What am I interested in? What do I want to learn more about, make an impact for, design solutions for?

A variety of subjects that interest me:

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Reducing Waste.  Humans produce a lot of waste. Landfills are overflowing, natural resources are overused, and the environment, its animals, and the human population suffer because of it. Food waste in particular is something that I didn’t realize was such a big issue, especially in America. We throw away a lot of food, yet millions of people don’t have enough to eat. These issues are intertwined and can be the potential solution to each other. Aside from food, waste of any kind leads to opportunities for recycling and repurposing on a budget. Materials that are going to be thrown away anyways have the potential to be turned into something else for very cheap. It’s about giving things a second life and using what you have available.

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Two companies that I am inspired by are Imperfect Produce and Clean The World

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Imperfect Produce buys “ugly” produce from farmers and sells them for a discounted price. The produce they handle doesn’t usually make it to supermarkets because they aren’t aesthetically pleasing enough; they aren’t up to strict supermarket standards.  These foods usually end up going to waste and never make it off the farm. They are either thrown out, fed to livestock, or left to rot. By giving this ugly produce a purpose, and marketing it in a good light, Imperfect Produce saves consumers money, earns farmers more money on what would have been wasted crops, and contributes to reducing food waste in America.

 

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Clean The World sterilizes and recycles unused portions of soap from hotels and turns them into new bars of soap, ready to be used again. Hotels throw away so much soap because guests don’t usually finish the bars given to them. In other parts of the world, masses of people don’t have soap at all. These are areas that suffer from diseases that could easily be prevented with proper hygiene practices, like washing your hands. I love this organization because it reduces waste, gives back to the community, and takes advantage of resources that normally don’t get to be used.

Two articles I read on Food Waste:

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The Atlantic, Why Americans lead the World in Food Waste
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USA Today, Why Americans Waste So Much Food

 

 

Sex Education.  Sex education in America is a “free-for-all” kind of situation, meaning that there are no national standards for what is taught in public schools. This is mainly because the education system in America is organized by state, meaning that the quality of education differs based on where you live. Some states do not require sex education be taught at all, while others have thorough, comprehensive programs set in place. Aside from the content of sex education varying from state to state, the age at which it is administered also varies. Some school districts have programs starting in grade 4 while other school districts only have a few days set aside during grade 12. Because of these inconsistencies, too many American students are left without proper sex education. They are left to their own devices, and in many cases, must take it upon themselves to learn if they so choose. I see this as a huge problem because most kids are unwilling or incapable of educating themselves with accurate material.

In addition to school age children and teens being confused about sex due to a lacking education, very young children (pre-kindergarten age) have a ton of questions. Most of these questions revolve around the concept of where babies come from. They also have questions about their body parts, relationships with others,  and what is “normal”. I’d love to find a solution to help these kids (and their embarrassed/sometimes-shocked parents) openly communicate and learn from each other.

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Redefining “Selfies”.  I thought about what the word selfie means, and why it is so overused today. I thought about how people take so many pictures of themselves and questioned what value these photos have. I thought about other ways to interpret the word selfie, besides photos and iPhone pics. What is a selfie wasn’t capturing the way you look, but capturing how you smell? How you taste? How you think and dream? What if you were removed from the selfie and only your surroundings remains; would this still be considered a selfie and would it have the same value to you as a conventional selfie does?

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