My interview with Akash took place back towards the tail end of March. Akash is a senator with the UI Student government, a member of Eco-Friends Community, as well as a former CNP Fellow. When Akash and I sat down to discuss all things climate related we started off at the intersection between self-care and climate change. In regards to self-care, whether it was through yoga, meditation or a plethora other forms that people take in order to care for themselves. He compared the difficulties of self care and climate change to ailments that could prevent people from living healthy lives. When I asked him to elaborate Akash said, “Even when people may acknowledge the problem they may not usually look for a sustainable solution and many times it could be because they may not even be aware of them.”
He went on to say that one of the ways to change people’s opinions would be to begin to initiate the conversation. By that he goes on to say that appropriating the message in a way which does succumb to thoughts of “Doom and Gloom” will ultimately help in getting across the tone of what the climate and sustainability movement can be all about. “Make it a people’s movement” Akash says with excitement, “Part of the question of the environmental movement will be how can we get people who are not normally a part of this into the equation.” This branched off another question which has become one of the focal points of my project, how can we empower and bring in new people into the sustainability movement?
We go onto discuss topics which have been brought up at the current iteration of the CNP. Things such as infrastructure, green spaces, planting trees, transforming urban ecology, walkability and other topics were brought up as of as part of the patchwork of solutions which can influence the direction of a city’s carbon footprint. As we drew to a close on discussing various solutions, we came to a mutual understanding that the implementation of all these solutions comes down to educating and finding creative ways for people to appreciate and value various solutions that have been postulated, implemented and reinvented.