To me, sustainability is using resources in smart ways that will not deplete them. In this class I learned it is about thinking of future generations. Most of the problems concerning sustainability can be determined as a wicked problem. A wicked problem is a unique and urgent problem that does not have a specific solution and is difficult or impossible to solve. Resolutions of wicked problems often generate further issues, but it the best that can be done at the time.
The main wicked problem that I want to explore is textile waste. The fashion industry is one of the leading contributors to waste in the world. The waste ends up in landfills and oceans, which hurts living organisms and the environment. This topic interests me the most, because my major is fashion merchandising and I do not want to continue to increase the waste.
During a TED, Talk Andrew Dent spoke about reducing our waste and creating something new out of our waste instead of throwing it away. I also agree about reducing our waste, which is why textile waste interests me. Paul Gilding’s TED Talk really interests me, because right from the start he said “the Earth is full.” He spoke about how it is full of our stuff, our wastes, and our demands. This reminded me of Easter Island and made me wonder if we could end up with the same outcome.
When it comes to sustainability, many people have the mentality that they do not need to be sustainable, because their single action will not make a difference; However, that is false. If people focus their self-narrative on the future then there could be a paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts require reimagining the world around you, self- narrative shifts prompt that change.
Native Americans best understand and practice sustainability. They reused items and give their items value, instead of throwing them away. Native Americans value the land they live on and do not want to damage it. However, the people living on Easter Island were the opposite. They did nothing to plan for the future of the island and they used up resources faster than they could replenish; The current situation we are living in is not much different. We are using up resources and not caring about the damage left behind or the future. It is possible the place we live on now could potentially become inhabitable like Easter Island.
I took the carbon footprint quiz (not sure if I did it right though) and my score was 43, which is 32% better than average. I am not sure how accurate my score was, because some of the questions I did not know the answers to, only my parents would. However, I do know that there is a number of improvements I could make to become more sustainable. I could stop using plastic items, recycle more, and many other things could help me become more sustainable.