In the introduction of the Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: Skills for a Changing World, a chapter explored in a previous article of this series, the authors briefly explain the type of competences indispensable to an individual’s survival and thriving in the declining environmental and social conditions of the world.
For those that question, or are not yet convinced, or aware about the anthropogenic path to ecological perdition humanity is currently facing, there are plenty of expert and official informational and educational resources that can elucidate the fact.
One can watch a short video on the Ecological Overshoot we are experiencing, read a short article from the World Resources Institute Reports, and look briefly over the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future.
These resources suggest that the problems are real and they will become more evident to most of us at one point. Proposed solutions at the grand scale exist also. One can see what Plan B 4.0: mobilizing to save civilization, Biomimcry, and even The Venus Project have to say. The consensus is that a redirection towards building a sustainable self, community and world is necessary.
Chapter 1 of of our Handbook deals with simple and practical ways of developing an individual and even a society wide ecological perspective conducive to the sustainability path. Ecocriticism, “the ability to critique existing discourse, cultural artifacts, forms and genres, and explore alternatives,” can be practiced, achieved and taught to others.
Simply put, one can understand and resist the sources of influence that encourage one’s contribution to self, environmental and social degradation, and shift attention and dedication to healthier sources of mental, physical and emotional experiences and wellbeing. Here are the exercises explored in this chapter, Ecocriticism: the ability to investigate cultural artefacts from an ecological perspective:
- Observe what type of emotions, experiences and desires result from watching how history, nature and good lifestyles are portrayed on the myriad of TV channels available.
- Replace the time, or part of the time spent in front of the TV, with time out of doors, in nature, “either sitting still quietly somewhere, or wandering around aimlessly”. Observe the information, thoughts and emotions received.
- Explore the emotions, experiences and lessons others gained in their encounter with nature and the world, exposed in eco-poetry. Try Earth Shattering.
For more reviews and lists on sustainability resources please subscribe!