The picture showing an aesthetically pleasing green scenery with windmills and solar panels creates a perception of simplicity. I do not think sustainability should be given that perception because in reality, it will be extremely difficult to transition our fossil fuel-dependent societies. Moreover, the use of wind and solar energy gives off the message that we already have the technology to be sustainable, just that we haven’t done so yet. While some countries may have the financial means and infrastructure to do so, making the transition to sustainable societies will require structural changes that may take decades to manifest. Also, the cleanliness and use one type of grass to cover North America gives off the message that sustainability will also be this lovely aesthetic because nature is healing. This perception of sustainability is problematic because it can incentivize greenwashing and other misleading perspectives; a lot of the changes needed will not be pretty or fun to make, but they are essential if we are to transition to a sustainable future.


The second picture depicting a farmer’s market local to the Carlisle area is what sustainability means to me because it’s about seeing the systems we already have in place within our communities and utilizing them as a jumping point towards a sustainable future. It’s not about creating an elitist/exclusive culture about who is the most sustainable, it’s about accessibility.  A balance between local and globalized processes.