Community can play many different roles, and there are a couple different roles I see it taking on. I think that community is first about education. We learn the most from the people who surround us. I also think that pressure or encouragement from a community to change practices which may not come naturally are essential. There have been many studies done on the increases in accountability when information is discussed publicly. I also see communities as being a great opportunity for sharing, recycling, and reusing anything and everything.
I think it plays a crucial role. Being a part of a community is something that everyone seeks, and if that community is environmentally sustainable, it will help that person to accept sustainability as part of themselves and their lifestyle. Growing up around a sustainable community wil engrain in children’s minds that sustainability is important and help them develop good habits. If a community embraces eco-friendly ways, it will also make it convenient – which is what a community thrives on.
On the other hand, the influence of a community can also breed ignorance. People surround themselves with like-minded people, and there is nothing easier than agreeing with a statement about something you already believe in, or ignoring a problem — like the ones sustainabilty purports to solve — that is challenging or counter-intuitive. In this case, I agree whole-heartedly with what laram said about education. Knowledge, like ignorance, is contagious.
I think community is the most important aspect of direct change in our society worldwide. When we get down to small-town changes on a world scale, we can really see some positive action. Hope I helped, and have a green day!
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