Mindfulness Leads to Action

Since I have been in Wicked Problems, I have become so much more aware and mindful of everything around me. I believe in order to begin fixing the problem, you must be aware of it. Every time I go to the store, I try to fit as many items as I can into one bag to cut down plastic usage. I carry all my empty water bottles with me until I find a recycling bin instead of walking to the closest trash can. I am constantly thinking about the environment and what direction it is headed in. No matter what you do, being mindful of your actions make an impact in the world. I think the first step to sustainability is to practice being mindful of your everyday decisions and doing so will change the way you live your life.

I found Marc Cohen’s Ted talk very eye opening. He discusses being at one with the universe, and you can do so through meditation. You must find balance before you can become integrated with the universe. He discusses the current wicked problems and expresses the importance of being mindful of the problems in our country. Each humans existence is a part of a whole that makes up the world and he speaks about balancing our selfish actions with equally egoless selfless actions. It is extremely important to be in touch with the world and know your place in it.

Throughout researching my problem of construction site waste, I have learned a lot. Landfills are overflowing and it has become a growing problem. Every time I used to see a house being remodeled I remember seeing the huge blue container that held all the waste, but never once thought about where it would go. I never thought about the scraps needing to be used to create something new. Now, I am aware of all the waste that occurs through remodeling and building. I strive to try to come up with solutions to fix this growing issue and hopefully create something from all the rubble. Left-over wood and other materials are recyclable and should be used in sustainability, not end up in a landfill for future generations to have to take care of.

The reading about poverty offered a whole different viewpoint that is not often discussed. The author thought the issue could be solved by giving more to the poor so they will not have to be forced into doing jobs that harm the environment. However, this does not address the over abundance of products used by the wealthy that get wasted. I do agree that the government should create more policies to stop the degradation of the environment. That is the only way to get people to start caring and seeing that our practices are not sustainable. With policies in place, we can build a better place to live and begin to shut down large companies that only have money interest, not the best interests of their supporters or the common citizen.

I really enjoyed Leyla’s Ted talk. She made an extremely good point when discussing the question of paper or plastic. If we do not actively recycle, both materials end up in landfills and will not be biodegradable. She explains how this results in a double negative, by taking up more space and causing degradation. She also expresses her interest in design solutions that are sustainable, such as the fridge that slows the time food goes bad. This would eliminate food waste, a much needed practice considering 40% of food that is produced ends up wasted. Sustainable design is something I continue to be interested in and hearing points like hers makes me even more passionate about it.

Biophilia is defined as the love of life or living systems. The example of the Thorncrown Chapel was a perfect way to show how beautiful things we create can be. When you take natural living things and create architecture, it allows humans to understand how important our environment is. It shows how gorgeous things can be if we take care of our surroundings. It causes more people to be aware of sustainable design and what it means to make something out of the natural world. Those who work to improve the health of the spaces we live in practice this by having a connection with nature. Designing like this can cause mindfulness of nature and gives a visual to why we need to sustain our natural environment.

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