May The Forest Be With You

Wicked problems are wicked because they are urgent, have large and vague definitions, seemingly no end point, multiple solutions, interconnected issues, and require reevaluation to successfully make positive change within the problem. If there were not people and organizations that had a passion for sustainability, I can only imagine the type of world we would live in. I imagine that we would hardly have any wildlife or nature, and everything would be dirty. I think that humans, like all living things, have a will to survive and because of this, we will continue to strive to make life better for everyone and everything. Maybe that’s me being optimistic, but I think that we can overcome lots of things, including wicked problems. Especially if we work together.  

Out of the wicked problems, deforestation is the one that affected me the most. There’s something so special and magical about nature and for me, especially forests. There’s nothing like being in the forest, on a mountain, in Colorado to make you feel more grounded and connected to the earth. Besides their beauty, forests provide a lot to the environment. They purify the water and air, provide a home for animals and insects, and prevent climate change. Deforestation causes an array of problems including increased greenhouse gases, climate change, desertification, and most dear me, biodiversity loss. The loss of nature and homes for animals hurts my heart but as a designer, I can have some impact in this. As a designer, I can choose to use products that were harvested sustainably. There are certain labels that I will learn about that are put on products that mean the material was harvested sustainably. I could choose to design a space with these products instead of other things that may have contribute to deforestation. Ilda from the sustainability office visit stated that they are repurposing furniture on campus. She also stated that some of the furniture is from the 1920s, which was built with better material and has better quality. As a designer I can choose better quality products for my clients with longevity in mind. Also, I could find innovative ways to repurpose pieces. Most importantly, maybe one day I will be successful and be a well-known name so I can use my status to be an activist for sustainability. One day, I hope to inspire people with my design and practices.  

The sustainably office visit was interesting because it was cool to see something that goes on behind the scenes. Some people may not even know that the recycling center exists on campus, yet they have a significant impact on recycling and sustainability in general. This thought prompted another thought. So many people think “I’m just one person I can’t make a difference in x, y, z.” But if everyone thought this way nothing would ever change or get accomplished. We can use the recycling center as an example, people may not think about what they are doing there but imagine how much more waste there would be if they weren’t being proactive on campus. Would people notice more trash around campus? Overflowing trashcans? Lack of cleanliness? My question to the class is more of a challenge. I challenge everyone to change one thing about their daily habits that pertains to sustainability. Maybe you start recycling your water bottles, buy a metal straw, or even just making it a point to turn off lights or appliances when leaving a room or your house. How are you going to contribute to the change?  

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