Wouldn’t it be great if…

Posted on October 22, 2007



 I think that the two biggest dangers of the sustainability message (worse perhaps than it being ignored entirely) is that it be boring and and it be preachy.  Both of these are guaranteed to defeat the message.   The organisers of the DoTT07 Festivalwere able to showcase several initiatives that were the very opposite of boring and preachy.   Nor do they seem to have been imposed.   Instead, an Ecodesign challenge (supported by a great set of graphics) asked two questions:

what is your school’s ecological footprint? and
how you you propose to make it smaller?

Most of the initiatives are based around schools, but include the wider communities.  I saw several variations on design challenges to redesign schools with lower carbon footprints. 

Wouldn’t it be great if…

Solutions ranged beyond the usual focus on compost and dim lights to include improving learning and the learning environment.  One school community, for example, worked out how much time was being wasted at the start of each lesson by the usual finding pens – their solution/? – a system to ensure everyone had a pen. Other ideas include an integrated vocational learning zone.

What I liked best was that these projects were not done in isolation, One project, for example takes the approach of early career planning including sustainability: engaged people are better prepared to envisage a sustainable future, and better placed to do something about it.    I was at the festival on the first morning, if the engagement of the schools I saw are any thing to go by, the Ecodesign challenges should have great impact.