Problems in the Environment

When I was younger, I always thought to myself where all our trash ends up in and when I figured out that they end up in landfills, I was left still wondering. I always thought it was strange that society would just dump all their trash in one specific area and expect it to just sit there and I knew that it wasn’t just the end of it. As I grew older, I understood certain parts of this problem, but the Wicked Problems course has taught me more in depth than I already knew. When I first learned that I had to take this course, I was confused on what I would be learning about because I did not understand what the course meant or what I would be learning. Because of this course, I learned what Wicked Problems meant. The definition for Wicked Problems is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. Because of the entire world contributing to environmental damage by continuing living the way that they live or operate, such as using plastic waste, supporting fast fashion companies, trashing everything that they have, deforestation, erosion, etc., it has worsened our environment and is making climate change come faster.  

In this course we talked about ways to live more sustainably. When it comes to our current generation now, we think that what we do to our planet will not affect us in the future but that is not what will occur because it will affect our future families and we would still be alive during the time if it happened. With every little action that we do, we leave an effect on our ecological footprint and we cause even more damage to the environment. There will be fewer resources available to survive, horrible living conditions such as deforestation and drought everywhere, animals going extinct and oceans becoming lands of plastic waste and trash. Our world is run by huge corporations that run on money, and they use that money to create more money, or waste it on stuff that will worsen our planet, such as creating more warehouses or manufacturing buildings that constantly use up a lot of water and chemicals, along with fossil fuels and other harmful gasses and chemicals. It is scary to think about especially since we all may have contributed to waste because it has become our culture to buy products and dispose of them when we are done, because we all have been taught the same but without the knowledge of the repercussions that we would soon face. Something that I started to notice is that people are more willing to feed off on their own needs such as materialistic purchases and would rather do that than help fix what society has caused. For instance, we have all been so comfortable with the way that we are living that we completely disregard what happens in the background of where our clothing is from and how unsustainable most of the clothing stores are. Examples of that can be labor intensive, unsustainable resources, and are made from material that is not good for the environment.  

Is there a way to solve these problems that we are facing? It is possible to prevent everything from happening, but it would take a lot to convince people to change their ways and to stop using stuff that people are so used to using. Not to mention that every problem does have somewhat of a solution, but more solutions can lead to more problems because if you were able to solve a problem there may be consequences of those solutions as we learned in this class. It is also incredibly challenging to pinpoint what the actual problem was contributing to environmental damage, because there are so many factors that are affecting the environment. Problems have multifaceted and are seen in different perspectives whether it be from people’s sides, or companies that have continued to use harmful materials and unsustainable ones as well. Even if we were to solve the problem, it could not only be harmful in certain scenarios, but it could also cause irreversible effects. When I mention irreversible effects, I mean that climate change is difficult to delay or change in any way because society has changed the Earth in so many detrimental ways and it would be irreversible from that point. No one can stop climate change, and the best thing that we could do together is to slow it down and the entire world needs to take premature action to prevent that. However, if we were all to act it could benefit us all and the environment if we were able to incorporate more sustainable ways of living such as controlling the human population which may sound strange, but we are dealing with a huge overpopulation crisis, use more solar power, hydro, etc., and to stop wasting water, energy, and food for survival.  

What I plan to do in the future to help lessen the damage on the environment, is to continue to support businesses who have been focusing on using sustainable and ethical material to incorporate in their businesses, and I will lessen the use of plastics and items that are not biodegradable. Even though I changed my major from Fashion Merchandising to Graphic Design, it is still important to me to make sure that the fashion industry does not continue the way that they are going. Fashion would still be a huge part of me because I still love it, but I would love to see the industry grow more into the sustainable portion of it. I plan to also reduce waste whether it relates to my career field or not, I will make sure to not do damage to the environment because I know that there will still be people who would be continuing to be on the bad path of that. I hope to see change in the world and different views of thinking so that our environment heals from all the damage that it has incurred.  
Now that I have finished the course, it has taught me about what was going on in our world and what terrible things were occurring even now. It made me appreciate the earth even more than I already have and I would not wish harm to our environment even though it is a wicked problem. I have started to be more careful on what I throw away and reducing plastic bags in grocery stores so I could bring my own bag, as well as I have been investing in sustainable products such as metal straws, more reusable cups, filtered water, etc. This class helped me to understand what I could do differently to help prevent climate change and the environment from being harmed. It makes me eagerly want people to educate themselves on the situation that we are all currently facing and learn that we need to stop what we are doing now to save our planet.  

Overall, I am grateful that I was able to learn so much from this course and it really has changed my views on everything in a positive manner. I have not learned a lot from most of my other classes so this really interested me because it not only affects others, but it affected me and my future as well.  

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