Monthly Archives: June 2013

Field Manual of Change: How to avoid junk food

Junk food companies are expanding more and more, there is almost no chance of keeping them from spreading. Junk food now are one of the factors that contribute to obesity cases in both children and adults. There are healthy food and there is junk/fast food. Junk food expands our choices of food so it is merely our choice of selecting. Because of the negative effects the junk food has brought many people to we tend to stand against it and to change their way of thinking. First if all why people nowadays are consuming more quantities of junk food is the due to a number of reasons. Mostly heard that they do not have the time for grocery shopping or to cook. Some say junk foods are tasty and find it hard to resist.

Well, here are reasons to not consume junk food. First of all, think of the ingredients in the food. Junk food tend to have more ingredients than they say. Chicken nuggets in some fast food chains contain chemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is extracted from petroleum. Furthermore mechanical separators are used in some chicken products making some waste scraps ended up in the final product. Secondly, we are not oblivious to how low quality for most junk food chains are. As the term suggests, fast foods are prepared fast to satisfy the excess demand which means they have less time to prepare food properly. Next, a lot of fast food products contain Trans-fats which could increase LDL cholesterol leading to increased risk of having Cardiac arrest. French fries, fried chicken and fried fish fillet are some examples.

There are various ways of avoiding junk food in our diets. All of which requires almost constant practice and strong willpower. Frist off is to make a plan on what food will you eat, cook and for when will you need to eat e.g. during lunch hours at work. Needless to say that this will ultimately change your lifestyle where you have to do according to the schedule you have made but you will find it in the end it was worth it. Should you missed a day to cook, do not resort immediately to any junk food you know. There are plenty of choices out there that are healthier and delicious at the same time. To do this, you should expand you culinary horizons. Try out different cuisines and delicacies that are from other restaurants.

In some cases you would want to get something instant instead of spending time to cook, getting junk food such as potato chips would defeat your true objective thus get a healthier alternative such as fruits. On the side note, a study indicated that bananas give the same sugar crash as cookies despite giving more nutrients than cookies. On the satiety index, the food that could get you feel full would be potatoes. It hit off the charts compared to cookies meat or bananas. That is one way to ease up the hunger in the mean time.

Sometimes it would look really tempting to have junk food when it is advertised in the media. At this point however resisting the temptation would be easier than it was before getting into avoidance of junk food manual. Resisting it would be the last step towards the manual. If that was not enough to convince you to not eat junk food then perhaps instilling fear into the junk food perceptive would work by watching an American documentary film, Super Size Me documenting the life of having fast food and see what happens.

References:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/archive/news/fast-food-ads-influence-teens-eating-habits-survey-finds/story-fn7x8me2-1226199423435

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/961233/top-10-reasons-not-to-eat-fast-food

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-591325.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Quit-Junk-Food

http://stronglifts.com/10-ways-to-quit-eating-junk-food/

Reflection – Jeong Hyuk Park s9867422

Reflection           Jeong Hyuk Park s9867422

During this studies course I have learn about the importance of change and how change can be applied to unlimited possibilities. It’s all dependent on the way we observe, understand the issue and implement our creative solutions to the areas that require the need of change. These changes need not be only in the form of design of a product but in alternate ways that can provoke a form of change to the psychological, social, political, environmental and medical forms that activates a type of change that can form a difference in the way we people live their lives.

In the first couple of weeks I recall of being involved in tweeting. This was a complete new experience for me since I don’t use social media at all.  It took a while to first understand how to use this application and after the set up and using it for about couple of weeks it was clear how powerful tweeting is and how it can be used to communicate to people across the world in an instant. This was fascinating to see it in action and allowed me to understand the reason behind its popularity. Although I did find some negative aspects of twitter while using it throughout the first half of the semester. I felt that it was quite easy to get bombarded with tweets from people you are following. This can be quite difficult to deal with when you have multiple tweets from multiple people. Also it can’t be as reliable in receiving a immediate response which can be frustrating at times. The WordPress was another application that was new to me. The WordPress application is also another very powerful web blogging application that is used to post and share information. I really enjoyed using this application and will continue to do so in future. The layout and useability is not as simple as the Twitter, but once learned it is not as difficult as it appears.

One of the main learning experiences throughout this course was during the group activities. During our group activities I was able to engage with fellow students in a discussion regarding some of the issues of consumption, and its detrimental impact it has on the environment. We engaged in many group discussions throughout the weeks regarding this issue and in the process we were able to understand the sheer size and magnitude of this issue and how it co-relates to other major design issues. Every form of change will create an equal or opposite reaction to the change that is being applied. For example; if consumption was reduced by implementing a new method of reusing old products by a way of refurbishment, this will create major improvements in reducing the use of our natural resources and reduce the production of waste. However this will also impact on the global economies income on commodities; forcing job cuts and form a rise in unemployment. This is just an example of the thinking process involved in finding a solution for these issues in our group. Our group continued to work together through the second half of the semester to find 7 different forms of scenarios that introduce a form of change in reducing consumption. Although, not all of these scenarios were applicable to suit the bigger picture of change but did produce some interesting solutions that had potential in solving the consumption issues.

With this understanding it was obvious how critical our role as a designer is in producing design solutions that can form a change that is positive in all aspects it affects.

Through this cause I was able to learn allot through Liam’s explanations of the effect of change and how the implement of our change can reduce or stop the cycle of production of objects. This was about how an objects is made process was explained through a line graph and how our changes could alter that cycle. This was very interesting and clear to understand and it was through these explanations that got me thinking more deeply about the effects of design, change and the broader picture of designing process. Overall it has been very interesting and insightful experience and have enjoyed the course throughout the semester.

 

Task Three: Field Manual for Change / Inform Deceptive Marketing Research Tactics

Inform Deceptive Marketing Research tactics

Market based trading, selling, buying and consuming has been around for thousands of years and the presence of a consumer society should not always be viewed in such positive way. Today’s current consumer society is a fluctuating continuous development that has spanned over a period of centuries. During this time we have witnessed the growth of the market base trading in manufacturing; distributing and selling consumer goods.

It is only when the trading of production, communication, sales and consumption increased involving large companies and institutions; the study of behavioural and psychological investigations of these activities began.

The study of marketing behavioural investigations claims to uncover and reveal the expressed needs of consumers, which is partly or even false most of the time. It is common excuse used by companies and institutions to enable producers of goods to dispose of their excess productivity, increase sales and profit. This process of management of demand involves constructing products around a strong selling point that is associated with product design features, packaging, performance and sales strategy including advertising. A popular strategy used to enhance sales is recruiting a loyal band of customers by introducing brand recognition and brand loyalty. With this specific strategy, managers of demand produce a comprehensive, repetitive and compelling communication of advertisements to its customers.

The consequence of this is that while goods are becoming more and more abundant to consumers through clever advertising sales and purchases. Consumers do not seem to be aware of these strategies that are targeted in pushing sales schemes. According to further market research, people who become consumers constantly end up wanting more. Although it’s fair to say not all market research is part of scheme and without any of this persuasion by the market there would be less of a tendency to consume, that would create problems for the industrial system which relies on the expenditure of a constant proportion of income on commodities.

However, it is the quality, not the quantity of the research that is concerned about in this. Market research studies consume like fishermen study fish rather than as marine biologists, and with this micro level of perspective in consumer needs as research are seen as insufficient and false considering the marketers claim that the research is to be conducted to develop and enhance consumer’s products and the marketer’s services.

Marketers usually intend to ‘hook’ consumers by offering a product or service that meets those needs of the consumer without the true understanding of the consumers needs which to them is really secondary.

Today, the emergence of internet, smart phones, social media, applications and data processing computer technologies offers marketers ever more power, and build sophisticated ways of deceiving their prospects and targets. As deceptive marketing strategies and tactics become more evident in today’s market place, this will gradually create negative impact on our society shaping and reducing the standards and values that determine social conduct, not to mention the environmental and the consumption of natural resources issues.  It is for these reasons that deceptive marketing practices must be brought to our attention.

These concerns are not only limited to marketing and its practice, but are also relevant to the type and form of the research process, such as the way the research information is conducted or to what level, does these information gain access to companies to distribute? and does this not breach the individual’s privacy?  In fact, marketing researches and its range of tactics are now so sophisticated that we are completely unaware of its existence, leaching data from phones, computers, internet, social media, TV’s, Game consoles, cars etc.

Although many of the issues of marketing research have been around, it has received relatively little attention from academics in psychology and the general public. Despite the fact that the growing coverage of privacy issues in the establishment of professional guidelines and governmental regulations prohibiting unethical marketing tactics, collection and distribution of personal data without the owner’s consent, relatively little information appears regarding the implications of data collection and deception for marketing practitioners, consumers, and regulatory agencies.

So then how can we stop and apply change to deceptive practices so that it is conducted in a method that is ethically and morally correct? To achieve this,

(1)  Clarify what deception is and the circumstance under which its use may be justified

(2)  to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms and process that underlie its effects on individual consumers, the field of marketing, and society in general.

To achieve justice to the wealth of topics affecting to deception in marketing research and marketing practice would require a whole list of steps that clarify and establish professional guidelines that protect and prohibit the use of deceptive market tactics in our markets today.

Therefore, the intent here is not to provide a solution to stop market practices, but to clarify deception to alert and educate the consumers whom are lost in the false hood of marketers such as the use of deception in the marketing of alcohol and tobacco products, influence tactics used in marketing products to children, brand confusion, and so on.

Rather, the intent of this movement is to serve as a large part of an introduction and starting point, especially in terms of raising the topic of deception, protecting our privacy rights as consumers, to propose promising directions for further research and consideration that can eliminate deceptive marketing for good.

 

References

Desmond, John, Consumption Behaviour

Gay, Paul Du, Consumption and Identity at work

Kimmel, Allan, J, Psychology & Marketing

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mar.1024/pdf

Self Reflection – Emily Bramich_3436710

At first, learning about western society’s rate of consumption and lack of interest, or at least motivation, to stand for change against social problems and environmental issues struck a guilty nerve. I have to admit, and I am sure I am not the only one, that my ‘excuse’ to putting these serious issues to the back of my mind and taking the easy path is due to pure laziness and selfishness. But with this laziness comes ignorance. Finding out the true problems that face the society and environment comes down, ultimately, to how interested a person is in the topic and how passionate they are about changing the future.

My main interests within all of issues this world is facing that I feel must take a positive turn to ensure the best possible outcome for the future of generations to come are issues facing the environment. The class’s first task of researching a topic to make a poster introduced me to a few statistics that shocked me. The amount of waste produced by western society is immense. Learning that has definitely changed the way I purchase food. I now only buy when I know I am going to eat it within the number of days it is eatable to lower the amount of wasted food I will throw away. This has saved me money and made a small but helpful impact on the environment.

The main topic that interested me was that of problems of over fishing – specifically tuna companies that are trawling the oceans to the point of empty. Not only is the rate of tuna in the oceans declining unnaturally fast but the disruption of the ocean’s ecosystems from the large amount of by catch caught in trawler nets. This topic is not something that I would have initially sort to investigate but because of this task I have now taken a great interest in this issue.

When we were asked to give something up that we held dearly or took for granted like coffee or an ingredient that would appear in particular foods or products with excessive packaging to take our own personal stance against an issue my mind ran straight to my favourite pieces of clothing. My rate of consumption of clothing and the money that is spent on it is large. I am guilty of buying overly priced clothing shipped to my front for my convenience straight from Europe. Since starting this course I have taken particular interest in the workings of my favourite labels, where they purchase their material, how this material is manufactured and if it is locally made or exported. Though I have also started taking a great interest in local designers and choosing to the support their companies over others. I’m proud to say that majority of Melbourne designers I am passionate about locally produced their products.

 However, in the real world I ,and most people, am unlikely going to enquire before I make a purchase in an ordinary store about the condition the skirt or dress or top undertook to make a position on the rack in front of me and if I did and the response was that of ‘made in … under sweatshop conditions’ unfortunately it would probably not be enough for me to disregard the item and walk away if I found it so appealing and at an affordable price. This is the case with most of the Western world and their narcissistic desires. Though in saying that, large companies, like Zara, that have been exploited for creating massive amounts of damage to the environment from the production of their clothing and other companies for their outrageously poor treatment towards employees I have chosen to strictly not shop there. 

The final task built up my knowledge and interest I had in taking care of public parks and community gardens and their importance to society. I have come away with new ideas for possible projects in the future for permanent activities for children and adults to encourage exercising, socializing and enjoying the sunlight. Getting more people out and about to parks means more interest in the improvements that can be made and in turn how parks provide an alternative path to improve and change social and environmental issues.

Overall Change: Advocacy/Activism/Agency has given me an insight into how western society has a whole approaches consumerism with a blind eye and how the environment is only given to the second thought. From this class I have realized how I personally deal with situations and how I can improve them to make the slightest of differences. For Example, lowering my power usage, which brands and companies I support when buying food and products, the amount of waste I create from uneaten food, buying products without excessive packaging and walking when it’s unnecessary to drive. I am glad I chose this class as my first ever Studies class as it has given me a useful tool to take with me and use throughout projects I will encounter in this course and after I graduate.

Reflection

Studying change this semester has helped me understand the complete overconsumption of material, inefficiency of manufacture and the social complexity of branding and trends.

Although my commitment to giving up excessive packaging did not last more than a week and a half, it had taught me a lot about how beneficial to my day to day energy cooking fresh food was. Also, it reignited my want to cook, rather than only do it when I need to. Now I frequently cook for my family and save much more money than eating out or getting take away that, not long ago was pretty much all I did and it has cost me a small fortune.

 

Studying Obesity, my interest was particularly in the younger generations, simply as they are more open minded about change and not set in any ways. The statistics of obesity are mind boggling, and the fact that almost all children that are obese as children suffer from depression later in life is an absolute shame. It has further helped me think of alternative ways to help me siblings, who are very much inclined to watch television than go and run around with the dog.

 

I highly recommend change as a studies elective as it does not reflect so much on history, but to learn and improve, it does not draw on particular styles, but particular ways of thinking and trends. Change is always relevant, and extremely effective when persevered with a following.

 

To be critical on myself I would say that what I have achieved personally and mentally can not be seen through my work, I think I struggled to articulate my understanding of change through the social networking mediums (twitter, wordpress). The in class discussions, extremely fast flow charts, tangents and video documentaries through class were all relevant and very engaging. Thinking how we can change things for the better gives a very inspiring and optimistic outlook, rather than accepting it and having a pessimistic perspective. Thank you Simoutri and Liam.

A guide to keep your children healthy and safe.

A guide to keep your children healthy and safe.

Obesity, the epidemic is infiltrating countries and cultures all around, with more momentum every day. It is time to bring it to a halt. In Western culture the changes in technology, accessibility and perception has a firm grip on lifestyle. Changing it not for the better, but taking away health and mobility from younger generations, predominantly with the idea of the ‘dangerous world’ and that ideas damage on children’s physical exercise and activity. Ultimately, a young child’s health and lifestyle is managed by their parents. Recently, in the last two decades, media have reported heavily on the dangerous crimes and events that are happening ‘in the streets’, little do these parents pay much attention to the fact that these instances are usually crime or drug affiliated, not random acts of violence.

 

This negative perception of the suburban and city areas creates a very melancholy view of the outside world. This has led many children to being overprotected, isolated indoors and being addicts to social media, video games and television. The young generation is suffering heavily from perpetual boredom, an inability to exert their energy and to express themselves. The technology literally handed to Australian children by the Federal government in forms of ipads and laptops has given the kids an outlet, social networking. This has seen a drop in children being able to hold conversation, socialise with each other without a technological catalyst and most disapointing is a drop in physical activity, team sports and ‘mucking around’ with friends in local areas.

 

This initiative for change focuses not on the individuals, but the avenues in which they can choose for themselves to change, with the approval and appropriate safety that is needed. Firstly, a change of perception needs to take place in regards to suburban and city areas, to promote safety. Crime is a problem-everywhere, there are no safe suburbs, there are no unsafe suburbs. However, with the help of government and television and radio media working co-operatively faith can be restored into the safety of parks, playgrounds and streets.

 

Step 1: Parks, playgrounds and patrols.

 

As councils are taxpayer funded, it is their duty and interest to meet the demands that will be listed. These ideas are plausible, but only if the change is desired by a mass. Your local council will have contracted security agencies that patrol council buildings and areas of interest, like statues, gardens etc. Using these agencies, create a patrol that surveys local parks during after school times heavily, and infrequently during the day and on weekends. In heavily family residing suburbs, local councils could use this pitch and be very successful over a few pothole repairs in gaining votes and securing their position. Not only will this bring ease to parents, but allow for a community to evolve at local parks amongst children and parents. This does take place, but not as much as it should. This particular step aims for a safe arena for children to exercise, express themselves with friends and socialise all while injecting their minds with a positive and safe outlook on their local area, instead of staying indoors and having an unsure idea of the outside world.

 

Step 2: Police presence, grey guardians.

 

Similarly to the above step, it involves a 3rd party that is taxpayer funded, a service to YOU and your area. Although any presence, whether parents or contracted security workers would create a much more safer communal park, oval, playground, police presence is the height of scaring off trouble seekers. If steps 2 & 3 are carried out on a routine basis of presence in these ‘safe areas’ police should not need to be heavy, but more to restore that idea of security into parents minds. Offering local elderly retirees short watch positions would also be an excellent way to keep old and young interactions for the younger generations benefit, as well as the elderly community growing closer while possibly being offered short CPR and first aid courses. The infrastructure erected in the following step will house an emergency phone, in case anything were to happen.

 

Step 3: infrastructure and identifiability

 

Shelters of similar and practical design are to be erected in prescribed safe parks, housing emergency phones, and showing a state wide sign that will be designed to allow children to identify there whereabouts quickly and effectively. This idea is based on a childes unfamiliarity with street intersections and park, reserves or oval names. It’s based on a short series of numbers that is identifiable by emergency services and if called off the red emergency phone provided in the safe area’s shelter, the location is already known through computer systems that link that number to a location. Step 3 aims to be seen as a failsafe, and advertised as a physical health and wellbeing emergency hotline, rather than crime affiliated. One CCTV camera should be present on each emergency shelter, to promote and sense of watchfulness to parents, a sense of protection to children and a chance for in the case that anything is to go wrong, these events can be further protected and learnt from by councils and communities.

 

 

Step 4: Melancholy media

 

Media, particularly news and current affair programs must become more accountable and truthful in projecting a positive image of public areas. This can be achieved by boldly stating that many events and occurrences are crime, drug and family related, instead of painting many crimes as random acts of violence. Also, the Government of the respective state, or local council should advertise to children and parents community events, held in the safe areas. As well as promote the idea of getting to know the ‘grey guardians’ and the other parents that frequent the park.

 

 

This action plan is simple, plausible and extremely beneficial for the families with children and retirees that come together to create community areas that thrive and get kids active from a young age, which will help them to stay fit, stay healthy and start the backlash to the epidemic their parents and grandparents are statistically, most likely suffering, obesity.
Get your children out of the house and active, it’s the best thing for them.

Tom Beattie

Reflection

When it comes to deciding which design studies you want to enroll in, it would be best to look for the one with the title that you know well how it relates to design. That was what I thought in the beginning. However, over the course of the semester that policy won’t be applied in the future no longer because design studies is not about exploring about the things you may already know but to explore what you don’t know and that experience you gained becomes valuable. Design studies gets you mentally prepare for complications that are not encountered in any design stage and not make you unaware of all the things to do before jumping onto the drawing board.

Change: Advocacy/Activism/Agency is about what it is – change. To change is also to design. In this context we design or redesign ourselves and then the rest of the world to make the world a better place. At the start of the course I realized that information is valuable and in the modern society we are in, we are able to share those important information to anyone at anytime. The use of twitter was the start of the course. Twitter, is used as a tool for that information sharing. Unbeknownst to the use and power of Twitter, I saw myself like a barbarian struggling myself working around it. It made me realize that I wasn’t the sharing type and had resolve to change that but sharing isn’t the only thing I could do, I can look at what other people have shared also.

As we progressed we were all were told to give up something so in my group we decided to give up coffee which means no Starbucks..unless it is not coffee. Wait, I rarely get coffee from there what is there to be upset about? So each of the group members gave up coffee except for a few that only gave up coffee after 2 or 3 weeks. What the giving up for was to make us aware of in our case how its made and how the workers were paid and so on. We all have come to a decision on giving up coffee because of Fair Trade in coffee workers. I find that the activities we did were quite interesting unlike any other design studies I’ve been enrolled to like the giving up or the use of social media as an awareness distributer.

Overall it was an interesting class because we were all had a common goal and all of us in the group would understand better of what we need to change and how would we do it.  All of us have this desire to change. It keeps us restless if no action is taken. The class reawakens that desire to make change and would get me to revisit the things that in need of change . And not often we get to voice out for change whether to change ourselves or our surroundings. With everyone had the common sense of thinking, it served as a motivation to progress to even greater lengths.

A self reflection on Design as Activism _3435337

I’ve always found myself to be a bit of a cynic. Questioning too deeply, double guessing, not really trusting facts and figures and ultimately ending up on Wikipedia or other sources of knowledge. Having to completely understand something before understanding it at all is usually the norm, I get to a point where my knowledge starts to form into something more rapid, something that excites me and indulges my brain in twisting complexities of otherwise uncovered simplicities. Starting this course Design as Advocacy I was definitely in the prior state, ‘what is this’, ‘as if that actually happens in the real world’… I wouldn’t say I’ve lived a sheltered life regarding what the course intended and eventually uncovered, but never had I felt so unaware of what actually happens out there. I loved discussing ideas surrounding change and advocacy in class, and designing concepts for different situations, even thinking about situations I’d never considered to exist. I found Soumitri’s teaching style to be stimulating and my thoughts were never isolated to a singular topic. Every thought spurred into consideration of others, and Design as Advocacy proved to be a valuable lesson in introducing me to what it may mean to become and Industrial Designer.

 

What I took from twitter was not so much knowledge about content, more about activism and advocacy. Sometimes when you’re screaming for attention, nobody hears you. I didn’t receive one comment on anything I posted (from an outsider), and I thought there were some good ones amongst them. I wasn’t upset, but neither was I surprised. I wasn’t really being an advocate for anything yet, I had hardly got my mind around the course content or what I was actually doing at this stage. Little did I know, I was changing. Being an activist or advocate for something may not involve direct access to the public stage you would like to see yourself on, and it takes a passionate, enthusiastic, and determined activist to even be heard. Twitter as a tool, maybe I didn’t enjoy it so much.

 

We produced and infographic document as a group, focusing on global citizenship, something that stays in my thoughts every time I consume. The group struggled to get off the ground, but with the help of leadership from Isaac, we were on track. Some of the team members may not have contributed as much as I would have felt fair, but I’ve become accustomed to this and my patience prevailed, I was happy with the overall outcome and the efforts from the group as a collective.

 

After a task of the initial, with the groups mixed up again, I felt everyone had a clearer understanding of the task at hand. The poster was on a much larger scale and it was going to a lot more effort to collaborate on a bigger format. I played a role designing my individual scenario, and the final presentation document for print, which was by far the largest I have ever constructed. This task really helped build on the ideas and concepts the class had been discussing, and at over five metres long I was impressed with our efforts, even though the majority of this had come in the days leading up to presentation.

 

14 weeks on, and a whole heap of education surrounding my main topics of global citizenship and consumption later, I’m no longer confused as to what the course set out to achieve. I find myself looking at products with much bigger scope, looking at the variables and factors that go into it behind the scenes, from a stand point I haven’t really found myself in before. The layers of products and their intent on society, as money makers or catalysts for consumption, or even the opposite. I learned convincing arguments in a design sense may not be as irrational as previous studies, and that the presentation of them needs to be concise, organised and logical. I learned about change and the steps towards it, the outlining of problems regarding different aspects of society, and the way design can influence the people on a global scale. The thoughts this course has instilled on me will form a strong foundation to construct further knowledge surrounding the design process and what it means to truly be an advocate for change.

 

 

 

Desirables, the first and the final decision. _3435337

Consume, it’s purely what we do. The average healthy adult human emits around ninety grams of carbon each night during sleep, through carbon dioxide emissions, effectively consuming the oxygen into the blood stream. Healthy adults should also average around two and a half litres of water per day, depending on body mass, physical exercise, and the climate. These, along with many other life dependencies aren’t and shouldn’t be varied for sustaining a healthy life, however many things surrounding the consumption of a community certainly are. The community in this sense may be limited to the household you live in, or as broad as considering ‘community’ at a global scale.

The material value of everyday items lack significance in the society of today. Wasteful contributions to a growing consumption rate, with the addition of population growth shouldn’t be treated so blasé. Companies and governments alike can control the price and availability of necessities and desirables, but without the demand there’s no need for supply. Sure some responsibility can be hand balled to the manufacturer, but in reality the consumer makes the first and the final decision. For most things surrounding the purchase of desirable items in today’s consumption climate, the consumer is also part of the product, the product generated through years of education and stimulation regarding consumables and the value they add to our materialistic lives.

A movement of consideration surrounding the purchases of commodities necessary to maintain a healthy and sustainable way of life is developing, but this change isn’t going to slowly filter through the masses with the certainty of time. A change in living this expansive needs to be embraced by all, and consideration to the bigger picture should be educated and practiced by more than just a handful of willing advocates. Ideally this change would be of instant significance to the world, in lowering emissions through production and land-fill addition at product end of life, however such a drastic transition between ways of life provides too much of a hurdle for one to comprehend, and ultimately instigate. Giving up is a simple yet challenging concept, but the implementation can be done in smaller steps to help ease the transition between good and bad habits. Gradual change is easier to adapt ones way of life around, and is a great way to contribute towards a constructive cause as a ‘global citizen’. Strength to deny ones self of purchases and consumables isn’t usually something achievable without a mindset on change, and this form of advocacy is built on a strong and passionate understanding of the matter, through education covering more than just a singular point of reference or subject topic. The circle of life is significantly more complex than it was merely a couple of hundred years ago. With the industrial revolution came a manufacturing sector even bigger than ever before, slowly destroying niche trades that were once only practiced by the master craftsmen of the time.

Efficiency in material use, and labor price reductions may incur through large scale manufacturing, however sometimes the price we pay for mass produced items isn’t limited to the monetary figure. For instance, factors such as personal touches without doubt add value larger than the worth sum to belongings. This small concept of value has the potential to uproot a whole sector of consumption, beginning at the consumer end.

When we consider “hand made” or craft goods, it’s usually something to steer clear of when buying on a budget, but how does this affect the outcome of our purchases? As with most things made for personal use, their value is appreciated through this use, as does the irreplaceable factors that provide character and uniqueness. This uniqueness is only available as a base level whereby products are custom made, and although this small market has it’s attractions, the movement surrounding this sector is only just appearing to make a comeback. Hand made, personalised, or custom designed goods may cost a premium in the short term, but the possible longevity of the product through it’s working life may be considerably extended. This extension of product life can not only ensure less wasteful consumption through replacement, but add personal and social value through this heritage. Other elements that show value through craft trade may be workmanship and material quality, also adding attraction to an otherwise saturated market with heavily inflated prices on highly advertised goods. Such an extensive knowledge surrounding sustainable design and manufacture has been consolidated, but the implementation to the masses hasn’t filtered through enough to make a considerable impact, to stimulate this necessary change as a world wide solution.

Desirable items may be as simple as a wish, want, need, or even necessity, and the gratification obtained through the purchase or ownership surely brings a form of happiness, but is it a true form of happiness? To be truly happy, or overwhelmed with joy. The price we pay on desirable items, name brands, unnecessary technology, fast food, is all part of modern life. Maybe the high prices of these inflated cost products provide more of this materialistic happiness, regardless of the true value. Working to buy, buying to satisfy, satisfied to live. Wash rinse repeat. As discussed, to change habits as fundamental as this can be implemented in steps to help teach ideas, gradually rather than abruptly. Giving up, the key element of change regarding consumption involves more than just giving one thing up. Maybe a bad habit or harmful addiction, something that wastes precious resources or money, and most times an alternative solution is necessary, but this needs to be carefully designed as to be making a positive overall outcome.

To incorporate good these good life practices, a guide with consideration to consumption may prove a good tactic in tackling the challenge of giving something up, and making a difference. Outlining problems regarding habits concerning topics such as waste or greed, is a vital step, to isolate what it is you can do to make a change. Forming a solution from a known problem then needs to be set as a goal. Something to work towards that is realistic, achievable and constructive proves an honest task and one that can be actively spread inside of your community. Being an advocate for change doesn’t mean protesting, or isolating ones self, merely taking initiative and showing leadership on a global issue (activism). Once a goal is achieved, the healthy life practices need to be set, but not forgotten. Technology is always proving new, more efficient, safer, and healthier ways to live our lives, and turning to design, and science for wealth in education may prove more valuable to us than the products we could otherwise consume. Everyone’s situation is different, and personal factors regarding this topic will vary significantly, however isolating key areas in your life practices will not be difficult! You know what to do, take the plunge! Embrace change.

The Importance Of Public Parks and Community Gardens When Bringing About Change – Emily Bramich_3436710

Parkland and community gardens provide a number of important benefits to communities. These large open spaces encourage activities that benefit health, physically and psychologically, increase social benefits as well as have a positive environmental impact.  Community gardens also bring about change by promoting sustainable living through direct participation and also can be seen as an education tool for the younger generation. Together, as a society that wants to see environmental and social change, investing in keeping and creating parkland is an important starting point.

As the population continues to expand problems of finding solutions that can support this unstoppable future continue to be explored. One of the problems societies are facing is finding space to build housing. Within cities that are seeing a decrease in housing properties in replacement for apartment blocks the question being raised is how crucial are backyards? The solution to having minimal to no outdoor space, with a focus on families with young children, is park access. Are parks sufficient enough to replace the benefits of a backyard?

In some cities, like New York, families have been used to this lifestyle of raising children in an apartments and relying on parkland for outdoor activities for a long time. However, in cities like Melbourne and Sydney where this circumstance only applies to a small number but will grow to effect a larger amount in the near future it is therefore important to take care of our open spaces, realize their potential and act on ways to embrace and improve the future of our following generation’s health and wellbeing through the endless benefits of parks.

There are a number of reasons why you might visit a park:

  1. To walk your canine friend
  2. Picnic with your friends or family
  3. Read a book while your child plays on the play equipment
  4. Have a game of soccer

All these activities and the numerous other reasons why you would venture outside to parkland all have a positive effect on your physical health and psychological well-being.

It is no myth that physical activity reduces obesity and the risk of a number of illnesses that can lead to premature death such as coronary heart disease and type two diabetes.Strong evidence shows that when people have access to parks, they exercise more. With this in mind seeking ways to lower obesity solutions can be found in investing into improving facilities that encourage sports and other physical activities in parks. These could range from outdoor basketball courts, goal posts, bike tracks, cricket nets and even some innovative and interactive park games that encourage small children be involved.

Not only is spending time in parks significantly beneficial to physical health but also plays an important roll in keeping psychologically healthy. A growing body of research shows that exposure to nature and greenery makes people healthier. A study in the Netherlands that complied health information on more then 10 000 residents next to a landuse database, that allowed researches to know which people lived near city parks, agricultural land and nature areas, produced findings that made the health connection evident. It showed that people who lived in a greener environment had fewer health complaints and better mental health. The study also found that the same health benefits of living near forest and agricultural areas were equal to those that lived near city parks.

The social change that can be achieved through the use of activities in public parks is easily overlooked. Programs that have run in parks in the US for at-risk youth have shown a link in the reduction of juvenile based crimes in those particular areas.  One program that saw success in many communities was “Midnight Basketball” where courts were left open late at night.  Significant decreases in arrests of juveniles were evident where these programs were offered.

Another important factors are that these open spaces help to create stronger ties within neighbourhoods and also play a critical role in a child’s social development. These types of environments where young children can safely interact with others help kids develop muscle strength and coordination, language, cognitive thinking, and reasoning abilities.

With global warming increasingly showing signs of a changing climate what hurt does it do to plant a few more trees? Dedicating space to open areas within cities should also be about creating an example of a community’s stance against climate change. As wells as absorbing carbon dioxide, trees and the soil underneath them also act as natural filters for water pollution and also keep cities cooler mitigating the effects of concrete and glass.

In the bigger picture if you look back to before cities began to develop making way for roads and buildings what existed there previously would have be bush land teaming with life. This expansion of a concrete city and the population that fills it has resulted in the destruction of a perfectly designed ecosystem. Native flora and fauna were either destroyed or pushed out to other areas where they could survive. National parkland has proven a critical importance to keeping large areas untouched for animals and their habitats and lowering the extinction rates to as little as possible. However, national parks should not be solely relied on to provide homes for native plants and animals. City parks, as well as other green spaces such as bike path strips, should be used to introduce native plants back into their original home. With native plants, come native birds and other animals that feed there or live within it.

Community gardens are growing in popularity. People are cleaning up vacant lots to create an environment that is accessible to the whole neighbourhood and encourages community participation. These gardens provide a beneficial path to changing our lifestyles and outlooks for a healthier and more sustainable future.
Community gardens increase residents’ sense of community ownership and stewardship, provide a focus for neighbourhood activities, expose inner-city youth to nature, connect people from diverse cultures, engages a healthy habits with foods as well as physical exercise and build community leaders.
It teachers people about living sustainably and encourages to buy and support local businesses. Involving small children also provides positive examples of a healthy lifestyle for themselves and builds their knowledge of environmentally friendly practices.

There many ways you can become involved in community gardens in order to change and improve your lifestyle and environmental outlook. Simply enquire through the internet or local council to source the nearest garden – or you could start your own!

http://communitygarden.org.au – provides extensive information on events and ways to become involved but also simple steps to create your own community garden.

It is easy to take parkland for granted and overlook the potential of public garden spaces. Giving your eye a long distance to wonder over an open green space when you have been spending your days between giant building structures is an activity that everyone should undertake for the good of their health. Perhaps next time you walk to work along the Carlton Gardens take note of possible new additions that could be made to encourage more social interaction or maybe you notice the native birds among the trees and decide to start your own native backyard garden.
Nature had it right to start with so why when we are facing many societal problems are we looking the other way? Parks and green land offer many chances to make changes to the community – they are the perfect place to bring people to together.