Throughout class this week, we focused on the Collapse of Easter Island, and how the civilization living on the island could have avoided the collapse. We also talked about some of the environmental problems that were mentioned in the 11th Hour Film. Both of the topics that we focused on relate to global warming and the way that humans tend to abuse the resources that the Earth has offered us. The topics that we spoke about in class this week opened my eyes to a lot of problems that I was not fully aware about. I have always been one who cares about recycling plastic and other items, but I did not realize how recycling in the fashion industry has actually affected the environment. When we spoke with our peers about this subject this week, we spoke about how we could help slow down the process of fast fashion and not recycling old fashion items. Secondhand clothing is becoming more popular but there is still work that needs to be done towards resolving this problem. I have always tried to recycle clothing because I do not believe that it should just go to waste. There are multiple ways to recycle clothing these days and more people need to take advantage of that. People have the ability to alter clothing and make it into something new, donate it, or sell it online to make a small profit. We also spoke about Deforestation and how it is a growing problem because we use trees for countless things and people cut down more trees than they plant. During the group conversations, we brought up how we could plant more trees and help contribute to lowering the rate of deforestation. After speaking with our small groups, as a class we spoke about more major problems for example the air quality in the atmosphere and how much waste humans produce and how it is endangering the environment. These are just a few of the topics that were brought up, but a lot of students brought up issues that I was not even aware of. Speaking about all of the issues that exist made me feel more mindful about the actions I take and how they may be negatively affecting the environment, and how I could change that in the future.
After attending class this week, I was left thinking about how much we as humans consume but forget to help produce and give back to the earth. Similar to the people who lived on Easter Island, we tend to use up most of our resources while still expecting more. People consume constantly and in return create waste that the earth must in return deal with. Deforestation is an issue that the people of Easter Island created for themselves when they cut down all of their trees without planting new ones. Eventually they were left with nothing and had no crops to resort to. This is an issue that humans contribute to in many ways without even realizing it. Whether it is deforestation, or waste production, humans take and take from the earth and natural resources we are provided with without realizing we barely give back to the environment. This is an issue that I have been thinking about this week. For example, the amount of trash that my roommates and myself alone produce is frightening considering the amount of waste that is produced and buried into the earth.