A Different Perspective

I’ve come to the realization that it’s easy to not care about things that don’t directly affect us, even if it could have a great impact on our future. This past week has been so eye-opening. I’ve never really been passionate about sustainability and caring for the environment, and neither has anyone that I’m close to. But now that I’m more educated on the subject, I want to do my part in caring for the environment and be more sustainable.

Sustainability has never been a big deal to me. I used to think that being sustainable just meant to reduce reuse and recycle, but I’ve come to realize that it’s so much more than that. It’s looking at the big picture of things; being mindful that everything we do and the products we use will have an impact on the environment. Sustainability means to find ways to meet our needs without causing harm to the environment that will inevitably lead to a harmful future. Being sustainable is putting the environment first, and keeping ourselves second. I’ve learned that it’s important to look at the full life cycle of products and to ask ourselves “What happens to this product when I’m done with it? Where will it go?”.

I had never heard of the term “wicked problem” before coming to this class. What separates a wicked problem form a tame problem is that a wicked problem is close to imposable to solve. Solutions to wicked problems are difficult to recognize because of the selfishness of man. Wicked problems are overlooked because our society depends on the outcome of the problems. And by that, I mean wicked problems exist because we rely on the products/ sevices they produce. Looking at where we are now, and where we are headed is honestly very scary.

I was at a festival this past weekend and noticed that there were recycling bins beside each trash can. I believe that having the option to recycle is definitely a step in the right direction, but I thought to myself “What if we took this to the next level? What if we didn’t have items to recycle in the first place?”. I believe there’s a way to get rid of plastic waste. There has to be, right? What if soda cans and bottles were changed to something biodegradable. Recycling exists only because mankind has created things that are unnatural to our planet. If we went to the root of every wicked problem and processed through it that way, I believe the world would be in a much different place.

What really terrified me was watching the 11th Hour documentery. The intro alone gave me chills. It amazes me just how uneducated we are about the harm we’re causing to our environment. The signs of a disastrous future are there, so are we just going to ignor them and live our lives as if they don’t exist? I believe the first step to saving our future is so simple. We need to be educated on what is happening to our world.

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