Be Sustainable

Activity 3 allowed me to dive deeper in my wicked problem involving water waste in the apparel industry. I learned that the amount of water used for one cotton shirt would provided drinking water for one person for 2 years. I also learned that solutions for this problem are hard to implement because the fashion industry is so global and getting everyone to agree would be nearly impossible.

After reading the article on if poverty is or is not the cause of environmental degradation I believe it is both and neither. I believe countries that are in poverty do not have the resources to mitigate pollution and waste but people in wealthy countries do not see the effects of waste causing more waste to be created. I do not think poverty is the cause of waste, I think the lack of resources, greed, and ignorance are more of the main factors of environmental degradation.

In the TED talk by Leyla Acaroglu, she asked the question “what’s better, plastic of paper bag?” and many of us would believe the paper bag is a better option but in reality the plastic bags used are more recyclable.  She points out the misconception of what is and what is not recyclable and explains how when faced with complexes choices we like easier solutions. She also touches on the point that everything comes form nature and people need to do more with less. I agree, we are greedy and ignorant with the things we need and with the things we want. We need to focus less on our wants and more on the needs of people who can not obtain their needs. Leyla explains that consumption is the problem and design is the solution.

With this idea of doing more with less, I would like to touch on the concept of merchandising and sustainability. As someone who is pursuing merchandising I would like to head into the industry sustainably minded. Merchandisers can do this by purchasing ecofriendly goods; fabrics with natural dyes, decomposable characteristics, and ones that use less water to create.  Merchandisers can also use recycled fabrics to promote reducing, reuse, recycle.

This process of reducing, reuse, recycle was shown through the field trip to OSU sustainability office, recycling center, and upholstery shop. On this trip I discovered all the elements OSU uses to be eco-friendly and minimize their carbon foot print. I was inspired to do more, join programs, and spread the word to the Greek community.

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