Blog 3: It Starts with Me

As Week 4 begins, I reflect on all the past and current readings that pertain to both my field of work and my sustainability/wicked journey so far. Each reading has opened a new thought process that encourages me to watch my actions regarding my carbon footprint, consuming habits, and even every day mindfulness.
I enjoyed the ‘Western Values’ reading because it exercised both sides of the brain regarding development and sustainability, which I think is very important for society to move forward with sustainable practices. It is important to recognize that both sustainability and development contain different aspects that can change and morph due to our actions. Countries can improve environmental quality through economic growth. This is similar to the Fashion and Sustainability reading because each reading discussed how development and fashion trends can grow and thrive, but we must change our way of thinking to improve the design and make Fashion more environmentally friendly. I thought it was very interesting when we spoke about this article in class. We compared the short life cycle of fashion to technology that is built today. In previous years, our phones could have an extensive life. But now, they have intentionally shorted the lives of phones (for profit purposes) increasing the amount of waste in return. One of the quotes in the Fashion & Sustainability that stood out regarding this conversation was, “So many of our current understandings and modes of designing and producing products are inherently antithetical to the principles of sustainability.” This is why it is vital to our society to recreate the way we design.
Biophilia has always fascinated me. As time changes and biophilia becomes more popular, research of materials also becomes more popular. This is important because manufacturers have resorted back to natural elements to make more organic material to incorporate biophilia and sustainability practices on the interiors of buildings. I have also noticed that in a vast majority of the projects done by myself and my fellow class mates, we have heavily incorporated biophilia into our concepts. I’m not sure if this is an up and coming concept for millennials, but it is exciting to think about what might become of Biophilia. I believe it is an extremely strong and beneficial factor in interior architecture.
As we enter into our 4thweek of Wicked Problems, I feel as if my sustainability/wicked journey has improved greatly. On November 1st, I began my zero-plastic waste for the second time. This class has helped me, in more ways than one, to reflect on the consequences of my actions. While I struggle through grocery shopping remaining plastic free, I generally bring my own canvas bags and mesh produce bags. However, there have been times at Sprouts when I forget my bags and request paper because I have always thought this was the suitable replacement. Due to the TED talk we watched with Leyla Acaroglu, I now know NOT to forget my bags because plastic is the better choice. She explained that plastic is the better choice because paper bags are 4 to 10 times heavier than plastic. We all know that paper would decompose over time, but not if it continues to end up in landfills. Leyla also talked about how 40% of food bought for the home is wasted. Although this is a completely believable fact, I believe I am relatively good when it comes to food waste. I rarely waste the food I purchase because I buy it in small quantities.
The questions on Activity 3 made me actively think about why exactly my problem is a Wicked problem. The answer is, YES! Plastic waste is ruining our planet and can improved in so many ways but people choose to turn away and ignore the issues. Many may say plastic recycling can just be more heavily implemented but the truth is, like the Fashion industry, we must come up with a better answer than recycling.

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