Week 4

This week explored the notion of technology and waste. I came to see that waste is actually part of our natural environment. The Nitrogen and Carbon Cycle both involve the production of waste, however this is reused and are part of an ongoing and sustainable cycle, unlike the mass production of our goods currently. This image serves to highlight the linear nature of materials and thus how it is unsustainable. This system relies on us constantly using new raw materials, if this continues and materials are not reused or recycled we will inevitably run out of materials to produce goods.


This image however denotes a closed loop system, which is more true to the Nitrogen and Carbon cycle we find in nature. The materials are reused and recycled and therefore less pressure is put on the use of raw materials. This new system which works on the concept of sustainable cycles found in nature demonstrates care for the physical environment through the concept of waste prevention.


When learning about the concept of material flows it reminded me of a video I had seen about a town in Japan that is striving for zero waste. The video shows that it takes a strong community effort to enact such a change and thus demonstrates care for the intimate others as they all work in support to achieve their goal.


What I also found interesting from the lecture was the section on the Aboriginal perspective on sustainability. It reminded me of a science excursion we went on in high school to the Latrobe Wildlife Sanctuary in which I learnt a lot about how the aboriginals cared for the land. How their medicine came from the native plants and how they were able to carve out parts of trees for cannoning without having to tear down the whole tree. I think the Aboriginal perspective on nature and their treatment of land is a great way to teach about care for the environment. They truly have a beautiful attitude towards the land and knew how to respect and nurture it whilst our ancestors merely exploited the land for resources without any concept of sustainability. Thus can be linked to the care for other ideas, beliefs and cultures. As although European settlers failed to see the importance of the Aboriginal people’s treatment of the land, we are now acknowledging the sustainable practices they carried out.



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