Helping Change the World

Mindfulness can transform the life of an individual. But did you know it could also change the world? There is an increasing number of global challenges that we are facing. Climate change is perhaps the most important. It is obvious that we must do something about our carbon emissions and the increase in floods, windstorms, and heatwaves that threaten our environment – but we don’t seem to know what. It is becoming clear, however, that the problem can’t simply be solved by new technology or new governments alone. In class, I learned that each person needs to develop new social practices and encourage a broader cultural shift towards more sustainable living. I did not realize how many different types of meditation there are. We must completely rethink how we do things. 

During the TED Talk of Marc Cohen, there was a connection with sustainability and mindfulness, as well as wellness of individuals and the environment. The issues that impact us today affect us in our lives that affect our happiness and well-being. It was surprising to learn the numbers of over consumption. In activity 2, I chose to do my wicked problem on recycling and waste management. I am learning just how major the lack of knowledge is about recycling in the world. Increases in wealth, means people are buying more products, which is creating more waste. The increase in population, means there are more and more people on the planet creating waste. Also, as new technological products as well as new packaging is being developed, a big majority of these specific products contain materials that are not biodegradable. The western value reading was interesting. TED talk Leyla about paper vs. plastic was eye-opening. We must think about what materials biodegrade that we use. Life cycle analysis has an interaction with the environment. Waste numbers in Western cultures are increasing every second of every day. We need to think of what we can do to design items that help with sustainability.

There are numerous ways in which we can all come together to practice sustainable fashion habits. The problem as it relates to the apparel industry is the lack of recycling among other negative impacts. The sustainability of the fashion industry is that the recycling of textiles and textile products is problematic. There are multiple different stores that discuss and advertise the efficiency of energy in their stores with increasing recycling of clothing hangers and shifts toward organic cotton, but how many stores really expand and act on what they say they are going to do to help our declining world and society? In the U.S. alone there are approximately 11 million tons of textiles that end up in landfills. That is equivalent to 5 percent of landfill space that is occupied by textile waste. The average U.S. citizen typically throws away nearly 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles each year. I think this problem is wicked because waste is affecting our economy every second of every day. There are huge amounts of energy that is being used when making products from raw materials. If we recycled every day it would use much less energy, which would help preserve most natural resources.

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