Understanding the Personal Aspect of Sustainability

Understanding a wicked problem can come from many sources. Before attempting to analyze this problem, we must first understand what originally makes a problem wicked. A problem can be considered wicked when it is causing negative repercussions and does not have a clear set solution. It may be a difficult or even impossible problem to solve. In this course I have learned how to identify and evaluate wicked problems in society and the environment in order to come up with, not specific solutions, but things that may partially aid the problem as I understand it further. In order to be sustainable in the world of design you must take a humble approach to materials and resources. As an interior design major, it is critical that for those working in a field that uses certain unsustainable materials and manufacturing methods, that we must take action to help turn to more sustainable resources. Through this course I have learned how to use my own mind and body to connect it to my surroundings and the impact I can make.

The idea of sustainability primarily revolves around the earth’s biosphere and how it co-exists with the human civilization. In order to achieve sustainability, you must focus your environmental footprint. Every little action that occurs, has a connection to the effect it leaves on the environment. Through mindfulness, you are able to connect your mind, body, and soul to become humble, and sustainable. Through my mind I am able to use my cognitive resources to determine the most logically sustainable courses. Through my body I am able to look at my surroundings to see that active dis justices to the environment are happening all around me. Finally, I will use my soul to dictate my emotional attachment to the environment which can change how I view what happens to the earth. 

In the first week of class I was able to see the topic of global warming through the 11th Hour movie. This movie had multiple qualified specialists who helped to identify and explain the issues going on today in society. It explains the specific actions done by the communities that come together and cause the destruction to nature that we are witnessing today. The speed by which this is happening is also occurring at a fast rate. Global warming is a wicked problem in that it cannot be easily solved and there are detrimental consequences from this issue. Without having seen the specific causes of these problems, I would not recognize my own unfortunate part in the outcomes. 

Throughout the topics of our environmental footprint and our mindfulness, it has a huge impact on the difference. By becoming more mindful of my mind and body I am able to make connections between the two and determine exactly how I can personally relate to it. In class we practiced meditation to be able to be more aware of this. Although completing the twenty minute meditation had its difficulties, I was still able to push through and find my mind and body in its surroundings for the majority of the time. I am able to see myself in the moment for what it is which gives me a deeper connection to my actions. I am now able to see the impact of my actions and how this applies to design and how everyone contributes to the issues going on in the world, just some more than others. 

I plan to use the skills of being humble and compassionate in order to track my actions. We need to be humble in the way that we must not construct things in a way to last forever, but in a way that it will last its designated lifetime. As technology improves and continues to find innovations, we must realize that products will abide by this trend. When discussing the topic of compassion we must use our emotions to understand how our actions will impact others and the future of society. My compassion for example is strongly influenced by the mention of how animals are impacted by wicked problems such as global warming. We must also use our emotions to evaluate how we have an impact on the future. We influence society and we must pay attention to how we are limiting what is possible in the future. 

I have been able to use my mindfulness in order to help myself. It gives me the ability to remain calm and be able to concentrate my focus toward what is going on in the current environment around me. It allows me to leave behind the stresses that overwhelm my mind. I am able to be in the current moment around me instead of dreading the future or past. When staying calm I have learned that this has a big impact on my quick responses to occurrences. Staying calm keeps my mind clear of thoughts that influence me to make unsustainable choices. It also helps outside of industrial practices. For instance, I am able to control my reactions to quick judgments and choices that fall throughout my everyday life. I have become more mindful of my impulsivities. By being aware of the consequences and every aspect of my decision, I make contact with less stressful situations and am given more opportunities to relax. 

In my previous weeks in the course I have been able to see the sustainable impact that is influenced by everyone on the planet. I have been shown how to act humble and compassionate in order to live in the most economically friendly way. Being humble and compassionate opened my eyes to the things that I had never given myself a chance to recognize. Most importantly, I have discovered how my chosen field has an impact on the planet and how I can personally use it to help the environment. People that work closely with materials can see how they are produced, used, and disposed of which tells all the details of its environmental influence. I have been given the chance to use my physical and emotional aspects to see the different ways that are needed to be understandable and understanding.

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