At this point in the semester writing this blog I am a bit more overwhelmed than I was on my previous blog. This is a combination of my personal life stress, as well as all the assignments beginning due before spring break so that we are able to have an actual break in the semester. I find that this has a similar effect to the affordability factor that we talk a lot about in class. It is difficult to think about sustainability if you are not meeting your essential goals. I found that it’s been more difficult to let go during our meditations and in general I find it more difficult to not be overwhelmed thinking about the problems I have been facing. How this relates to wicked problems is making the conscious decision to budget my energy and sustain myself even if I know I don’t have the mental resources. Often the texts and papers we have been reading talk about how there exists a luxury of being sustainably conscious.and we aren’t always in the position to help others before helping ourselves. I feel like personally have been in this position lately and falling into a sort of vicious cycle of self sustainability. Seeing how these decisions overall affect the environment have inspired me to think about myself as an environment of my own. How making poor unsustainable personal choices really affects me and potential other people within my social environment. If I care for the people around me, I should care about how my deminere affects the people that care about me. I think that is a sustainable decision in the form of personal growth. I think this is what I have learned from my meditations in class and mixing it with the texts that we have analyzed.
As far as lessons that I am more literally taking from wicked problems that I have developed since my last blog post, I am starting to realize how much I have missed out on simple forms on environmental sustainability. I think that in my last blog I tried to think overarching or theoretical forms of sustainability. I still do as I mentioned in my previous paragraph, but I also realized I can do more things to help the environment that don’t call for a complete change in my lifestyle. For example, I have been making more of an effort to recycle. I feel like I always recycled at the beginning of moving into my current living situation and over time I just lost that consistency in recycling. After taking this course I have realized that I need to make easy sustainable choices if there isn’t an option for me to make big changes in my lifestyle. Every little bit counts and I personally feel like I owe it to myself and my community to make more environmentally friendly efforts. Another practice I have been doing is making sure that I only buy clothes that I will wear more than a few times. I used to buy clothes at a rapid pace and I often wouldn;t even wear most of these clothes. To the point when I donated them they would still have their brand new tags on them. I have made more of a conscious effort to correct this behavior by either buying clothes that I will get a lot of mileage out of or make sure that my clothes are sustainably sourced. By that I mean that I buy them from a thrift store or 2nd hand from a friend. This doesn’t seem like much but it makes me feel better about my contribution to the environment and also has helped me personally cut back on collected waste.
I think that moving forward from wicked problems to something else that I will continue to work on is trying to find the right kind of meditation style for me. In class we have looked at various different forms of meditation and tried a few different styles in the form of guided meditation. I do like the aspect of guided meditation but I always feel like just when I’m getting into the correct mindset of meditation the session is close to over or has ended. I realize that this is done for the sake of the class time and we can’t just spend an hour or more on mediation in a classroom setting. But moving forward I think that I’m going to try and look for meditations that last a bit longer so that I can fully immerse myself in the meditation. I also feel like the guided meditations that were the most successful ones were focused around trying to help me be more direct with the problems I’m facing in my life. I’m the type of person who often tries to avoid my problems or atleast act out of sight out of mind kind of mentality. This has never been a successful habit for me and often facing the problem is a better strategy. I think that If I meditated on problems I am facing I would find more success in my day to day life and maybe even become a person that always looks to squish the problem immediately. I have already looked into these types of meditation styles and I have begun my own personal journey in that direction. I think that if I hadn’t taken meditation seriously in class I wouldn’t be as willing to explore these options for myself.
In conclusion to this class, I’m very happy that I had the opportunity to learn more about the environment and sustainability.I think in the past I have thought about sustainability or environmental issues in a more contained way. This class brought the perspectives of other countries and cultures and how they are affected by economics and how that affects the overall environment. I think this class has helped me understand why the environment is worth saving and how I am expected to contribute to that overall.
I also learned a lot about vegan and vegetarian lifestyles and how they are inherently more environmentally friendly. I had this opportunity to learn about this standard from my group work, we researched specifically animal; testing and how animals are used in the textile and makeup industry as a standard in their respective fields. It was interesting to learn about how these plant based options are fighting for a better future through animal rights. It is just a weather example on how if your consumer demands a certain standard corporations must respond to their demands. We see this with plant based options being bigger than ever, I especially liked this topic of research because I have been plant based for about twelve years. I started as a vegetarian and made the switch to veganism in the p[ast three years. For me the reason for a planted based diet has always been about the animals. I know that some people use plant based options for health reasons which is totally a fine reason. But I personally have always felt guilty about consuming meat and animal products So this diet is more for my morals above everything else. LEarning that indirectly I am also helping the environment is a really cool thing to me.