I recently read that the provincial government wants businesses in Ontario to start producing less to no/zero waste, soon.
So, how do you produce less waste, not only at the manufacturing level, but also at the consumer level?
Firstly, I believe a business must produce local products/services that transcend current trends, and moved into a place of longevity and a valuing of things of heirloom quality, rather than things designed to intentionally become obsolete.
Secondly, a deep and profound reform of the educational system must take place, with an emphasis on ecology, waste reduction/elimination, and holistic approaches to business.
Further, an investigation into the most influential sectors of society - those that create and destroy trends - must be undertaken in order to uncover the underlying ideologies that produced our current throw-away situation.
If lasting change is to happen in regards to waste, it must be both businesses and consumers who must take responsibility. It is all of us together...but there are louder voices, voices with more power and clout that influence the market itself. It seems to me that these influences must come from a force, now nearly all-pervading, which we call the media. But the media, magazines, radio, television, and, of course, the myriad forms of the internet are like funnels feeding bits of fleeting, yet alluring, information, images, ideas, concepts to society. The question remains, who or what is the most influential force in this coercing game - a game that is in fact designing the world we live in? Who designs the ideas that guide our world?
Perhaps that is too grandiose of a question to answer, but what about: who designs the products, the artificial environments, the interiors, the space we live with and inhabit? I would have to answer: designers, architects and engineers. It seems to always come back to design, and the power that it has. I remember one of my professors in architecture school said in a pseudo-mystic-poetic manner, "everything is design." Let us suppose that it is all about design (not only physical, but psychological, emotional as well), the problem I see is that the ecological and political implications of design most often travel under the radar. Designs are intoxicating and psychologically penetrating - to the point that we lose the ability to critically understand the depths of their effects on society, business, and the ecology of the planet in general.
It is for these reasons that I humbly call for a more holistic and responsible approach to the design and consumption of any physical object, yes, even art, so that we may all move towards a non-toxic, integrated and circular existence.