I went to an event hosted by the office of Sustainability. The event was called Clothing Swap. The name of the event pretty much explains exactly what it was about, which is swapping clothes. People including myself brought to the Alumni center clothing that was either new or only worn a few times. The clothes people brought in were put on hangers and hung on racks just like you would find in a clothing store. All anyone had to do was choose which ever clothing piece they wanted. I think this was a great event, not only because I got a few new shirts out of it, but because we all were putting use to the clothes we don’t wear anymore. In a sense it was like we were recycling our clothes because someone else would be putting them to great use. A good number of people came out to the event which was good. At the end they had a lot of left over clothes that I believe they would donate to someplace like goodwill or something. If the Office of Sustaniblilty was to host something like this again I definitely would go again. First off, I love shopping for clothes in the first place so swapping clothes is the next best thing. The main thing I liked about the event was you didn’t have to pay anything because you already paid for the clothes you brought to swap. I also believe that you didn’t even have to bring clothes if you didn’t want to, you could just chose which ones you wanted from the clothes that were already there. Overall in my opinion I think the event was a success.
Media is around us all throughout the day whether it is through print, broadcast, or the internet. I believe there is a such thing as having too much media. This would be considered a media overload. I know from my own experience, that there is too much media available to us. I really can not count how much media consumes my time throughout the day, which as you can tell is pretty bad. I believe on average I spend about fourteen hours on my phone throughout the entire day taking up all the information the media has to offer. I believe there is a problem with media overload because people, including myself, are not experiencing the full quality of life because we are so tied into the media. An example of this would be spending time with a loved one and constantly checking your Facebook or Instagram the whole time. Constantly checking these media platforms affects being able to really enjoy that special time together. I can admit that I do this all the time with my loved ones and miss out on that quality time. On the subject of encouraging people to interact with the media, I am not sure if we should or shouldn’t. I believe that people can make their own decisions whether to use forms of media. In my opinion, I would just say that maybe we all should limit our intake of the media because it can get overwhelming with having so much information presented to you. For children, I definitely would not encourage them to interact with the media because you would not want them learning things that would reflect on their behavior. Children absorb information the most and the media would only influence them the greatest.
Before being introduced to greenwashing in the previous class, I had no clue on what this subject related to. Greenwashing can be described as, any act performed by a company that deceives the consumer in believing that the environmental practices performed by the company does no harm to the environment in regards to their product or service. As you can imagine there has to be a lot of products and services that are harmful to the environment that we have no clue is being done. I did some researching trying to find a good example of greenwashing that effects the environment regardless of what the packaging says. The everyday product that I came across, that took part in greenwashing was the Raid Earth Blends Multi-bug Killer. The Raid Earth Blends Multi-bug killer claims to be “an alternative insect control solution that contains an insecticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower”. Raid uses common tactics to appeal to consumers, by using words like “earth” and by displaying the color of the can in all green, which promotes this product as being “natural” for the environment. Despite its naturally derived component, the label still manages to warn users to avoid contact with skin and clothes, and not to inhale the mist when spraying it. This is a good example of greenwashing because insecticides are kind of impossible to make “natural” because the sole purpose of it is supposed to be for killing plants. Some of the ingredients found in this Raid products includes: Isobutane, Propane, and Piperonyl butoxide. Though these ingredients aren’t a big hazard to the environment, they still have a significant harm to people, pets, some insects, and fish if exposed too much.
As a whole, it is clear most people aren’t aware greenwashing even exists. For these companies to stop greenwashing, more people have to start becoming aware of the products they are purchasing because they could have great effects on the environment.
The topic that had interested me the most from a previous class discussion, was the closing of the Bi-lo grocery store located on Meeting Street. The closing of this grocery store was more detrimental than one would think. For starters, the individuals living near the grocery store were put into a food desert. Everyone does not have the capabilities of getting to a grocery store whether it is merely just not having a vehicle, having the sufficient amount of time to set aside time for grocery shopping, or money. The closing of this grocery store put people in great inconviences. I do not think that when stores like this make a big decision to go out of business, the needs of the community are not thought about as greatly as it should. An article from the Post and Courier stated that there could possibly be another supermarket, apartments that may or may not be affordable for people that already live in the area, and a pharmacy. These proposals are not that great in my opinion because they are most likely not going to be very unaffordable for the community that lives near the formally closed Bi-lo. I believe that if you are going to take away something that was beneficial to the Charleston community, at least make sure what is planned to be implemented is affordable for the people that is actually in the neighboring community. The Post and Courier also states that there is no concrete plans made to make sure this plan is implemented, which is steady keeping people in a food desert area. I believe that the property owners, which are McAllister Development, have to set in place a more concrete plan to do something about the lack of a grocery store for the community because the proposal they have now is only giving people false hope.
Before taking this class I had no idea about the effects on agriculture, especially in Charleston. Chapter nine in the reading, A Delicate Balance : Constructing a Conservation Culture in the South Carolina Low country, was very enlightening in my opinion. I did not know a lot of Charleston’s agriculture was affected daily. I found it quite surprising learning that “South Carolina has been losing about thirty five acres of farmland daily to residential and commercial development, and the low country has experienced the greatest of those losses”. That little piece of information was the most shocking to me because I know Charleston has a lot of construction and stuff going on, but I did not know that it was that drastic. Saving farmland is very important because farmland is not just for raising up animals to produce meat, it is much more than that. Having a sufficient amount of farmland is vitally important because you need land to produce the locally grown vegetables and fruits that we consume. Also in the chapter I found it reassuring to know that organizations like the Charleston County Greenbelt Bank Board is taking initiative to purchase rural land just to help protect it from companies trying to use it for development. If more organizations like this step up and participate to preserve the Low country’s farmlands more acres of land can be saved from development. Another aspect of this paper I was inspired by was Margaret Fabri, she stated that if “we don’t have many rural spaces left, and if we don’t protect them now, we will have none left”. This statement means so much because she is promoting taking action, which is what needs to be done to make changes so that more land can be saved. Just this statement alone signifies that action needs to be taking now before it is too late.
This semester has really opened my eyes on to how much we affect our planet. Using the Ecological footprint brought to realization on how much demand and supply of nature we use to fit our lifestyles. The results from the ecological footprint was quite shocking because I did not know that my lifestyle was so grand because I really never thought too much about it. My results stated that it takes a little over 4.1 planet earths and 18.4 global acres to satisfy my lifestyle. As you can see this is a great amount of space being took up just to fulfill my lifestyle, which is highly excessive in my opinion. I believe that I would have to make a lot of changes in my lifestyle to reduce the space my lifestyle takes up on the earth and global acres. For example, I could reduce my consumption of trash. Another way to reduce my excessive lifestyle could be to actually take the time to start recycling paper and plastic wastes. I rarely recycle which I know is bad, but actually taking the time to start doing so would help reduce a whole lot of space. Another way I could help make the planet better is less usage of an automobile. I personally do not have a car here in Charleston which actually is helpful to the environment, but I am frequently riding with people throughout the week. Using public transportation to get back and forth to my friends could help better reduce some of the CO2 that is being emitted in the atmosphere. Just incorporating some of these changes could greatly decrease some of the space that my lifestyle takes up based on the ecological footprint. I believe that more people should consider taking this quiz so they will know where they stand so they can make changes to better our planet.