Sustainability and Its Affects On My College Experience

Coming into this class I had no idea what a wicked problem was. I didn’t even think to look it up before the first day of class. On the first day when we learned what a wicked problem was, through discussing the term with our classmates, I realized that I had heard and learned about many wicked problems before. I have always known to recycle and try to conserve energy. I also knew that the fashion industry produced a lot of waste, I just wasn’t aware of how much it affects me and the environment. I was never surrounded by an environment that particularly really concerned with recycling, we would recycle but never discuss why we do it and the effects it has on the environment.

After the first day of class and watching the documentary, I became very aware of how much damage and harm we have put on environment. In some of my other classes we discuss how much waste the fashion industry produces. This got me thinking of everywhere I have purchased my clothes from and where I will purchase my clothes from now on. I didn’t realize how many items from brands that I owned and how much harm that probably caused the environment. Since watching that documentary I have been trying to be very cautious of what I do with my trash, and I have been trying to recycle. Also, I have noticed a lot of signs around campus that tell us where the recycling dumpsters are and what and how to recycle. Especially in the Nancy Randolph building in the Planet Orange Café there are many signs to tell you where to recycle and what to recycle, along with trash cans and places to recycle. Seeing all the constant reminders has helped me be more cautious about recycling. This has implemented good new habits for me to start. Learning about how much waste is produced through the fashion industry by reading articles and through the lectures by some of my teachers during class. I didn’t realize exactly how much waste was being produced each year. It made me start thinking about the items I own, where they came from, and even how much waste was produced from that item and brand. I’ve noticed myself thinking about all the damage I have probably caused the environment. Doing these research projects, doing thru assignments, and taking the classes has helped me realize a lot of the wicked problems in the world and has taught me some ways that I can help contribute to reducing waste. Holding myself accountable has also impacted my life recently too. Making sure that I am recycling and disposing of things properly has changed what I do in a day since I have moved to college. I have started to be more aware of what is happening and how what I do affects the environment. I joined the sustainability club in my sorority at the beginning of the semester. We have been trying to cut down on the waste throughout the Theta house. We have committees that oversee different things. For example, we have a recycling committee that oversees taking out the multiple recycling bins we have in the house. We have a light committee that oversees turning off all the lights at night in the bathrooms and hallways. We also have a towel committee which oversees washing the hand towels in the bathrooms and replacing the paper towels in the bathroom with the cloth towels. Having these committees and the Theta goes green club we are trying to make Theta more sustainable because we have noticed how much waste has been produced just inside the house. Seeing how many girls want to participate in making Theta mor sustainable encourages me even more to want to work hard and recognize how much waste is being produced and what I can do to help eliminate the amount of waste we have produced. With Theta putting in the effort to cut down on waste and make Theta more sustainable, maybe other houses will see this and start making their houses more sustainable too. This would really help the Oklahoma State campus cut down on a lot of the waste that the campus produces. Walking around campus I have noticed all the posters and people talking about the importance of making Oklahoma State more sustainable. Having the constant reminders has helped me with remerging to recycle and remembering to conserve energy and just to take care of our environment. I have learned that if we don’t act now on taking care of our environment things could end up badly. Our environment will not be ideal for us to live in, and we will be struggling to maintain the environment. Working towards making my environment is important because I don’t want our future to be about fighting for the wellbeing of our environment, even though we most likely will be. Making the problem known to everyone needs to be a top priority. If everyone was required to take a class about sustainability and what reducing waste does to benefit our environment, I think everyone will be more willing to figure out ways to help our environment more effectively and efficiently. For example, before taking this class I was aware of the problems I just wasn’t aware of how much damage we do to our environment daily. So, if everyone were to take a class over sustainability and wicked problems, a lot more people would be more concerned about the environment and willing to do anything to help make the environment better.

Learning about all the effects that we have on the environment has affected the way that I reacting to situations and has also affected daily tasks that I do. I have felt recently that I want to do more for the environment and start taking better care of the environment around me and make it a better living space. Knowing that what I do affects the environment makes me want to take better care of the environment that I live in.

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