Can Design Change Lives?

As a whole the systems that have been designed into our daily lives as a society do not take into account the overuse of non-renewable energy sources. In Leyla’s ted talk she discussed about how the design of products can help with people who are unwilling to change to a more sustainable life. As a consumer myself I know that I buy products that make daily tasks easier, I want to do the less work for the best outcome. When most of the citizens living in developed countries have the same thought process as me it adds to more pollution and unsustainable practices. When Leyla spoke about the instant tea kettle and how people who want to make one cup of tea put in 3 – 4 cups of water and most people do not use the left-over water I thought that was crazy. They waste the water and the energy the kettle used to make the water hot and think nothing of it because the design makes it so easy. She said that the design of the instant kettle is what makes people waste energy and water so carelessly, like my consumer behavior I want to do the least amount of work so just turning on a button is great but a design that would be better is if the consumer had to actively push a button and continue pushing it until the water got hot. This would be a better option because people would be less inclined to boil more water and use more energy when they have to do it themselves.

In the post disposable future single use plastics would hopefully be removed. Recycling is not a solution that can tame the problem of pollution enough. There needs to be less plastics in use and more reusable items in circulation. As a wicked problem definition states there is no right solution and the solution that is needed is one that tames the problem. Pollution seemingly will not end but it can be tamed!

RILA is a great way for retail pollution to be tamed. Sustainability is a huge topic now and many retail companies are looking to making their business sustainable. This is really an example of corporate social responsibility; companies need to keep up with their consumer and youth today care about the planet and about buying from honest ethical companies. As a merchandise major, I am glad that there is a model out there for me to follow when I start my career in the industry and help make change myself.

            As a way to make change I heavily agree with the cradle-to-cradle method. At the end of a products lifecycle there should be a way to scrap it and start all over again. The solution H&M are doing is having their customers return their used/old H&M clothes. Upscaling is a solution that could help tame the fashion pollution problem. Upscaling can reduce garments in landfills, but it can also help make quality clothing not quantity clothing become popular again. Creating something new and unique could reduce fast fashion because people get to create their own style and identify.  

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