Designing Solutions for World Restitution

In the article, Leigh K. Fletcher argues that building codes as a regulatory policy can reduce electricity which would significantly limit carbon since buildings are the largest contributor to electricity consumption. Building management has a significant impact on the environment. Along with the struggles to reduce carbon emissions comes the financial burden that companies have to pay. Fletcher suggests that rather than pointing fingers at the government, people and businesses should aim to limit how much greenhouse gasses they emit into the atmosphere.
Considering that I am an interior design major, I found this article to be very interesting. In the near future, I will be working with all kinds of buildings, offices, and houses in my field. Reading the article helped me reflect on what I should be doing when I design or renovate buildings in the future. I should always keep in mind that my designs should be as sustainable and safe as possible.
A company that I find to be very interesting is Toms. When a customer buys a pair of shoes or glasses, another pair of shoes or glasses is donated to a child in need. This company helps to alleviate the problem by giving back to others. Toms makes their goals and standards very transparent to the public. I like that this company is trying to fight poverty in a creative way by selling merchandise and clothes.
The wicked problems website shares a list of wicked problems as well as things associated with them. The website includes a list of 10 characteristics that could potentially define a wicked problem, or a wicked problem in the making. It states that wicked problems must be solved with a design and a plan in mind, yet there can be multiple solutions to these issues. We must come together as a community to fight these wicked problems and come up with creative designs and solutions.

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Making a Difference in a Sustainable Way

In last week’s reading I was able to learn more about what some people believe are the best, most reasonable ways to combat climate change. Paul Krugman in his article stated that we should try to implement cap-and-trade, carbon taxes and carbon tariffs. I had never really thought about taxing business or creating a cap-and-trade system in which businesses buy licenses, but I think it is a practical solution. I think big polluter businesses would actually participate and lower their emissions, helping solve the climate change problem. The reading taught me to look at issues, like climate change, in a different light and from a different perspective. I would have never thought to look at it from a business perspective, I thought the only true way we could make a difference is through legislation. This blog site also taught me to look at problems from a different perspective. I was able to see people’s thought processes and their opinions, which changed my perspective on certain issues that I would have never second guessed before. I also learned a lot more about the wicked problems we face today and will continue to face for many years in the future. I believe that currently there are multiple wicked problems that need to be addressed, and there are many bright, young minds that are doing what they can to help. It gives me hope for the future and makes me believe that things won’t be as bad as others make it out to be. One example of this is the company Reformation, they are setting the standard for the fashion industry by making their clothing sustainably, while using significantly less water than other brands. They also publish their yearly sustainability reports in an effort to be more transparent with the public. I have already noticed a few brands following in their footsteps and modifying their policies to agree with more sustainable practices. I also plan to modify my practices to be more sustainable in my everyday life, using the problem solving strategies I have learned in this class. One small change I am going to make is putting a recycling bin in my room for all the plastic bottles I have, so they end up being recycled, instead of going into a landfill.

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Money controls the environment

              The world we live in today is controlled majorly by the money and power of it that is put into play. The way we use the carbon control of the climate change is a big deal. If we don’t pay a lot towards getting the prices of that to go down then the world will slowly turn into where we can’t pay that at all. The money we use is a major part of the climate change because if we use it for the good then it helps the environment but if we use it wrong then it is bad. The carbon that we are putting into the air is slowly starting to kill the air that we are breathing in everyday.

              The air pollution gets worse and worse as the days go on. The bigger the city with more factories creates more of fog in the air that is destroying the climates. Everyday you read about factories making the air worse to breath. When we had to closed down for the COVID-19 lockdown you looked at china and noticed that all of the air pollution was gone and the sky looked so beautiful. The more we works towards cleaning the pipes of the factories and trying to slow the fog down will help with the climate change slowly .

              The more we work to find Reacher for a way to fix the problem of all the things that are destroying the climate the world will slowly keep falling away. The money that it would take to be able to fix or work towards a better way for the climate will take the longest of time. We need to find better and more affect ways to slow down the pollution of the world.

              In conclusion I would say that it is going to take everyone and a lot of money to fix the climate that we live in today. The process of this is going to be long but we can get it done. The more the scientist and researchers work together the more we can get down. We should start with a bill of 1 million dollars and go from there to get it done.

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Thinking About Ethical Production In Day to Day Life

As I learn more about sustainability specifically in the fashion industry I have learned that it is a much wider problem than I previously thought. While reading articles and others’ insights I have learned that there are many problems creating pollution from the fashion industry. Every aspect from big businesses using sweatshops and underpaying employees to the factories polluting the earth to using resources that aren’t sustainable. Every aspect seems to be somewhat of an issue and contributes to the overall problem. One thing that Paul Krugman talked about in “Green Economics: How We Can Afford To Tackle Climate Change” was that poorer places tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to sustainable options. He talked about how unethical and non-sustainable practices can be a result of economic greed resulting in punishment for underdeveloped nations. Many times countries that are not as developed are used as production sights. This becomes a problem for many reasons. For one the manufacturing factories produce lots of harmful chemicals polluting the air and nearby water sources. This then becomes a health problem for those living in the community around the factories. Many villages near major factories have experienced cancer outbreaks and other infectious diseases. Due to the poor infrastructure and lack of development healthcare is either inadequate or too expensive for those who are affected to afford. We begin to see that pollution in the fashion industry is an economic problem, a human rights problem, and overall a wicked problem. A lack of sustainable practice is causing severe damage to those who have the least amount of resources to combat their negative effects. As I learn more about these topics I try to bring them up to my friends and family, encouraging them to shop more sustainably and support businesses that produce goods ethically. I ask them where they shop and if they know how their goods were produced. I ask you that as well. Do you know where your shirt was made? Do you know if the person who made it was paid a livable salary to sew that? Most of the time the answer is no which is exactly why this is still such a big problem. I encourage you to research where you buy your clothes. Is a five-dollar top really worth putting an innocent person’s life at risk just so that you can get a trendy piece for an inexpensive price?

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We Can Make a Difference!

When reading article 5, it is easily comparable to my chosen wicked problem: Pollution in the fashion industry. Since the article was about how to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants, I found it very interesting. The writer of this article named Paul Krugman, “If we continue with business as usual, they say, we are facing a rise in global temperatures that will be little short of apocalyptic. And to avoid that apocalypse, we have to wean our economy from the use of fossil fuels, coal above all.”

One thing that I found very interesting in the reading was the story of Authur Cecil Pigou. This man wanted to find a way to solve the problem of Londen fog. During his research, he learned that the “fog” was actually the result of many coal fires. He thought that the best way to reduce this was to put a price on the harmful emissions. I think this man was right when he thought that it was the best way to make a change in the problem, and it did. There was evidence that it dramatically changed how much sulfur-dioxide was being emitted and also lowered electricity bills. When I heard this story, it made me more optimistic in knowing we can find a way to cut back on the harmful effects we have on the environment. 

I never really heard the term “wicked problem’ before this class and it has been very eye opening to learn about them. Since I never really heard about wicked problems and what really makes them wicked, I bet there are other people that don’t know either. The Wicken Problems website is very informative and I would recommend it to people that are interested in it. And even if they are not, it is good to have knowledge of these topics because they concern our current state of life. 

There are quite a few brands that are transforming their companies to share positivity about the environment and switch to eco-friendly products in a way of social entrepreneurship. While looking at brands and ways they have contributed to the eco-friendly initiative, I stumbled upon a brand named Tentree. This brand plants ten trees for every item purchased while also using sustainable materials and has eco-friendly manufacturing processes. 

Learning about all of these different instances in which people/brands are making eco-friendly choices to make the world a better place is really refreshing. I think that if everyone would make these changes, it would make a huge difference. 

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Different Roles in Sustainability and Company Improvements

Before reading the article, I was already aware that a reduction in carbon, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions is necessary for a sustainable future. However, I did not realize how difficult it is for stakeholders to agree on regulations due to differing responsibilities, views, and even some laws. Free market incentive policies and emissions trading approaches are just a couple of the different proposed solutions that follow the EPA’s Clean Air and Water Acts, and cap-and-trade programs are becoming popular in the United States. Wicked problems have taught me many lessons and has deepened my understanding of sustainability and industry issues. I did not realize how many factors go into improving a wicked problem (stakeholders, and even sometimes countries, need to reach agreements on regulations, environmental depletion has been occurring for years, poverty could have an effect on wicked problems and sustainability, and more). When it comes to the Current State Analysis, in my personal opinion, the analysis is an effective way to identify a wicked problem and discover ways to improve it. I believe by defining the problem and identifying its factors and root causes through this six-step analysis, wicked problems have the opportunity to be less wicked. Regarding sustainability, many companies, including Toms Shoes, are attempting to reduce their negative environmental impact. Toms Shoes is a for-profit retailer that mainly sells shoes. Toms has a goal of achieving equity through promotion of mental health, more opportunities for those who need them, and the end of gun violence; In addition, Toms gives grants to partners based on needs and has a grassroots efforts program. In addition to these, Toms Shoes is starting a Pro-LGBTQ+ council called the Giving Advisory Council in order to best support that community. Finally, when it comes to sustainability, Toms Shoes’ Certified B Corp status means that the company is transparent, accountable, and environmentally friendly, and the company is also committed to sustainable efforts. Moving forward with my wicked problem of supplier factories/sweatshops, I would like to research what ethical changes brands or companies have made in their factories in the recent years, and I would like to research how using more sustainable methods, practices, and supplies would affect factory environments.

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More than just a wicked problem

The reading for last week, “Is Poverty Responsible for Global Environmental Degradation”, was very interesting, it helped me better understand what Environmental degradation is in the first place, which is the loss in environmental quality from pollutants and improper land use. This article allowed me to have a better understanding on how poverty remains the root of cause, and how the poor are forced into unsustainable practices because that is all that they have available to them. These practices that they are forced into lead to soil degradation and have a spiraling effect on the environment around them. I think the primary purpose for this article was to show people that the poor should be a primary focus group on helping keep our environment clean for futures to come, but in order to do that they need our help. This allows us to better understand how developing countries need the United States help in better practices. It allowed me to better understand how globalization does increase the wealth of developing countries but can also produce environmental impacts as well. I really enjoyed this article because it allowed me to think of what is going around in Stillwater and if there is anyone trying to help solve the problems that were discussed in this article. It also allowed me to process some topics that I wouldn’t have thought would affect our environment and how they were caused. Overall I thought this article brought up some very interesting points and found it to be very eye opening and made me think a little bit harder at how what was discussed played a role in my life. I found that the article brought up some very fair and interesting points and I believe that the topic would be different for each reader and that the readers’ mindfulness and specific perspective would help decide where they stood on the subject. I believe it is up to that person to do their research on both sides and then decide for themselves where they stand in the matter. This semester I have definitely learned some valuable lessons in our readings, class discussions, and videos that have made me realize the little things in life can play a big difference. Going into this course, I knew very little about sustainability, I knew of the buy back programs that businesses such as h@M and Levi Jeans offered. H & M is fighting wicked problems by offering textile waste recycling within some of their clothing lines. They saw a wicked problem in the industry and are doing their part in eliminating textile waste. The wicked problems website  has allowed me to understand the subject better and even made me realize that I would like to take another sustainability class to learn more about sustainability geared towards the apparel industry. I am able to identify wicked problems in my career and how they surround us in our everyday lives.  I learned that before we can act on a wicked problem, that we must change our behavior. I learned that sustainability is more than just recycling your plastic water bottles, and that it is more than just a few simple changes here and there. It is about changing the way you think and focusing on what choices you make and if they will benefit the environment.Since this class, I have been using more of the scrap material from the scrap piles bucket to make my samples in class, I have been carrying around a water bottle so I no longer use plastic bottles. As an apparel design student, I definitely want to create a collection made out of recycled materials and have it in the Euphoria fashion show on display. I have seen the seniors make dresses out of recycled materials and I knew that I loved the idea of turning something old into something new.  I am looking forward to seeing what other classes I can take to learn more about limiting textile waste in the Fashion Industry and I will definitely be on the lookout for more classes like this.

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Government, Sustainability, and Business- can they all coexist?

I have learned a lot from the readings in this class. The last reading taught me a lot about the correlation between government involvement and a businesses sustainability practices. Krugman’s stance was that the market does a better job on its own without government involvement. Leigh Fletcher took the stance that government involvement is important in regulating sustainability practices in businesses. Along with most things in life, I believe that a middle ground is the best solution. Businesses do not want to feel controlled by the government so overregulation can have a negative impact, but on the other hand, if there is no regulation at all a business will only worry about their own profits and not the environmental impact. With such a wicked problem as sustainability and government involvement related to it, it is hard to come to a unified solution. 

I found the wicked problems website very interesting because I was not aware before this class that the term wicked problems was so widespread. It is a very good resource to refer to in relation to any wicked problems that we have discussed in this class. After learning about the disastrous affects our everydays lives have on the environment I have recently been trying to be more conscious in my consumption and waste. I always though reusable bags were just for trendy people but I have been trying to remember to bring them to stores that will allow them right now during covid. I have also been trying to shop more sustainably and not just buy anything I like without thinking of the lifecycle of the product and the bigger picture. Being a fashion major I have always enjoyed fashion, but I am learning that being sustainable is more important than keeping up with evey trend. 

I worked at Athleta over winter break and I learned about their mission and their stance on sustainability. They have been trying over the recent years to use renewable resources and limit their waste in production. They have put policies in place to limit their water use in the supply chain. They are also a certified B corp and have been very transparent in their business practices and their goals for the upcoming years. They are setting the tone for other workout brands and are a good example of sustainability in that line of fashion.

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Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

Last week we read an article, titled “Does the Market Work Better Than Government at Transitioning to Sustainability,” in which one author was supposed to argue from the position of the pro-government perspective, and the other author was supposed to argue from position of the pro-market position; however, both of the authors only talked about using government regulation, either by carbon taxation or building codes, to work towards sustainability. I found this truly unfortunate because the most promising solutions I see for a sustainable future are through free-market means, none of which were mentioned. Some solutions that free-marketers would suggest for starters is privatization of resources (to avoid the tragedy of the commons effect) and eliminating regulation so that there’s no barrier to entry for new entrepreneurs creating sustainable products.

I firmly believe than if a solution requires coercion for compliance, then it’s not a very good solution, and we should continue looking. The best solutions are the ones that people enthusiastically adopt, like new innovations that make your life easier and are better for the planet too. Less regulation encourages more entrepreneurship, which is maintained through consumer support. Entrepreneurship that has large consumer approval, like social entrepreneurship ventures mentioned on the Wicked Problems website, will continue to flourish, while endeavors that do not meet the standards consumers hold will fail. One thing the Wicked Problems website talks about is “Designing With,” meaning working with communities to design solutions that work. I cannot think of an easier way to do this than more communities to support the businesses that hold their same values. This cannot happen though as long as the government gives out subsidies to other corporations, allowing them to thrive even despite community support.

One social entrepreneurship company that I have supported is called 31 Bits. It’s an ethical jewelry and homegoods store that employs women in Uganda and helps them gain an education and even start their own businesses. I think companies like this, who work with local communities, help solve wicked problems more than a centralized force working off just models and future projection, without any regard for the community, could. This has not always been my position, but as I began to think about the issues and evaluate solutions, this is the approach I have come to believe will work best. Moving forward, I am continuing to rethink what I have been told to believe, and I am continually testing ideas and positions against one another, as I believe that dialogue and debate over important wicked problems will bring to light the best solutions.

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Government VS Market

As I continue learning about the wicked problems we face when it comes to the environment, I feel more educated on why these issues are happening and the possible solutions. A wicked problem is very complex and is something that can be looked at from so many angles, and I think this weeks reading taught me to look at this issue from a new perspective.

As I began reading the assignment over whether or not the market should have control than the government over sustainability, my immediate reaction was of course not. My first thought is that the big businesses who cause so much pollution do not care as long as they are making money. Big businesses do not make environmental sustainability a priority because it costs more and takes more effort. As I read though, I see how a wicked problem can have multiple solutions. 

Something I found really interesting was Leigh K. Fletcher’s point about how much energy buildings consume. Constantly constructing new buildings accounts for over half of the electricity consumption. If the government stepped in and created regulations on this, that right there would help significantly. My biggest takeaway has been that there are many different angles that sustainability can be looked at from, making it one of the most prominent wicked problems that we are facing.

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