Eight Weeks for a Lifetime of Change

Hi friends,
During this course, I have grown in many ways. The start was difficult for me. As a freshman, I honestly struggled to get the hang of school and time management. I remember having such a difficult time trying to complete the first assignment. It was literally guided notes from the first hour of the movie, The 11th Hour. I felt like I was drowning in work and would often forget about this class’s work since we only met once a week. I think it was a blessing that I took this course during my first eight weeks of college. The assignments for this class were for growth and could not be merely shoved off until the last second. On top of development, this course has taught me so much about sustainability. If eight weeks ago, you would have asked me what sustainability is, I probably would have said something along the lines of “something that can sustain a long period of time.” Basically, I had no clue. After reading many articles and really digging into the meaning behind the author’s words, I feel prepared to help lead the globe into a more sustainable world. I often talk about how I feel like I have a different perspective than most. I believe that in the world of academia, it is quite helpful to think differently than everyone else. I try to bring a new and fresh idea to discussions. Coming from someone who is easily distracted, the discussions in this course were very interesting to me. I did not struggle to follow along, and I feel as if I took in every word that was said during our 100-minute class. I’m not sure if I would say that I contributed previous knowledge or experience, but what I lacked in prior knowledge, I made up for with effort. I tried to absorb all of the information I was reading each week, and it was a lot. Being extra prepared for class helped make me feel more relaxed.

Sustainability will permanently be something I am thinking about. Everything you do can affect the world. Just turning a light off when you leave the room is helping the earth. There are so many little things in your daily life that you can easily change to promote a green planet. With my future career goal being designing hotels and resorts, I hope that I can one day reuse old materials and make them into something new and beautiful. Instead of adding more waste, I might as well reimagine old pieces. I also would love to flip old buildings and make them green. My fear is that we will just keep building and building to the point where we will not have any open land. Although there are corporations working on building green buildings, the original buildings are still adding to pollution. If we upgraded those, it could help limit air pollution. I want to learn more about building green. In one of the articles, it talked about building green and all of the regulations to make sure it truly is a green building. I would love to see all of the ideas that make green buildings so unique. Green buildings are some of the most beautifully architected designs you will ever see. This class has just made me more excited about my future in hotel design and has inspired me to research green building and sustainability more. I also want to learn more about deforestation. Ever since we read about Easter Island, I cannot stop thinking about the fall of a whole population. It blows my mind that we do not hear more about Easter Island. It should have been a warning for us. Yet here we are making some of the same selfish mistakes they made years ago. When reading the article, I felt as if the deforestation was what eventually threw them over the edge, knocking out the whole population. Trees do way more for us than most people think. You often hear about deforestation, killing habitats for animals, but it will also kill us. It is a great fear of mine that we will follow closely in the Easter Islander’s footsteps.

I often forget how large my circle of influence truly is. You always think about 3 or 4 of your close friends, but usually there is a much larger group of people that notice what you are doing. I only ever notice how many people that I barely know care about me when my mom posts me on her Facebook. Her twice removed cousins, friends from elementary school, grandma’s neighbor’s friends, so many people think about you often. If you could speak out about sustainability to that group, it could reach a whole community in just days. My first step in influencing my circle is to start with my parents. Telling them about little things they can do or think about to help step towards sustainability. Just educating those around you will do so much. I really agreed with what one of the speakers from the 11th hour said; he said something along the lines that people can really only do so much with how well they are educated. Meaning, some people have no idea how much danger humanity is in. If we take the step towards educating family and friends around us, more people will want to make a change. They also talked about how the planet will survive, but humanity will not. It is crazy to think that we are nearly killing ourselves daily by not paying attention to how our lives affect the planet. We obviously are aware that we are to blame for many endangered and extinct creatures, but we are also to blame for our possible extinction. If telling my friends and family about how they can make a change and need to make a change could save the human race, then I think it is worth some of the disagreements that could come from it.

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