- This activist created and teaches a course at UC Berkeley about tips on how to obtain zero waste.
- In an interview with the Forum, she discusses the course and its goals – and her hopes and ambitions for the longer term.
Sage Lenier, an environmental activist and graduate from UC Berkeley, created a wildly common course at her college devoted to sustainable options and round techniques considering in opposition to the broader backdrop of environmental justice. In Spring 2020, the course enrolled greater than 300 college students desirous to learn the way they’ll drive the shift in the direction of a extra moral and sustainable society. The World Economic Forum sat down with Sage for a fast Q&A.
What drove you to start out instructing zero waste?
When I began at UC Berkeley, I used to be excited to be going to a faculty that had – I’m informed – among the best environmental curriculums within the nation. But I shortly realized that a lot of the schooling I used to be receiving had little real-life software; the fabric lacked the call-to-action that’s actually mandatory for addressing the ecological disaster.
That’s why I made a decision to create a course that was solutions-focused and action-based. I began out with the idea of zero waste, however I scaled it up from individual-level motion to construct a imaginative and prescient for an economic system, design system and tradition that function on the premise that pure sources are useful and restricted. I additionally cowl fashionable meals techniques, local weather change and decarbonization, and inexperienced cities, all the time a worldwide image of entry, fairness, and cultural and ecological range.
The method I take helps college students learn the way all of this stuff come collectively for a imaginative and prescient of a sustainable future. I would like them to be excited in regards to the 12 months 2100, moderately than terrified.
What are the most important misconceptions about your course?
Sometimes my course will get misconstrued as a spot the place I train college students about what they’ll do to minimize their particular person environmental affect. It’s not likely that in any respect. I do attempt to stroll my college students by means of the modifications that they’ll make in their very own lives, however the course is absolutely a couple of societal revolution. It’s targeted on structural change, political advocacy, and neighborhood energy.
Two-thirds of my college students will not be environmental majors, and I attempt to give everybody one thing that they’ll do with their lives and their careers.