What about the little picture?
While painting the big picture of a sustainable future will speak to some, for many the tangible and day to day will open their eyes.
What will a sustainable (perhaps no waste, zero net emissions) home look like? Will there be an electric car parked in the garage, plugged into a central battery and solar panels system? Will food be composted at home or by the council?
What will work look like? Will office blocks generate all their own power (perhaps with transparent solar pv windows), recycle water and other resources and feature green walls, inside and out, and green roofs? Will the office be a coworking space close enough to the home to cycle or walk to and encouraging collaboration, flexibility and creativity? Or perhaps it will be from a home work station?
And educational institutions… Will schools have vegetable gardens and a small farm to teach connection with food production and the land? Will sustainability and social/intergenerational responsibility thinking be incorporated into the teachings of university courses from commerce to engineering?
What will our cities and towns look like? Will the roads be solar panels filled with LED road markings or lined with electric charging stations? Will roads and suburbs be redesigned to pedestrians, cyclists and cheap, efficient public transport reducing transit time and encouraging community and healthy lives?
What will communities be? Will people create their own household items with 3D printers using recycled, bio-degradable materials reducing transport miles? Will community reemerge as people spend more time in their local area forging relationships with their local community buying locally or regionally grown food or 3D printed goods?
It’s quite fun to think about and so it should be. Innovation is exciting and should make our lives easier and more sustainable. I believe that the more we can help people imagine their own daily, lived sustainable future the more support there will be for creating it and the more they will be participants in creating it.
(Photo at top: Beddington Zero Energy Development, Wallington, UK)