Mindfulness

I think mindfulness is important to beginning a social norm of sustainability. If we can get generations to start being mindful, we can create a culture of inter-generational responsibility. Starting this in our generation will mean the next generation will be raised in this state of mindfulness and are more likely to continue it.

Marc Cohen came to the realization that environment affects your happiness and you should seek to improve your environment Mindfulness is a way to mentally train yourself to purposefully pay attention to our lives in the present moment and nonjudgmentally. Being mindful improves mental health and promotes empathy within communities. Being mindful reduces Hedonic Treadmill, a problem associating material goods with subjective well being. A value shift is needed to try and reduce consumption  to help promote sustainability and promote well being.

One thing I really found interesting about the ted talk by Leyla Acaroglu was how our good intentions can backfire if we don’t carry through. We often think of non plastic products and biodegradable products as good for the earth. In reality they can be, however they can be equally as bad as any other products. The example she used was paper and plastic bags both having no advantage over the other when they are placed in a landfill, generating methane gas.

Personally I find the rise of biophilic design fascinating. It’s a method that while it does provide more sustainable buildings, I find it makes buildings more interesting to inhabit. Buildings like the Gherkin in London, for example, attempt to embrace natural functions of plants to create better air quality for inhabitants. The building’s floors all have a shaft running along the exterior of the building that allow for air flow throughout the building

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