The way I think about sustainability now vs. how I viewed sustainability a year ago is completely different. A year ago, I really did not know what sustainably was and just heard others talk about how we needed to be more sustainable. I now look at sustainability very different, and think being sustainable is necessary if we want to continue to live normal lives. Being sustainable and defending out natural resources is very important so we can have nonpolluted air, clean oceans, and improve the textile industry. A wicked problem is a problem that is impossible or very difficult to solve, but a tame problem is a problem that can be solved with a solution fairly easy.
When watching Andrew Dent’s TED talk, he told a story about his grandma would thrift string and use the same string for different jobs throughout many years. I had no idea 1.3 billion tons of waste was going into landfills every year, or that 1/3 of all waste was from architecture. The thing I found most interesting was we can add enzymes to plastic, such as water bottles, and they can be recycled an infinite amount of times. Then when I watched Paul Gilding’s talk, he really put into perspective how much we are ruining our own home. If we do not change our ways, our Earth as we know it will break down. We must slow our growth, so we continue living normal and not ruin the planet for future generations. As of right now we need about 1.5 Earths to maintain our economy. We must stop overloading our Earth, so we preserve what we have. What are you going to do to preserve out Earth?
Due to wicked problems being very difficult/impossible to solve there are some characteristics that make them difficult to solve. The characteristics are vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgency. Wicked problems are so complex and cannot be treated the same as tame problems, because they are so different from traditional problems. Native Americans also think of sustainability in a way of, “how can we maintain our current lifestyle,” which is similar to how we look at it. They think some people and industries do not take it as serious as it is. For example, when the Native Americans pick berries, they space out which locations they pick from and they do not pick every single berry in site, because that would be exceeding their needs. They stay in align and involved with the environment the live in. As people that live on this planet why do we not stay aligned like the Native Americans?
I really enjoyed the Easter Island reading, and I think we should take note of how successful the island was and then it crashed into nothing. The people on this island planted and raised their own food and traded within different clans on the island. This is very similar to the United States as we make items and trade them with other countries. Some clans wanted to be superior and be the best, which led to destruction. The islanders eventually ran out of food and had nothing, so they were forced to turn to cannibalism. Eventually there was nothing left on the island other than the sculptures from their past. This island and the people self-destructed due to their own choices, and if we are not careful the same thing could happen to us. If we do not make better choices through being more sustainable, we could just as easily self-destruct.
We all have a carbon footprint, what is yours? Something I need to start doing to help my carbon footprint is turning electricity off. When I leave a room, I forget to turn the light off, or I leave the tv on all day and neither are good. I need to be more aware how much my roommates and I leave lights on. A wicked problem that needs some focus is the amount of unnecessary waste the textile industry produces. The textile industry is one of leading industries in harmful waste. Too many people are not aware of how bad it is, and they don’t realize what they can do to help. More people need to recycle their clothes, support sustainable brands, and recycle plastics so we can remake them into textile material. What are you doing to help the textile industry?