I have learned more in this course than I ever thought I would, especially with classes being online this semester. I have learned how important sustainability is and what will happen if we do not do something to make a change soon. Throughout all the readings in the past eight weeks, I have learned about some of the different aspects into sustainability. It really helped that we would read the reading before class and then elaborate on them during class and talk about the topics we did and did not understand. This was helpful to fully understand the readings and comprehend them, especially for me because I have a hard time comprehending when I read. I also loved going into the breakout rooms. This gave us the opportunity to get to know our classmates, which is especially important with online learning, and to hear different opinions and viewpoints about the readings. Some things I shared with my groups was how until recently, I have never really done anything to live sustainably or make decisions to improve the environment. Recently, my family started recycling and the amount of plastic, cardboard, and glass we took out weekly was unbelievable. This was eye opening for me and urged me to want to try and make more decisions that would reflect positively on our planet. I talked about this with several different groups and I also mentioned how it is hard to want to make a change in our actions if we cannot see the result of the change we are making. I think that if we could provide some incentive or show people the difference they are making just as one person, then more people would make changes to improve the life and quality of our planet. Something I wish I had been given the chance to share more about is how making small decisions in my life to work towards sustainability has made me feel like a better person. It comforts me to know that I am one small part of the change that will make our planet be around longer. It is important to talk about this with people because all it takes is for someone to be influenced to make a change and the only way that happens is by other people sharing their experiences.
This course has taught me how the topic of sustainability should be talked about more and brought to awareness. It has showed me that for things to be different, everyone will need to do something to make a change, as in everyone I mean citizens, consumers, the government, and industries. We are all responsible for the state our planet is currently in and we should be doing anything we can to fix it. I never even realized that there were things I could be doing as a designer to make an impact. For the infographic assignment, my group chose the topic of what interior design has to do with deforestation. Before this, I had not thought about how deforestation could be related to my major or that there was anything I could even do to fix it. Deforestation is just one aspect of how interior design relates to sustainability issues. There are different wood types that are better for the environment, as well as textile materials. There is a huge problem with the amount of waste created from home building and designing. There are many actions I can take as a designer to improve the future of sustainability in interior design.
This class provided a lot of insight into things we all should be doing and some of the roots of the problems. After watching The 11th Hour movie, it taught me several things all parties responsible should and can be doing to make little changes to our planet. We as consumers and citizens can be more conscious of the items we are purchasing from stores, whether it be retail or groceries. We can also recycle, quit using so much plastic, use reusable bags, quit driving places so often, the list could go on and on. We should use the advanced technology we have created and come up with solutions to improve techniques to work towards sustainability. For example, the movie talks about how the buildings on our planet use up 1/3 of all energy used. Their suggested solution to this was to make the buildings reliant on solar power instead of fossil fuels to save energy and put less harm on the environment. We are always coming up with advanced technology for our phones, tablets, laptops, etc., why can we not come up with technology that will save our planet? If enough people become passionate enough about wanting to make a change, maybe then it will finally happen.
I believe it is important to share my experience in this class and my experience with making changes to work towards sustainability, because if people see me doing it and being passionate about it, maybe it will urge them to make a change too. I have been sharing my learning experiences in this class with my close family and friends. A few things I started doing was recycle, I quit buying plastic water bottles, I use reusable grocery and produce bags, I offer to give friends a ride and carpool if we are going to the same place, I turn lights of when I think about it, and I try to thrift clothing items when possible. These changes I have made in my life are not much, but if I can convince my friends and family around me to make these small changes as well, and if they do the same with their friends and family, we could be on track to make our planet a better, more sustainable place. The whole reason we even started recycling at my house was because my brother started at his own house and saw the number of recyclables he was collecting, so he urged us to do it. Now I cannot imagine not recycling after seeing how many items we collect. My point in saying this is that if we can create a chain effect of people working towards a more sustainable future, we can truly make a difference.