Sep 23, 2022
I envision a shifted cultural mindset in capitalism-based societies towards reciprocity with the Earth, to a mutual relationship of love and respect. A new perspective that sees us living in conjunction with the earth, rather than upon, would inevitably breed less capitalistic economies, leading to reduced social stratification and more equitable societies. This vision goes to the root of the socio-ecological crises facing us, and addresses the fact that we must repair our relationship with the land before we can truly create more Just societies. So how could we go about shifting the deeply engrained mindset that the earth is a resource, that we can exploit it, and people of lower social status, as long as it brings us benefit? I think this begins with how we teach our children to interact with the Earth, with bridging the separation between us and food systems to become more connected with that which gives us life. After all, it is difficult to truly care about something you feel little connection with. #UnleashValues
Sep 23, 2022
In one of my first courses at UBC, a professor lamented over all we have lost in Western-culture by prioritizing the individual over community. Having lived my entire life immersed in aforementioned Western-culture, it wasn’t until this past summer, when I spent some time living in Spain, that I experienced first hand what a community-centred and less materialistic life could look like. The people I met in Spain had much smaller living spaces and less belongings than the people I know in Canada, but they spent so much more time socializing and their lives were less structured and rigid than the ones I observe here (I am generalizing - I am sure this is not the experience of everyone in Spain, or here, but this is what I have observed). This experience led me to reflect on why it is that people are so much less social and less happy here, and why this leads to us filling a void in our lives with material objects. I believe that a return to a more communal and social style of living would solve many of the consumer and social problems plaguing society today, and that it is very possible for our society to trend in this direction. It is difficult to make this switch when individualism has been so ingrained in Western-culture, but there are so many simple ways to go about doing it. My roommates and I have begun taking turns cooking dinner for one another once a week - this has led to us having less food waste in the house, as well as an opportunity to eat together and socialize that we didn’t always have time for before. Clothing swaps, repair pop-ups, and similar circular-economy community-minded events are also on the rise, and can help contribute to making our culture shift away from the individual. Sometimes these actions can feel small given the enormity of problems like consumerism, but they have the potential to have large ripple effects, and can increase your own quality of life. #UnleashValues
Sep 16, 2022
Hello! My name is Sophia, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to engage with CoSphere as a part of ENVR 430 this semester. I am a 4th year environmental sciences student with a minor in Indigenous studies, and am excited about topics that intersect these two disciplines, such as how reconciliation and sustainability goals are interconnected. One reason I wanted to take this course is because I often find it difficult to stay motivated on taking action on environmental issues because of the enormity of the problems and the relative insignificance I view myself as having. Yet, at the same time, I find not taking any meaningful action to be extremely demoralizing. I think that it is so crucial for us to find a way to inspire people, especially younger generations, to not give up on the environmental crises we're facing, and to find a way to create some tangible change. I'm glad to see that the #UnleashValues is addressing this feeling, and I look forward to seeing the potential is has for inspiring change.