Blog Post #3

This class has really been an interesting and eye-opening journey for me. I have enjoyed every second of this class and feel I have learned so many things about sustainability that I was not aware of before taking the class. Each and every reading we have been tasked to complete has led me to learn something new. For me, the Poverty reading was somewhat striking to me. As I have grown older and began to take notice I have always known poverty has had to play a part in the problems our environment is slowly facing, but I had not realized just how drastic poverty is and sadly, is only making our planet more hazardous. I was somewhat excited to start on Activity 3 because it allowed me to explore and learn more about my wicked problem! For my Investigation Report, I plan to research more on the subject of Textile and Interior waste. I am a Fashion Merchandising major, so I felt that this subject could better educate me on the problems the industry is facing. One problem I am currently researching is Fast Fashion. Although fashion leads the world in many different ways, Fast Fashion IS a problem and most people are not mindful that this is even an issue. Watching the Ted Talk video, Leyla, she made a point about smart phones and how people typically buy a new one every 15-18 months. She says in her video, Consumption is a huge problem, but design is one of the best solutions. If you think about it, humans are always consuming something. Whether it be buying something new, eating something, or learning something. The problem is that we always want the newest, biggest thing as soon as it hits the markets. Even when we may not NEED that “new phone”, we are consuming these things without even acknowledging the sustainability problems occurring because of it. The meaning “Biophilia” is to be in contact with parts and forms of life we normally are not. Humans have become disconnected from a lot of forms of life and former ways of living. Instead of thinking about “we”, we have grown to think more about “me”. If humans begin to practice more biophilia and begin to be more mindful of nature, our planet will start to be a happier more sustainable place. I feel that becoming more mindful and connecting with nature leads humans to be more careful about how they are treating our planet and will also allow them to live a healthy wellbeing, and have empathy and clear values. The trip to the sustainability office, recycling center, and upholstery shop was really interesting to experience! OSU has been a college that my family has attended for many years and I have never realized how much OSU and the campus puts into our planets and cares about keeping the world clean and beautiful! I am very interested in Interior Decorating, so I am always thinking of different ways I could use a piece of furniture or item and make it fresh and new! I loved hearing about the different chairs, couches, etc. that are broken and no longer wanted, are used to recycle into new things instead of marking them as waste. Even after an item has lived and been used, it still has so much potential to be something new again! All it needs it a little TLC!

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Blog #3

Even though this course is only four weeks long, I feel as though I have learned more than in many of my other classes combined. Being an interior design major, what I have learned in this class is something that is directly applicable to my field and along my career path. I hope to be able to implement what I have learned in this course in my future professional field. On a similar topic, I have learned quite a bit about waste and how it affects our environment, and plan on expanding my knowledge further on the topic of furniture, along with other home wastes in my investigative report.  I have recently been researching wood, the most regenerative fuel and renewable material, and how it generates enormous amounts of waste through processing, consumption, and replacing, especially when used to create furniture.  I’ve also been researching the particular selection of materials, substances, and components used in the construction of furniture and how those can be made to be more sustainable to promote a longer, more reusable life. I have also learned the importance of a lifecycle basis, and making sure that recycling yields usable resources at a lower environmental cost.

I enjoyed watching Leyla Acaroglu’s TED talk and her first example of “paper or plastic” and how people don’t really understand how deep the effects of their smallest actions are, which I completely agree with. I don’t think that the majority of people understand that how we use materials on a daily basis is what dictates the environmental impact.  I really liked her reference to the idea of “environmental folklore” and how it is based on our experiences and things we’ve heard from other people and isn’t really based on any scientific framework. It is true and is easily identifiable that no matter where you sit on the economic totem pole, every action you make has an impact on all three major systems, people, products, and the planet, as mentions in Leyla’s TED talk. I feel that if we focus more on how our actions, mainly our consumption, truly effect our living environment, we will quickly learn how to do more with less because our problem is definitely with use. I also enjoyed her reference to life cycle thinking, and how we need to monitor actions at all stages of a products life to make sure it is positively interacting with its environment. I found it funny that she talked about the tea kettle issue in the U.K. when their TV program ends, something we discussed at the beginning of this course, and how behavior changing products can really make a difference on our biggest issue: consumption.

I was very intrigued by the idea of biophilia, the loving of life or living systems, when it was introduced to us in class. It was something I had never really thought of before but is interesting in the fact that humans possess a distinctive affinity to seek relations with nature and other forms of life. It explains why ordinary people frequently take care of or put their lives at risk to save domestic and wild animals and flood in the insides and outsides of their homes with plants and flowers. In similar words, our “natural love for life helps sustain life” according to a wiki source, which is something positive compared to all of the negative we see in our relationship with the environment. I also really liked the idea of implementing biophilic design in architecture and how it is a positive sustainable design strategy. I very much appreciate that it decreases the poor environmental footprint of our built world.

I also agree with the NO stance in that way too much emphasis is placed on the relationship between poverty and the environment, according to John Ambler, and that it is possible to attack poverty while also improving the environment. According to the reading, environmental degradation is the loss in environmental quality from the pollutants and other activities and processes such as improper land use and natural disasters. I learned that it is theorized that poverty remains a root cause of several environmental problems, particularly environmental degradation. It is sad that the poor are forced into unsustainable practices in order to make enough money to survive. This is not their fault, but the fault of policy, that can be combatted by improved governance that can break the vicious cycle of the poverty-environmental interactions.

I thoroughly enjoyed our field-trip on Thursday to the OSU sustainability office, the recycling center, and the upholstery shop. I did not realize how much work went into keeping our campus clean and green. I also had no idea that something such as an upholstery shop even existed on campus and was shockingly impressed with the sheer number of repairs they do per week alone. It was sad to know that we get next to nothing back in monetary exchange for the amount of recycling that we do, but I know that the impact we are making on the environment is far greater than anything money can buy. I would not mind learning more about all the behind the scenes work that goes into keeping our campus clean and sustainable, and possibly lending a helping hand. 

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Blog 3

This class was really icing on the cake to my sustainability journey. I have enjoyed every second of being in this class and all the assignments we have done. I have learned so much more about environmental problems we as humans has caused. I have learned something new with each reading, and activity we have done for this class. The poverty reading was very interesting to me, because I did not really think that deep into factors that cause environmental degradation. After reading the article, I understand more about how poverty is a can agent and does not help the environmental issues our planet is facing. I believe that this problem can be fixed.  Activity 3 helped me to really learn more about my wicked problem I plan to do my Investigative Report over. I enjoyed researching more deeper into the problem of textile waste and just how big of a problem it is. I believe that fast fashion is a problem that many people are not aware of and I plan to make people more aware of. With my major, this is a big factor in the clothing industry and I would like to make it better and more sustainable. Being more knowledgeable about the topic is the first step and then coming up with innovative solutions to help solve this problem is another step. 

            Leyla had some very interesting points about our mobile phones. She said that we on average replace our phones every 15-18 months. If we would understand the strategies that these companies are doing, then we change the sustainability agenda. She also said that Consumption is one of the biggest problems, but design is one of the best solutions. This is very true, because we as humans always want the newer and best thing out there and do not think about the sustainability issues this causes.

            Biophilia to me is being with other forms of life. Animals and insects do this all the time and we as humans need to practice biophilia more to really understand nature and all its inhabitants. 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. 

            Our trip to the sustainability office, recycling center, and upholstery shop really opened my eyes to see just how much our campus loves our planet and is trying to keep it beautiful. Seeing this really impacted me and helped me realize how much things that I throw away can effect our planet. Seeing how they still reuse couches and chairs from very long ago really was amazing, because they do not just throw them away because they are broke. Hearing how 400 hundred people work in these offices is just amazing to know, because all of these people care about keeping our campus sustainable and our planet beautiful. I would encourage many students to go by and see all the work they do for our planet, because it is amazing. 

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Blog #2

I thought the reading about mindfulness and sustainability was really interesting. I didn’t realize that meditation and being at peace would actually help with being better at sustainability. It was saying that meditating helps to keep you grounded and mindful of the things around you which then helps make you not want things so much and there for you don’t waste things so much.

I think I would probably try to mediate on my own instead of in class. In class I cannot get comfortable enough to really let loose and relax. I have tried to mediate before and for a little bit I was getting ok at it but I eventually forgot about it. The process was focusing on my breathing and thinking just about that and not anything else. So I would not be opposed to trying different things to help my self and the environment. I think it is important to be mindful about the environment because if your mindlessly wasting things that could be used again or recycled, I think it could lead us even farther down the wrong road if too many people continue to stay in the mindset of not caring what happens to what they throw away.

The 11th hour documentary was interesting to watch. I learned some things that I didn’t even know about that make me wonder why people still don’t believe that there is a problem. For example I heard on it that was borrow about $800,000,000,000 from the world a year to fund the United States’ over consumption. That to me is insane. How is this still happening and why would it still be happening.

When I did the activity 2 i had to thing whether these problems are actually wicked. I had to think more about what the definition of WICKED even means to finish this activity. But I think that the documentary was really interesting. I wish everyone could understand what’s going on in the world.

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Blog 2

I believe mindfulness and sustainability go hand in hand with each other. To be sustainable, you must be mindful. Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to ourselves and what is going on around us. Society has become so blinded by how our actions effect the ecosystems. In the Mindfulness and Sustainability essay, it states that over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly than in any comparable period in human history. I find this incredibly fascinating and horrifying. In such a short time, humans have destroyed nature. Therefore, people should be more mindful about how they choose to live their lives.

Meditation can easily improve your mood. Taking a few moments to gather yourself will make all the difference. Once you collect yourself, your mindfulness will also improve. Having a poor mental state can make it harder to consider societal concerns. Having a greater well-being will create a better mindfulness thus creating a more sustainable you! When you are mindful you are being considerate to the world around you. Changing habits, you think are small, can cause a rippling effect with the people around you and may inspire them to act.

Marc Cohen’s TED Talk speaks about the importance of wellness, mindfulness, and sustainability. He explains the science behind wellness. He explains the world effects your balance. Cohen states that lifestyle chronic disease is the leading cause of death of 60% which I think is crazy.

The 11th Hour was an amazing documentary. It brought light to the wicked problems that dictate our world right now. It touched on climate change, biodiversity, and population growth, all are warping the world quickly. While doing Activity 2, I was taken back by how all these wicked problems affect me and how many there is. These past couple of weeks in Wicked Problems has really opened my eyes and has made me more aware.

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Blog Post #2

While reading the article, Mindfulness and Sustainability, the take-aways I got were that mindfulness promotes healthy wellbeing, empathy, and clear values. When people put effort into their wellbeing, empathy, and are values based they will be more willing to live a sustainable life.

Marc Cohen Ted Talk is about the meaning of mindfulness by creating a picture through illness and wellness. When someone is ill they are continuously thinking about themselves and what the world can do for them. On the other hand, wellness is more about the word “we”. Wellness is finding balance in your life and focusing more on others rather than ourselves. Cohen describes illness as a descending spiral or a “vortex of terror” and says that wellness reflects as a “ascending spiral of bliss”. The reason for people falling into illness is because people have gotten stuck in the mentality that the “the universe is there; I am here”. Meaning we are separating ourselves from the universe. He explains that the separation between us and the universe is relative because it is leading to more entropy and disorder.

We also watched a documentary called “The 11th Hour”. This documentary really got to me and helped me understand the problems the world is having and how little we doing to help fix it. This video targets the outcome of the way we treat earth. As humans we have started to have the mentality that the earth will never run out of resources no matter how much we waste. This has sadly led us to the furthest thing from a sustainable lifestyle. Luckily, renewable resources can help with this problem if we begin to allow change for the better into our lives.

Activity 2 is very similar to The 11th Hour Documentary. This activity relates to how these problems become wicked problems. We also show whether these problems can be reversed without bringing more problems. Most of the problems discussed in the video are not able to be reversed. All of these problems are able to be helped by having a better mindset of sustainability and all in all just being MINDFUL!!

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Blog. #2 Breanna Kanwisher

Mindfulness is like being aware of what  is happening around you. For example knowing about drought issues in certain places and trying to conserve water.  Being mindful can also mean metaition. It is sorta like a mental training technique that a person can do to take breath throughout the day and relax. Sustainability is acting throughout your life and making decisions on an everyday basis that will one day get  us to where we have always dreamed of being. As humans we make decisions that can either be helpful or non beneficial to our end goal of whatever that may be.

From the reading I thought that the major point in it was to help the reader understand that it is important to be mindful and sustainable at the same time.  Mindfulness can be very helpful in achieving goals because it can train your body to take the breath that it needs to relax and get where it needs to be. From taking that breath this can help a person become more sustainable and get to their goal.  

The meditation in class really helped me, I really enjoyed it.  It made me realize how important it could be to sit outside and look at the nature around us and just take a breathe. Relax for that moment helped clear my head.  This could be very helpful in a stressful situation for example a test or an interview. Mediating right before these stressful thing could help clear my head and help me focus on doing well.  It is important to be mindful because it helps a person become aware of their surroundings and also help them focus. Marc Cohen was in the TED talk and he talked about being mindful and how that can help a person try to be as sustainable as possible.  

The 11th hour movie was really cool and interesting.  I learned a lot about things I had no idea happened to the Earth.  For example, the toxins that are being dumped in the oceans and are poisoning fish that we eat and other fish eat so it is harming us and other fish.  I would think that people would try to find somewhere else to dump things and not in the ocean that carries so much live and food for everyone. I also thought it was interesting how it  talked about how the earth can only support a much smaller number then what is currently living on Earth and at some point natural resources will run out so people need to think of another resource to get energy from.  Activity two was based off this movie. I thought that activity two was a good way to sum up what went on during the movie. The key things that the movie had in it. For example climate change and population growth.

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