Waste and the Media Ecosystem:
An introduction to a New Column on Easy Ways to Go Green
It has become a well-accepted fact that most things we know will change in our lifetime. Those of us who are unhappy with the state of the world today try to promote and further that change, hopefully harnessing it in a more positive direction. Change or the expectation of change has lost its surprise.
Thinking green might be understood as an effort to rationalize the natural world in terms of sustainability. The green movement pushes to conceptually re-introduce humans in the global ecosystem and remove the dichotomy of Man vs. Nature.
One way that this is done is by describing our vision of the world with green vocabulary. The goal is to systemically inject our dialogues with terms that better reflect the world we want to live in, a greener world. And fortunately, this is working.
Think of how widespread and how easily people generally recognize terms such as “green economy” or “organic” or “sustainable development.” These are not just jargon but words in the mouths of mass consumers. My point is that the word “green” is gaining in appeal and perception. Most people today equate green with a positive, healthy and desirable trait.
Yet we need to ask ourselves how this vocabulary and the ideas it represents fit with the other ecosystems of our lives. If green vocabulary and green thinking is to survive the market place of ideas, then it must be the most fit and coherent. This becomes even more crucial as our surroundings continue to change. Where we live dictates that our lives are changing. We increasingly spend more and more time in digital environments; your reading this on the Internet is a simple proof of that. Likewise, green thinking must also adapt, change and remain fit to new lifestyles and emerging environments.
Defining the Media Ecosystem
Environments that include the inert surroundings along with living organisms all interacting and dependent on each other can be referred to as an ecosystem. Thus far in the digital universe, humans remain the living organisms that interact with a digital content. And in these digital environments the other main component is media. Media is what we consume, share, exchange, desire, reject, pick up, delete, send, accumulate, etc. Consequently, I understand this to be a Media Ecosystem, with Media as the dominant element composing the environment in which and with which people of all backgrounds and ideas interact.
The focus of my query then, is how green thinking and the green vocabulary we already use are applied to the Media Ecosystem. For this purpose, I want to consider media in the digital ecosystem much how we address the material surroundings in our daily lives: as property. Thus, are we creating too much waste? Do we recycle enough or at all? Are there even greener solutions? Is our current Media Ecosystem sustainable? Can Media itself be green?
Stay tuned to this feature column on Easy Ways to Go Green, with new postings twice monthly. Use the “Media Ecosystem” category in the right hand navigation to get you to all past and current posts.
Chapters and Installments of Waste and the Media Ecosystem
About the Author of This New Easy Ways Column: Justin Barrera
Justin Barrera is a Language Instructor living in Osaka. In addition to crossing linguistic barriers, he dabbles in breaking cultural taboos with sporadic performance art. Justin is curious about how Terms and Definitions can be transplanted into alternative fields of inquiry, allowing for interdisciplinary cross-exposure of seemingly disconnected fields of study. He enjoys mixing and matching, and realizes that in experimentation, most everything we believe today will be wrong tomorrow.
Copyright 2008 Easy Ways to Go Green, Matty Byloos and Justin Barrera