We have all heard about at least one wicked problem we are doing to our environment. Many of us have not realized that it is a wicked problem because we do not understand what a wicked problem is or what makes a problem wicked. A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve. When I first joined this class I did not know much about the wicked problems of industrial practices. I did not think that taking this class would impact me, but I am constantly thinking about how I could live more sustainably everyday. I have learned that wicked problems play a role in our community, our everyday lives, and global levels. In this class I have learned that we are depleting our earth of its natural resources. Our planet is declining at a fast pace and it increases each day which is dangerous for our planet’s future.
There are many problems that plague our environment. Wicked problems could only be solved if everyone comes together and starts somewhere. Wicked problems can not be solved by a single person, it is impossible that way. We should all be concerned about our environment. We should care about what we put into our atmosphere and what it could affect in its path. We as people are unaware of the effects of the things we put into our atmosphere. Mostly we are unaware because we don’t care enough to stay informed on what it is affecting our environment . We should inform others on the effect that they have on our planet.
One thing we can do to help our environment is to live a little more sustainably. By trying to live more sustainable you can reduce your carbon footprint. There are some easy steps to save energy that we can do everyday. You can turn off lights in rooms you are not in and you can also start unplugging appliances that you are not using. You can turn the heat down on your drier or you can start air drying your clothes instead of using energy to dry your clothes. Another thing we can do to live more sustainable is to go plastic free. Plastic sadly never goes away and end up polluting our oceans. Every year there are thousands of sea turtles, seals, birds and many other marine life ingesting and getting tangled up in the plastic. We can all start ditching the single use water bottles, bags and straws. When you go to the store to shop for groceries you can start shopping for the product that is not wrapped in plastic and you can bring your own bags instead of using the plastic bags at the store ( most of us waste those bags instead of reuse them). Not many of us think about how much plastic is being wasted ordering online. The packaging that most of our products are being shipped in is wasteful.
Buying organic food can help you live more sustainably. It helps keep harmful pesticides out of our land and water. Meat production has been one of the most environmentally destructive industries. It is responsible for massive amounts of water use, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction.The industry contributes to food insecurity, poor public health, environmental justice, and inequality and the inhumane treatment of the animals. You could help reduce this by reducing your meat consumption, which most of us probably wont do. One thing we should figure out is how to promote equal access to healthy and sustainable food. The Meat industry produces 500 million tons of manure annually. They also pollute more than 40% of rivers and impair habitats ,wetlands, and lakes.
Another thing we can do is paying attention when we buy big purchases. We need to make sure they don’t have a bad impact on the environment. When you are in the market to buy a car you should look for a fuel efficient model to save money on gas and to reduce the carbon footprint left by the car. When you are looking to buy a new refrigerator, washer, dry, or dishwasher look to see if it has an Energy star label. The Energy Star label shows that it is an energy efficient appliance. We can change our driving habits and it will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Not only does walking help reduce your carbon footprint it can help you keep in shape.
In this course we learned about mindfulness and reflection. What is mindfulness? It is a self regulation of attention that is focused on the present moment. I think that if we all practiced meditation at least once per week we could open up more and be more mindful towards the problems we face everyday. Being mindful of our surroundings and our own actions can be something that impacts sustainability. Meditation will allow us to take the time to appreciate our environment. With meditation you can build skills to manage your stress, focus on the present, increase imagination and creativity. It can also increase patience and tolerance.
Something new I have learned was the cap and trade process and I have also learned about pollution tax. The cap and trade is a protocol made by the government. The government actually puts a cap on the amount of carbon and pollution companies are allowed to emit into the air. Pollution tax is a tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels, measured in dollars per ton of carbon caintied in the fuel or per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. I learned that normally cap and trade programs are more effective than pollution taxes. If a company is big enough they could just pay the tax and carry on with producing carbon and pollution into the atmosphere, defeating the purpose of having taxes. A tax forces individuals to consider the full set of consequences from the emissions. More people like the big companies could just look at the taxes as if they could just pay it and be okay. There should be more rules and regulations when it comes to the way that they tax the carbon and pollution that is being emitted into the atmosphere or else things won’t change.
I want to leave this course with a better understanding of the wicked problems we are facing. I’m leaving with a better understanding on how to live a more sustainable life. A major step we should focus on is educating the rest of the world on the problems that are damaging our environment. People should be informed on why our planet is deteriorating. I think that this class has given me enough knowledge to hopefully educate others on the wicked problems in our industry. Everyone should leave this class with a new perspective on how to save our planet. Everyone should start to contribute in their own way to help our environment. We as a society should stop brushing off global warming, climate change, and our environment deteriorating. We need to start trying to influence a better way to co-exist with our environment without taking too much from it because we need it to live and we should want it to thrive for our future.