A 2022 Challenge: Five things to inspire a less-waste lifestyle

— Anh NGUYEN

If you are looking for a meaningful fun challenge for your 2022, and if you are still perplexed with the complexity and grandeur of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradations, this article is designed just for you. 

In this article, we will list 5 resources that might help inspire you to lead a less-waste, more fulfilling lifestyle. The challenge is to read/watch/study these five resources in 2022 and for each one of them, write a little note on your biggest takeaways. Any takeaway(a thought, a feeling, an action plan, etc.) is appreciated. You can send them directly to us at waste.failureofdesign@gmail.com. 

Let’s get it started! 

#1 A bird’s eye view – The Anthropocene Project

The Anthropocene Project by Edward Burtynsky includes a series of museum exhibitions with big-scale aerial photographs, a (crazily well-crafted) documentary film, an art book, an educational program…on “humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet”. 

I had a wonderful chance to visit their exhibition at Fondazione MAST in Bologna back in summer 2019 and the massive scale impact of us humans on the surface of Earth and its biospheres just blew me away. 

The challenge is to go visit the nearest The Anthropocene Project exhibitions in 2022 OR watch their documentary online. I’m really looking forward to hearing & discussing your takeaways after.

#2 Less but better – Low-Tech Magazine

If you have read some other articles of us on the blog, you know that we love referencing Low-Tech magazine by Kris De Decker. As its name suggests, the blog goes against the belief of technophilia that only high-tech and technological progress can help design a sustainable life. Kris studies and diffuses the forgotten knowledge and simple, less energy-demanding practices to design and maintain a sustainable household and on a greater scale, community. 

The challenge is simply to read 3 articles from this wonderful blog and take some notes. 

#3 Better & bigger – Economy for the Common Good and The Blue Economy

Moving from the scale of a household and community, these two movements tackle a more macro scale – suggesting a more sustainable alternative to our current capitalistic economic model. 

Economy for the Common Good by Christian Felber advocates for a socio-economic model which focuses on cooperation and the wellbeing of communities & individuals. It might sound meta, but Christian Felber doesn’t stay at an ideological level and instead suggests concrete actions and mechanisms that help build such a socio-economic model. He explains this thoroughly in his book “Change Everything – Creating an Economy for the Common Good”. 

The Blue Economy by Gunter Pauli, on the other hand, takes a more entrepreneurial approach. The movement provides an open-source presenting 100+ innovations (both low-tech & high-tech) around the world to improve life while respecting the environment. Gunter presents these innovations & movements in countless TEDtalks and conferences, available on Youtube. 

The challenge is to take a look at (at least) one of these two movements and their propositions. I’m really looking forward to hearing your takeaways on this. 

#4 A sound mind in a sound body – The cooking series of Gennaro Contaldo

If we are not living our best life and taking good care of ourselves, how can we be strong and sane enough to tackle the complexity and grandeur of climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation? (Yes, we repeat them all again here: there are not one, but three equally complex & massive problems).

What we really enjoy from the cooking series of Gennaro Contaldo on Youtube is that his cooking is completely traditional, seasonal and local. If you are looking for hip European food vloggers who sprinkle sesame and cashew nuts all over their plates or put avocados or cucumbers whenever they can (yes, I’m eyeing at you Sadia Badiei from PickUpLimes), this channel is not for you. But if you are looking for honest cooking and the joy of food and life, Gennaro, our Italian grandpa and the mentor of Jamie Oliver, will show you the world. If you are a vegetarian, simply omit the meat in his recipes. Trust me, it works just as great!

The challenge is to cook five meals inspired by Gennaro, and take photos and share them with us!

#5 Aventure time! – WWOOFING

WWOOF is a global and local network of organic farms, in which you can exchange your labor with free food & accommodation during a short period of time. But it’s not just free food and accommodation, you’ll also experience life in community & cooperation, and meet new people sharing the same goal of living a more sustainable life. A wonderful way to spend your holidays! 

The challenge, therefore, is to try out one Wwoofing experience in 2022 in your country, and tell us all about it. 


*** Here is the Challenge of Waste is a Failure of Design for your 2022, from which we hope to receive your takeaways, feedback, and “achievements”! We would like to document these reflections/thoughts/ feelings in another article. 

Please send us your thoughts via waste.failureofdesign@gmail.com or tag us on Instagram @waste.failureofdesign.

— Anh NGUYEN

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