I use to believe that sustainability was the reduction of waste and eco-friendly products, but since starting this course sustainability also means the maintenance of our natural resources. Wicked problems are problems that are impossible to solve because of the incomplete knowledge, number of people involved, large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems.
Native Americans view on sustainability is the full use of the resource without wasting any of the product. Unlike the Native Americans, our society carelessly uses our resources. Similarly to the inhabitants of Easter Island. Easter Island is an island that includes over 900 monumental statues that the first inhabitants created around 13th-16th centuries. These statues were used sacred to these settlers, but their wasteful practices of their resources left the people with nothing. This is similar to our current situation because as a society we do not realize the hole we are digging ourselves in by the pollution and extreme use of resources until it will be too late. Paul Gilding’s TED Talk spoke about how the Earth if full of humans and all our things. Because our society lives beyond our means, five Earths would actually be needed to host our current population and our unsustainable economic growth.
A wicked problem I would like to explore is ocean pollution. I am extremely passionate about reducing daily waste by using reusable products instead. In Andrew Dent’s TED Talk, he spoke about the importance of thrifting. I love thrifting and its benefits. You are not only helping the reduction of textile waste but also not supporting “fast fashion” industry by buying trendy pieces. I believe thrifting is one step if helping you do YOUR part to reduce textile waste.
A paradigm shift I have done throughout my life is the use of disposable plastic straws. Until a year ago I used several straws daily with my meals. Now I always give the straws back and use my own reusable straw. Since doing this I have saved an estimated amount of 584 straws from going into a land fill.
While calculating my carbon footprint, I am not exactly how accurate it is because I do not know the exact usage of electricity and water I use yearly. My carbon footprint is 12% better than average but I believe my carbon footprint is probably higher than average for transportation since I drive to different towns probably more often than an average person.