We can make a change!

In the Western values reading, Western values, ethics, and dominant paradigms are not compatible with sustainability. Consumption has grown dramatically, which can affect the environment and disrupt in ecological systems. It also limits economic activity and increases the extraction and exploitation of natural resources. Growth in population, consumerism, marketing, advertisement, product placement, media, government are the factors that cause increasing in consumption. When having higher levels of consumption, it requires larger inputs of material and energy to produce. These impact our environment because more energy, fossil and fuel, and natural resources are used to meet high level of consumption. Therefore, to solve the consumption issue, sustainable technologies and government policies are the key drivers to shift to sustainable societies. In addition, stabilizing population, considerable changes in consumption patterns, cultural paradigm shift, ecological restoration, equity, and recycled, long-life goods are some solutions to make the shift to sustainability. Through the article, human activities and other factors that mentioned above impact the environment. We should make a change to sustainable practices and shift to new eco-friendly habits.

As in the TED Talk of Leyla, consumption is also the biggest problem that has an impact on the natural environment. “Environmental folklore” is important because we’re trying to do the right things, reduce environmental impacts on natural environment. We live in complex system that includes planet, products, and people. The choice that we are making has the impact on all these systems. We must learn more with less and think about life cycle stages from material extraction, manufacturing, packing and transportation, product use, and end of life. Everything goes through life cycle stages; all these stages affect our environment. All the things that we do have an interaction with natural environment. Therefore, design is one of the best solutions. Better product design with sustainability and mindful behavior are ways to solve the problems.

Being mindfulness is a way to help us have more positive sustainable behaviors; it helps us thinking more about the environment and what we should do to save our planet from biodiversity, exploitation of natural resources, and many other environmental issues. We also can change our consumption patterns by thinking more about the product’s life cycles and how it affects our environment, so we can have better choices to sustainability.

Like the “Mindfulness and Sustainability” reading, mindfulness can be trained and enhanced by meditation. It helps us become more mindful and increase awareness. Mindfulness meditation has positive impacts on our well-being, empathy, value, and sustainability. These positive effects of mindfulness can lead to more sustainable behaviors and fulfill our basic needs. Therefore, we become more caring for the environment. In addition, mindfulness meditation improves health conditions and increase sustainable happiness. The benefits of mindfulness help us have a better choice that is better for the environment. Especially, being mindful is an effective way to help us creating more environmentally friendly attitudes toward our environment and planet. Moreover, mindfulness increases our self-control, self-regulation; promotes pro-environmental values, compassion; and reduces automaticity. These would lead to more sustainable behavior. Being mindfulness and acting with awareness are linked to sustainable behavior. Through the article, mindfulness plays an important role in our lives, sustainability, and our environment; they are correlated with each other. Besides its benefits to our health and well-being, it affects our thinking, behaviors, choices, and values to consider and care more about our environment and sustainability.

As mentioned in the TED Talk of Marc Cohen, there is an interrelation between wellness, mindfulness, and sustainability. There are many issues that we face today such as climate change, toxic pollution, obesity, epidemic, world hunger, wealth inequality, financial instability, rampant consumerism, and chronic disease. These affect significantly on our health and happiness. I was surprised by the fact that every 0.9 seconds someone dies of over consumption, which is quadruple comparing with the time of someone dies of hunger (3.6 seconds). This makes me think a lot about how our consumption that has a huge impact for our health and the environment. Therefore, thinking positive, consuming with consciousness, and finding peace in ourselves are some of his solutions to help us have happiness, wellness, and contribute to sustainability.  When we are at peace, our common senses and inner wisdom naturally guide our actions. In addition, conscious human consumption is what we need to think about every time we spend money. We need to ask before consuming about how it is made, its lifecycle, its environmental and social impacts on the planet. Being mindful helps us have better sustainable behaviors that affect positively to our environment.

Connecting to nature is one way to improve wellness. Biophilia has important impacts on people and plays an important role to human health and well-being. Biophilia is a concept that is often used in biophilic design to reconnect people with nature that could have positive effect on people’s health. It helps reducing stress, improving moods, and many other positive outcomes. Utilizing environmental features, natural shapes and forms, sustainable materials are incorporated in biophilic design.

In activity 2, I learned that waste in interior design field is one of the wicked problems that contribute to the environmental issues nowadays. There are many factors that make the problem wicked according to their six characteristics. Zero-waste concept, sustainability, innovative and sustainable design, waste management, sustainable materials are some solutions to reduce the waste. Through the research, it made me think more about my career as future interior designer and how my design will impact the environment.

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