The longer I am in this course the more frustrated I get. To clarify; the problem is not the lessons or the teaching capability, but rather the knowledge I am being provided with. Wicked problems are frustrating! And the they are even more frustrating because we do it to ourselves.
In the ‘Fashion and Sustainability’ reading and the ‘Story of Stuff’, I realized that we live in a very corrupt system. Now, I don’t want to come off as a conspiracy theorist but it seems like there is a very select number of people benefitting at the expense of not only other people but also at the expense of our planet. The media creates things like fashion so that we keep buying things, and making other people rich. And the worst part is that it doesn’t end there; the ‘Story of Stuff’ revealed that companies intentionally make products cheaper or weaker so that they fail within a short period of time so that we HAVE to replace it! So what is made to be fashionable is also being made to go OUT of fashion in a short period of time.
What irritated me even more was the reading on poverty that argued the idea that those living in poverty are the cause of environmental degradation, because they are living off the land. Poverty is purely a symptom of all the horrible things those of us not in poverty are doing. They live off the land because that is all we have left them with, and that isn’t even entirely true either, because Americans are using 6 times the amount of resources per percentage of population. These resources come from the very countries that are being accused of degrading the land. How could one argue that poverty is the problem while completely ignoring the overconsumption right in front of our faces?
In her TED talk, Leyla Acaroglu encourages us to think about the impact that our daily choices have on the environment such as choosing a paper or plastic bag at the grocery store, and makes us rethink what is and isn’t a sustainable life choice. She addresses issues, such as the soggy lettuce conundrum, that make you realize nothing is ever as simple as it may seem.
The longer I am in this class the more awake I become to the aspects of my daily life that are unstainable, the more I start to see the things I am wasting and the more passionate I become about issues of sustainability. We have but one home and I intend to do my part to make it last.