Words. They’re pretty nice, wouldn’t you agree? They allow us to talk, read, and articulate our thoughts. Without them we wouldn’t be able to communicate very effectively (can you imagine a world of grunters?). Nor would we be able understand things to quite the same degree. And we certainly wouldn’t be able to debate the finer details of various topics near and dear to our hearts like, say, baseball, dark chocolate, or the environment.
Given the power and utility of words, they are the primary focus a new program called the Lexicon of Sustainability. “Lexicon” is a fancy word for “language”. And “sustainability” is, well, a fancy word that many people banter about, but don’t truly understand or embrace. The Lexicon of Sustainability is based on a simple premise: people can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t even know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability.
For instance, what are food miles? What is the difference between annual vs. perennial plants? Organic vs. conventional food? Grass-fed vs. grain-fed meat? What is food sovereignty? Or biodiversity? For most people, these topics aren’t even a consideration because they don’t even know the words for them exist. In the meantime, the health of our bodies and our planet hangs in the balance. The hope of the Lexicon of Sustainability project is that as more people become aware of these issues, the more progress we’ll make towards achieving a socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable future.
Food for thought
Take a moment to look at the following samples of educational art pieces produced by The Lexicon of Sustainability. There are many, many more posted on their website, as well as videos produced in cooperation with PBS.org. Have you ever thought about these words and concepts before? If yes, thank you (please pass them on). If not, perhaps it’s because you never had the opportunity to learn them before. Check out The Lexicon of Sustainability website for more words and information.