Our Waste is Waiting on Us

Once again I’m going to start by talking about the TED Talk we watched in class, which happens to be my favorite part of every class. This talk was by Leyla Acroglu about complex systems and the innovative ways of solving problems we face. She mentioned life cycle analysis and how it leads into biodegradability. Leyla’s point was that when something natural ends up in a natural environment it degrades normally, but in a landfill it degrades differently because its anaerobic. She used this great example of lettuce in a fridge, and talked about the vegetable drawer that affects how long it takes the lettuce to wilt. Her overall reason for her talk was that food waste is such a big problem in the world. Up to half of the world’s food is wasted, and she thinks is that is due to refrigerators.

The article we read and took notes on this week was about whether or not the market economy is better than the government at transitioning to sustainability. I had the “Yes” reading, and I have to say, I agree. Paul Krugman gave a lot of evidence that supported his stance, and even in my own experience and what I have noticed, I think he is right. I am tempted to read the “No” article to see their evidence and what they say on the topic.

Another thing we looked at in class was the Wicked Problems Website. The website is for the book that has a goal of changing design and social entrepreneurship education. The book is for students, professors, and practitioners alike. The website also talked about the Austin Center for Design (ac4d) in Austin Texas. They offer a one-year program focused on creative problem solving in relation to human behavior. I’m really interested both in reading that book, and, potentially, even taking the one year course after graduation. The information could only help me in the long run and add a marketability to factor when applying for future jobs.

The goal of social entrepreneurship isn’t to earn a profit, but instead to improve society and make a difference. TOMS is one of the most well-known examples of companies exercising social entrepreneurship. For every pair of shoes bought, a pair of shoes goes to a child in need. 

One thing that might’ve helped TOMS get there is Transformational Sustainability Research, or TSR. TSR is essentially defining the system where the problem is, classifying direct and indirect drivers of the problem, conducting casual analysis, assessing the impact extent and trends of the relevant drivers, pinpointing factors that influence human activities, and Identifying indicators.

A small problem that I’m really interested in trying to get involved with, is promoting reusable straws and water bottles. I have been thinking about using social media to encourage people to go green and even talking to Planet Orange in Human Sciences to look at more sustainable options.

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