On the Path to Understanding Stainability

Hi everyone! So far in this course I have revamped my knowledge on sustainability. We live in a world where we are more driven on building our economy than protecting our planet. Although there are many measures being taken, it is not enough. During our first breakout room my group and I had a conversation about electric cars. One person had brought up the idea that electric cars are going to be the next big thing. I however, disagreed with this statement. Growing up in the south I am well versed on the oil and power industry and have researched this exact topic before.  Electric cars require a range of rare earth metals for their batteries. The extraction and manipulation of these said rare metals contribute to the carbon emissions. The pollution created through the extraction and production of these batteries remains higher than that of regular gas or diesel vehicles. One cannot exclude one component (i.e. petroleum) from the equation. Oil and gas are needed and used in the processes of production for these cars, as well as, windmills, solar panels etc. I personally do not think it is a this- way or that-way mindset. I think it is nearly impossible to eradicate oil and gas from our lives since it is used in so many more ways than we are even aware. I am a firm believer that we need both, we need to reduce are carbon emissions and electric cars are great, but we are not at a place where that is feasible. I say that due to the fact it is not possible to transport materials long distance with electric, which is a large factor.

We talked for quite a bit on this then expanded into other area of how people are making a change. Of course there is the obvious; plastic straws, recycling, etc, but there was also a few notable ones. Fast fashion is probably one of the most problematic and known about in our generation. Although my generation is all about the environment and will recycle if it costs them their life, they are quick to throw away old clothes in hunt of a new style. With the constant change in trends it is hard to keep up and often clothes are just thrown away. The amount of material waste that has come from our love of fashion has resulted in a problem. Unfortunately, things aren’t slowing down. We live in a society where consumption is key. We work all day to make money, simply just to spend that money on mostly unnecessary items.

             Last weeks main takeaway for me was how dire the state our world is actually in. The 11th hour put into perspective how we are truly on the last leg of this planet. I was unaware of how bad it had gotten. Another big takeaway for me was to appreciate our environment. Easter island made a big impact on how I view our resources. It seems like they are never ending ,however, it is quite clear that is not the case. The way Easter island stripped the island of their resources is what we are doing to our plant.  

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