My Altering (sustainable) Mind

Entering into week 4 of Wicked Problems I feel as though I have gained a stronger knowledge of what a wicked problem is and how much danger our world is in due to them. We heard from Leyla Acaroglu of the paper vs plastic debate. Many of us were shocked to discover that paper really isn’t the better choice for our environment. Which only led us to think, why have we been lied to? How many of us are ignorant of the damage we do to our earth because of the false information we are fed? She taught me that there are only a few materials that we should completely avoid and the rest are all about how we apply them. This spoke volumes because we are told differently on a daily basis. The next video we watched was titled, “The Story of Stuff.” I have actually watched this video multiple times previously because of my father. He sends it in our family group message when he believes my brother and I need a reminder of what goods are doing to this world. He does not take value from extravagant material goods and says that everything he truly needs will come from Heaven. I wish I could adapt to this way of thinking by now but being a college girl that orders at least 2 times from amazon prime per week isn’t showing that I want change. Once again I believe ignorance amongst our society is forming this problem. We are given a simplistic story of how our goods are produced and we just accept it. Little do we know there is a complex system behind everything we buy and interact with. I am amazed of her knowledge after traveling the world for 10 years and uncovering the truth behind, “The Story of Stuff.”

In the Western Values “No” reading a quote that I held onto is, “Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.” This struck me because if we sit back and think about it, it is very true. This saddens me, why are we creating such waste that it is destroying what has helped us survive thus far? It brought me back to biomimicry, we have so much to learn from nature. It is constantly giving to us rather it be resources, inspiration, biodiversity, shelter, medicine, art, and the list seems to never end but somehow we will take until there is nothing left and contaminate until it can not sustain itself. Like Erik I do have some sense of hope for our future if and only if we can shift to new eco-friendly habits and adopt sustainable practices. We also had a reading covering the topic of fashion and sustainability which as an apparel merchandising major got me listening. I can’t lie that this reading frightened me, I felt as though I had chosen to study and invest in an industry that blatantly does not care for our environment or the effects it has on anyone or anything. When I see ads constantly on my various forms of social media advertising the newest looks and pieces I never associated this with a destructive nature. We are blindly feeding into the industries need to alter at each moment. I agree that we need an emphasis on humility when producing these goods, thus placing less burden on our planet.

We touched on biophilia in lecture and the topic intrigued me so I decided to do some further exploring on my own. To break down the term, “biophilic”, bio means life and philic is the opposite of phobia so “to be fond of” or “tendency towards”. To live in a biophilic world would be to live in complete bliss with others and nature. Our communities of humans and nature are already interconnected, why not apply mutualism and synergy to this. To wrap up my blog I would like to briefly touch on how activity 3 is going and what I am discovering of my topic. I chose to do the problem of the apparel industry and its effects on our environment. I have dug deeper into the chemicals being flushed into habitats and polluting water sources enough to discover that this is a real and worrisome problem. When will our industry realize that goods are not worth the nature we are giving up for them. By destroying water sources we are also destroying a natural resource we greatly need and would not know what to do without. Through this sustainability journey I have discovered that I care more about the planet than I do materialistic goods. I have began to indulge in more moments in nature and explore the world outside walls. I am grateful for this and want to apply it to my future. I will be a piece of our worlds strive for change.

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