The class commenced by understanding what sustainable, system and sustainability really means.

SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS – we broke down the two words for a better understanding.

  1. Sustainable 
    • Eco friendly 
    • Prolonged time without ill effects
    • To maintain 
    • Doesn’t hamper the systems around 
  2. Sustainability 
    • Viability of making something sustainable 
    • Availability of resources at a certain rate.

Further, we listen down parameters that affect the sustainability– Longevity, visibility, population, resources, energy, economy, scale, decomposition, etc. I understood that environmental, social and economical are the main sources of sustainability. Nordic nations take care of these sources.

Measures towards a sustainable system

  1. Environment
    • Resources 
    • Decomposition 
    • Rain water harvesting 
    • Alternate resources 
    • Less dependable on renewable sources
    • Research and development 
  2. Social 
    • Behavioural changes 
    • Awareness 
    • Regulation & Rules
  3. Economic
    • Economy
    • Price 
    • Availability

I had learnt about the three vital R’s that play a very important role in the environment but this class made understand what they actually stand for-

  1. Re-use: prolonged use of a product
  2. Re-cycle: converting waste into a reusable material to make a new product
  3. Re-duce: reducing consumption.

Also, I feel that all the 3 R’s are equally important to maintain the ecological balance but Re-duce is the primary and most important because reduction in the consumption will automatically lead in the reduction in the concern for materials that need to be re-used or re-cycled later on.

The entire class got together and discussed the other R’s that should be considered too-

  • Refuse
  • Rethink
  • Rejuvenate 
  • Reproduce
  • Replenish 
  • Reflect
  • Revive
  • Refurbish
  • Repurpose 
  • Replan

We were asked to study our routine and identify the most and least sustainable areas in our lives. For me it was-

Most– Public transport ; Least: The food wastage due to the set tiffin system and bathing showers.

REFLECTION: Through the class discussion and my individual opinion, I feel that a system is an organised mechanism that sets out the base of any procedure; sustainability refers to ability to exist constantly while maintaining the ecological balance and securing resources for our future generations. The difference between sustainable and sustainability is that sustainability is a concept while sustainable is an application to maintain the concept of sustainability. Therefore, sustainable system is the medium to achieve sustainability.

Something I also learnt this class was the consumer usage pattern and certain resources that have a limited functionality and are just thrown away after it reaches it’s utmost potential of usage. For example- Toothbrushes. This actually got me thinking and I started thinking of alternative uses for a toothbrush or changing the design and material of a toothbrush to something more sustainable.

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