Sustainability Through my Eyes

Sustainaiblity, have you ever just sat around and think of the true definition of this word? I was asked this week to give my definition of sustainability and I answered that Sustainability is how we respect and use are resource to keep them around longer. After hearing everyone definition, we all sounded like we had the right idea of what sustainability is. My definition of sustainability now is to meet our needs without hurting the needs of people in our future generations. There is a triangle that goes along with sustainability which has categories that relate to involvement with Earth. The sides of the triangles are environment, society, and economic systems. Then when he made us think about what wicked problem is, I was thought it was an evil problem that is always around that hurts the initial solution. But a wicked problem is a problem that has a difficult/ impossible solution. A wicked problem is different than a tame problem because a tame one has a solution and a wicked one, we can’t find a solution.

In Andrew Dent’s TED talk he discussed the ultimate thrift of the world and our resources. He talks about how his grandmother would always reuse fabric thread. In his talk he mostly discusses how we waste a lot of material that we only use once in our lifetime. Listening to his talk open my eyes on how I can reuse material and items that I only use once. It also opened my eyes on how much gets wasted in architectural buildings and furniture. It makes me want to further my career and help innovate sustainability in interior design.

The six characteristics truly do make a problem wicked because it makes it difficult to find a real solution to a problem. The first characteristic is vague problem definitions which is the stakeholders live different lives form each other and not everyone will agree on a solution. The second characteristic is variable solution which is the difficulty of finding one definite solution to a problem for people everywhere. People have different thoughts about the solution being right or wrong. The third characteristic is solution have no end points which is that we never get to actually see a solution to a problem and when we start to see one something happens and it doesn’t work out. The fourth characteristic is solutions pose irreversible effects which means if we try a solution it could create a bigger problem then before. The fifth characteristic is solutions require unique approaches which mean that some solution wont work in other places so we have to come up with distinct solution to solve those problems. The final characteristic is urgent which means that the problem is harmful and we need to work quick to find a solution that can solve the problem.

Easter Island made me think about how the world evolves because the events that happen seem like they will happen in the future if we don’t control how we use our resources. In a class last semester, I read about Easter Island but it never made me realize that it could happen here. Seeing how much resource we use every day it looks like we will run out of them. When we watched the native American perspective, it made me think maybe if we picked up some of their habits with reusing material, we won’t end up how Easter Island ended up.

My carbon footprint result was 52 tons of CO2/year and 28% better than average. That result was shocking to me because I never realized how much carbon I used per year. It made me ask myself why I use that much and how I could reduce that number. I thought of maybe use more public transportation, not go on so many plane trips/ road trips. Another solution I could do is make sure to unplug things when I leave my house and to make sure I turn off the T.V. ang the lights.

The wicked problem I want to explore is the reuse of furniture and architectural waste. I research how I could be sustainable in my career of Interior Design. It would help the environment if we could solve the wicked problem of the reuse of interior design.

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