Reflecting on the Past, Preparing for the Future

I am starting this final blog reflecting on the joy this class brought me. This truly has been one of my favorite classes ever and I loved learning about all the topics we discussed throughout our short course. I loved the amount of work every classmate put in, so our discussions were interesting and respectful in class. This course was more than just a typical “memorize the information and forget it the next day” class. What I learned in this course, I will carry with me in the future and hopefully spread it to others. 

Let’s think back to the Easter Islanders. Though they were a small civilization, I truly think they were and are our best warning. Through this course I have seen that people are not always accountable, even those who are in charge of our government and cities. This is a very serious issue that sadly has negative effects on the environment and humanity. The Easter Islanders showed us that without paying any attention to the earth, it will fail and once the planet fails, so do we consequently. Our generation is a complex one. We definitely have a strong voice to make change, but we also need to put that into action. We truly can help stop environmental degradation and turn the planet into a healthy place for all. However, I do think we are losing creativity. We are not willing to go out of our comfort zone anymore, and I think our recent quarantine has shown that. We prefer to brush problems aside and push them to someone else. I have seen that partaking in the stop to environmental degradation is not a single job or lifestyle. There is no direct one step- solution to wicked problems. There are plenty of ways for us to live creative healthy lifestyles that protect the planet also. Just as we discussed from one of our previous readings, fashion is something we need to help promote sustainability. I personally think we need to become even more creative in sustainable lifestyles, so they can reach more people. I can definitely see how it is hard to change what you purchase and where, if there are no other good alternative options. It is hard to change habits and our past ways. So, we must put our creativity towards reaching all different types of communities. Environmental degradation may be far worse in some areas, but it is a global issue that everyone is responsible for. Participation in our course was key to grasping an understanding of the topics we looked at. Just like participating in voting is important to seeing changes made in society. This also goes with sustainability. What we do and purchase echoes to many people in society. If we want to see the change we desire, we must actively put work in. There is more than enough science that holds evidence Earth is suffering from us. Now we must listen to the evidence and listen to what we can do better. Sustainability is an overwhelming topic. That is true, but we must make it approachable. What I personally loved from this course was while wicked problems are definitely complex, they can be approached. Though they require completely unique and different solutions, they still have the ability to be solved or significantly reduced. This course truly mirrors the “why” to sustainability. I also found it interesting and impressive that economies I once what were entirely against sustainable living can actually slow down environmental degradation as well. This course was truly eye opening seeing different perspectives from all types of backgrounds while still remaining respectful. Though our society is divided greatly, sustainability might be one thing that could unite us all together. After all, we are all the same and Earth deserves the same respect as well. We must constantly learn the Earth’s needs as it evolves and adapt our lifestyles to it. Just as we have boundaries, so does the planet. This was my biggest takeaway from the course, and I think all the different topics we discussed all lead to that final idea. It is time to take these ideas and prove them true by putting them into action. If we never try, we will never know the outcome that could be possible. It is always worth a shot, and environmental degradation is a clock that is counting down quickly. There is always room for improvement and recognizing that is the first step. Though the most important step is actually doing something about that. We are on the second step, and it is our duty to help the Earth and promote sustainability in our careers and lifestyles. 

Now shifting topics, mindfulness was such a great experience. The first time I practiced mindfulness was in AP Psychology my junior year of high school and it is still something I practice daily. I truly hope it is made more aware, as it has helped my family, friends, and I so greatly in our daily lives. It is also important to note that even when we feel like we don’t need it, we still should set five minutes aside just to rest. Once we are able to take care of ourselves, only then can we care for others and the earth. 

As I write my final thoughts on this blog, I feel a little sadness in my heart. This course was educational and motivating at the same time. For the first time in my life I was able to grasp an understanding of sustainability and how the earth is being harmed. This course also showed me that being open-minded with others is possible, and that having different ideas can actually complement each other in solving for solutions. I hope I will be able to share what I learned to others, and I plan to add more books about sustainability to my ever-growing “to be read” pile. I hope I can learn more about the Earth and its needs. Even one person can make a positive impact, so I will continue to try my best in the future.

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