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Justice Visioning
In #UnleashValues
Our Future
In #UnleashValues
Vani Gupta
Sep 23, 2022
Love your question! As Declan mentioned, as individuals, I think we can spark discussions when we begin changing our patterns (not buying diamond rings, for instance). I also think we can take advantage of social media trends and start new movements where many individuals take action in a short period of time. It'll definitely be a small step, but ideally, one trend can trigger future ones. I think movements like these would definitely be more effective when backed by someone influential/a celebrity, because, for better or for worse, celebrities are held in very high esteem, especially by the youth. I think part of the issue is inconvenience and having to make changes to how you are used to doing things. For instance, I found separating the garbage out to be a frustrating and challenging shift, because I had not grown up doing that. This is a deterrant to making and, above all, sustaining these changes. So, instead of trying to change consumption patterns, we can try enforcing good consumption patterns and environmental awareness at a younger age. This can be done via education. We seem to be learning about these issues more as we enter university. That's still great, but if we incorporate this into our subjects at a school-level, then individuals don't have to change patterns or try to become more environmentally-conscious, because it's already a part of their worldview. For instance, some English essays, even for students in year 7/grade 6, can ask students to research or give their opinion on an environmental issue. History and geography are great subjects for introducing environmental conservation ideas. Math classes, e.g., for Year 10/Grade 9, could have statistic projects that ask students to analyze data published online about certain consumption patterns (like the history of diamonds, the rate of deforestation and reforestation efforts, the loss of biodiversity in a local region, etc.). We can also have a class where we learn values, such as teamwork, living with the environment and being part of the system (as mentioned by some of the Indigineous people who discussed environmental issues), etc. I used to have a Character Education class in school from Year 7 - Year 9, but we never discussed living in harmony with the environment. By incorporating these topics in all subjects, the environment becomes a part of their thinking and values, and not something that they have to later on learn about separately and adjust to. I think this can help change negative patterns within a generation!
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Vani Gupta

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