Ensuring Environ. Sus.
One of the projects I was able to listen to addressed the Millennium Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability. The project started by telling of the slums in Sangali. The issue that was addressed was the misuse of toilet facilities. It was very surprising to find out what kind of an impact the misuse of a mere toilet facility could have such an impact on the community. People had to use it at night in fear of being harmed or harassed for going there. I was so surprised that a poor facility, a structure of stone and mortar, something that has only minor connections with the community could have an impact like this on the community. Finally residents began to complain about the problems it was creating and someone came forth to address the problem. After surveying and studying the land a proposal arose that involved the entire community in the new construction. I was even more shock at this since it was a bathroom that ended up bringing this community closer. A BATHROOM!!!! It really goes to show what kind of good can be done when people put their minds to it.
The Millennium Development Goals aim to address the needs of the world's poorest by 2050 and to address sustainability in their rebuilding process.
Pratima Joshi was and example of someone who tries to target needs such as the Sangali slums. She works on an organization addressing housing projects. She has mapped out slum areas to find where there was more need. Joshi is not alone though. James Garthe is and engineer at Penn St. and has worked to find a way to gather plastic and make it a fuel. He has found a way to compress plastic and replace coal with it. Dr. Jha of Sulabh has worked to find a way to reuse toilet water by exposing it to UV rays to kill some of the bacteria.
Researching my own project has taught me a lot but I have not been able to view it from another point of view. Getting to see this project as an audience member helped give me a new perspective on how to address environmental sustainability. It really isn't all about using solar panels and buying sustainable products (though these are good solutions). Helping people to live cleaner lives is another way to introduce the topic of sustainability around the world. It is the same idea with future generations, get them living cleanly right from the start so it is a part of their lives. Show them that it should be and is the way to live.