Some of the experiences I was mostly able to take away from this course is from the readings we had. I really actually enjoyed getting a new topic every week and learning the yes and no sides of the story. Especially when we got into groups and talked about it with our group. Learning about the different types of negative waste and how much unsustainable waste we have in the world and even in just our industry. I guess I never thought of how many materials were just being thrown away everyday. So much never gets used but sometimes it’s too hard to reuse it. Another experience I took away that really had a positive impact on me during these last 8 weeks of class was the mindfulness practices. I’ve always loved drawing and just sitting somewhere coloring, so putting that as a calming practice and adding it to some of our class time was so helpful. I don’t think I would’ve done that just on my own, because I never feel like I have time to really stop worrying about things, so I’m always just go, go, go. I wish we were given a little bit more time to go over the ways we could reduce pollution, waste, or materials. I don’t know if there are any groups around campus that we could join to start helping out but I think I would really like to join that. I love doing hands-on types of activities and I think that is a perfect way to get out during my freshman year and help out and get to know people.
Some of my major takeaways I had this semester during this class was probably during the end of our course. Just working on our group project and researching a bunch of different problems that cause land pollution has been more than interesting. It has definitely been a great learning experience. I’ve loved hearing what my group has to say about the topic and what their topic in land pollution is. In our whole group we’re talking about deforestation, landfills, and industrialization. Another is how we came up with ideas on how this applies to our industry and talked about ways to help decrease these problems. Transportation is a huge part of land pollution in our industry. Materials are transported day and night around the whole world for commercial or residential use. Another interesting topic we actually just emphasized more on throughout the semester are the six characteristics. 1. Vague problem definitions, which is basically just expressing the problem. 2. Variable Solutions, for an example is bamboo fiber which reduces pollution and the use of trees. 3. Solutions have no end point, examples solar energy- air would be denser or wind turbines- you need a lot of material to do the job which in a way is defeating the purpose. 4.Soulutions pose irreversible effects, this could be like selling or buying used clothes. 5. Solutions require unique approaches, reducing consumption of paper or plant a tree after you kill a tree could be the difference between deforestation and no deforestation. 6. Urgent action is needed, oil spill is a great example of a tragic event that needs attention now more than later.
A few solutions I want to take away from this course have to do with land pollution. This is what my group project is over so I’m a little bit more informed over this topic. Something I would actually like to start doing to having two trash cans in my house which will allow me to separate cans, glass bottles, and plastic away from things that cannot be recycled. Also reusing materials, in this instance I’m talking about clothes which I can’t do a lot until I’m ready to get rid of some things but the past few times I’ve cleaned out my closet, I actually take them to a shelter for women or sell them in the garage sales. Reducing the amount of times I take my car somewhere is a big one because I take my car everywhere but just little things like this can make a huge difference. Now you can’t stay off the streets forever because you will eventually need something but maybe just a couple days of the week. A few things that I definitely want to learn more about is a few ways sustainable materials could be used in place of unsustainable. I think in whatever field you’re in, it’s important to know what differences you can make to give people the best in what they need and what’s best for the environment.
My ability to impact positive changes in my circle is huge. It’s a huge responsibility that in time could definitely change what others think and what they want to think. You have to give someone a good reason to believe in something if you want them to take a stand with you. You also have to do it yourself and be a good role model, not just tell them to do it and never do it yourself. A lot of people don’t get the chance to take classes like this. They don’t truly understand certain things they do everyday have a huge impact on the world. Something so easily changeable some people just don’t want to do the extra step because you don’t see results right away. It will definitely take time, no doubt, but everyone needs to start somewhere. Influencing family and friends just makes the circle larger and larger, because it just expands to others. More people find it interesting themselves and want to find more ways to help but our generation is the ones that need to make the changes. Need to get the word out about how badly our environment is getting. One of the biggest issues about polluting the world is that people deep down know what it is but it’s not a priority to them to change anything about it. You can’t make people want to be better for the environment, you just have to share the word and hope they want a part in making a positive impact.