Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore, Repeat!

This week’s reading widened my perspective on the contributing factors to our growing climate change and pollution rates. I was assigned to read to the NO section and my main takeaways were the fact that buildings account for more than 65 percent of energy consumption, 36 of energy use, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 30 percent of raw materials use, 30 percent of waste output, and 12 percent of potable water consumption. This was mind blowing, but at the same time this makes plenty of sense when you really break down the factors and how they all are contributing to our detrimental environmental problems. On the other hand, the wicked problems website was very interesting to look at and indefinitely opened my eyes more to additional sustainable practices that we all can be implementing into our everyday lives. However, the website also taught me more examples of wicked problems that I would not have considered to be a wicked problem before.

Boyan Slat is a wonderful example of a social entrepreneur who is making a huge difference and leap toward a better tomorrow. Boyan founded The Ocean Cleanup in 2013 after dropping out of university to dedicate to tackling one of our world’s biggest environmental problems. The company ensures to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources” (Mashable 2017). They do this by allowing waste, such as plastic, in the ocean to come their way using the ocean currents. This leads me to my own wicked problem and plans going forward. The wicked problem that I have concluded from being in this class deals with the restoring old, worn-out merchandise (whether it is furniture, apparel, decor, textiles, etc) and refurbishing the raw material to be used again in a recycled form and given new life. This will benefit the interior design and merchandise industry greatly, however one example is that this will give antique items another chance, rather than tossing out the old to be replaced with modern, newly-manufactured products. Our landfills our filling to capacity and being force-closed, forcing new landfills to be opened which affects habitat loss, deforestation, soil and water contamination, etc. However, by decreasing our habit of tossing out what is old as much as we all do and recycling, refurbishing, and restoring our furniture, decor, and apparel, we can limit our waste accumulation greatly.

For the future, I will be practicing this in my own everyday life by recycling as much as I can and giving new life to old things that I own instead of rushing out to buy newly manufactured products.

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