Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

4900 SY #1: What is Sustainable Living?

Response due at the beginning of class 01/12/2012 .

The term sustainability and sustainable living is a part of our common lexicon. Most people believe they have a working understanding and definition, however what we find is that many people may not be as clear about the topic as they think. At the end of the semester we will revisit your self-made definition of sustainability, sustainable living and sustainability in your discipline/career. It will be interesting to see if your definition changes by the end of the semester.

For your sustainable you post this week (worth 5 pts), please answer the following five questions (click the comment button, add your add your first and last name (last name initial is fine), and your email address (email address will not be visible online):

1. Please define sustainability by your own definition (don’t look it up online, just pour whatever is in your head into the answer). Be detailed and give personal examples.

2) Please define what is sustainable living? (again don’t look it up online, just answer from your existing knowledge base). Be detailed and give personal examples of sustainable living or non-sustainable living.

3) Please define what does sustainability look like in your future major or chosen career? Be detailed and give examples. If you have not selected a major yet, that is okay, just focus on its role in your future as best you can envision.

4) What is your Low Impact Living LILI Score? (see below for directions on how to obtain LILI Score).

5) Briefly discuss your thoughts regarding your LILI Score. Are you happy with your score? Please discuss.

*Please, I encourage (beg) you to not answer what you think I want to hear, but answer honestly. Your grade is not on the level of sustainability you have but on how thoughtful you are in your answer. Be detailed and give personal examples.

**Also, see the first comment to this post from “Megan” for an example of the style (not content) of how you could answer the question.

Please follow the steps below to find your LILI Score:

1. Visit the following website and complete your Low Impact Living calculator evaluation. Be honest! Low Impact Living Online Calculator

2. Once you complete your self-evaluation, sign up quickly for an account to save your answers and analysis.

3. Report to us what is your LILI score? And is that an low score, average score, or higher?

4. Next print out/save electronically and hold onto the list of changes the websites suggests you could make over time.

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Filed under: Sustainable Design

23 Responses

  1. Megan says:

    Below is an example of the quality of discussion expected in this class:

    1. To me sustainability can take on many shapes and forms. It can be simple or complex, easy or hard, daily habits or planned research. It is something that takes things that we use in everyday life and breaks them down to analyze what they are composed of and what it takes to make them. Like the example of the pencil in class the other day I never really thought about what all goes into the creation of a wooden pencil. Who knew that it would take countries and elements from all over the world to make just one pencil. That is a lot of resources! Used to what endpoint? The pencil gets used up or lost and then goes in the trash? It’s life just ends? I think that in a perfect world that this pencil would be taken and repurposed extending its life indefinitely. Ideally, sustainability would be using processes and resources in an indefinite cycle so that at the end of the day, the environment isn’t harmed.

    2. I feel that sustainable living is being conscious of your actions and how they are affecting the world around you immediately and in the future. It is habits that we form that are either good and promote future preservation of our world, or bad habits that have no regard for our resources and future lives. For example using electricity is a great example. During the day is it really necessary to have overhead lights on when there is a good source of outside natural light streaming in? Or is it just using resources needlessly? Sustainable living would be to access this and turn off lights that are not needed. Going further it would be to make sure that lights are turned off as soon as you leave the room. This will first off cut back on the electricity bill for the month, but will also cut back on the use of overall electricity consumed in your household and allow for use longer in the future. At school I am great about turning off the lights as soon as I am done in a room, but at home with my family I am really slack about this. Over the break, I fell asleep so many times at night in our den and would wake up the next morning with the overhead light and the tv still on. It was so wasteful! At school, this would never happen because I turn off the light right next to my bed and put my tv on sleep timer so that it will shut off for me. Sustainable living could also be as simple as paying attention to products you consume. I fill up a water bottle several times in one day now that I have a permanent one I like, but before that I would just consume several plastic bottles. I was just meeting a basic need by consuming water, but the way that I was doing it was filling up the landfills. Now, just using my Britta filter I can have cold water in a reusable container that will not create mountains of trash!

    3. In the major of interior design I feel that there are many different avenues of sustainability. There are sustainable products like energy star appliances for kitchens, water saving toilets for bathrooms, and many more. It is important to know though that research for sustainable products is important because sometimes labels of products can mislead designers when they are picking out products for designs. There is also a sustainability aspect to construction. Paying attention to the construction products like where they come from and what it takes to make them are important. For example, bamboo flooring is thought to be sustainable; however, it is not manufactured in the U.S. so there is the cost to the environment of shipping it over long distances by boats and trains. There is also the aspect of the energy and chemical processes that go into even constructing the flooring. So yes, it does last a long time, is hard, and resists scratching, but since it isn’t local is if really sustainable? Lighting is another area that can be considered an area of sustainable design in interiors. Whether it is through using energy efficient light bulbs like CFL’s throughout your house or by placing windows to strategically bring in natural light and heating and cooling elements from the sun to cut back on the typical energy used to keep interiors comfortable. All in all, there is so much that you can do with design if time, effort, and money are put behind it. We really can in this field make our homes more comfortable for personally living and for the environment.

    4. My LILI Score was above average at 157.

    5. I was surprised that my score was this high, but then looking at my apartment and the lifestyle I have it really does make sense. My apartment complex is a huge building on a massive property with other apartments developments. They provide everything for us including light bulbs. However, the bulbs that they have through the apartment in all the light fixtures are incandescent, and since they provide them I haven’t felt like going out to the store and finding equivalent CFL bulbs to replace them and save energy. I just make sure that the couple of table lamps I have in my room have energy saving bulbs because I will take them with me when I move out, so the investment is worth it. Also, since they furnished several apartments at once when they built my complex, they did not put in the money to have energy saving appliances. They simply went for the cheap method, not the best method for helping out the environment so none of the newer appliances that could be energy star are. We also really don’t recycle at the apartment aside from plastic grocery bags when we forget to use our green bags because it is inconvenient. First of all the recycle bin we had got lost and second of all, we live on the third floor so no one has really wanted to cart the recycling down the stairs and take it somewhere for recycling. It’s sad that we are lazy, but the truth is we don’t recycle like we should because of the hassle. If we had a program like my trash company at my family’s house in Atlanta where there is a recycling truck that comes with the garbage truck right to our house and my complex had bins on property for recycling I know that we would put in the effort. I definitely am not happy with my score and am going to seriously take a look at the list of suggestions and see what I can do to change and hopefully become a better member of sustainable society.

  2. Ashley Walker says:

    1. sustainability to me is keeping something in a satisfactory state for a long period of time. sustainability usually coincides with resources such as oil and energy. It doesnt just have to deal with resources though. Sustainability can define numerous things such as how long can you sustain your book bag from ripping?
    2. Sustainability living to me is when an individual conforms his or her life to help sustain resources on the planet. An example would be when an individual takes the reusable grocery bags to the grocery store to keep from having to take a whole bunch of plastic bags home. Or using one of those reusable eco friendly water cups to keep from using a bunch of plastic water bottles.

    3. In my major which is fashion merchandising I feel like there is no such word as sustainability. With fashion it is all about the glitz and the glamour and how one can out do the other or how big one can design a costume. this is a industry that is still dealing with sweat shops being used so I think that when it comes to sustainability, the fashion world has a long way to go.
    4. my LILI score was a 59.
    5. I was very surprised that my score was so low especially with the boost in everything being used twice as much since my son was born two weeks ago. There has been an increase in the dishwasher being ran, the heater being used, the washer and dryer being ran because I wash his clothes separately. Im extremely happy to know that I have such a low impact even with a new addition being added to the family and I really would have liked to see what my score would have been before I had given birth.

  3. Megan Greene says:

    1. To me, sustainability is what people decide to do with their resources. I mostly see sustainability as it appears in the environmental dimension, but it also occurs in economic and social dimensions as well. People’s daily activities can either hurt or improve the world’s environment. In my opinion, sustainability is about common sense. Is it beneficial to our world to throw away something that could be used again? People should know that it would not be. Seeing the video in class of all of the plastic in the Pacific Ocean disgusted me. There are so many other ways to reuse plastic. For example, I have seen people make purses using empty Capri Sun juice pouches. We should not use our diminishing resources if they are just used once and then thrown away.
    2. I view sustainable living as people changing their lives in order to improve their resource management. People begin to think about how their decisions now can contribute to making the world a better place in the future. They realize that things must be conserved and reused. For example, many people leave the water running while they are brushing their teeth or take extremely long showers to relax. If they were living sustainably, they would turn off the water while brushing their teeth and find other ways to relax without wasting an immense amount of water.
    3. In my major, fashion merchandising, I believe that forms of sustainability are already visible. Although fashion is always changing, certain looks always seem to come back into style. People keep their old clothing instead of just throwing it away and it now becomes vintage and trendy. For example, my mother had leather pants from the 70s that I thought were hideous. However, when leather pants came back into style, she got to wear them again and did not have to go out and buy another pair. Resale clothing stores take people’s old clothing and sell it to other people who want it. This shows that clothing should always be in a continuous cycle until it is damaged to the point where it cannot be worn anymore. I even realized that when t-shirts get holes under the arms, you can cut off the sleeves to remove the hole while making a cute new tank top.
    4. My LILI score was a little above average at 109.
    5. I did not really know what I expected my score to be. My home is fairly large, with a lot of it not being used anymore since I left for college. My parents still heat/cool the upstairs even though no one goes up there when I am not home. However, my family does have Energy Star appliances and uses natural gas to power equipment. Ever since the city of Sugar Land provided every house with a recycling can as big as a regular trash can, it has motivated our family to recycle more materials. I think that my score became above average because of the number of flights my family takes every year. My father must travel overseas almost every month for his job, and I fly to back and forth from Atlanta to Houston to go home multiple times a year. Although my score was not much higher than usual, I would definitely like to lower my score. Sometimes, I go outside after it is raining or while it is raining and the sprinkler system is on. It does not make sense to have that running when the grass is already getting water. Also, my mother likes to have her dirty clothes cleaned in a timely manner. However, she should definitely try and cut down on the number of loads she does and live without a few items of clothing for a few more days. I am planning on getting a new car this summer and I will now be seriously considering getting a hybrid car in order to conserve gas. I will also take the other suggestions given by the website into consideration in order to lower my score even more.

  4. Adam Nowaczyk says:

    1. Please define sustainability by your own definition (don’t look it up online, just pour whatever is in your head into the answer). Be detailed and give personal examples.

    Sustainability, from what I’ve learned about it is a cost-saving and renewable lifestyle. It’s environmentally friendly. I don’t know that I can give any personal examples, but all the research I’ve seen says that people would almost be crazy not to at least look into sustainability. The cost saving is proving to be even a quicker (1-2 years) turn around than previously thought. The more I learn about sustainability the more I like it.

    Personally, I think the Department of Energy needs to start a better campaign of educating people about the benefits of sustainability and green building. I also think that some of the practices we use in reducing the waste of resources are brought to the market a little too early (sewage problems in San Francisco because of low-flow toilets, bright-white light bulbs that are very unpleasant).

    Our country has a problem with long-term strategy, for many reasons, which is why it makes it difficult for people to grasp the concept of sustainability because of it’s long-term effects that can not be seen immediately.
    —–

    2) Please define what is sustainable living? (again don’t look it up online, just answer from your existing knowledge base). Be detailed and give personal examples of sustainable living or non-sustainable living.

    Sustainable living is putting sustainability as a concept into practice. We recycle. My wife is obsessed with it. Sometimes I catch hell for throwing something in the trash that may have been able to be recycled. We use reusable bags when shopping and have also incorporated the use of the Brita pitcher very heavily into our lives (I also hate the smell of chlorine). We have some systems in our home (water, electricity) set up to use as little resources as possible while maintaining functionality. We also try to car pool as much as possible.
    —–

    3) Please define what does sustainability look like in your future major or chosen career? Be detailed and give examples. If you have not selected a major yet, that is okay, just focus on its role in your future as best you can envision.

    Being in the field of property management before coming back to college I see the need for sustainability. High-rise buildings especially, they’re essentially just pollutant and waste contributing towers. Again, I think if the education is there we can make a difference in the way in which these buildings are viewed and help to create a sense of community through sustainability, if people are working together for the same goal.

    A big thing in propelling this change is going to be by forming new habits. Buildings who don’t have recycle programs need to be in the habit of doing so. It’s simple. I speak without the knowledge of knowing how much recycling programs cost to initiate, but my guess is those who don’t do it probably haven’t investigated. I also think that the future of property management would benefit greatly by the use of better building plans such as universal design and renewable energy sources.
    —–

    4) What is your Low Impact Living LILI Score? (see below for directions on how to obtain LILI Score).

    My LILI score was 53, which means I’m pretty low-impact.
    —–

    5) Briefly discuss your thoughts regarding your LILI Score. Are you happy with your score? Please discuss.

    I have done the LILI score before, but this time it seemed like there were more questions that helped to be more precise with my score. I’m pretty happy with it. I’d like to do more to reduce my dependency on oil in general. I really hate gas, I hate pumping it, paying for it, smelling it… I wish we’d move away from that. I wonder what the addition of a solar panel or two would do to my score?

    Overall, LILI was pretty interesting.

  5. Mary Alice Jasperse says:

    1. I think sustainability means to operate in a way that has little waste. More like a closed system, where if you read the newspaper, you later use that newspaper to mulch your garden or recycle/reuse that newspaper in some other way. This may seem silly, but the way I decide if something is sustainable is to imagine how that object would break down in the environment. If it is a paper grocery bag, I can see how that breaks down and immediately becomes part of the soil (assuming it is used in a garden, etc.). However, when I look at a plastic grocery bag, I don’t know how that material would break down (or how it was formed). I guess I just like to keep it simple. I try to only buy consumable items that are packaged in recyclable materials. We compost almost all food products at my parents’ house, but I do not have a compost pile at my apartment. I really wish I did. I would rather throw an apple core in the woods than put it in a trash can.

    2. For me, sustainable living comes from using not much more than you need and buying things with little packaging. Walking whenever possible helps you out and lowers your gas bill. Living sustainably means to me that you use as much of what you already have before you buy something else. Normally, it is a double win because the things that are good for you (bananas, carrots, apples, etc.) come in little packaging. Things that have to be preserved for long periods of time have more preservatives and more packaging (usually). Optimally (and when I’m at my parents’ house) I would grow a garden and freeze some of the harvest to save it for later. While I’m in Athens, I live in an apartment with no yard. Therefore, I just try to use fresh things that are made close by. Instead of buying bread from the grocery store, I can walk to the bakery on the way home. When I establish a system that repurposes wastes via recycling or reusing, I will have established a truly sustainable way of living. To me, it is easier to just buy things that have recyclable packages. That way, you never have to worry about finding another use for that package.

    3. In my future career, I hope to be an environmental attorney. Oddly enough, I have never really thought about how I would incorporate sustainability in my everyday job. A giant law firm probably has a ton of fluorescent light bulbs, but honestly fluorescent lights make me feel like a bug flying around lights at the pool. I think I would probably work from home as much as possible, or live as close to work as possible. Optimally, I would live, work, walk my (theoretical) dog, and buy my groceries all in a 2-mile radius.

    4. My LILI score is a 53.

    5. Because it says this is “pretty low impact,” I’m pretty pleased. My apartment is extremely well-insulated–we haven’t turned our heat on all winter. This being said, I don’t really like my apartment (because it’s an apartment). However, I can walk to school every day. I can drive my car as little or as much as possible. The main part of my lifestyle that I wish I could change is my lack of compost system. I feel like I throw away many compostable items, which could actually be used beneficially instead of a waste burden.

  6. Melissa Worth says:

    1) Nowadays, I hear a lot of talk about sustainability, but I’ve never really taken the time to sit down & think about what it means to me. From what I’ve learned in my Economics of Environmental Quality class, sustainability is the management of resources to ensure long-term quality and abundance for future generations, but to be honest, when I recycle a water bottle or turn off the water while I brush my teeth, I’m not thinking about conserving water or materials for future generations. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that this is an issue & that natural resources will someday run out, but I am mostly thinking of myself and the environment. I know that I don’t need that extra water & that I won’t make use of an empty water bottle, so I take small steps to help the world become a more sustainable place. In my mind, sustainability is the idea that you should only consume what you need, or what you can comfortably forego, and give back what you do not.

    2) To me, sustainable living is being conscious of the actions you make and their impact on the world around you. For example: when I am not in a room, I turn the lights off; when I’m brushing my teeth, I turn the water off; when I’m through drinking water from a water bottle, I recycle the water bottle. Many may argue that drinking water from a water bottle is not sustainable at all—believe me, I’ve seen the commercials that warn that it takes 500 years for a water bottle to decompose, but at the same rate, I believe that you need to do what is most comfortable for you. And I personally enjoy drinking water from a water bottle. I believe that it is my responsibility to educate myself on what small steps I can take to live more sustainably, such as turning off the water when I lather my hands or using water from the shower to water my plants, but at the end of the day, I believe it is my choice whether or not I want to follow through with these actions.

    3) Right now, there is a lot of talk in the textiles industry of creating and using more sustainable fabrics, such as organic cotton, and more and more designers are beginning to incorporate eco-friendly designs into their collections. For example: many garments have been made out of recycled tires or water bottles. But at the end of the day, designers and manufacturers are only going to produce what their customers want, and if the need for more environmentally-friendly designs does not exist, neither will the products. But as far as I can tell, the demand is increasing at rapid speeds.

    4) My LILI score was slightly less than average (99).

    5) I was kind of surprised that my score was less than average because my home was built almost 20 years ago, when the “Green Movement,” wasn’t all the rage, and when my brother, my sister, and I all still lived at home. But we do make a conscious effort to recycle when at all possible, and recently my dad has begun replacing many of the light bulbs in the house with fluorescent bulbs. Because we live in Florida, our air conditioning runs throughout the year, even during the winter months, which may not always be necessary. But we hardly ever use the heat, so that may balance out. Also, we’ve been replacing a lot of the appliances in our kitchen, buying Energy Star when possible. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my score, but of course there’s always room for improvement, so I will look over the list of suggestions to see if any would make sense for me & my family’s lifestyle.

  7. Karen Cotton says:

    1. Sustainability and sustainable living to me is aka recycle so that my kids and grandkids can live in a healthy environment. Not to offend anyone but this was never prevalent in my mind so much as when my family attended a wedding in Detroit. It was so gray and gloomy. i thought I was in Gothic City with the vacant buildings and abandoned businesses. Along with many thoughts that I had; I also wondered about the trash that accumulated and who picks it up and is it more just piled up somewhere. The wedding was lovely but I had to get out of there.

    2. I believe sustainable living consist of being mindful not to waste energy, water, etc. I think about the energy everytime I leave my house in the morning. I know that I should turn off all of the lights but I leave them on because I do not want to drive into a dark driveway nor do I want to walk into a dark house. If my husband leaves last, he will turn off some of them. We use several energy saving light bulbs because I got them free at different events that I have attended. Will I replace them when they blow…I do not know. The bulbs cost more and plus I have received several blast emails that the bulbs burst and start fires.

    3. I currently work at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Recycling and saving water is an intragal part of the day to day operation. The airport management provides recycle bins. They even have folks that sort through the trash once it is collected. They have switched out all of the toilets and sinks so that water is not wasted. The company that I work for uses recycled ink cartridges and refurbished phones. The phones don’t last very long.

    4. Wow! My LILI Score is 414 which is twice the average.

    5. My score is high and I am more than aware that it is because I live in a historic community. My house is old and is in desperate need of updating and upgrading. However, Ilove it because my father willed it to me.

  8. Maggie Benoit says:

    1. Please define sustainability by your own definition (don’t look it up online, just pour whatever is in your head into the answer). Be detailed and give personal examples.
    In consideration of today’s current climate, the world seems to be growing too fast. This rate of growth shows few signs of slowing momentum. With that said, our resources dwindle at an accelerated rate each day moving forward. As to not stultify our lives or cut ourselves off from opportunities – on both a local and global level – its time to start raising questions about how to find compromise between the luxurious lives that many of us lead and the impending reality that lays doom in our scarce environment. I think tolerance is key. Tolerance takes time and patience and mindfulness. It’s easy to get in a rush, get ticked off, and cut off the biker taking up our lane while driving…but we must practice tolerance. It’s easy to diminish our load by tossing items in the trash instead of accumulating a recycling heap that we will later have to take the initiative to dispose of properly…but we must practice tolerance. It’s easy to buy food in bulk and just discard our excess…but we must practice tolerance. There are a handful of examples that I could explore throughout day-to-day life that could heed some evaluation in terms of how to improve our contribution to the impact this society is making. These evaluations prove to be a bit shocking and perilous when one really gains some perspective on the severity of the matter at hand. Yes, these problems are eminent. And, solutions are only brought about with the tolerance and patience to start making small changes concerning our mindfulness regarding how we interact with the people, places, and products that we cross paths with.
    2. Please define what is sustainable living? (again don’t look it up online, just answer from your existing knowledge base). Be detailed and give personal examples of sustainable living or non-sustainable living.
    Living a “sustainable life” operates on a grey scale. There is no clearly specified rule book to resign to when calibrating our “green compass.” So, we have to start drawing our own lines in the sand. My level of sustainable living might be very different from my neighbor’s concept of sustainable living. But, I must again address this concept of tolerance. If we look at the masses and constantly guage the barometer of comparison, we will just want our heads to explode due to the overwhelming levels and variations in content. We are living in an age of multiplicity and with that comes the need for tolerance. This is not to say, however, that conviction must be diluted or disheartened. In fact, we should allow just the opposite to take foot. Before we can change the world we must change ourselves. Before we can ignite conviction in those around us, we must find it in ourselves. So then, the sustainability campaign must begin on a personal battlefield. Living sustainably means stopping ourselves, often fighting our instinct to gravitate toward the easy route, and taking small steps to change how we use resources, eat food, live in and outside of the home. On this journey, the first step is awareness. Before we can have any understanding of the measure of impact that one individual can actually have, it is important to grasp how little things like leaving the water running while brushing your teeth, unplugging chords when out of town, hopping on a bike, buying local produce, etc actually do play a part in the whole scheme of things. And, it’s, in many cases, an even bigger realization that making alterations in these areas does not have to be a sacrifice on “the alter of sustainability,” and surly does not have to lessen the level to which we enjoy the manner through which we go about living.
    3. Please define what does sustainability look like in your future major or chosen career? Be detailed and give examples. If you have not selected a major yet, that is okay, just focus on its role in your future as best you can envision.
    As one who embraces both artistic and philosophical pursuits, I’d say a big keystone for living sustainably in my future career and personal life is raising awareness. For instance, I have put on fashion shows and art shows in the past that communicate that beauty can be expressed without having to sacrifice innovative ways to make a difference and reduce your footprint. I have been working alongside the owner of Community, a vintage boutique in downtown Athens, to encourage fervor for local design and commerce. She has a line called Community Service that revamps vintage clothing, giving the collection a fresh and exciting new twist. We use these fashion shows as both a celebration of these pursuits and platform upon which we can invite like-minded collaborators, thus creating a spectacle that calls an audience to pay attention.
    4. What is your Low Impact Living LILI Score? (see below for directions on how to obtain LILI Score).
    My LILI score is 41.
    5. Briefly discuss your thoughts regarding your LILI Score. Are you happy with your score? Please discuss.
    In general terms, I’d say I make an effort to be mindful about recycling and procedures of the sort. With that said I do not have nearly enough knowledge of the actual impact that these measures have. And, if I’m honest, I am by no means religious in my adherence to my vague principles of sustainability. With a level of understanding of how my recycling is later used when discarded, how goodwill items donated are redistributed, why putting on a few extra layers instead of cranking up the heat actually makes a difference then I might have more of a reason and desire to follow through further on what are now loose habits.

  9. Kelsey Savell says:

    Until a few months ago, I would have said that sustainability meant doing your part to reduce human impact on the environment. I decided to try to take steps in this direction last summer. I began recycling; I turned my AC off when I left for work in the morning; I stopped taking baths; I made sure I couldn’t fit one more item in my dishwasher and laundry machine before I started a cycle. I felt good about these changes, and the ease at which I adopted them as habits encouraged me to make more changes… Then I saw No Impact Man, a documentary about Colin Bevin and his family, who try to live for a year in New York City without having any impact on the environment. The family took my lifestyle changes to the extreme—they made their own refrigerator and compost; they used cloth wipes in the restroom and cloth diapers on their baby; they didn’t drive or use public transportation; they hand washed their clothes and dishes; they didn’t use their electric stove or oven; they bought only locally grown unpackaged food. The documentary helped me realize that our environmental problems cannot be solved only by altering consumption habits. There are some products—like toilet paper—that I am simply not willing to give up, and there are eco-friendly products—like food—that I am simply not willing to spend the money on. The Bevins looked ridiculous sometimes because their lifestyle was so impractical. I do not think that reducing our impact on the environment necessarily means a reduction in our quality of life. Instead of demonizing consumption, I think we should use the technologies we have developed over the years to find innovative solutions to the environmental crisis. To me, sustainability means finding a way to reconcile our materialist lifestyle and high standard of living with the effects that our actions have on the environment. Not only does this mean that consumers should be wary of the products they buy and how their lifestyles impact the environment, but it also means radically altering the production of these goods. I believe the steps I take at home are responsible and do have some effect on our natural world, but I do not believe that if everyone took these same measures in their homes that our environmental problems would be solved. Radical structural modifications are necessary that facilitate consumers acting responsibly.

    My definition of sustainable living is closely related. In comparison to sustainability, sustainable living is more micro-level. It is individual action that holds the environment in esteem. To me, sustainable living means recycling and packing your dishwasher full, but it also means being open minded to changes in production and products. It means that one expects and is willing to adopt the innovative solutions that industry and the government may offer us over the next few years. It means encouraging others to recognize, anticipate, and welcome changes to our community that may be hard to adopt at first.

    I want to go into environmental law, so sustainability will be a hot topic in my future career. I imagine that my work will deal mostly with industry that has already violated some environmental regulation, developing the environmental regulations themselves, or facilitating sustainable changes to the way industry or the public operate. I foresee sustainability only become more important to me over the years as I become increasingly familiar with the effects of our current way of life on the environment and measures to take to reduce that impact.

    My LILI score was 23, lower than average.

    I am happy with my LILI score, but I do not think I am as low impact as the score implies. I live in a small apartment that was recently renovated, and I feel like that affected my score some (all my appliances are less than 10 years old, for example). I rarely cook at home, and that affected several questions too (dishwasher, stove, oven, e.g.). If the LILI factored in how often I order delivery or get my hair done, I imagine my score would be pretty different.

  10. Katherine says:

    1. There are so many branches used to define sustainability. The word sustainable can be used to describe both products and services. If something is “sustainable,” to me that means something that will last or that can be used long-term. I believe sustainability can only be practiced through people and how they live in the present. How people choose to live their lives today makes a huge impact on future generations and the planet later on. For example living a sustainable lifestyle could mean recycling, using re-usable products, such as; cloth bags, containers, products containing recycles materials, etc., buying locally, or reducing emissions by walking/biking to destinations. There are ways to be sustainable. Sustainability can be an overwhelming topic for both producers and consumer who want to lead a sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability should begin with education. The best approach to living and consuming is to learn about sustainable products and services. Not everyone can be completely “eco-friendly,” but everyone can make an impact by changing the way they consume at least one thing each day.

    2. Sustainable living is such a worldly issue. Creating a sustainable environment is a process found in many areas of both production and consumption. Living sustainably is a team effort. If people want sustainable changes, they must work together. On the production side, producers can learn to create reusable products and services for people to increase their awareness about sustainability. Not only can production affect consumption, production can also effect the way consumers think about living sustainably. On the consumption side, consumers can educate themselves on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Consumers can make all types of changes to increase sustainability and impact the planet. As a consumer, I cannot tell you how many times I forget my reusable bags at the grocery store! Living sustainably can be as simple as changing your habits! I am good at recycling. My apartment complex provides a recycling room for the residents making it very easy for me. Although I recycle, I am not great about buying products I can re-use, such as; water bottles. There are many changes I can make to become more sustainable. For me, small changes work better and changing my habits is the first step I can take in making even a small difference.

    3. As a housing major with property management, I feel there is a huge opportunity to live sustainably. Housing and the apartment industry use all types of sustainable products, services, and certifications such as ‘LEED’. As a property manager, knowing the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable products is important for reducing energy costs, preserving the life of a building, and creating a healthy living environment for the residents, Sustainability is also important in the housing industry. Homeowners can be more sustainable by choosing sustainable appliances, products, and services in their homes. For now I am interested in learning about the changes I can make in my apartment to live more sustainably and educate my parents on changes for their home.

    4. My Low Impact Living (LILI) score is a 40. 40 is a fairly low LILI rating.

    5. My LILI score was considered pretty low. My score for Low Impact Living was 40. I am happy with my LILI score although I did not expect for my score to be that low. The apartment complex I live in consists of 211 units. The apartment building is only four years old, therefore; most of the products and cervices provided are energy efficient. The apartment management provides all the appliances, which are energy star, low flow toilets, CFL light bulbs in most fixtures, and a recycling room for the residents. I also only live with one person, therefore; the consumption is low. We try to only run the dishwasher once or twice a week and minimize our laundry loads. We conserve by keeping lights turned off when out of use as well as the electricity for the TV, stereo, etc… I am happy to know our score was low, but I know there are many other changes I could make to live more sustainably.

  11. yvetteguilbeau says:

    1) When I think of the term sustainability I have a broad sense of what it means, but I am also not exactly sure how to define. I have also never given much though to the definition of sustainability. The term mostly brings to mind recycling and conserving earthly resources that are getting low for future generations. The recent surge in talk of sustainability, sustainable living, conservation, and other similar topics sometimes gives me an eery feeling about the future. It is scary to think that in my grandchildren’s, children’s, or even my own lifetime, that the world could run out of extremely important resources because they are being consumed so rapidly by people, especially in America, who on a daily basis really give no thought to this looming, imminent shortage.

    2) Sustainable living, to me, is making a conscious effort every day to conserve, recycle, and reduce the footprint you make on the earth instead of mindlessly going through the day unaware of the consequences of wasteful actions. I currently do not live very sustainably. I use plastic grocery bags at the store, though I know I could buy the reusable ones to use each time. We recycle at our house, but sometimes if the cans and other recyclable materials build up without getting taken out we end up throwing them away. It really is just lazy to do things like that and living sustainably means you have to stop only thinking about yourself and what is convenient for you at the time and make an effort to improve your actions to benefit the environment, the earth, and future generations. Even if it feels like a small effort to make these changes as one person it is still effective and the more people who begin to practice sustainable living the bigger the impact will be.

    3) Sustainability can play a large role in my major and future career. I am a Fashion Merchandising major and choosing to waste or to recycle and reuse textiles and clothing can make a big impact. There are also many other factors that effect the environment and people that go into apparel manufacturing. Many different chemicals are used on fabrics that can hurt the environment and also have unknown effects of people. You have to be really conscious and educated on what to look for to make the right decisions about clothing purchases.

    4) My LILI score is a 109.

    5) According to the LILI description my score is slightly above the average, which is 100. So my impact is not much higher or lower than most. With this information I need to begin making a conscious effort to lower my impact.

  12. Clair McClure says:

    1. Sustainability indicates to me the ability for something to endure for a longer than normal time frame. I have had a small amount of exposure to the concept of Cradle to Cradle and in theory it seems to be a very positive idea in an attempt to remain sustainable. As was mentioned in class this C2C is a great idea, but the question arises, is it actually feasible? When I consider sustainability, it seems like such a broad idea and an almost daunting concept that I am wary of implementing sustainability in my life. I of course can appreciate those people who take such an interest in the subject and make even a small effort, but I’m afraid I don’t understand the concept very well. Hopefully this class will help me grasp how sustainability can work for me.

    2. I assume sustainable living can be as small as an individual who attempts to recycle on a regular basis or as serious as someone who cuts the shower water off while they lather their hair and body. The concept of sustainable living is implementing sustainability into day to day activities and being conscious of how our daily activities impact the world, others around us, and our future.
    Instead of buying bottled water I keep a pitcher of cold tap water in my refrigerator. Unfortunately I’ve never considered this a sustainable living practice as I do it for more selfish reasons like not having any space to store water bottles. Also water out of the tap is relatively free, water bottles are not.
    A non-sustainable living practice and this is a huge one is a lack of recycling glass beer bottles. My husband works for Terrapin Beer Co. and we have free beer in our house at all times. We drink it, our friends drink it when they come over for parties, and sometimes we just dump out the beer if it’s a type we don’t like, yet we put every single one of those bottles in the trash. We have made no attempt to recycle these bottles even though our apartment complex has offered recycling bins for residents to use. This might be something we should change in the near future.

    3. For my master’s thesis I have studied in depth the concept of fair trade of cultural products. I have seen the importance of social responsibility as it relates to the purchase intention of cultural products. Also I have noticed the importance of corporate social responsibility in relation to the fair treatment of employees as well as large corporations striving to give back to the communities where they have a presence. As I am approaching work on my Ph.D. I would very much like to look into this. Often times it is the merchandising itself which prompts those not familiar with sustainability or social responsibility to purchase a sustainable item. It would be very interesting and important to note which degrees of product descriptions would influence a consumer to purchase a sustainable item over their regular product choice.

    4. My LILI score is 74 which indicates I’m pretty low impact, slightly below average.

    5. I am surprised by my LILI score. I was expecting it to be much lower than this as I personally do not even take much of an interest in making my daily activities sustainable. I suppose I am happy with this score since my initial thought is that the score would be much lower. It would be interesting to see how I could increase my score by possibly implementing small changes such as recycling or changing light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

  13. Briana Martinez says:

    1. Sustainability to me is a process that allows one to be continuous in personal life, work, etc. with as little waste as possible. When I think of sustainability I think of the American Indians well at least the tales of American Indians that you heard as a child. You know the one where when they killed an animal nothing went to waste, the used the leather for clothes, the fat for soaps and cleaning agents, the bones for weapons, the meat for food. This is what comes to my mind when I think of sustainability a way to live and interact with others to reduce waste, pollutants, and other harmful substance that can and have been created from the way we currently live.
    2. Sustainable living is applying sustainable methods to ones everyday life. For example, my friend Alana has currently switched over to a more “green” way of life. She shops locally for veggies and produce, uses her own shopping bag when she shops, has the aluminum bottle so she never has to purchase one, tries to walk where she needs to go instead of use public transport, etc. While I do think she has gone kind of overboard on it, I do applaud her efforts to be more sustainable in her everyday life. My parents recycle and are very big into unplugging everything at night. This is a minor way of sustainable living as they are trying to incorporate ways to eliminate waste in their everyday life. I also think a big part of sustainable living deals with incorporating it into one’s life that feels normal not like a nuisance or something that will fade when one gets tired of it like a diet.
    3. Sustainability in my major, merchandising, in the future will shows corporations having more of an impact in setting the roles of sustainable living through not only social corporate responsibility but also through their influence of fashion. Major fashion icons can support companies that pursue a more sustainable impact on the world. People are highly informed on the lifestyles, movements, and causes of many celebs due to the high regard we place on celebs so in the future I see company’s being pressured and pressuring celebs to do their part to help create a movement of sustainable living through their backing of important causes. For instance, Toms has become a big fashion trend that helps kids without shoes be able to own a pair of shoes. If we see companies doing more of these types of campaigns and being back and followed by celebs, I think we will see a better movement of sustainability in a social economic way.
    4. My lile score was a 38. I’m surprised that it consider low impact as I don’t actively try to be sustainable if there is something I do that is sustainable is just a happen stance. While I don’t try to be un-fit for the environment and world I also am not trying to improve it either. I do know I can do better with sustainable living without it being extremely costly or time consuming. I do think a good bit of this is because I live alone so it is not possible for me for instance to run my dishwasher everyday as it would not be full.

  14. Danielle McDaniel says:

    1. Sustainablilty, to me, is about the way resources are used and the effects that take place when those materials decompose or where they go after we are finished with them. It’s also about knowing that things we use won’t be harmful down the road.
    2. Sustainable living is applying the thoughts and principals behind sustainablilty. It is realizing the options you have to choose products that will lessen your “footprint”.
    3. Sustainable design will definitly be a big part in my major, Furnishings and Interiors. As an interior designer, it is not just being able to understand which paints or finishes on fabrics that don’t emit harmful gases, but it is also knowing what goes into pressure treated wood and knowing how proper insulation use can lower your energy cost.
    4. My LILI score was 118.
    5. I was surprised by my score, i expected it to be higher becase I used my house at home in the test. I guess it could be better its 18 points higher than what the average is, so it could defintely be improved.

  15. Aubrey Mascali says:

    1. Sustainability, to me, refers primarily to the level of efficiency that a product has in terms of its ability to be re-used. High sustainability is something I have thought about as a product being able to be broken down and turned into something else, therefore saving resources. I think of it as cyclical term. When thinking of sustainability as a process, and not being specific to a product , the term becomes a general awareness in the arena of conservation. This could mean trying to save water, energy, or using natural products that are not harmful to our environment. These, to me, are acts of practicing sustainability.

    2. I think sustainable living is being aware of how the things we do and use, on a daily basis, affects the world around us and the future generations’ quality of living.Sustainable living is a general consciousness in our everyday lives to conserve and re-use. It’s about leaving as small of a “footprint” as possible. By that I mean making choices that reflect our awareness in how our actions will impact the environment, and based on that awareness going forth to make an effort to use as little of the resources we have.To me, the word is about efficiency. We realize that to live we have to consume, but sustainable living is about how to be minimal in our habits of that consumption.Some ways we practice living sustainably are by not using chemicals that are harmful to the environment,ozone, and ecosystems;trying to re-use and recycle; and trying to salvage our resources, especially water.

    3. My major is Fashion Merchandising, and in the future I hope to study Fashion Design. Sustainability is especially important in these fields because when you’re talking about production on a large scale, there is a lot of potential for wastefulness and/or lack of mindfulness of the impact on the environment. Chemicals are used in the production of textiles, and a lot of energy is used because of the volume that comes with the production of ready made clothing. Also, new things being produced means more opportunity for waste. For example when a garment is done being used, it is likely to end up in a landfill. There is a lot of room for change towards sustainability in this field, which I think is very exciting and hope to be a part of. Companies can consider recycling old fabrics, using natural fibers that aren’t man made, and finding new ways to be efficient in a line of production, which could in turn cut their costs. Also, there is added benefit because consumers are more inclined to but clothing from environmentally conscious companies.

    4.My LILI score was low at 58

    5. I was surprised to have what is considered to be a low LILI score since, sadly, I think I do very little to go out of my way in terms of sustainable living in my daily routines. But I am pleased and eager to learn more about the subject so I can start practices toward doing my part to conserve and being a good example to those around me. The LILI test was an eye opening tool, and very easy to use. I liked that, after giving your score, it tells you appliances you can install that cut back on wastefulness. I am definitely going to refer friends and family to this site because I think a lot of people would do more to help if they weren’t ignorant to the subject and if they were made aware of ways they could practice sustainable living. I know that has been my issue; just being unaware of the small steps I can take that can make a big difference if everyone does their part.

  16. Megan says:

    Post Below from JoAnn M.

    To me, sustainability is the act of being able to maintain into the future. For instance, electric cars are a relatively new item to the market, but are the perfect example of sustainability. Not only are they using less natural resources, they are also not putting more harmful emissions into the air. I do not personally own an electric car, but my bicycle does the same things. It is a very eco-friendly way of transportation for me and helps to sustain the environment.
    2. I believe people can live in a sustainable manner in a number of ways. If sustainability truly is being able to maintain into the future, it would not only include eco-friendly behaviors. It could also be using a better quality of paint for your walls that has a longer life than a cheaper brand. It could also include planting a grass that produces seeds and can reproduce, opposed to one that does not. To live sustainable, you must be conscious of the decisions you make and their effects. The effects must be positive and offer benefit to its host, whether it be the Earth or your home.
    3. In my future, I hope to own my own jewelry store. With this goal in mind, I believe there will be several opportunities to participate in sustainable activities. My store could provide recyclable bags for our customers. We could have low flow toilets for our restrooms and fluorescent light bulbs throughout the store. All of these activities will have a positive impact to our environment.
    4. My LILI score was a 77.
    5. I’m not very sure what an average LILI score is, but I feel that mine is reasonable. It could be higher, but I feel where mine fell was due to my home and its systems being a little older. My husband and I also don’t recycle, which was one obvious fix to getting a higher score that we could do.

  17. Hannah Greenberg says:

    1. Sustainability to me is the quality of something being efficient and lasting a long time. The efficient quality I think is the most important in my definition. I believe that if it is efficient it will be made in such a way that it will last as long as it can with limited harm to the environment. I also think that if something is sustainable it will have the greatest long term benefit.
    2). I think sustainable living is an efficient way of living that does not harm nature, and uses reusable energy when possible. When I think of sustainable living, I envision a lifestyle where one recycles, turning off and on the lights, and turning off the water when you are not using it. Further, I think it includes bringing your own grocery bags to the store rather than using a plastic one. I also think sustainable living means eating organic, and locally grown food. These foods would be unprocessed, and not have chemicals in them.
    3) I hope to work in the fashion industry when I graduate. The fashion industry is closely linked with sustainability. There are so many products that are made with bad chemicals, unfair labor, and/or cruelty to animals. For instance, I created an eco-friendly shoe for a previous class. I researched different types of pleather that were made with all eco-friendly products. Further, I found different dyes that did not harm the environment. Whether it is ensuring fair labor or developing a sustainable fabric, I think that there are several different opportunities to use sustainability in the fashion industry.
    4) My LILI score was 71.
    5) Briefly discuss your thoughts regarding your LILI Score. Are you happy with your score? Please discuss.
    I am happy with my LILI score. To be honest, I was quite surprised. I certainly don’t purposely try to waste things/energy, but I don’t conserve as much as I could. I thought my score would be much worse because the only acts of sustainability I regularly practice are recycling and turning off the lights.

  18. Katie Jones says:

    1. Honestly, when I first hear the word “sustainability” I immediately imagine a chaco-wearing, granola eating, vegan hippie who refuses to shower and complains about the “horrific” world we live in. However, once I sit down and really start to piece together the various aspects of our lives that could be considered “sustainable”, I begin to realize that sustainability isn’t just an extreme environmental issue. It also be seen in economics, politics, pop-culture, etc. For example, we as America want our economy and in particular our job market, to be sustainable so that job positions are plentiful and can sustain our growing population. We also want a sustainable stock market. One that is strong and provides wealth for those to feed there families. You can almost compare sustainability to the food chain. If one aspect of our lives does not sustain our lifetime, then something else suffers, and then something else suffers, and so on and so forth.

    2. I think that sustainable living is educated yourself on the issues that surround our planet and consciously living out our daily lives so that we only use the resources and the quantities of these resources that are of necessity. It is a selfless understanding that we are not the only human beings on this planet and that we have certain “duties” as citizens of the world that we must abide by. To live sustainably, I don’t think one has to live in a tree-house, wear only hemp clothing, and only eat organically grown fruits and vegetables. I think it is more about consciously evaluating your consumption levels and then taking the initiative to alternate your everyday habits. For example, turning off the lights every time you leave a room, or keeping your air cooler in the winter and hotter in the summer, or recycling your bottles and cardboard boxes, or taking quick showers and turning off the facet when you are brushing your teeth. These easy steps add up and create a more sustainable life for our world and its future.

    3. Sustainability for the future of Fashion Merchandising means eliminating the excesses waste that comes with perfecting a product line. For example, instead of having to create numerous samples for one final product, the designer and the manufacturer can communicate more through technology rather than the actual physical product. The designers can make sure they have every single detail outlined on the computer so that there is less room for errors. Another example, is for the industry to find a better way to distribute the product line “deck” to the entire company rather than printing and re-printing out dozens of copies of the deck and its constant changes. Millions of pounds of paper end up being wasted and sometime not even recycled. These are just a few of the examples that my industry needs to take in consideration for the future.

    4. My Lil is an above average score of 144

    5. I am not surprised by my high 144 Lil score. I live in a large home with a large family that accumulates a lot of waste. My parents have always been sticklers on recycling but that is as far as our living “green” has gone. Growing up, we always used to get a dollar taken off of our allowance if we didn’t turn off a light when we left a room or when we changed the thermostat but this was because my dad hates spending money and didn’t want to have a large electricity bill. Sustainability wasn’t a factor in this family rule. In order to improve our impact on the environment, my family and I can make many small changes to our lives. For example, we can use energy saving bulbs and cut back on our water intact as a whole. Because my family is so large and produces so much waste, we can even go as far as to buy a house-hold compactor that may help reduce our Lils score. Overall, my family is going to have to start making these small changes in order to perserve our lifestyle.

  19. Samantha Morton says:

    1.I like to define sustainability as the school of thought applied to lifestyles (be it human or product related) that are designed with the future in mind. What that means is something with the intention of lasting for generations and having the least amount of impact on the environment as possible. In the most ideal cases products may even benefit the environment in the long run. A truly sustainable lifestyle is one that can be continued because it is independent of exhaustible resources like fossil fuels. One example of a sustainable product is a hand crank radio. It relies solely on mechanical energy supplied by a person cranking the handle. Apart from production this product has little net impact on the environment, so long as it was built with sturdy materials (helping keep the radio out of the trash).
    2. Furthermore, sustainable living encompasses all steps in the chain of goods and services.
    Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the most popular views of a green lifestyle, however recycling gets a large portion of the spotlight. Sustainability calls for stressing the reduce aspect as well as efficiency. I would like to believe I lead a “greener” life because I try to reduce my consumption to the best of my ability. Not wasting food is one of the fundamentals I live by. I make sure to be careful to only take the food I will eat and clear my plate. Additionally, I walk or bike when I can, and put a priority on carpooling. Bottom line, reducing my consumption helps me save money.
    3. As an environmental economics major I spend my days studying efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Therefore, my major looks at sustainability in the most practical sense (money). As for a career, I would like to go into the alternative energy field. The small changes we make every day help a great deal, however the only real way to begin to counter the massive damage our society has done to the Earth is to break our oil addiction. I want to be involved with implementing renewable energy sources into our culture.
    4. My LILI score is 101.
    5. Not the greatest. I can definitely improve on a ton of things I do. However, I feel as though the questions regarding my house are out of my control. After all, it was my parents who purchased the house, and it is they who make all the major decisions on heating, insulation, square footage, etc. One impact I have had, and can continue, is the pressure to change the way we consume: washing clothes in cold water,

  20. Melodie Bundrage says:

    1. I define sustainability as lasting success or health. The term can be used to describe a business, a life or our environment. When something is sustainable it has a solid infrastructure and replenishment ability for the future to keep going or maintain it’s core function or purpose. An example would be eating organic foods from farmers markets to reduce pesticides and toxins to the body and allow the body to have a healthy core and be able to maintain adequate health in the future.

    2. I define sustainable living as the processes and decisions we make for our businesses, lives and environment to maintain the longevity and healthiness explained above. Sustainable living can be incorporated into every aspect of life including food, materials (fashions), ingredients (non-edible products), and recycling and is a movement in current times but a lifestyle for many. An example of sustainable living would be purchasing fashion and beauty products that are made from natural or organic materials such as hemp, bambook organic cotton, shea butter etc. to support fair trade businesses and farmers making a living without harmful chemicals in developing countries.

    3. I see sustainability having a large role in my future career. My merchandising research interests include studying the handmade and indie craft movement where the development and maintenance of skills are important, developing products because it makes the person happy and fulfilled, allows them to create their own economy outside of corporate rules and factory life and tell the story of themselves and their products to consumers. I enjoy researching handcraft entrepreneurship businesses including fashion, jewelry and cosmetics also because I believe it has a great effect on the ability of women in developing countries to meet the needs of their children and allow girls especially to prosper in education. To support and develop these businesses, it is necessary to understand consumer buying behavior for handcrafted items, educate independent retailers on fair trade and proper certifications, and unique product development to increase sales to consumers that may not care about the issues but will support the products merely based on aesthetic. In addition to teaching, I would like to be a independent retailer consultant to boutique owners and museum stores and I also need to understand how to incorporate sustainability into brick and mortar structures, decor, supplies, furniture etc in addition to
    inventory.

    4. My LILI Score is 118.

    5. I am happy with my score since it is in the average range. The website listed several easy to install items that will increase my households score quickly at relatively low cost and now that I have the exact terminology (types of bulbs etc) I can see about improving in those areas. Some of the other items that cost upwards of several hundreds to thousands of dollars didn’t have a significant reduction to LILI and if it would help significantly the costs would have to be weighed against the benefit.

  21. Heather B. says:

    1. Although sustainability is an extremely hot topic around campus, the nation, and across the globe, I have to admit that I’m not fully confident that my understanding of the term is correct. Personally, I would say it is the process of developing products which will either remain useful and durable over long periods- after which it can be recycled, or the use of materials in such a way that the supply will remain strong and demand won’t outweigh the need. It also calls for better preservation of our natural resources and finding alternatives to their use that won’t run out over time. Examples of this would be electric cars since fossil fuels are diminishing, the use of webpages and emails instead of paper, obviously recycling of everything, vintage clothing, the development of fully walkable communities, and more.
    2. I would have to say sustainable living is really very similar to sustainability considering it’s people behavior while living on this planet that will determine how long it will last. I would guess this term is referring to things we do everyday such as recycling, water conservation, carpooling, turning off lights when not in use, etc.
    3. In my future career, if it happens to coincide with my major at all, sustainability is prominent yet controversial. Because fashion pushes consumption- what’s new, what’s next, what’s trendy, it pretty much defies sustainability at its core. However, demand for change is also great. Consumers love the idea of organic cottons, vintage clothing whether remade using the fabric or just the garment as is, and the idea of classic pieces that can be considered always “in style”. I think the desire and need for sustainability in the fashion field will only increase over time.
    4. My score is a 69.
    5. I am pretty happy with this, however I’m not sure I did it entirely correctly, not to mention questions about the square footage and how many flights per year (do I include my roommate’s travels?) were difficult for me to answer.

  22. Danielle Ruble says:

    1. To me, sustainability can be many things. The word itself means something that can continue on for a long time. So I think about the way we treat the earth. If we keep going down this path, will we be able to sustain our population and lifestyles? There are many examples of how UGA attempts to be a sustainable campus, such as recycling receptacles all over campus and the toilets we discussed today. I also noticed last year they switched the electronic flushers to manual ones to conserve more water. Also, using electronic syllabi rather than printing paper saves trees.
    2. Sustainable living also takes many forms. There are those who are “dark green” and live in green houses, have compost piles, eat organic food, wear hemp clothing, and recycle everything. Most of us are on opposite ends of the spectrum. We consume consume consume and seldom think of the impact it has on the environment. And even if we want to live more sustainable, we don’t necessarily know what is worth our time.
    3. I think sustainability in my career will be very important. If I go into the PR field, it could be crucial. Consumers like to know that the companies they support are socially responsible. I would be charged with letting the public know this, and letting it benefit the client. If I do not go into PR and go into fashion, it will also be crucial. Sustainable, organic fabrics are becoming very popular. Last semester i learned of the benefits of bamboo clothing. Hopefully these things will come to the forefront of the fashion industry in the near future.
    4. My LILI score is a 118.
    5. I am happy with this score yet surprised. I thought my score would be higher. A few years ago I took a carbon footprint test and had a very above average score. I am surprised because I live in a rather large home and drive an SUV. I hope to improve this score in the future.

  23. Brittany Biggers says:

    1. Sustainability occurs when no materials are wasted during the production or use of a product or system. For example, I think it is sustainable to have a reusable water bottle instead of buying a new bottle of water ever time. Therefore, no is no unneeded waste of materials. It would also be sustainable to recycle the reusable water bottle when it breaks.

    2. Sustainable living involves not wasting any unnecessary resources and being able to take from and give to the land equally. This definition comes from my experience in Costa Rica at a sustainable farm. This farm defines my definition of sustainable living. They lived completely off the grid, using solar panels for electricity. For their garbage they recycled all man made materials and had two different compost piles. Their water came from wells dug on the property. The list goes on and on. I think this is the perfect example of sustainable living, aside from completely living off the land in the forest like hunter gatherers.

    3. Sustainability will hopefully be a huge part of my up future career. I hope to work on Environmental Anthropologist, which would entail lots of time contemplating sustainability. A major part of being an Environmental Anthropologist would mean trying to create conservation programs that work with the indigenous or local peoples to set up sustainable programs to help conserve the land their live off of.

    4. My LILI score was 43. It says that I am pretty low impact.

    5. I was a little surprised by my score, because I do try my best to live environmentally friendly, but the apartment complex and all its utilities are pretty old. I am happy with my score though, because it is very comforting knowing that my impact is low and that the things I do actually make a difference.

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