Welcome to the Wild Green Yonder, a blog about sustainability. If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the ecological crisis, and maybe have some idea of how high the stakes are. I’m starting up this site to share my thoughts and ideas about our rapidly changing relationship to the natural world.
I am a junior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a concentration in Sustainable Design. Most recently, I’ve been involved in NYU’s own greening efforts as a member of the newly-formed Green Action Plan Task Force and co-author of a comprehensive Sustainability Assessment of NYU. This semester, however, I’ll be taking a sabbatical from New York to attend the Ecosa Institute, a semester-long sustainability program in Prescott, Arizona. I’ll be spending the next few months immersed in the philosophies and nitty-gritty of green design… and I’ll be sure to share my insights on this site as I go along.
Sustainability’s become quite a hot term these past couple years. Oil’s getting expensive, the weather’s going crazy, and people finally seem to be waking up to the fact that we’re going to be in some serious trouble if we don’t start rethinking the way we live our lives. Everywhere you look, there are encouraging signs: green building is becoming cheaper and more widespread every year, and big companies are finally starting to realize that, far from a passing fad, taking sustainability seriously will both save money and increase brand value.
But we’ve just begun to scratch the surface. For all the fanfare over hybrid cars, organic tomatoes and wind turbines, all we’ve managed to do so far is make our lifestyle less unustainable. These developments are great first steps, but they still exist within a larger framework – a framework of unlimited material growth and continued exploitation of those without a voice. If we are to take sustainability seriously as a society (and what choice do we really have?) our current system just won’t do.
If this sounds like a daunting proposal – well, it is. Addressing the root of the problem will require talent, cooperation, and most of all, courage. Those of us in the overdeveloped world will need to think critically about some of our most basic values – and convince everyone around us to do the same.
And yet, I remain optimistic. My hope is that this blog can serve as a testbed for my ideas, and a springboard that will inspire others. So comment, subscribe (email me if you need help setting up RSS), and join me in helping create a greener world.