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How Do We Get to Sustainability?


Posted: 5:26PM March 31st, 2016 | Comments

I’ve started the last two posts with questions for a good reason. To achieve sustainability, we have to ask questions. Unfortunately, these questions aren’t easy, idealistic, or straightforward. They address real problems in the systems we have created and perpetuated, present controversial ideas that challenge the status quo, and require real thought and discussion. I thought writing a thorough blog post would be the best way to get at these questions, but the more I struggled to write, the more I realized I don’t have answers or details to provide. So here are the questions I’ve been grappling with, laid out plainly with no attempt to individually create a solution:


How do we make change: grassroots (inspiring, but small) or top-down (larger scale, but less heroic)? Is there necessarily a better way to achieve sustainability? According to Foodopoly, by Wenonah Hauter, “Changing our food system is a political act;” is changing the state of sustainability the same? How do we include everyone (especially underrepresented voices) in decision making? How do we balance views: is everyone’s opinion really equally important (ex. corporations’, NIMBY, or selfish interests)? If specialists are the ones driving change, how do we make sure to include everyone else? How do we make sure everyone is making sustainable choices? How do we reach out to and educate the uninterested or opposed? How do we make sustainability a habit and imbue it into our daily lives? How do we make sustainability a priority for everyone (especially businesses)? What exactly needs to be done, and what can be done at each level (government, business, nonprofit, or individual)? What important questions are missing and also crucial in working towards sustainability?


I know my answers to several of these questions, but mine alone are not enough. These questions should provoke conversations among family, friends, organizations, coworkers, and strangers so everyone can work together to create change. Reach out, share your questions and answers, be a changemaker!




By: Ida Yu


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