Being Mindful Matters

Who would have thought that taking a few minutes out of your day to practice mindfulness could lead to sustainable practices? Becoming mindful leads to a whole new perceptive on life, which one reevaluates their personal well-being amongst environmental well-being. In Marc Cohen’s Ted Talk he brings up the point that it is hard to be happy if you are not well and that you are not well unless the environment around you is well. This relates to the mindfulness article because it states that mindfulness promotes awareness that leads to more sustainable practices. It is up to us to make ethical purchases and actions that improve the state of our environment. I believe that being mindful can have a positive effect on a person’s life just like the article stated having a wandering mind leads to unhappiness. I have personally dealt with constant over thinking and negativity. Marc said for every negative thought there is an equally powerful and equally valid positive thought.
Once someone becomes mindful they become aware of their true moral values. I am a merchandising major and that means I have had to do research on the manufacturing process of clothing. Sweatshops are a wicked problem for the industry I am going into. I have made the decision to stop purchasing clothing from fast fashion retailers because of poor working conditions and low wages of those who are manufacturing the clothing. In 2013, more than 1,100 workers died in the Rana Plaza factory. This was due to the fact that safety regulations were ignored. This is a tragedy, but unfortunately not the first time this has happened. There have been many more factory accidents because safety regulations were not a priority. From the research I have gathered on sweatshops I have learned that there is a debate as to whether sweatshops are unethical or if they are better than other options these people are faced with. I am unsure at this point if that is true, but I am interested to go more in-depth into the subject.
From the western values reading I learned that if the whole world lived like Americans do that we could only sustain 1.4 billion people. This is because consumption here is the main issue. Consumption of clothing, food, technology, and many other things. Every 0.9 seconds someone dies of over-consumption and every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. From the Leyla Ted Talk, she points out how 40% of fresh food is wasted in the United States every year. When I heard these statistics, it was hard for me to understand that there are people here in America dying from over-consumption while there are people in third world countries dying from starvation. On top of that, the food we waste is not biodegrading because it is ending up in landfills instead of composts. Landfills are aerobic meaning that there is no oxygen. This creates methane which is a 25 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This opened my eyes to be conscious of the food I buy, from now on I am only to purchase the amount of food I know that I am going to consume. With the amount of food, we waste I would think there would be a way to help people that are starving but it is a wicked issue meaning it is complex. Through this class, I have learned so much about the environment and being wasteful. Now I am becoming mindful of my actions. Education is a key to making a change in the way people live.

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