US Embassy: This was a fascinating visit for real! It’s not common I feel like to receive a visit from a diplomat! These three ladies were very insightful and had great upbringings that led to their current roles. To be very honest, I had not one clue what diplomats’ roles were. I thought they just got to drive around in the cars with “diplomat” tags and pop in and out of their embassies. It was very new to me to find out that the role of all of these embassies is to make sure that the interest of the country can be completed safely and in the right way. The same goes for other countries with embassies in the US. The biggest takeaway for me from them was that you can come from almost any background or study and end up working for the government. The speeches they gave us about never giving up and always trying your hardest seem so cliche but they are true in their cases. Having no idea what I wanted to do after college used to scare me a lot more than until their presentation. Seeing how each of these ladies began their careers doing completely different things ie. running marketing for an airline company for 20+ years, overseeing a contract be changed to allow color speckles in gum, to facilitating a gym be built for the president, gives me hope and a sense of tranquility that everything will be ok.
Office of Sustainability: The enthusiasm of our guest speaker was so transferable. I hadn’t thought much about the topic of sustainability until I entered high school. Since then, each year I feel like has increased in the term and actions around it. Now that we’re university students, our daily lives are shared with learning and living sustainably. In my opinion, this topic in Charleston has been in the spotlight for longer than here in Greece. CofC already has initiatives and has completed changes since before I was enrolled. This presentation was a lot more applicable to me as the changes made at ACG were more current. It’s crazy to believe how many single-use plastic bottles are no longer being discarded since implementing water bottle fill stations. Another thing to note is that Starbucks on campus charges for using plastic whereas in the states it does not. I think here in Greece, you just don’t have to pay the tax if you bring in a reusable bottle unlike in the US where you save $.5 or $.10 on your drink. While this is a great initiative, there needs to be research about how to save money when mobile ordering in the states!
Before joining this class I knew little about sustainability yet alone supply chain management. I feel like I have accumulated so much knowledge in just these past three days regarding both those topics. It was the cycles and different forms of green supply chains that I found so interesting. I think one of the most relatable examples we were given about how brands use sustainability to market a product, is that some companies create promotions to sell their products for a limited time in return for a positive act towards the environment. Meanwhile that promotion doesn’t last longer than the campaign, but leaves a lasting impression on the consumer as an eco-friendly business. So many brands that come to mind include Patagonia and Bombas. I never knew that there were various structures of a supply chain. Such as those that take place in either a linear or circular economy. A linear economy is converting natural resources into waste, through production activities and transformations. While a closed loop or circular economy includes all activities and practices that reduce, resume, and recycle materials in production, logistics, and consumption processes. A common phrase associated with a circular economy is reduce, reuse, recycle. Reverse logistics was also a new concept I learned. Reverse logistics or RL is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost effective flow of raw materials, in process inventory, finished goods, and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin for the purpose of recapturing or creating value or proper disposal. I think the more these terms are used in class the easier it will be to understand them in the real world. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this course since marketing majors don’t always touch on sustainability. However, marketing has become a digital industry which you could say is more eco-friendly. I enjoyed working on our cradle to cradle assignment. My partner and I chose to do our product on Method products. For those of you who aren’t framailar with Method, they are a home and personal care brand. They create everything for cleaners to body wash and I have been a fan of them for years. They have one factory in the United States that does it all, I thought that was amazing. A real testament that these big companies do not need tons of factors to efficiently produce products. If we took one step and a time to do more like Method, big name brands would help lower pollution immensely.
Today, being in Hydra was one of my favorite days out of the whole trip so far. Hydra is sooooo so beautiful! I loved the atmosphere of the historic buildings and surroundings and the lack of cars and having to walk is something that makes me so happy with everyone so active around me. The morning coffee with everyone was so cute and I loved soaking my surroundings in with a cup of coffee and the cute little kitten too. Me, Audrey, Ava, and Elise got the opportunity to ride a donkey around the island and it was so cool! Being able to tan and swim with everyone in the water was so much fun. I really missed the sun! There was the cutest little pup jumping in the water that we played with too! I am so happy we visited this island because I thought Mykonos was the best so far but Hydra definitely topped it! The lunch was so yummy especially because they put arugula on the side of my chicken and that is my favvvvv! Then we went shopping for a little but thankfully I didn’t splurge and spend too much money. The ferry wasn’t too bad either! Overall amazing day that I am so grateful for:)
What a wonderful visit to Hydra or Ydra, depending on where you’re from. I was not thrilled with the early wake-up and various transportation methods, however, once we arrived, I took back all of those negative feelings!!! After having spent time in Mykonos, I can objectively state Hydra is a destination for those that want a slower, less pressing lifestyle. Maybe this changes during peak season, but Mykonos was hopping even though it was early. With many public beaches, equally as delicious food, no cars, and donkeys and cats, I will certainly come back to Hydra. I really enjoyed the central plaza vibe that is shared with other European countries, I think the US might benefit from something like this. We saw quite a few locals and visitors throughout the visit. One culture shock I had was seeing some individuals more nude than others, some even taking selfies! Besides that I didn’t see much litter, the locals take care of their land for sure. I did feel badly for the donkeys – they reminded me of the horse carriges in CHS. Between the donkeys and water taxis though, they have their transportation down to a T. I can’t wait to come back and visit!
I took my first class about the environment when I was a senior in high school. For about half of the year I considered the class to be “boring” and didn’t try to find much interest in it. It wasn’t until we watched the Lorax as a class that made me start to gain interest and really start to realize how important the class was. Now, taking supply chain management I am remembering how much I really do enjoy this material and that I truly find it to be so vital to have knowledge on for our future generations and my future kids. Already after just a few lectures in class I am really enjoying everything we are learning about and find it so fascinating to learn about. I think that the environment is a great thing to have knowledge on and I truly am so happy to be learning more and more. So far my favorite thing we have learned about would be the linear vs circular economy. I find it so cool to learn about how companies are able to find away reuse materials instead of producing more waste. All of the companies that are cradle-to-cradle certified are really admirable. Another thing I really enjoyed was having the opportunity to meet the embassy members. I didn’t know much about what exactly the embassy was at first or heard a lot about it but learning about all of the range of things they do everyday is so impressive. The way they are so passionate about their job to relocate to different countries every few years is insane. On top of how incredible they were as embassy members, the three of them were so humble, relatable and kind.
Although this course is not directly correlated with my major, I hope that one day I can open my own business and be able to achieve this myself. To be able to make a difference within a proud accomplishment like a business is something that I would like to strive for. Learning about this material inspires me to be more mindful about waste and volunteer to clean up waste and recycle everything possible. Something I am really looking forward to learning about is more about how to make a change and how to incorporate more positive sustainability efforts into my daily life. I aim to be able to practice this a little bit more each day and educate my friends and family about it as well.
We spent the day today at Hydra. Immediately when we stepped off the ferry I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! I absolutely loved the vibe of the island and almost wish I spent a weekend there instead of Mykonos. Although Mykonos was a blast, I thought Hydra had more of an authentic Greek feel as an island and Mykonos was more touristy. I was intrigued to learn a lot of the island’s revenue comes from tourism and how everything, even water, is imported into the island. I can see how people would fall in love with Hydra but it was also interesting to learn that the locals do not necessarily love the tourist who comes in to then buy a second home in Hydra. The article mentions how even the richest on the island shop at the locally run grocery store like everyone else. Flashes of wealth are uncommon on the island. I loved that Hydra had little to no cars and think it added to the character of the island as well as the sustainability of the island. In the article, it states how besides the 2 garbage trucks (which we saw) they only use water taxis, mules, or donkeys for travel. We started our day riding donkeys around the cobblestone streets of Hydra and getting to see more of the inner town. My donkey’s name was Cecile!
Post donkey riding, we met up with some other members of the group to swim and tan. The water was absolutely beautiful and I loved diving in off the ladder. We then walked around to look for the cliff-jumping spot but could not find it :(. We wanted to DIY a cliff jump but Kiera said “No way!” which is definitely smart and was the right move so we walked back to our normal swim spot. Here is me and Audrey floating.
After we swam, we met up with the group for lunch. The Greek salad and the Sprite were the perfect refreshers after a day of swimming. The view from the restaurant was beautiful. For lunch, I decided on tomato pasta with a goat and feta cheese mix on top. It was delicious.
After this, we walked around all the shops. I bought an orange hair clip that looks like an orange! We then walked around all the shops, and a lot of the products were locally made. This was nice to see when I went into one store, the owner was very proud to tell me all the clothing was hand-made by a woman in Athens. Seeing this kind of tied the International Marketing course we just took with Supply Chain Management we are taking now! She was very proud of the shop local initiative we saw in International Marketing, and the sustainability of the products due to them being made locally from local materials.
Over these past 3 days, I have learned a lot about sustainability. I believe that I am a sustainable person, I do not eat meat because of the harm it has on the environment, I use a reusable water bottle, I try to walk instead of a car at school, I try to recycle, etc. Before these past three days, I really just thought about sustainability on a smaller scale. It has been interesting to me to learn about sustainability on a larger manufacturing scale rather than my own personal relationship with sustainability. We started by discussing the basics of sustainable supply chain management practices and used the Beer Game to see some of the life cycles of production. We learned about circular economy which is a strategy to optimize resources used within industries where sustainability can be achieved (recycling, sharing, leasing, refurbishing). This type of economy helps reduce resources. We also talked a lot about the Cradle to Grave vs Cradle to Cradle analogy which I found very interesting. Before this course, I believe I could only really see the cradle-to-grave analogy because as the consumer, I rarely got to see and understand the production side of things. Now after learning about cradle-to-cradle and all of the brands that are cradle-to-cradle certified, I am interested to learn more about these brands and more inclined to purchase from these brands.
The brand project we had to do was also one of my favorite things we did in class this week. Paige and I choose the brand Aveda and I had no idea all of the eco-friendly practices they have implemented into their business. I used to use Aveda products when I was younger but ended up switching over time. This project made me want to look back into Aveda products because of how hard they are trying to be a sustainable brand and all of the effort they have put in. It was really fascinating to see a large brand able to successfully implement sustainability within its business and thrive from it.
On top of everything we have been learning in class, we had a guest speaker–Yuri Arthur– who is a diplomat at the US Embassy here in Greece. She along with her two colleagues’ presentation was one of my favorite parts of class time these past three days. They kept the presentation lighthearted, and informational, yet also kept a level of formality. They were interesting and although that is not a field I am interested in, it was awesome to hear more about their lives!
Hydra was an amazing and culturally rich experience. I am so lucky to have seen the different parts of Greece and how they operate together. The one thing I really liked about Hydra was the about of local entrepreneurs there were in the area. There were so many handmade and Grecian-made items it was really great to see! Greece has such a special way of contributing to the tourism economy, and I love that they use small entrepreneurs to do so and that there are fewer chain stores on the islands too. The islands are so removed from developed society it really can be like stepping back in time. I loved getting to experience this.
Hydra was also so different from Mykonos in that you can really tell one is built for tourists and that one is not. The food and gifts on Hydra were much more reasonably priced than that of Mykonos- there was also much less nightlife. Hydra definitely felt more like a local vacation spot rather than a tourism hub. I kind of thought of Hydra as taking a day trip to Savannah! It is crazy how different the two experiences are with the same general amount of travel time.