Because I am a Fashion Merchandising major, I read the YES section for Reading 4. This reading discussed how environmental degradation is the loss in environmental quality. Environmental degradation is high in developing countries and is also both a cause and effect of poverty. Poverty poorly affects the environment so sustainable development is needed to help improve environmental degradation. I had never really thought about whether poverty was affected by environmental issues or not, so this reading helped me to see how the two tie together. Also, in class we watched Leyla Acaroglu’s TEDTalk. One thing that I found incredibly interesting from this TEDTalk is how humans have a variety of complex systems, so every small decision one makes affects those systems. It is important for humans to learn how to do less with more in order to protect our environment. One way to do this would be by redesigning various different items with more sustainable options or even by recycling old materials. Another way could be through a post disposable future. This seeks to make waste obsolete through various design techniques. I think this is an important topic that needs to be discussed more because I had no idea about this concept before taking this class.
Another thing I have learned is that sustainability has benefits on the business side as well. According to rila.org, sustainability in merchandising allows for reduced costs and increased supplier reliability. Sustainability can also reduce risks, such as child labor. I think it is important for more businesses to make efforts for more sustainability, especially with these various benefits. This is why I think eco-design is important. Eco-design focuses on environmental protection throughout the lifetime of a product. This helps to reduce harmful effects on the environment through manufacturing, using, and disposing of goods. Eco-design can also be used just by purchasing second-hand furniture instead of purchasing brand new furniture. This is something I frequently do in my own personal life and hope to see many others do as well.