Cheers

I can not believe it came to an end. I feel both sad and astonished at how fast these four weeks flew by. I remember the first day of class, watching the 11th hour documentary, getting only a tiny scope of all the problems we were going to cover. The collapse of ecosystems, extensive damage to climate, exhausting non-renewable sources of energy, all these topics had a single most reasonable solution. Stop messing with the planet! But little did I know that it is more complicated than that… It is based on the structure of law. It says you are either human or property. Thus, all property has no rights and it can be exploited for the better of the economy.

This are wicked problems, and we learned that they are complicated from every perspective. In my case, my most contribution came at the beginning of the semester when we talked about the eastern islanders. When we had our debate, I think I provided with good reasons about why the eastern islanders are a representation of us now. We are deploying all available resources for the consumption of now and forgetting about the tomorrow. Why must we not learn from our mistakes? I feel uneasy when I talk about sustainability because it is something that has to do with more than just the planet. It is something that has to do with yourself and with how you much you believe you can make a difference. It resonates your mental state. I am writing this and thinking about how many of us will do something to change and it is sad to come up with the answer. Because., truthfully, not many will do something. I care. I can empathy with earth and the thousands of animals suffering from hunger and from entire ecosystem collapsing, their home. There are people out there making a difference and we must do our part. It is simple, be sustainable. The hard part is that no one teaches you these things, there isn’t a high school class that prepares you to live on your own. No. Instead they have students wrapped up in science and math, teaching them about the importance of high paying jobs and not about how to maintain sustainable life style. Little will you know when you grow up that in order to be happy you will need to services others and that includes the environment.

My major takeaway. That question is hard to process. I have learned that the biggest change a human can make is change their habits. Habits, such as were you shop and what you shop for are the most significant choices you can make in order to help the environment. I decided about two weeks ago that I was going to stop using plastic bags and also stop buying brand new clothes. To give an update on that, I definitely stopped buying new clothes, but it was not because I had overcome that superficial temptation. It was simply because new clothes are too much of a big expense, finding myself wanting to save every penny I can I opted for thrift stores. To be critically of that, you will not always find something that you like, I know that with brand new clothes is the same, but the difference is that if you are looking for a specific garment you will most likely not find it. That, I am still getting use to. What I want you to get from this is that we, as humans, do not want to practice sustainable habits unless we have to, and do not get me wrong there are those who are brave and strong enough. Sustainability can be overwhelming, there are so many questions of how? How do I get rid of plastic bag waste if I need it as my kitchen/restroom bag? We have been taught by society that using plastic every day is ok, and now that we know it is not, is hard to detach from it. Thus, my major takeaway is the social disease that we live in. Let me explain, social disease for me is all the unsustainable practices that society agrees with and justifies by saying that nature is just a resource.

Oof, now onto the hardest question. What are the problems or solutions that you are taking away from this course as things you want to learn more about in the future? I think the biggest takeaway needs to have a relationship with my major. I would say energy. Energy is something I really want to concentrate on because it is the one where I would be making the most impact and helping the most in. If I can reduce the building energy intake in construction and simultaneously have a quality design , then I would have fulfilled my quest in architecture. I am, however, worried. Because as much as I would like to make energy efficient buildings, I cannot pay them myself. I need a client, a developer, and just like we saw in class, they might and probably will have a different opinion on the problem.

The impact starts with the people around you, professor Armstrong gave us the example of her garden and how that impacted her whole neighborhood. I think the people I am closest with are the people in studio. One thing I can do is to start bringing in my metal utensils and food on a glass container instead of going to the union and having to get a new plastic fork every day. Or even say no when someone asks me if I need a plastic bag. I think the best way to start is with something so simple and small as that. As architecture students we spent the majority of our time inside studio. The hours go by so fast now we do not even acknowledge them but by the time we look at the clock its already past 5 p.m. Everyone rushes to the union, we are all hungry after a 4+ hrs of class. The bad thing about consuming fast food is that there is always plastic waste. If I start bringing my food maybe I will inspire other to do the same.

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