Wasting Our Time by Wasting Our Resources

Do we still have time? Can we change enough to make a lasting impact on planet Earth? Is it too late to make a major change in our human behavior? A number of scientists have growing concerns about how long our planet really has before the effects of climate change begin taking even more drastic measures. It comes to no surprise that our world today is facing problems with how we use our resources. From trees to fossil fuels, the world’s limited resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. The rapidly growing population certainly does not help. Eventually, the earth will not be able to keep up with these high demands and give itself time to heal all at once.
The 11th Hour documentary was very moving and a bit of an eye opener. The video explained a number of other wicked problems contributing to the effects of climate change, counting other wicked problems. There is no real definition of a wicked problem, but it does come with plenty of characteristics. Examples of wicked problems include, poverty, obesity, homelessness, world hunger, and sustainability. These are all issues that are seemingly impossible to solve because of their complex and interconnected nature. The big deal with wicked problems is that they do not stop. When one thing is messed up, it causes a big ripple effect and contributes to dozens of more problems. Oftentimes, there is no definite solution. Wicked problems come in many different forms and can have many different solutions. This makes these issues extremely hard to solve because what looks like a good solution might be another wicked problem in the making.
Reading Rittel and Webber’s “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning” helped me to understand where a lot of these problems started. It explained how some wicked problems have been created due to the high demand in solving smaller issues in society. Out of arrogance, America has created an idea of ‘efficiency’ which only focuses on minor problems without thinking of the long lasting negative outcome. Continuing to ask hard questions about what we should be focusing on today, will lead us to a better tomorrow. It is important to carefully and mindfully address these problems and seek solutions.
My jaw dropped when I discovered my carbon footprint. I almost had a ‘no way. is this real?’ moment. I will definitely be doing some work on myself for the betterment of the planet. In the field of interior design, we face struggles with constantly changing styles and designs. Especially with HGTV on the rise, people want what is popular. Have you ever been to an older house with carpet on the bathroom floor? How about a room with carpet for walls? Chances are that you have not. The crazy thing is that this was a big trend in the 1960s and 70s. Later, people realized that carpet in the bathroom gets really gross after a while, and they replaced the floor again with tile. Imagine how much carpet and tile was wasted in this process. My goal as an interior designer is to create safe and ergonomic spaces while finding ways to resource existing materials. Even though we do not know for sure how long we have left until our damage becomes irreversible- and maybe it already has!- we should still do what we can now to make sure future generations will not suffer.

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