Tag Archives: sustainability

Negative Carbon Footprint

We’ve heard of the term “zero carbon footprint” in the past few years to bring awareness to the sustainability movement. But even if we all go zero carbon right now, what happens to the years when we didn’t do much about the environment? Don’t we need to do even more than zero carbon and go into the negative territory to bring the environment back to its sustainable state?

I suppose I am sort of looking at this like the national debt. We have a debt, and at the same time we try to balance our annual budget. Even if we don’t have any more deficits, we still have a debt. We need to have a surplus every year to get us back in the black (even though I am told we intentionally will never pay back our debt, for certain economic reasons).

I know that right now, we can’t even get to absolutely zero carbon, so getting negative carbon is even harder. And I’m pretty sure that involves more than planting trees for every whatever product we buy.


Career Routes: Web Developing and “Green” Companies

In the past few weeks, as I have been working on my portfolio site and learning PHP and Ajax, I re-found my excitement and fascination in coding, and I could imagine myself working on it as a full-time gig, despite the hairsplitting troubleshooting (but when it works, it works beautifully!) At the same time, my interest in environmentalism and sustainability still exists. Not so much, though, is visual design, at least as a career. Therefore, I now have narrowed my choices down to two: web developing and “green” jobs.

I don’t know which is more correct, web “developing” or web “programming,” but I know what I want to do. The problem is that a quick job search online shows that most of those jobs require multiple years of experience, which I don’t have professionally.

And with green jobs, I still don’t know where to start, because I don’t know what my education in (mostly visual) design can contribute to the organizations. But I’m sure there is a future and potential for growth for the entire industry, so I’m not too worried; there’s something to do for everyone.

Therefore, the perfect job right now would be to combine both: to code the website or whatever for a “green” company, letting me contribute to my passion of changing/saving the world by doing what I enjoy doing.

This is not too far-fetched of a dream, compared to my other ones. If I have to pay more dues by working for a year or two somewhere to get there, I just might do it.


Design: e²

Sometime last week, while surfing hulu.com for new shows I can watch, I stumbled upon a television series by PBS called Design: e2: The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious. I thought it was a show about graphic design, but it turned out to be about architecture. It only had six episodes; I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a mini-series or if it was cancelled because topics like this could bore people (not me).

I noticed that every time I watch an episode, I get completely inspired, lifted, and motivated to do something green with my back-burnered design career. I imagine working for an environmentally conscious company as my first design job right off the bat, and continue to pursue a career of socially responsible design and to help solve this global climate crisis that seems to be very apparent lately.

It amazes me how the PBS program was released in 2006, because a lot of the projects and ideas mentioned on the program were unheard of (at least by me); it seems that the projects that were completed since then certainly would have been mentioned on some newspaper or blog, but they weren’t. Shows how much (little) awareness this has with the general public.

I feel that with all the “natural” disasters that have been happening lately, the issues of global warming, environmental consciousness, sustainability, etc. will not go away any time soon, and a career devoted to these issues certainly will not only be profitable, but will also have room for exciting discoveries and growth.

I don’t know why, how, or when I started becoming so passionate (though passively) about sustainability, but I like it. I gradually noticed within the last few years that, compared to my friends and family, I’ve become more and more concerned about the environment. It’s probably because of my gullible nature, having watched those TV shows and movies about global warming, convinced that we must act now to save ourselves.

In any case, I now drive a Prius, even though I would much rather not drive at all since it still uses gas, unless it’s one of those new concept hydrogen cars or whatever, which supposedly only farts out water and heat. I also bought those grocery-store-branded fabric bags so I could use them every time I buy groceries and get those three measly cents off my purchase.

But in the end, I wanted to do more, more than what I can do alone. I want to see sustainability principles applied beyond my circle and make a real, lasting impact on others and the community. That said, I believe a career in sustainable design may achieve just that.