Week 2 of class is now over, and I feel that everything we discussed this week is related and tied together in some way. I think the biggest take-away from it all ,though, is about the need to shift the paradigm of our world today. We talked a lot about mindfulness; I can say after discussing it for 2 days that it’s definitely a positive practice that more people should be incorporating into their lives. Finding ways of increasing mindfulness- whether that be meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises- help us to react better to stress, which can open more people’s minds on the necessity to incorporate sustainability into our lives. So better mindfulness can lead to a reevaluation of our self-narrative which can lead to change in the paradigm that is halting change towards sustainability. As Marc Cohen discussed in his talk, in order for one to be well, their environment must be well- to me this shows a cycle that is currently unbalanced.
I enjoyed the “Wildest Thing” exercise we did in class because I could see what other people are also concerned about, as well as try to come up with crazy ideas to counter these issues. I think if more people took this approach, rather than give up on finding solutions, we could further our progress.
A way I learned about my own impact on the environment is by taking the carbon footprint test. I tried to be as accurate as possible, and my results said my footprint is lower than average. I think this was so because I am a car-less, jobless college student who lives in a dorm; for people who have to commute to work, and live in a house with others may have a greater challenge than me to reduce their carbon impact- but this test could be a way to introduce them into sustainability.
As for my topic in activity two, I am looking into the effects of cotton production on the environment. I never considered cotton farming something that could contribute to a wicked problem because it’s something “natural”.
This past week really helped me realize just how connected everything about us and our environment is connected, and how we have to start change from the very simplest places, to get anywhere near a real, impactful paradigm shift.