A picture of me connecting to the winds and enjoying the natural landscape of Dalkey County, Ireland.

I learned a lot about the environment this semester including the ways in which we communicate about environmental issues and my own beliefs surrounding them. As far as my personal life, I have made a much larger effort developing environmentally friendly habits. When I go to the grocery store, I bring reusable bags and avoid purchasing packaged products as best I can. I stopped buying paper towels, and instead use rags and old t-shirts for cleaning. I save energy by unplugging chargers and lamps even when they are not in use. These changes were small and easy to make. In the future, I hope to make even bigger changes. Perhaps when I am settled in my adult life, I will invest in an electric car or consider solar panels when I want to buy a home.

I also learned to communicate about the environment in ways that are compelling and efficient. It is persuasive to connect with others about ideas that are significant to them as individuals. Since the environment impacts our lives in all different ways, there will always be some common ground. I also learned the importance of having these conversations in the first place. It would be a great cause to use my writing skills to further discussion about our planet whether it be climate change, deforestation, biodiversity, energy conservation, and so on. I have been forced to ask myself questions about the kind of writer I want to be and the depth of meaning I want my words to have. In short, this class has helped me to discover my own values as a writer as well as summon the desire to do my part in preserving our environment.

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