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I never really knew what sustainability was until last fall. The first time I had heard about it was my first semester here at OSU during my intro to apparel merchandising class. If I could guess what I thought sustainability was I’d assume that it was resources that we needed to maintain or save to help preserve the environment longer. After learning the true definition of it I now understand that it is the avoidance of destroyed natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory and changing requirements that are often too difficult to recognize. It is different from a tame problem because a tame problem has a definite solution with the right algorithm applied to it where a wicked problem has no end solution.

In Andrew Dent’s Ted Talk we saw briefly how his research directs the implementation of consulting projects and the selection of innovative, sustainable and advanced materials to Material ConneXion’s Library. He has helped hundreds of clients develop and improve their products through the use of innovative materials. Paul Gilding shares his ideas and knowledge of how the global economic and ecological crisis is unfolding around us, as the world economy reaches and passes the limits of growth. He’s confident we can get through what is coming and says rather than the end of civilization, this could be the beginning. He argues that we will rise to the occasion and see change at a scale and speed incomprehensible today, but need to urgently prepare for “The Great Disruption” (the end of shopping) as we reinvent the global economy and our model of social progress.

Their are six major characteristics that have to deal with a wicked problem and those are considered to be vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches and are urgent. This just helps me understand more of what a wicked problem is and what makes them so difficult to solve by using traditional scientific approaches.

Our society could learn something from the Native Americans perspective on sustainability because they have always understood the importance of protecting the land that they live on. The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) states that “Native Americans, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous peoples have a long tradition of living sustainably with the natural world by understanding the importance of preserving natural resource and respecting the interdependence of of all living things.” They want to provide a sustainable future for their descendants just like their ancestors did for them. Native Americans believe all living things have a right to fair access of necessary resources and opportunities. If other people would join them in this belief, it will benefit our collective future.

The Easter Island reading really interested me and opened up my mind for a variety of possibilities. I have never heard of Easter Island until I had to read this short story about it and I feel I have a bright understanding of what happened. I found connections with what happened on the Island and our current situation today. The damage came from being one of the most advanced societies for technology and that is our peak in todays society, our technology. The demands placed on this environment could potentially be too strong and high to keep going, just like on the Island. When the Island was at its peak it collapsed, who knows when our peak will be but we are either close to getting there or we could already be there. The overpopulation and competitions between societies was a cause of downfall and that’s happening today as well, the Earth is getting over crowded which is leading to more houses and neighborhoods being built so more and more resources will be getting used like trees for example.

A paradigm is the lens in which we perceive the world. Paradigm shifts require collective reimagine goals, structures, rules, behaviors and more. Self narrative shifts are seeing how often have YOUR values, beliefs and assumptions changed in a significant way or what has prompted the change. Self narrative change results to a paradigm change. You have your self narratives then your future consciousness which is asking “what if?” and visualizing possibilities then after is when you reach your paradigm (collective pattern). The scrutiny of self narratives and dominant social paradigm is the attitude is influenced by awareness and the behavior is influenced by paradigm.

My carbon footprint I hope after this class will become inspiring for others. I hope to become more aware of the environment and help the world become more sustainable. I want my carbon footprint to impact the environment and show others that they can have an impactful carbon footprint as well. This is just showing how much you care for the environment and what you do to help it. It compares you personal breakdown to the rest of the worlds on an average basis. I think this is an awesome tool to fully see the effects that our selfishness and over use of resources has on the Earth.

I am fascinated in exploring more about the water waste that has to do with textiles and dying. There is too much contamination in our water supply from the dyeing of textiles and I’d like to know of any solutions to help solve this. Consumers are less aware of this problem but I feel its up to the Industry leaders to provide clothing that is ethical and eco friendly in order to quit putting chemicals and toxins in our water supply. If you as a consumer had more of a variety of clothes to chose from that were sustainable to the environment would you?

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