One of the biggest takeaways from this course is that it is going to take everyone to save the environment. It’s going to take every mind thinking of anything and everything we can do to stop polluting the environment and start saving it. Like was said in the 11th Hour, the human race may die off, but the planet will be fine, it will regenerate. By getting everyone to start working towards a greener future, there will be a future for the human race to look forward to. Another takeaway from this course is that the solutions we come up with now are not going to be the permanent solution. As we learn and understand more about climate change and global warming, the solutions will also advance and get better. But that doesn’t mean that we should give up and say ‘that’s the next generation’s problem’ like has been said so many times in the past. I really enjoyed getting to discuss all of these topics with other students that have the same mindset as me. It really helped me to further understand the subjects getting to hear what other students understood from it and questions they had about it. I think the biggest thing I was able to bring to the discussions in this class is the perspective of an architect. Because the majority of this class was design and merchandizing students, explaining the view from my specialty helped me the further their knowledge on the topics discussed and to see that, like it stated in the beginning, it will take all specialties to work towards a greener future. One thing that I didn’t get the chance to share about was the sustainable opportunities on campus and the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) student club here at OSU. This club is relatively new on campus, so many students don’t know about it. There were so many students in this class that seemed very passionate about sustainability and I think they would really enjoy becoming a part of this club. Some of the opportunities that this club has to offer is cross discipline sustainable design competitions, LEED Certification study groups, real world experience with designing sustainable projects, and more. Despite not getting the chance to talk about this club, there are some other things that we did talk about in class that I want to learn more about in the future. One of the topics specifically is whether poverty works for or against a sustainable future and how we as designers can ‘attack poverty while improving the environment.’ This topic is something I was interesting in before we even talked about it in class, and when we did it furthered my interest in it. My goal as an architect is to really make a change in the conditions of people in poverty all over the United States and maybe even all over the word. There are so many empty and/or abandoned houses and buildings across the United States, but there are still thousands of people living on the streets, homeless. Another topic that I want to continue to learn about now and in the future is how to design buildings to be greener while being budget conscious and available to the public and how we might regulate requiring new building and homes to follow specific sustainable guidelines. This is an important topic to me because it is a problem that is almost specifically targeted towards my future occupation. As more and more people begin to realize what is going on with the environment and that it is our own fault, they are going to want to start doing more things about it. By learning about these things now, I will be able to help other people learn about them and implement them into their existing homes or buildings.
I think overall I will be able to impact minimal change in my circle of influence. The biggest impact I will be able to make is on other students, both older and younger, in the architecture program here at OSU. So many new students don’t know about sustainability and that it is even an option to study it and take courses about it. By helping the make it more known that these types of courses are offered, I can help to open the minds of so many more students to looking towards a sustainable future. The other impacts that I have in my circle of influence include the USGBC club. I am the secretary of the club and one of my closest friends is the President of the club. Through this club I will be able to help more students get more excited about sustainability through projects, competitions, and other school sponsored activities. I think that I won’t be able to make that big of an impact on my most inner circle of influence which is my family and roommates. My family is very steadfastly on the said that global warming is not as big of a problem that everyone is making it out to be because we have no idea the kinds of changes the earth went through before the human race existed, so we don’t know if this is natural or if we are causing it. I have tried to change their minds, but they are very stubborn. I have been able to get them to start recycling and trying to use less disposable things like plastic cutlery, plastic cups, to-go cups, etc. I believe that this is a very big step in the right direction for my family. As for my roommates, as college students who don’t have very much extra money it is very hard to prioritize living more sustainably when you are just trying to survive the rest of the semester and a pandemic. We try our best to bring our own bags to the grocery store, use reusable cutlery, plates, bowls, and cups, and we try to minimize our waste when cooking.
Overall, I really enjoyed this course. It opened by eyes to problems and solutions that I had never even thought of. I especially liked having the class split and read two different sides of an argument and then get to discuss those sides in class.