Nature Inspiration – Extra Credit Blog Post

I have always known that I am in tune with nature. I love to hike, camp, and vitalize any time that I can have by being outside. It is something that I have always cherished, and I know that it’s a special aspect of life. I have always wondered how some do not enjoy being outside. There is something very enlightening when taking time to dedicate to explore and appreciate what is given to us freely. It is relieving and a great emotional support when needed- and its right in your backyard! Ever since I was a little girl, I was opened up to the beauty of nature. My parents would take me on their camping trips when I was growing up. We would sleep in tents, eat by the fire, and shower in an outhouse. My dad never let my mom and I take the easy way out when it came to camping. Sometimes I would get mad because all my friends were going on trips to the tropics, while I would go to North Carolina in the middle of nowhere surrounded by mountains. Now, I love that. My favorite type of trip is to go to the mountains, instead of going to a resort in the islands. I feel like you learn so much by embracing the freedom that comes with nature. The simplicity is a beautiful thing that can be overlooked because of money, infrastructure, or what is currently trendy. I understand that it is all about perspective, but to have a connection with nature is to have a connection with yourself. Regarding this blog post, I took some time out of my chaotic school schedule, and went to the Battery. I left my phone at home, and walked to the water. I make that walk many times, but this time was different. I noticed things that I hadn’t before. At first, I was skeptical about leaving my phone at home, because I am so used to having it. But I sent out a text to my mom and boyfriend that Id be gone for 2 hours to have some “me time”. I felt extremely weightless just as I stepped out my door. Once I got to the Battery, I sat on the grass and let my mind wander. The first thing that came to mind was school. I stopped myself from getting stressed, and focused on the trees and the squirrels that were running around. I imagined what it would be like to live like this everyday- to not have direct connection to the Internet, and to have nothing but what was infront of you. I find technology amazing, and I would be lying if I could say that I could live without my phone. But I do think that its healthy to take a step back from life and reflect on what is surrounding you. I have taken so much for granted, because I get wrapped up in what is going on with others. Just by dedicating a couple of hours to nature and myself, I found that it was much needed.


Tonight I went to a workshop called “Financial Literacy Workshop”. John Hutchson led the discussion. He is a current business student at the College of Charleston. He first introduced himself to the group, and explained how he had served the military for 20 years. He was a nuclear operator in the Navy. He is now 40+ years old, and working to get his college education. He brought up topics that every college student tries to avoid- budgets, insurance, taxes, and everything else that has to do with “adulting”. I found out about this from a flyer that the Office of Sustainability put out. It was a contribution to Sustainability week, and caught my eye because I am always wanting advice when it comes to finances and saving. Knowing how to sustain a good life requires being responsible and knowing where and how to put your money. In less than a year I will be expected to understand 401Ks and other things that come with building and choosing the right career. I am clueless when it comes to things like that.

I have only worked part time jobs and have always just blown through paperwork- not looking at the benefits, W4s, or the fine print. I always have just put down what I was told, and worked. Tonight, I learned about what really goes into a W4 and how to properly find out your individual needs. He mentioned the “IRS W4 Calculator” that can help anyone if they’re not entirely sure. While on the subject of budgeting, he broke down a paycheck. He gave us an example paycheck, and explained how much youll actually get out of it, and why things are taken out. It seems silly at first, but a lot of people don’t quite understand. Being that when we graduate and start job hunting, it will be crucial to understand why things are set aside for you in the paycheck. He also gave us some tip on what to do in your first 4 years of your first full time job: ask about employer paid health insurance, signing loans, and don’t get a pet. Well, I am already breaking one of those rules, but my Golden Retriever is worth it. This event was highly related to our class because money is a huge contributor to how our environment is being impacted. What stood out to me most before deciding to go to the workshop, was that that it was a part of Sustainability Week. Knowing the power of money, and understanding how to spend it wisely is very important for one self, as well as the environment. He brought up the idea of buying a new car when you graduate and get a job. He said that you should just wait and use your old car until it cant run anymore. A lot of people rush to do this, and dump their old car, because they will be able to afford it and it looks nicer. This reminded me of perceived obsolescence. It is so important for many reasons to be careful with your money and decrease your consumption. It saves your future and the earth


News Report

There has been what is called a “catastrophe” in a self-governing Palestinian country, called the Gaza Strip. Ever since 1967, there has been an impending problem with the security of their needs in the community. A group called Hamas, which is considered as a terrorist group to countries including the United States, has kept the people of Gaza hostage. The group governs the country, and they have been keeping their hundreds of millions of dollars for international aid, and used it to carry out acts of terrorism. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees was notified in January, that the United States was not contributing their already discussed $65 million towards an installment in aims to help them. This has created a huge problem for the people of Gaza, and they are not able to require basic needs to live. 1.2 million of the residents of the country do not have access to clean water. And for the ones who do have access, almost all of the water is not suitable for drinking. Pollution of sewage and salt has taken over the waters, and it can’t be reversed because the country’s water purifier comes from salt in the seawater. The lack of water that the country is facing, is contributing to increasing fatality and unemployment rates. There have been many cases of diarrhea and other waterborne disease in the area. In response to this issue, there is no one to help, because of the countries circumstances. Due to the shortage of drinking water, hospitals closed down, and doctors have been forced to quit doing surgeries. Population growth is another factor that has been making the country suffer even more, because there are not enough resources to meet the needs of the country. Climate change has increased as well, and the rainfall is consistently decreasing per year. There have been plans proposed to the country, but Gaza cannot upkeep them, because they do not have enough resources such as electricity to run them. It is said that the answer to this crisis is to rebuild a robust sewer and drainage system. It is not a simple solution however, because the country is not able to control their money because of the Hama organization, and the country will not be receiving the expected help from the United States from the United Nations relief efforts. Political and governmental issues also discouraged improvement when President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capitol of Palestine, because the Palestinian President Abbas wanted to push for Gaza to become independent from Palestine. It is crucial for the country to secure clean water and resources, to stop the fatality rate and to increase the well being of the community. It has not gotten any better in over 50 years, and the country has reached an extremely bad state of affairs. Because of the United States major withdrawal from the UNRWA, the people of Gaza will continue to suffer, and the water crisis will increase. This report relates to our class, because we have discussed the effects of population growth and population.


Lederer, Edith M. “UN Gets Report on What Palestinians Say Is Gaza Catastrophe.” CTVNews, 15 Feb. 2018,


Schmale, Matthias. “Restoring U.S. Aid Crucial to Avoid a Water Catastrophe in Gaza.” – Global Issues, 21 Mar. 2018,


I have always been aware of the importance of sustainability within our environment, and tried to do the best for it. However, I wasn’t totally aware of the different factors that make up what a “sustainable environment” and life is. We are halfway through the class, and I have already learned so much. I didn’t realize that so much of what is going on in the world, is due to problems and debates over the environment. I also didn’t realize how many occurrences and issues were going on, based off of the news reports that have been projected in the class by the students. It’s so interesting to see how much of an impact that we have in the world. This semester I am also taking Environmental Ethics, and I find it so interesting on how much they correlate with each other. In PHIL 155, we talked about Ecofeminism and other topics that we’ve discussed in this class. It has helped me so much, and it makes a lot of sense how ethics is tied in with the environment. I find it really interesting how many different perspectives and ways of living there are. After figuring out my ecological footprint, I decided that there were many things I could do to contribute to making the environment better. Without this class, I would have not known that certain everyday things have to do with bettering the Earth. I also found it interesting how meat consumption was an aspect of the ecological footprint. I knew that it helped the environment to eat less meat, but I didn’t realize how much. I have been vegan for almost 4 years, so I happy that I am contributing the most I can in that aspect. I am mainly plant-based, and I love to plant and grow my own herbs and vegetables. It is such a beautiful and fun thing to do, and I feel like if everyone tried, they could do it too! It could help the Earth (and animals) a lot. I began to transition to being vegan because I wanted to be healthier and also I didn’t feel right eating animals or anything derived from an animal. One day I decided to do it, and the next day I cut everything out that wasn’t vegan. Since then, I have consistently stayed true to my word. Just like that, I made an impact not only on myself, but also for others. Another thing that I learned from not only this class, but also my environmental ethics class, is that the consumption that we are used to, is out of hand. I am very guilty of contributing to this, but if we all worked together and only bought what we needed, it would help so much. I always fall into the tricks of perceived obsolescence. If everyone could make a change in their life and stick to it, we could make progress. Whether it have to do with eating habits, means of transportation, recycling habits, and even decreased consumption rates- there would be a huge increase in the sustainability of how we live and coexist together.

Personal Change Post

Last year I moved to Charleston from Myrtle Beach. I had to get used to the changes that I needed to adapt to, and it wasn’t a quick transition. I am still working on living on my own, having roommates, and living in an area that is condensed. By being “condensed”, I mean that I am not used to everything I need in walking distance. This has been very convenient, but I am also used to driving everywhere I need to go- whenever I please. I live off of Coming Street, which is very busy and it’s hard to find parking. So, whenever I do make the leap to get in my car and go, I struggle to find a parking spot when I return back home. There are many struggles that come with parking and driving here. Therefore, I have been trying to refrain from it. In the beginning of my move, I would drive to get food on King Street, or order delivery because that area is over a mile from my house. Sometimes I did not feel like walking or riding my bike, so I just took the “easy” way (or what I thought). When I realized that it was not only difficult to drive around here, but more trouble than it’s worth, I began to walk to class, the store, and anywhere else I needed to go. Not only was this good for my health and my wallet, but also for the environment. I learned this, after I found out what my ecological footprint was, and looked in the details. Transportation was the 2nd highest thing that was impacting my footprint, which justified my change that I had made recently. Driving is not good for the environment because it run on fossil fuels, which in exchange, release greenhouse gases. We talked about global warming in class, and I knew that this was a huge part of why the Earths environment is not in the best shape. Knowing that I can change something about my everyday life that I thought was so hard at the beginning, has now become easy and enjoyable. I have been driving a lot less than I was last semester, and it feels good to know that I am doing something that can help the environment. Despite when I don’t feel as active as I need to be, it hasn’t been that hard with driving everywhere. The only time I do drive is when I go to the gym, because that is in West Ashley. If you live downtown and ever have that morning that you feel like you just don’t want to walk to class or the store, think about the exercise, fresh air, and the environment. It might not seem like a huge impact, but when you get into a routine, you will notice how much you really used to drive. There are multiple benefits to walking, and being a Public Health major, I feel like it is something I should advocate for more. I have been driving when necessary, not convenient- and I intend on keeping my car parked more often.