This course has opened my eyes in so many different ways. Honestly, coming in I was not sure what this course was really about. I always knew about climate change and the importance of stopping pollution, but I never really understood how critical it was. Before this course, I never practiced sustainable living but after these eight weeks, I have a new passion and a new way of seeing how important our planet is. Due to not having much knowledge about what the class was over or what I was going to be learning, at first I did not have many opinions or experience to contribute in class discussions or breakout rooms. I was not very knowledgeable about the things we discussed or read so in the beginning I felt I could not voice my opinions because I did not want to say the wrong thing. However, as the course progressed I began to quickly learn a lot about wicked problems in industry and design, as well as sustainability issues in design fields and our everyday life. I learned about alternatives and different practices to help reduce things like climate change. I was then able to contribute more in in class discussions. I shared things I found interesting about what we had read that specific week and things that I had heard about or researched on my own time. In one of our class discussions we were talking about sustainable practices in clothing design and merchandising, and I mentioned companies I had seen on tiktok, then done further research on, that took old clothes and recycled them into new clothing. I wish I could have shared more about my thoughts on small solutions we could do every day to reduce pollution. We can take many small steps to keep our earth healthy through being knowledgeable and keeping our friends and family accountable for their actions that they may not even realize are causing harmful problems for our environment.
I have very much enjoyed this course because I feel so much more knowledgeable about our planet and what we do that causes so many problems. One of my major takeaways from this course is that little things we do every day can cause big issues. Sometimes it is difficult to use the most natural products or renewable resources because it can be very expensive. We continue to use non-renewable resources like oil and fossil fuels because we know how they work, and it is just easier to keep using what we know. In one of my breakout rooms, my group and I also talked about how plastic is terrible for the environment because it does not break down, but it is also something we use every single day because it is used for what seems like everything. It can be very difficult to use alternatives that are better for the environment, so we tend to accept what we have instead of trying to find another solution. Another major takeaway I have from this course is that we do not have to be in power to make a change. There are things we can do every day, like recycling, making sure our tire pressure is kept up with, and boycott items we know are harmful to the environment, to make a difference. If every person had a passion for a sustainable life and continually demonstrated it, it could potentially persuade those in power in the government and in industry to make a positive change.
In the future, I would love to own my own design firm. Through things I learned in this course and hope to learn in future courses in my college career, I want my company to be as sustainable as possible. I want to take great measures to be known as a firm that’s products help save the environment and use practices to prevent further harm to it. I hope to learn more about how to design houses and commercial buildings more environmentally friendly. In the 11thhour, one of the producers mentioned buildings being designed like a tree. They would use solar and wind energy to function as well as creating clean air for us to breath and would reduce the carbon emission into the atmosphere. I wish to research this idea deeper and hope to use it in all design areas. I also would like to learn more about solutions to producing furniture without using up all of our non-renewable resources and creating more issues in our atmosphere. The last thing I would like to learn more about are the specific dangers facing our planet. I understand climate change and global warming and how pollutions are causing the greenhouse effect, but I want to learn and research exactly how rapidly it is killing the earth and ways to prevent it further.
Through this class, I have realized that I can influence how people see our planet and explain the importance of saving it. In my circle of influence, I can preach all day long about recycling, not littering, and being aware of pollution causes, but I feel that in order to impact them with positive change, I have to demonstrate these sustainable practice in my own life. I can also do more research of my own through things like articles and documentaries and share them with the people in my life. I have the ability to make a difference in the lives of my friends and family and show them and encourage them to live healthier for their own sake as well as the earths. One of my future goals is to have my own garden for produce and I can encourage my circle of influence to do the same thing to help the environment by not buying products that are injected with unhealthy chemicals and encouraging harmful practices in industry. I am very glad I enrolled in this course because it definitely impacted my life and I hope to be able to positively impact the lives of my friends and family as well as the lives of people in the future when I am working in the design field.