Simple Sustainability

Is sustainability really as difficult as it sounds?

Wicked Problems. What this class is all about. When I first heard that word, I could not wrap my head around what those two simple words meant. When I would say it, for some reason it would remind me of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. I can not explain why that visual always popped into my head, but it did. However, it could be a good reflection of what a wicked problem really is. It might not be as easy as pouring water onto it and it dissolving away, but it is as simple as realizing it takes a lot more than just figuring out a solution to the problem. Wicked problems surround of society and our world and everyday they go uncared for because so many people live their lives without the slightest thought that these problems are surrounding our communities. As I continue to grow and reflect the wheels inside my head began to turn as I begin to think of other wicked problems in the design world specifically. Along with furniture waste, the reduction of trees also plays a big part in that. We are losing trees left and right to urbanization, but we neglect to think of all the other ways trees are cut down, wood is wasted, and our environment loses oxygen. What makes this wicked is because it is not a simple answer with an easy fix. People use furniture in their day to day lives for all kinds of occasions, and wood furniture is a very common. Characteristics like this make it wicked, and a lot more difficult if even possible to generate ideas for a solution. 

Fortunately, taking a trip to the sustainability office gave me a little bit of insight of how the process worked in the real world, instead of just in a classroom generating ideas. It really broadened my view of sustainability and easy it is to make those simple changes like turning the lights off when you leave a room, or turn things off when you leave for long periods of time. I also learned that almost seventy percent of Oklahoma State’s power comes from a wind farm. Seeing the efforts my campus is making has encouraged me and challenged me to want to take more sustainable steps. It makes me wonder what would happen if people would not take small steps like that. If no one cared enough to do anything about our environment, where would our world be right now? The small sustainable steps we take will continue to save our world. I have gained so much more knowledge on how sustainability works and have loved being able to grow in my journey during this process. 

With the class being more than halfway over, my journey has continued to develop. I have realized that in this process I have to take steps to move forward in being sustainable. Coming up with a wicked problem does not mean anything, if you do not take steps to make the problem less wicked. That is something very important that I have learned this semester. I have learned that the small steps could potentially make the biggest impact and that is something that I can take with me for the rest of my life. 

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