This semester has been whirlwind of learning environmental issues, finding ways to advocate for these issues, and lastly finding opportunities to incorporate all this knowledge into my design education. What I’ve learned through this process is that there should not be “environmental” work and “regular work. For everything that we do, let us strive for a worthy goal of societal and environmental improvement. As one of my professors said about the design profession, “There should be no divide between public interest and green design. All design should serve the public’s interest. All design should include the processes of nature into it.”
Moreover, through this investigation of how to alter the system, I’ve learned that large scale change is sadly very infeasible. For example, the Kyoto Protocol would be an excellent platform, however the countries that need to participate, mainly the US, will not sign. Large scale policy requires cooperation among nations, which at this point is very hard to achieve. Community-level change in contrast is much easier to implement change. For example, if the wast collection project I was working on in Bhubaneswar, India was planned to be implemented in the entire state of Orissa, there is no way it would happen. However, because it is specific within a community, it has potential to be successful.
In all that we do, we must think both globally and in futuristically. However, to make change, we need to start within our communities. As communities grow stronger, their knowledge will spread. Just as there should be no divide between green and normal work, so shall the divide between communities fall, and one day, hopefully soon, our local resiliency will be a global one.