TED Assignment

I have strong interest in the environment, human health, and the link that exists between the two. In fact, I recently based a year long capstone project on this concept. In the study, I researched Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) and attempted to alleviate symptoms of this ailment with vertical gardens and indoor green walls. I also created an informational website in order to spread awareness (http://sickbuildings.weebly.com/contact.html). Because of this, I chose to first watch the TED Talk which investigates the correlation between human health and where we live. In this video, a heart attack survivor attempts to track the possible causes of this health scare. He found online a plethora of maps, information, graphics, and geographic health trends. He found that some areas are more volatile in terms of air quality and toxicity than others, which makes sense. However, he also found that none of this information was taken into account by doctors and health experts when assessing individuals. He suggests that health experts add this information into personal health records in order to provide more accurate information on an individual.

I also watched “Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture”. In this video, Michael Pawlyn addresses several common environmental issues such as desertification. The information in the video suggests that while humans search for new technology and new solutions to our problems, nature has invested billions of years into solutions to these problems. Pawlyn researchers several methods of waste reduction and efficiency ┬ámodels. First, he suggests what he describes as the ‘closed loop’ system in which waste from one form of production provides the foundation for another. Rather than consuming and then discarding waste, the waste is re-purposed into a new resource to be used -just like what is done in nature. This method may not only reduce the impact of humans on the natural environment, but may in fact produce more effective products for humans to use.