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Rude Awakening - the beginning of my journey to reduce my footprint

Written on: Wednesday January 2nd, 2008

A journal entry from: A Journey to Reduce My Footprint

So I sleepily roll out of bed Monday morning to attend my first class at Emily Carr after a nice, long, relaxed (and much needed) winter break. I take my seat near the front of the lecture hall, slightly groggy and not really knowing what to expect, as this is the first time this course has ever been offered at my school before this. The course is called Ecological Perspectives on Design, and it is a required course for the design students at my school. As the description so succinctly puts it:

"This course aims to make education meaningful in the 21st century by closely examining the effects of human intention, including the current and potential roles for design and civil engagement in our world."

Now, it is no secret that the world is in bad shape. My fellow travelers and I have seen the evidence across the globe. We can even see it in our own back yards. At my school, we are learning things about our society's addiction to oil and our philosophy and pattern of consumption that presents grave problems for the future of the planet. This growing evidence is flooding from every corner of the planet, and it is clear that we must act with speed and scale. It was stated that early Monday morning, as our instructor surveyed the sea of panicked, hopless, frightened faces, that the "time to panic is now."

The issue of global warming demands our immediate attention, and our instructors have devised a new way of teaching a course, unlike anything I have ever encountered in all my post-secondary years of education. Our one and only task for the entire semester is to STOP GLOBAL WARMING.

We are to focus on one area of interest, something we are passionate about, and try to create a change. My passion was easy to identify: travel. The requirement is then that we use some sort of forum to get our message, our cause, our goals to be known. I am using my footstops journal to communicate my story and journey widely, in hopes that my fellow travelers might be just as inspired as I am to make a difference. We are all, obviously, thirsty for adventure, thristy to see as much of the world as possible. But without increased efforts from EACH of us, there will be no paradise for us to visit, no ruins for us to explore, no sites to dive, no beaches to lay on.

The second part of the assignment has to do with relating our design and behaviour changes to the law in order to put pressure on politicians to change a policy. We are then graded on how effectively we stop Global Warming.

I am asking for help, from you - my fellow travelers and adventurers. Not because I want a good grade, but because this is something that needs to be done, whether I am graded or not. And from all my travels, I have noticed that there is some sort of common thread that links all of us together, some sort of like mindedness, and I know this is something we are ALL concerned with. We want our children (one day) to bear witness to the same magical, amazing and inspirational things we have seen and experienced on our trips. We certainly do not want them to bear witness to the end of the planet, simply because we all cared, but relied on 'someone else' do get it done.

So I invite you all to check in on my "journey," and I encourage anyone to contact me with ideas, thoughts, concerns, etc., and to contribute in any way possible as an eco-conscious traveler. I'm sure is some sort of cheesy inspirational quote I could insert here about the power of people working together, but you all know this already.

Oh, and thanks for reading. If you got this far, I've already taken the first baby step for my assignment.


From Sarah on Jan 15th, 2008

I think what you are trying to accomplish is great! You've definitely made me more conscious of the affects of our pleasure.

From Rob Avis on Jan 18th, 2008

Danba, very cool project! Thanks for leaving a comment on our blog, if you need any information on sustainable transport or renewable energy let us know. You can reach us at rob.avis(at)gmail.com .