My sustainability journey started the day I stepped into the Wicked Problems course. Problems in our society that are wicked problems are things we are unable to find a solution to or implicate these solutions onto an entire population. Some wicked problems we see you today are global warming, floods, changes in weather patterns, overpopulation, deforestation, air pollution, and deadly diseases. These problems are unable to be solved because some solutions lead to massive change and humans do not respond well to change, there is also cultural and material barriers, population barriers, political barriers, and the biggest barrier money. Before entering this course, I had no idea the impact humans have on the planet or how when we might benefit from our technical advances, we are hurting the environment. This generation must be the change if we want to continue to live with an abundant number of resources.
Humans because of our intellectual capability, we have started to destroy our planet. This is unfair to the nature and life that surrounds us. It is also unfair to those who want to change our future. It is time for humans to come together for the good of our planet and the things on it. The fashion industry and other manufacturing industries are one of the biggest wicked problems, which is why I believe this course is required for fashion majors. Manufactures care about one thing, money. Industrial factories although making our lives easier are very harmful. The movement of industrial practices is a crisis because of many reasons. Chemicals found in factory machines can be harmful to the environment, the amount of power the machines need to work is unstable, and the deforestation of our trees is killing the lungs of our planet. These factories fill waste lands. We are caught in a vicious cycle. Both consumers and producers. The cycle we are caught in is companies manufacture things for consumer needs or wants, there are more options or designs of this item produced, and there is more producing than demand, so we lead to wasting. These factories although producing many jobs can also be hurtful to their employees. For example we learned about Sweatshop factories in Wicked Problems. Sweatshops are a wicked problem and are an ongoing issue in the US, but mainly in third world countries that underpay, overwork, and keep these workers in horrid conditions. The reason these factories are called sweatshops is because they violate 2 or more labor laws. They are factories or workshops usually in the fashion industry that produce things at a faster and cheaper rate than a regular factory. They can do this because they pay their workers as low as 3 cents an hour, buy cheaper materials to create their items, and can have their manual workers work more than 17 hour days. Sweatshops are not only a problem because they are harmful to the environment, by releasing greenhouse gasses into the air and using other things that pollute the environment because they have no regulation, but sweatshops are also harmful towards their employers. Workers have been found to get sick, hurt, or even die because of the conditions they are working in. Sweatshops should be taken down and have regulations placed on them because they hurt the environment, people that work in the factories, and cause more harm than good. We are in denial of these problems all because of how selfish we are with our wealth. It is time to change the way we think and realize we are not the only species on the earth.
Humans need to learn to be more mindful. Mindfulness is import when talking about sustainability because being mindful of how many resources we have, the damage the item might cause, or how to produce this item without hurting the environment are all essential to making sure we are being kind to the things around us. Being mindful is realizing your actions do affect the things around you. Being mindful is also realizing that human needs are not more important than the environments needs, or other animal’s needs. If animals and plants were only occupying the earth, we would not have this problem, but we also we do not have all the life around us. Life is irreplaceable, once it is gone, it is gone forever. We must learn to sustain what we have and use only what we need as for the earth is made to take care of our needs but not our wants. Things that are contributing the end of time can range from factories, cars, planes, grills, and more. We must be more conscious when consuming.
Because most humans do not react well to change, we must take small steps towards a better and more sustainable environment. As a fashion merchandising major, I can take steps towards a better future by making sure I spread what I have learned and help others understand how damaging their actions can be. Instead of just talking about acting, we need to control the regulation of harmful greenhouse gasses. We should use our free-market economy to come up with the best solution and regulate these businesses. We need to be able to talk with other countries as well because Sweatshops are not only a problem in the US but a huge problem in other countries like China and new developing countries. We as consumers need to be more careful on where we buy our products and what is in them. We also need to get rid of the “fast fashion” trend we have going on. We buy our garments only to wear them once or twice and this is very wasteful for the environment. We must understand that if we do not take action against these sweatshops, we are killing our planet, and we might not know how long we have until it is too late. No one really knows when our last day will be or how much time we actually have. We can change the way our future is headed.
My feelings towards waste and being wasteful has changed dramatically since being in this class. I have learned so much about how our footsteps effect our future. I have also learned that these problems are not a quick and easy fix. I learned these are wicked for a reason. It is hard to find a solution for an entire population to take action to. I will use my voice and my actions to better my planet and to have others do the same. Together we will spread the news and come together to find a solution to these insane problems. I hope together we will fix the damage we have already placed on the planet and stop the implication of future damage. I hope others understand how urgent and problematic our actions have cost us. But a single person can start a chain reaction, and I believe one has already been started and we are on our way to a more sustainable future. This class was a very informative and important class for my major and my career. Realizing how much we impact the earth negatively shows us how much we can really do that’s positive for the environment.