Senior Project Advisor
Sustainability, environmentalism, accessibility, food, design, communication
Sustainability: a broad term that attempts to define societal effort toward ensuring future generations of humanity are able to survive and thrive on a healthy, livable planet Earth. In recent times, “sustainability” seems to have become little more than a buzzword, overused into oblivion by media and marketing campaigns. However, while I was developing my Interdisciplinary Concentration at Fairhaven College in which I explored the intersection between design, environmentalism, and communications, I found it difficult to avoid the word when I was explaining what I was trying to do through my studies. Despite its overuse, I find that the term remains a useful shorthand for any kind of effort on the part of the individual, community, or society to work toward environmental health, especially as it is understood in popular Western culture. The Eco-Thrifter’s Medley is a guide to developing eco-conscious habits at the individual level, but in a way that shifts away from individualistic narratives of “personal responsibility”. Instead, it is meant to encourage individual sustainable practices as part of a larger cultural shift toward sustainability on the communal and societal levels, with a particular focus on affordability and accessibility to students and working people. While conducting research to help inform the guide, I discovered that the two primary obstacles to achieving individual sustainability reported by my target audience were the viewpoint that adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is not financially feasible for the average person, and the belief that personal habits have a negligible impact on the overall welfare of the environment. My general goal with this project was to identify and offer solutions to these and other mental, physical, and cultural barriers when it comes to adopting more environmentally sustainable habits, all while utilizing visual design communication to make these messages as accessible and aesthetically pleasing as possible to a popular audience. The full version of The Eco-Thrifter’s Medley, based on research and personal experience, will include tips on greener cooking, shopping, and energy usage, with integrated principles of personal health and well-being along with community involvement toward larger sociopolitical change. I began this project with a volume on food and sustainable eating, which I included a sample of in my presentation.
Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Raufi, Laura, "The Eco-Thrifter’s Medley: Designing a low-waste lifestyle guide that seeks to address and overcome common barriers to sustainable living" (2023). WWU Honors College Senior Projects. 688.
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