By: Leo Funa

The foundational aspect of contemporary sustainability that resonates most within me is equity/equality. We live in a world where resources are allocated to the wealthy instead of fairly distributing these to those most in need. Thus, it is hardly surprising to observe the widespread apathy and cynicism amongst humans today. I believe that equity is at the heart of the Sustainability Revolution, for this core aspect is intimately associated with the key proponents of the movement – people and communities. Concern for one’s neighbor, grassroots community building, and the equitable provision of resources are just some of the methods available to us in solidifying equality as a pillar of sustainability.

In effect, equity generates another E that is critical to the sustainability initiative: empowerment. The long-term viability of communities will be ensured through dynamic participation and equitable distribution. It is essential to create a global culture wherein every individual has a voice in the management of the planet’s resources. More often than not, people feel powerless against the machinery of governments, politics, and world leaders. Less developed nations must be afforded better opportunities to partake in the betterment of the global community. An inclusive community of proactive individuals will tremendously impact the quality of human life and will create a ripple effect towards future generations.

The beauty of contemporary sustainability lies in the act of placing value on what we as a society consider worthwhile; the movement was born from a collective judgment that the environment, society, and economy were valuable and warranted our supervision. These three dimensions are all parts of a whole, and the Sustainability Revolution seeks to unite these parts by a charting a course towards progressive growth.

- - - 

By: Valentina Vardanyan

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish you and you feed him for a lifetime." This Chinese proverb is a personal favorite of mine and I always try to incorporate it into my daily life on multiple levels.  I keep this in mind when I am learning something new and when I am teaching someone else (whether the concept is simple or complex).  Each day as I am growing and evolving, I am starting to comprehend the meaning behind the power of education.

In Edwards three E's the most significant and relevant in regards to sustainability is education.  Since the Sustainable Revolution is a fairly new concept for the masses, providing a comprehensive outlook on the subject will hopefully bring enlightenment.  As he explains in the article, the movement is on a global basis and consists of many organizations in various subjects all with the common purpose to sustain mother earth. The beauty behind this reform is that it applies to each human being living on Earth and each individual has the ability to make a difference in any subject that pertains to him or her on a personal level.  Thus, once you become involved and educated in your subject you natural become concerned with other topics in relation.

I have been in the fashion industry for a total of eight years, and the more I started educating myself in sustainability the more I noticed the waste and harm that was being produced by this single industry. I slowly became overwhelmed with helplessness and depression because I felt like I was contributing to this appalling business.  I started conducting more research in order to figure out how I could possible make changes; I realized that the only answer (with the limited amount of education in sustainability) was to make personal changes.  I was constantly going back and forth between corporations and smaller companies – fashion corporations were stable yet made me cringe with their politics and smaller companies were financially unstable, yet held favorable principles and ethics. It was difficult finding a happy balance and I finally came to a conclusion to continue my education at Woodbury.  I hope to further my understanding in sustainability to be able to apply it to my creativity and past experiences to make changes on a larger scale in the fashion industry.

- - - 

By: Erina Sookiasian

"We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality” – Vaclav Havel. To me, this quote means that in the past we have worried too much about the future and are unsure of how to be more sustainable. But if we fast forward to today, it is clear that a change is needed to be set in motion and instead of everyone just talking about change and protecting this planet. Sustainability should be a prime focus throughout every community in order to ensure that we will have a comfortable future for future generations.

While going through this reading, I felt that education applied most to my life as well as equity/equality. By teaching the next generation about the 3 E's it will better prepare them for life and provide them with a better understanding of why we should use natural resources wisely and for students to gain an understanding as to why we must all make a change to better this world. With equity/equality, I also feel is a part of everyone’s life in local communities, due to the community coming together and deciding that a change was needed in grocery stores to eliminate the use of plastic and paper grocery bags. So we can see that the planet does benefit from neighbors working together for a greater cause.

- - - 

By: Roaldin Fernandez

Sustainability has become a major discussion during the past years due to different pattern changes in the environment that affect multiple aspects in everyday life. Social, cultural, economical, medical, and architectural aspects are constantly changing and creating profound effects on nature. Out of all the examples that Andres Edwards presents, mostly I can relate and believe that the most important aspect is when he describes about education.

During my 5 years at Woodbury University, I have noticed that people tend to disregard the overall cleanliness of the campus.  This tends to happen more with architect majors due to the array equipment and materials used for projects. Once in a while, students will laser cut materials that are not permitted to cut in the digital fabrication lab because it creates toxins that are released in the air.  This past summer there was an incident where a student didn't appropriately use one of the machines and ended burning a laser cut machine that completely caught on fire.  All of that flame created a hazardous environment inside the fabrication building.  Luckily it was at a smaller scale because if it had been on a macro scale than it would have serious consequences.  That is why having an education on sustainability is the most important fundamental part of keeping a clean environment.  Just as Andres Edwards describes that education is the catalyst for understanding the three Es that he is describing. Education comes first, it is the foundation and without it the three Es would not exist.

Comment