The past two lectures for this week were about the human dimensions of global change. The first lecture of the week we spoke about Easter Island, we did the wildest thing exercise, the consequences of both Easter Island and the Dust Bowl and if the Dust Bowl was man made or a natural problem. We spoke about fashion and sustainability because I am an apparel merchandising major. The lecture spoke of Paul Hawken and his book the Blessed Unrest, and lastly we spoke about sustainability reflections as well as responsibility mapping. The most important thing about the lecture was the responsibility mapping because that allows one to take accountability and move toward a solution.
Easter Island & Dust Bowl
Easter Island was an island with a small population in the beginning with about 150 square miles, 7000 people with .02 square miles a person. Easter Island was not big, but the population and use of resources grew. The demands on the environment were huge, and the society that lived on the island had damaged it so much, that it fell. The society was advanced, but not knowledgeable in their over usage of the environment and the impact that would happen if they did not practice sustainability. We can learn from Easter Island that sustainability is key. We have to learn to give to the environment as much as we take because if we do not our civilization will be the one to suffer. Life will go on without us. The dust bowl occurred mostly in the Mid-West. Dust storms were extremely regular as well as hordes of jackrabbits and grasshoppers. The people had completely ruined the land by using too many resources when farming and many other daily activities. Thousands of people died from breathing illnesses, the storm conditions, and malnutrition and starvation. The Dust Bowl story like the Easter Island story taught me that using all of the resources without replenishing where you are getting the natural resources.
There are many sustainable problems within the Apparel Merchandising industry. From the consumer standpoint the disposal as well as the laundering of the clothes have negative impacts on our environment. Another issue in the merchandising industry is the transportation of the textiles. Carbon emissions are a result of transportation weather that is train, or even boat. This alone is a huge impact on our environment. A change for the first problem would be to change the material of the clothing so that the chemicals used do not pollute as many toxins into our environment when washed. Disposal is a huge issue but that could be aided if the companies that manufacture the clothing provide an incentive for people if they recycle their clothing. Companies or brands could also take those clothes and offer a recycle box at their locations. As for carbon emissions this problem could be lifted if more companies had incentives provided from the government that would make them want to produce clothing locally as much as possible. I am more of a facilitator. I would want to educate both consumers and companies on the impacts that they have on the environment as well as how they could aid in repairing our environment.
The cartoonist was an article that showed to myself that creativity could come from anywhere. Steven Johnson is an artist and an inventor. Many things that Johnson did not expect came from drawings. He made a sad point in the article when he spoke about how he drew child’s protective armor. A few years later the drawing came true. Although this was not what he expected or wanted, it showed that his creativity had a need and a use. Johnson also wrote about how he is prepared for his creative moments. He keeps writing or drawing utensils around at all times and he knows when and where he gets inspired and has utensils in the car as well. The article showed me that anyone can be creative if you are prepared, willing to work, and inspired to solve a problem.
Wild Things Exercise
My group developed a wig made from recycled pieces of textiles. We made this concept because there is a big problem with textiles disposal and waste. Our concept was to break down the textiles into thin strands and dye them with an environmentally friendly dye and then process them into wigs.
Self Narratives and Paradigms
The tip of the iceberg is an event that can be changed if the patterns and structures are involved as well. In class we spoke about how an individual may be a paradigm, a community might be a structure, and everyone would be a pattern that causes the tip of the iceberg to change. Patterns and structures play a role in sustainability challenges every time because it is all a process.
In class meditation helped me in developing a sense of future. Recently, envisioning the future has been stressful or almost unimaginable but with meditation I was able to see my future, as I desired it. Two things that suck out to me was seeing what kind of career I may have due to my wardrobe and even office space, and seeing my office space in general.