Friday, May 29, 2015

Good Words for Sustainability Work I

Reinforcements: Notes and stickies keep helpful quotes at the ready.
It can be frustrating, some days, working to spread environmentally-sustainable behavior and thinking. Practitioners often feel alone, unsupported, discouraged. Not always; but often.

Once in awhile I come across an explanation that clarifies my thinking, or a quote that encourages me, or a statement that I can use to help others see the importance, too. These quotes or comments from others remind me I am not alone, and they improve my thinking about this work.

I capture them on stickies and put them on the walls of my office, or I keep them as notes from conference sessions, or from reading or research. More always come to displace them, so before I recycle these, I'll write the quotes and my notes here for me and for you:

Metrics are the darlings of improving efficiency and reducing impact, but sometimes starting with concepts (missions), rather than numbers, can create greater change:
              "Starting with a metric blinds planners to the larger effect of one's actions in a way that a values-based plan does not."  (McDonough and Braungart in The Upcycle, 2013, p100.)

Green work is serious creative thinking. We are looking for new ways to solve long-standing problems, and doing it with multiple positive results. That new thinking makes it creative.That complexity makes it hard.  This helps me accept the difficulty of the work:
             "It's about understanding how complicated the modern business world is, how indispensable diversity of perspective is, and how hard creative work is. Here's why it's hard: because often there is no right answer." (Brian Grayer, Fast Company, April 2015)

The window for reversing climate change is closed; the one for slowing it is closing rapidly. If we're going to make any difference, we have to make changes, huge ones, and at speeds most people just are not comprehending. This succinct phrase says it best:
              "The yardstick for action is dangerously short-sighted".  (George Adamson, NOVA Special on "Elsa", 12.17.2014)

1 comment:

  1. The post-it that has been hanging on my wall (for a long time, since the sticky part is no longer sticky) says STP: Same Ten People, as a warning not to keep asking the "usual suspects" to volunteer. It speaks more to the sustainability of organizations, but equally important.