Blog Post #1: Sustainability and How it Shapes Our World

Sustainability is a hot topic in our world today, but I feel like many people do not understand what it actually means. I feel like people only associate it with our environment, and even though that is true it is much more than that. Initially sustainability to me was creating something which last overtime. After last week’s classes my definition for sustainability has grown. I learned that sustainability is not only intergenerational but responsible too; it is the act of making responsible decisions in order for things to continue throughout generations. Sustainability also has three different aspects to it: the environmental, economical and equity, in which they all play a certain role. Sustainability has recently been pushing people to take better care of the environment, but we still cannot ignore the wicked problems. Wicked problems are problems that have no real solutions and cannot be solved scientifically. They differ from tame problems which are problems  that can be solved with an algorithm. There are six different characteristics for a wicked problem, they include: vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches and urgent. In a Ted Talk by Andrew Dent, he covered a wicked problem, waste, and his solution for solving it. Dent explained how one of the best ways to eliminate waste is to thrift. He gave an example on how his grandma would reuse yarn from everything and would keep it in a jar. I thought this was a brilliant idea because it is such an easy action, that everyone can do. In another Ted Talk by Paul Gilding he talks about how the Earth has become full and because of it our future is uncertain. This uncertainty created fear but we can not let this fear paralyze us, we must let it motivate us. I think this why our environment is getting worse and worse and nothing is changing is because we are scared to change it. If we are afraid of change and do not change our ways then we will end up like the people of the Easter Islands. The people who lived in Easter Island constantly used their resources and never thought about the future consequences of their actions. They turned their unlimited resources into limited resources, and we are headed down the same path. We use and throw away items carelessly and because of our actions we are running out resources we never thought were possible to run out of. I believe we need to take a lesson from past generations when it comes to sustainability. A group of people who lived very sustainable lives and we could learn a lot from are the Native Americans. The Native Americans used only natural products and used every bit of the items they collected are the animals they killed. The Native Americans were also thinking with the future in mind in terms of the environment. One example of this is whenever they picked flowers, for their dyes, they picked every seventh flower so they weren’t taking from the same place. By doing this flowers were able to grow in, while the other flowers remained. I think another way we can help save our environment is by changing our paradigms and rewriting our self-narratives. I believe many people in this world have the perspective of either no one is going to do or everyone is doing it, so their actions do not matter. People need to rewrite their self-narratives to them making a difference and through this maybe we can make a difference in our environment. I will be honest my self-narrative used to be everyone else is doing it, so why should I and because of that I wanted to see what my carbon footprint would be. After taking the test my results were that my household produced 63 tons of carbon a year. That number honestly shocked me and I decided that by making little changes in my daily life, I could drastically change my results.
There are two different wicked problems in the fashion industry I would like to explore they are, the use of harmful dyes and sweatshops. I would love to do more research over both these topics because I think they are both very prevalent in the apparel industry. I would like to explore dyes because I believe the use of natural dyes could solve a lot of problems and would be very attainable.

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