Mindfulness Post 3

Leyla’s Ted Talk really helped me to understand how our world is always changing when it comes to sustainability and the way we use energy and how we manage waste. It was amazing to have someone explain the changes that have been made within the last few years when it comes to our energy consumption and the amount of waste we produce every day.

I read the “NO” side of the Western Values reading and I completely agree with the argument that Erik Assadourian made. The Western Culture is more focused on consumerism and Globalization is not good for our environment. Our Culture, values, beliefs, customs, and norms have all changed because of the rise of consumerism and globalization.

After reading and discussing Fashion & Sustainability, I now have a better understanding of how quickly everything is changing in our everyday lives. Fashion is not the only thing that changes every 6 months, but our customs, manners, music, and material good change as well. I found it very interesting when talking about product longevity and the dangers that are associated with it. Instead of focusing on Longevity, we should focus more on designing with humility.

The biophilia hypothesis also called BET suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. I think this is a true hypothesis because as humans, we seek sunlight and warmth and fresh air when it is warm outside. We love to be outside and feel the sun on us. Being outside is how people recharge and how they better connect with the earth around them. I think it is very interesting how we crave to be outside once we see the sunlight. Walking around campus, I see more people out and about when it is nice and sunny as opposed to dark and cloudy.

What else are you learning about your wicked problem? – I have learned about how a textile used in almost all garments, cotton, accounts for 33 percentof all fibers found in textiles. Cotton is also a very thirsty crop, requiring 2,700 liters of water—what one person drinks in two-and-a-half years—to make one cotton shirt.

My journey with sustainability has changed a lot since starting this class, I have found that I need to be more responsible when it comes to my energy intake and how much waste I produce. Instead of just being kind to the Earth when I go camping, I need to be more kind to the earth every single day. After looking at my carbon footprint, I was really shocked with how much I was contributing to the problem that we face when it comes to waste and sustainability.

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Sustainability. The More You Know.

My view on wicked problems and sustainability has changed so much over the last 3 weeks. Leyla’s TED talk was very eye opening. There are things that she discussed that I do not normally think about every day. I never thought about the amount of waste that comes from a single person’s fridge. So many people, myself included, over buy when they get groceries and they go bad before they are eaten and then they end up in a land fill. She also talked about the importance of when you are grocery shopping and you have the option to choose the paper bag, because it is recyclable, decomposable, and often reusable.

With the talk of needing to be more earth friendly, I am going to touch on the Western Culture readings that we did last week. The fact that in the 1960s they knew that we were destroying the earth and that we were wearing down our supply of natural resources, but they did very little to help stop it is very saddening. To go along with the Western Culture reading I want to talk about the discussion we had about the Fashion & Sustainability reading. As a Merchandise major, I do not know that I necessarily thought about all of the bad things that my industry did to the earth. We have been a large contributor to pollution with fashion and furniture waste as well as things such as excess dye from fabrics getting into the water system causing water pollution. I learned about how fashion is just temporary because it trends change so frequently, which is why we have such an excess amount of fashion waste.

As I have been talking about all of the damage that the human race is causing to the earth I have not discussed much about Biophilia, which for those that do not know or may not remember it is the love of life and the living world. I feel like this whole time I have been speaking nothing, but negativity when in reality there are still some people that have an affinity for the Earth, so much so, that they go out of their way seeking every possible solution to try and make things right again and to them I salute. I may not practice the most sustainable way of living in my daily life, but there are people out there that do and if every one of us picks up just a few good habits here and there, we could help save the planet.

I am learning more and more about the wicked problem that I have chosen to research, which is furniture waste. I have learned that there are people taking wood furniture waste and turning it into 3D printing filament, as well as some companies that are making furniture easier to deconstruct and recycle if it is not reusable. There are so many things about furniture waste that very intriguing and I am continuing to learn.

I feel as though over the last three weeks I have learned so much about wicked problems and sustainability. I am starting to realize how much I take for granted in my life and that I should really think about more eco-friendly alternatives to things and think about recycling things more.

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Over consumption is A Problem & We are a problem

Leyla Ted talk was an explanation about how the western world is consuming so much energy and waste by big companies creating that waste and growing the waste by creating and taking charge into technologies by their own fortunes. Which explains another post that we have read the article that is called Western Values that arguing a defensive that western cavillation is ruining the environment while the No article is arguing that the western cavillation can help the environment more because their vast amount of fortune and money. I personally read both articles because I didn’t know we was supposed to do two separate articles so I read both and I personally understood both argument from the articles but I mostly agreed with the Yes article because it had more factually articles than the No it is proven that the Western Cavillation  is destroying the world but the over consumption and chemicals that is being put out into the earth while the No article was arguing that the non-western countries are actually polluting the Earth because their lack knowledge and the western can teach them with the technologies which is not true at all how can a luck of funds from a country pollute the ocean when they have no money.

The other article about the Suitability with clothes is pretty popular it kinds of ties into the Ted talk with Leyla and the Western Value article its about the vast amount of clothes and production that needs to be stopped because of trendy clothes which is being over produced and people are also over consuming this articles talks about how fashion companies need to find another way to turn down the amount of clothes. Which makes you think about the over consumptions of the clothes I have in closet and drawers that I don’t even sometimes ever wear because it something I don’t like I usually don’t like throwing away I clothes I tend to give it away when it is a time and place that I can’t hold my clothes anymore but me actually realizing that I taking part of polluting the world is such an eye opening experience.

All of this over consumption talk is actually kind of preparing me for the paper that I am going to write about, the over consumption of furniture I am an interior design student and I was aware that the amount of furniture and appliances that get thrown out daily constantly is also showing over consumption this is an example of an video that was shown to us in class about Merchandising & Sustainability this video was such an eye opening experience that companies are the ones encouraging  people to buy more things that we don’t need and the governments are not doing anything about it because its putting money in their pockets that is not honestly beneficial to nobody in the long run.

I am actually super excited to start activity 3 but I still have to get some of my research ready to this project my paper that I am going to write about is how can interior designers design furniture that is functional for middle class families or business that can be easy to clean and designed to hold more or grow with the family.

I learned a lot of things in this class mostly what I learned was how much energy we consume in the United States it is not honestly all of our faults but the companies fault by making ads and technology and making us think that we need more, more, more by giving us the same technologies but changing it up only a little bit.

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Think(ing) about it

Entering the last week for this class I have caught myself reflecting way more than I expected about the subjects addressed in class. I have always thought my sustainability journey had started way back in the past. Throughout my entire academic life, sustainability was always a topic most of my professor brought up during discussion sections. In school we were required to not to use non-sustainable materials –Styrofoam as an example- for our projects, because of the impacts, it has in the environment. The same for plastic bags; was always reinforced to use cloth or paper bags because was biodegradable. After Leyla’s Ted Talk, I notice we do not think about the process of these objects, we just think how we will disposal those already manufactured, and not what it took from nature for this item to be created.

As we read in the Fashion & Sustainability, in a world where our values are connected with materialism and consumerism, the human’s environmental responsibility was forgotten once financial growth became more important. Items are being produced to be replaced in less than one year, and the vitality of this products just boost the necessity of more production on no long-lasting products- feeding this endless cycle. As for a solution, the text approaches the idea to design with humility, with less impact on the planet during its production, use, and disposal.

Maybe our indifference with nature might be the result of not being attached to it anymore. Living in urbanized areas, made us forget we are part of a system that we depend on not only physically, but cognitively. That why I believe on the importance of Biophilic Design. We already know that “bringing nature inside” benefits in stress reduction, emotions, and cognitive performance. Applying biophilic patterns in our surroundings can help us reconnect with the environment and, hopefully, becoming more aware, and ultimately, more sustainable.

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sustainable life

what I have learned this past week has blown my mind. I have never though to think so much about sustainably and how much it effects us and our economy. For instance, when we watched Leyla’s Ted talk she did a good job on emphasizing the consumer part of sustainability. I never though how much impact my actions have on the planet. I found it very interesting when she talked about how to make a tea kettle more environmentally friendly. A lot of the companies want to make their product more environmentally friendly, but there are not taking the full steps. In one part of the ted talk she talks about how the guy in charged of electricity,  has to borrow it from other countries when everyone turns on their tea kettle to make tea. It showed me that people are not fully aware of how much impact small items have on the earth. The tea kettle isn’t very big, but when everyone uses it consumes a lot of energy. It made me wonder what other energy source we could use to heat up the water. It just something that not a lot of people sit and wonder about. It also showed me that people don’t think it is a big deal to use electricity and water. Most of the people don’t use all that water. It opened up my eyes and now every time I go to use anything I am more aware of the effects it has on the planet. In class when we began to talk about sustainability I had no idea what went all into it. It opened up more ideas to what other things in our normal life could help it. Western values did a great job on helping to explain what sustainability was all about. My take away from the reading was that we need sustainability to help our communities to grow, and that it will help have a positive contribution towards companies and of course our planet.  It showed me that we need to be more aware of everything that we buy and consume. I am more aware of everything I consume now. I try to stay away from non environmentally friendly objects and try and find environmentally friendly objects to help me with my every day life. This reading and fashion and sustainability have taught me a lot of things. I learned how important it is that what we make like clothing should be able to be reused or limit how much materials we use. It surprised me how much clothing’s and other everyday materials we use are in the landfills. The ted talks and the readings show how we can take steps to end this. I learned that we can make clothes out of a certain plant. This is not only environmentally friendly, but it is reusable. What stood out to me the most is that we know all these facts about how these products are hurting the planet and we have done such little steps to help our planet. I think we need to become aware of the big stuff, but also the small things in life. All of these things showed me that even the small things in life have a huge impact in our world. We need to learn how to use less materials, make them biodegradable or even have a universal sizing for everyone. We need to start taking bigger steps in order to see bigger positive outcomes towards our environment. One thing that I have learned about this past week is how much creating clothes has an effect on the earth. This class has done a really good job on emphasizing on every problem in the world. Especially ones you wouldn’t think about. Merchandising was one of them that I have never though about. I actually didn’t think there was any kind of solution for this, or how much impact it has on our planet. This week has showed me multiple solutions to help minimize energy and material we use for clothing. Doing all of that ties in with sustainability. Being able to practice sustainability will help the planet out in the long run. I  believe that my generation has a great opportunity to help out with this wicked problem. This class has allowed us to use or creative side in creating solutions for wicked problems. A lot of people have started on allowing merchandising to be sustainable. This is making the clothing able to be reused more than once or making clothing out of material we have never though about using before. This ties in for my wicked problem. I want to use more sustainable material when we are building a house. I have learned that more people than I thought have been moving towards an energy free house. I read an article about how hemp is a better material to use than wood. This could help with deforestation and it last way longer than wood. It is easier to plant and grows relatively fast compared to other plants. I have also learned that many people know this but still decided not to use it. It shows me how lazy a majority of the people are. There are a lot of alternative materials we could use but there are a couple of problems that lie in the way for it. For instance, I didn’t know how expensive it is to install solar panels, and since not a lot o people can grow hemp it makes it very expensive as well. A lot of the materials is to expensive for people to buy. It allows only rich people to buy it and not your ordinary people to get it. This is why a lot of people don’t make the switch. Also I believe it isn’t communicated very well to the public. Finally, I learned that we could be using bamboo as well to replace wood. Bamboo is stronger than wood and it last longer too. It has a lot of the same components to wood as well. I have learned a lot about my wicked problem during this past week, and I can’t wait to continue learning about it.



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Little Actions Result In Big Impacts

Do you consider yourself an environmentally conscious person? If so picture your kitchen for a moment. Now specifically focus on your refrigerator. What is in your fridge? If you consider yourself an eco friendly person you might say there is nothing in it but organic, non-gmo fruits and vegetables grown only using all-natural farming methods. If this is what the inside of your refrigerator looks like you probably consider yourself and extremely environmentally conscious individual. However, what if I told you your all-natural groceries could actually be harming the planet? Now you may be thinking there is no way your organic food could be harmful to the environment. You would be correct in a sense when thinking this because the problem does not lie in the food itself, but rather in the amount of the food. Leyla stated in her TED talk that refrigerators have grown over the years to the point that they are unnecessarily large. We now have fridges that hold more food than the average household can consume. This result in large amounts of food going to waste, being thrown out, and ending up in landfills across the country. Now that you are aware of this problem you may be thinking that you will just purchase less food. This should, in theory, solve this problem, yet ultimately it will not. As stated in the Western Values “No” reading asking someone to cut down on consumerism is like asking someone to hold their breath. They will be able to do it for a little while, but but not for very long. We have almost a fundamental need to keep consuming. Because we have this need, we must find ways to produce sustainable products. One area of sustainable production that we can focus on is fashion. The term fashion does not only refer to the cloths we wear, rather it implies change. According to the Fashion and Sustainability reading, if we want to move from an un-stainable world to a sustainable one, we need to employ those approaches characterized by fashion. This reading sparked a good in class discussion because everyone could relate to it. After realizing that the term fashion applies to more than just clothing, the students majoring in other areas were able to apply it to their fields as well. Another great in-class discussion was over the topic of biophilia design. Even though I am a merchandising major, my dream is to be an interior decorator. I am very interested in the biophilia design. I will definitely use biophilia design in the future when interior decorating. Research shows that biophilia design has numerous health benefits. It makes since that it would improve our health because if we stop and really think about how little time we spend outdoors and how much time we are indoors not benefiting from the natural resources (such as vitamin D) found in nature, it is clear to see that bringing nature (or at least an imitation of nature) indoors would vastly improve our over-all well being. There is almost a road map you can follow to create biophila design, and I personally feel that it is one of the most beautiful design concepts. I love the idea of merging nature with design and I feel that we need to be doing more to preserve the world around us so we can continue to strengthen the relationship between the two. For activity 3, because I am a merchandising major, I have been doing a lot of research about how detrimental the fashion industry is to the environment. I knew that water pollution was a big problem because of the dyes used to color the cloths, but I did not realize the amount of water that is also used in the production of various garments. For example, it take 1,800 gallons of water to grow the amount of cotton needed to make just one pair of standard blue jeans. Now think about all of the cloths we have made of cotton and how much water goes into making each piece. If we continue at this rate, water pollution from dyes will not be a problem in the because there won’t be any natural bodies of water left.For these reasons and many others this class has been overwhelmingly eye opening. I have been challenged to think about the impact even the smallest of my actions can have on the environment, and how they can hinder the sustainability of the planet. Now with all of this knowledge in hand, I plan to not only adjust some of my habits, but to also encourage those around me to embark on their sustainability journey as well.

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Blog 3: It Starts with Me

As Week 4 begins, I reflect on all the past and current readings that pertain to both my field of work and my sustainability/wicked journey so far. Each reading has opened a new thought process that encourages me to watch my actions regarding my carbon footprint, consuming habits, and even every day mindfulness.
I enjoyed the ‘Western Values’ reading because it exercised both sides of the brain regarding development and sustainability, which I think is very important for society to move forward with sustainable practices. It is important to recognize that both sustainability and development contain different aspects that can change and morph due to our actions. Countries can improve environmental quality through economic growth. This is similar to the Fashion and Sustainability reading because each reading discussed how development and fashion trends can grow and thrive, but we must change our way of thinking to improve the design and make Fashion more environmentally friendly. I thought it was very interesting when we spoke about this article in class. We compared the short life cycle of fashion to technology that is built today. In previous years, our phones could have an extensive life. But now, they have intentionally shorted the lives of phones (for profit purposes) increasing the amount of waste in return. One of the quotes in the Fashion & Sustainability that stood out regarding this conversation was, “So many of our current understandings and modes of designing and producing products are inherently antithetical to the principles of sustainability.” This is why it is vital to our society to recreate the way we design.
Biophilia has always fascinated me. As time changes and biophilia becomes more popular, research of materials also becomes more popular. This is important because manufacturers have resorted back to natural elements to make more organic material to incorporate biophilia and sustainability practices on the interiors of buildings. I have also noticed that in a vast majority of the projects done by myself and my fellow class mates, we have heavily incorporated biophilia into our concepts. I’m not sure if this is an up and coming concept for millennials, but it is exciting to think about what might become of Biophilia. I believe it is an extremely strong and beneficial factor in interior architecture.
As we enter into our 4thweek of Wicked Problems, I feel as if my sustainability/wicked journey has improved greatly. On November 1st, I began my zero-plastic waste for the second time. This class has helped me, in more ways than one, to reflect on the consequences of my actions. While I struggle through grocery shopping remaining plastic free, I generally bring my own canvas bags and mesh produce bags. However, there have been times at Sprouts when I forget my bags and request paper because I have always thought this was the suitable replacement. Due to the TED talk we watched with Leyla Acaroglu, I now know NOT to forget my bags because plastic is the better choice. She explained that plastic is the better choice because paper bags are 4 to 10 times heavier than plastic. We all know that paper would decompose over time, but not if it continues to end up in landfills. Leyla also talked about how 40% of food bought for the home is wasted. Although this is a completely believable fact, I believe I am relatively good when it comes to food waste. I rarely waste the food I purchase because I buy it in small quantities.
The questions on Activity 3 made me actively think about why exactly my problem is a Wicked problem. The answer is, YES! Plastic waste is ruining our planet and can improved in so many ways but people choose to turn away and ignore the issues. Many may say plastic recycling can just be more heavily implemented but the truth is, like the Fashion industry, we must come up with a better answer than recycling.

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