Blog 3 : Environmentally Aware

Being environmentally aware is something I have always been really bad at; I have never really thought about the items I buy or use. Not only is being environmentally aware a personal problems, but also a societal one. After our reading about poverty and how it correlates to sustainability, I realized as Americans we are not as environmentally aware as other countries because we are not a poverty stricken country. Underdeveloped countries don’t really have the chance to live sustainable lives because developed countries use them as a dumping ground. The land in underdeveloped countries are filled with our waste, especially tech waste, and they are not able to grow crops or nutrients; this really affects the air in those countries too because oxygen is not placed back into the air. Developing countries to need to be more mindful about their waste because we are not only affecting our sustainability but others too. I also have become more environmentally aware through the research of my investigative report. My report is over harmful dyes and chemicals, and I have just found a lot of evidence that shows we could be more sustainable by using natural dyes from flowers or berries, but because it is less convenient we do not. I think this mindset of just taking the easy way out has been a crippling one to our generation and we need to form a new mindset. In a speech by Leyla she talks about how the generation before has hindered sustainability and in order to save our planet we need to create a new plan and take risks. I fully enjoyed her talk because she voiced some ideas that were very blunt but needed to be said. I think one way we could create sustainable change in the next generation is through merchandising. This change could happen many different ways; one example is a as a buyer for a brand you could buy only from companies that use sustainable processes and use recycled materials. We could also create more sustainable visual merchandising by reusing products for window displays and incorporating nature into those displays.
On Thursday when we attended the recycling facilities I fully enjoyed it and learned a lot. I never thought about all the products on campus and how they were made; also I never thought about where all our waste ended up, I really enjoyed this tour because it opened my eyes and has made me more aware of my actions.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blog 3

The problem I want to explore is the waste of clothing products.  I am learning that clothing products are a big problem we face today.  We tend to just throw away clothes instead of recycling them or using them in a meaningful way.  This loss of clothing products is not only having a negative effect on us, but also our environment.  In order to live a sustainable lifestyle, we need to do what is best for our environment such as recycling these products or even donating them.  Just as we read in the previous week poverty is a big problem we face today.  We could help these who are dealing with poverty by giving to them the day to day things they can not explore.  Poverty is a problem that can occur and immediately change your life.  Some takeaways I got from the reading are that this classification can put you in a situation in your life that is not easy.  After this reading it definitely made me thankful for the things I have.  When you are in the level of poverty you can not even afford the basic necessities of an everyday life such as housing, clothes, and food.  If you think about it, how do you even survive in that situation?  I think we as a society needs to take this into consideration and be mindful of the things around us and the circumstances people are in.  If we live a more sustainable lifestyle, we can stop the increasing number of people who are classified in the poverty level.

            The Ted talk by Leyla discussed humans doing the right thing whenever it comes to the environment.  That involves them being mindful of the things around them and caring for them as they are their own.  Being sustainable is one thing, but are we sometimes being too sustainable?  Just as Leyla said we want to go from using plastic bags to paper bags to help our environment.  But if we just have basic recycling systems then it isn’t necessarily helping our environment.  We could help our environment by doing bigger things.  One thing that we could do to help our environment is reuse all products that are broken, but can still be fixed, just like the furniture we learned about at the sustainability office. 

            Merchandising and sustainability is one of the main takeaways that I have gotten from this Wicked Problem class.  That is because I came into this class with the fashion merchandising major.  I have previously been learning about more of the closing as a creation this semester than clothing after it has been worn and doesn’t have a set end place.  That is why the use of clothing waste is a wicked problem because there is not technically a correct place to take these items.  Now that I have taken this class, I have learned to think about the clothing process as a whole.  This has made me come up with set solutions on these products for myself and hopefully make a difference in my family and friends’ life when it comes to the end stage of the unwanted apparel.  Not only did I learn about the sustainability of merchandising, but I also learned about the sustainability on the Oklahoma State University campus as well.  The OSU sustainability office was a very informational field trip.  It was very eye opening to see all the waste that comes out of OSU.  I learned about all the stages of things such as recycled cans and bottles, paper, and cardboard.  The thing that really opened my eyes is the fact that we constantly reuse furniture.  I was informed that we have furniture on campus that is from the 1800’s.  This sustainable way of living is great for our campus.  It not only saves us money, but also helps us live a better lifestyle.  I think all students who attend Oklahoma State University should have to go on a field trip such as this one to learn more about the things you don’t necessarily see on campus.  Maybe this will make students more mindful about the waste they throw away while on campus. p

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog #3

Breanna Kanwisher

I am researching the problem of textile waste, meaning when someone wants to throw out a shirt and they throw it in the garbage and it ends up in a landfill, then sits in a landfill for a very long time because it  take a long time for clothing to break down. I am finding out how long is takes certain fabrics to biodegrade once put into the landfill.

The probery reading I thought was very interesting because it focused on how the poor are given these jobs that are hurting the environment and people are trying to point fingers and say that them working these jobs makes it their fault.  I do not agree, the people that are taking these jobs are just trying to make some money and will most likely do whatever it takes to make the money. If any fingers should be pointed it should be at the people that are supplying them with these jobs.  In order to stop hurting the environment people need to stop giving these jobs out to people.

Leyla talked about in the TED talk about making smart decision, thinking about everything that people use on a daily basis and not trying to cut down on them but instead making smarter choices about what is used.  She gave an example about the grocery store about paper versus plastic. Most people go with paper because it brown and they think that it is somehow better for the environment, it is biodegradable, and can be recycled.  She said that people need to make decisions like this everyday and just make decision that are more environmentally healthy.

Sustainability is  really important in order for later generations to live on the Earth.  In the future if humans today do not figure out a new source of energy then the later generations might not be able to have everything they need.  The Earth could also get too hot because of the greenhouse effect and all of the gasses in the atmosphere that are slowly heating the earth.

The OSU sustainability office taught me a lot.  I had no idea a lot of these things went on here at OSU.  The thing I found most interesting was the upholstery shop.  Some of the furniture in there was so old but yet they would just fix it and make it brand new, instead of buying a whole new sofa.  The recycling office was interesting too, that they can take paper and cardboard and compress it and then sell it to someone and can make money off that.  I also found out that the student union is made out of recycled products. I had no idea that they could make tables and things out of recycled products.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Blog 3

Throughout this class I have learned and become interested in exploring textile waste and fashion fashion, which has also helped me with my investigation report. As much as 85% of all textile waste goes directly into landfills contrasting the left over 15% is donated or recycled. In retrospect, this problem needs solving because the high percentage of 85% is roughly 21 billion pounds. There has not been a decline in textile waste but a drastic growing rate of 40%. The issue is more people need to learn to change our current conditions on earth.

After reading the poverty reading in class, the reading explains that most landfills are in places where there are high amounts of poverty amongst the people living there. People that are living in poverty do not worry so much about living sustainable, in contrast, they focus on how to provide for themselves and their families. The practices that they may use are not benefiting the environment. The chemicals that emit from waste in landfills causes medical issues to these people leading to a shorter life span and birth defects. There are so many things we could build or create in order to help our environment, and there are so many unemployed, poor people who would be more than willing to take jobs at these places. 

The Ted Talk was very interesting for me learning about the nature papers and plastic. It stated paper takes up to 40 years to bio degrade. She also said the Consumption is one of the biggest problems, but design is one of the best solutions.

The Concept of biophilia and interact can closely associated with other forms of life in the environment. The mindset of biophilia associates with sustainability and performance. It also allows us to be close with our worldly functions. Leading us, as humans, to respect the other forms around us.  This would really help solve a lot of the problems our plant is facing, because you would know what you are destroying and stop it. Using nature and natural resources in good and helpful ways would help out our planet. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog 3

In the ted talk we watched in class on Tuesday, a lady named Layla talks about which is better, paper or plastic? She says that people normally go with paper because its brown and they imagine a plastic bag affecting sea life. But she says that paper bags also take from the environment too because we have to take away and use trees. She said that unless the paper bag is allowed to decompose in nature instead of a landfill then we are not being as helpful to the environment as we thought. She said that if we really want to make better choices that improve sustainability then we need to make choices that end with net environmental gains. Layla gives us mind blowing numbers throughout the ted talk, one being the percent of food wasted in America. She says that 40% of food bought for the American household is wasted which is $165 billion every single year.  Along with the ted talk, we also had a reading on Tuesday. This reading was on Poverty and environmental degradation and it says that the two have no direct link and it is not proven that poverty leads to it. Biophilia is the love for nature and the desire to get involved with it. It is the opposite of a phobia. Instead of being terrified and wanted as far from it as possible, you want to be as involved with it as you can. Last Thursday the entire class went on a tour of the sustainability office as well as the upholstery shop and the actual center that OSU uses to recycle. This trip was amazing but what I was most impressed with was how OSU has almost no furniture waste thanks to the upholstery shop! We learned that some pieces of furniture on campus actually date as far back as the 1800’s! I loved learning this because Furniture waste is the issue I have chosen to focus on during the duration of this class. For Activity 3 I dove deep into how each characteristic of my wicked problem applies to it and it allowed me to get a better understanding of the problem itself. It forced me to take a deep look at furniture waste and understand every aspect of it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Blog 3: My Sustainable Journey

As I have learned more about of textile waste, as the topic I am exploring for my investigative report, I have learned that this is an even bigger issue than I thought it was. As much as 85% of all textile waste goes directly into landfills contrasting the left over 15% is donated or recycled. In retrospect, this problem needs solving because the high percentage of 85% is roughly 21 billion pounds. There has not been a decline in textile waste but a drastic growing rate of 40%. Living in America, I have always heard of the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. However, just simply hearing this phrase is not enough to stop the enormous amount of waste that is filling landfills on a daily basis. 

            Just from understanding how urgent of an issue this is, encourages me to reduce my intake of new clothing, linens, etc. By using them to their full potential, patching up holes, or donating the clothes before I decided just to throw them away. I have searched ways to recycle clothing and I found possibilities that can work for me.  Such as, turning old t-shirts into new blankets that hold sentimental value, purchasing clothes that are made using sustainable practices, and sending old linens to upholstery shops to get reused as new covering for furniture. 

            Going to the upholstery shop, also showed me how simple it is to recycle and reuse materials so they can reach their maximum potential of use. In the upholstery show we were inform that some of the pieces they refurbish can date back to the 1800s. It is crazy to think about if we just invest a little more money into the things we purchase, the life span of these products could last for decades and centuries. Will on out field trip we also went to the recycling center where they showed us all of the bales of shredded paper and cardboard they send off to be reused. By recycling these materials, you can actually get paid. I believe if people knew that if they could receive a profit for recycling they would be more proactive in recycling. Leading to a cleaner environment.

            After reading the article on poverty, I was able to relate this to my investigative report. Simply because, the poverty reading explains that most landfills are in places where there are high amounts of poverty amongst the people living there. People that are living in poverty do not worry so much about living sustainable, in contrast, they focus on how to provide for themselves and their families. The practices that they may use are not benefiting the environment. The chemicals that emit from waste in landfills causes medical issues to these people leading to a shorter life span and birth defects. However, people in poverty cannot escape these landfills because they cannot afford to relocate to a new area to live. That being said they are stuck in a constant cycle of this lifestyle. 

            The Ted Talk that we watched was very intriguing to me. The topic that was discussed was the controversial topic of paper versus plastic. I was shocked to learn that plastic is actually better for the environment than paper. It is said that paper takes up to 40 years to bio degrade. I always assumed that paper was the better option because its main ingredient comes from a natural source. However, the best option to use in this situation is bringing your own reusable bag. By bringing your own bag you are preventing waste that goes into the environment. While also promoting a healthier environment to live in. This is a win-win situation. Because I won’t have to go to the dumpster to throw away the large amounts of plastic/ paper bags used from my trip to the grocery store. Instead all I will have to do is stow away my reusable bags and reuse them for my next grocery store visit.

            I love the concept of biophilia and getting to interact and be closely associated with other forms of life in the environment. Having the mindset of biophilia promotes sustainability and performance. This also allows us to be close with our worldly functions and how nature reacts. Leading us, as humans, to respect the other forms around us. While also being conscious when disposing of trash and recycling. This topic is very intriguing to me because if more people had this mindset, and connected with nature, we would all be one with nature and have a healthy environment for our future generations to live in.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blog 3

Throughout this class so far, I have learned a lot about both problems that I am interested in and problems I’m not interested in. Specifically, the problem I am exploring for this class is fast fashion and textile waste. Through the research I’ve been doing, I’m learning a lot about more effects it has on the environment that I originally knew. For example, the United States alone produces more than half of the total textile waste on earth. And, textile waste can release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere when they are burned due to the cheap, dangerous chemicals that are used on them in the manufacturing process. I’m very glad I chose this topic and am learning more than I thought I would about it. I think if more people took time to research important problems and topics then there would be many more people trying to make a difference and change our current conditions on earth. I believe the biggest issue/reason as to why not many people are trying to make a change is because there isn’t enough education and teaching about the problems we are facing.

The poverty reading in class showed me a lot that I did not previously think about or understand. For example, the specific policies introduced in the article were really interesting and were things that I think very well could be done. One of my favorite policies discussed was Developing Technologies that Benefit the Poor that enhance and develop more productivity within the poor population. I think this would benefit people greatly by also improving health conditions of the poor and enhance the environment. I also think Employing the Poor was a really important point. There are so many things we could build or create in order to help our environment, and there are so many unemployed, poor people who would be more than willing to take jobs at these places. The article used a good example and suggested having them perhaps be guards at national parks.Overall, I thought everything this article went through and discussed regarding policies and how they can be created and still benefit the poor was very interesting and something I think more people should read.

Leyla Acaroglu did her TED talk that encouraged her viewers to be mindful about about the entire life cycle of the things they use and create waste doing. This is so that they can better understand what effect they have on the environment in even the smallest of things that they might think they do. She talks about her Australian design studio where they create animations and other pieces that better explain/show they lifecycle of these objects we use and create waste with. They do it in a way so as to educate rather than judge or put people down for the things they might do to harm the environment.

Merchandising and sustainability go hand in hand, and a lot of people don’t recognize that. It is up to the merchandisers in companies and brands to make sure the merchandise is coming from good, reliable, environmentally responsible manufacturers and producers. Many companies have been recently losing customers if they are found to not be a sustainable business, therefore it is crucial in today’s world to be environmentally friendly and sustainable.

At the upholstery center and recycling center, I learned about all of the different things OSU does in order to be a green campus. It was very interesting to learn about the upholstery center and how quickly the can repair large, older pieces of furniture in order to avoid buying new furniture every single time something breaks. The recycling center was also very cool to see and understand where all of the things recycled in the bins on campus actually end up. I learned that it is a much more detailed process than I originally thought and it takes the hard work of a lot of people in order to make OSU as much of a green campus as it is.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment