading on Environmental Degradation talks about poverty and what we can do to help prevent it. For example, building partnerships with the local communities. More importantly, the government can help the living conditions of the poor. Many injuries and health problems come from the poor living conditions that they live under. As a whole, what I got from this article is that there are many things that can be done to help the poor, but the government needs to take initiative because they are the ones who can truly make things better for them.

The next reading was Tackle Climate Change and talking about Green Construction. I found the topic of Green Construction interesting. Green Construction is a process and type of building that is more sufficient for the environment. Green building is more expensive to initially build than traditional building; however, in the long run, it is less money being spent to keep up with the building. For example, energy efficiency, water conservation, which means lower utility bills. In the long run, I think green building could be very useful for our environment and would show people we do not need to consume as much energy as we do on a normal basis.

Social Entrepreneurship is doing business for a social cause. Social Entrepreneurship is important because it shows business’ how to find success with helping others. As a whole, it should aim to help society. Whether that be the poor, organizations, or even donating.

I recently changed my report topic to waste and the effects that it has on the environment. From my research, I have gotten to see how much we do waste. We could be re-using items for architecture, interior design, or even just with more recycling. It is interesting how little we care to think about re-using because we live in a world where everything needs to be new.

After being in this class, I see myself as a communicator or educator. I already have told my family and friends of the interesting facts and statistics I have learned to show how much we consume. I think it is important to spread the word and teach others of how we can make a different in making our environment better.

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