I’ve only been working within sustainability for about two years, so I don’t claim to be an expert nor do I really care deeply about it (I much prefer watching football on Saturday afternoon or leaving my workplace early on any given day). In fact what I can say, is that I’m sick of sustainability; I’m sick of a failed ‘environmental movement’, sick of people’s perceptions, misgivings, our politicians collective incompetence, corruption and the exploitation of vulnerable, deprived people, communities and scarce resources; I’m sick of moaning, because this is what the environmental movement has been doing for 60 years, I’m sick of hearing my own voice, so someone else might as well listen to my musings.
But what about the successes that this movement has brought? I’m repeatedly told that our awareness of environmental issues and the plight people in absolute poverty has increased tenfold. I feel that’s utterly meaningless. If for the last 60 years all Coca-Cola had done was to make people aware that Coca-Cola existed, would they sell 1 billion servings a day? Would they still be in business? I doubt it. I’m then told the purpose of the environmental campaigners is to increase awareness of related issues, quite right. However that purpose was never enough, we need solutions, which cost less and look like Brigitte Bardot. But as I’m part of this failure I can’t forever wallow in my own self-loathing and thankfully over the last 10 years the tide has begun to turn dramatically.
Now I’ve gotten rid of the vague aspects I hate about working in this arena, what do I want to look forward to and what do I hope to achieve in the future? Personally I want to enjoy it as much as I enjoy watching twenty-two men run around a field, extending their legs when a spherical object approaches them, striking it using their foot, with adequate force, forcing the ball to move, in the desired direction. If only we all had the motor skills to perform such tasks, the world would be a much simpler place. I want solutions. I want sustainability to respond to my most basic of wants and emotions. Sometimes it does, but not nearly enough.
Admittedly I’ve gotten off to a bad start, but from this point forward I will attempt to bring readers reviews of design solutions, insight and some of my own work that highlight sustainability for what it is; the biggest and most exciting business opportunity the world has ever seen. I think I still have to convince myself of that, never mind whoever wishes to read this.