Recently, a neighbour’s property was covered with leaves so they called someone to come to deal with the problem. The person they hired dealt with it – they brought in a leaf blower and blew the leaves off the neighbourbours lawn. No more problem right? Unfortunately, not quite. Now the other neighbours have leaves in their front yard because they were blown there. They now have a leaf problem so what do they do? They call someone to come and fix it. Another man with a leaf blower comes and blows the leaves off their lawn and into everyone else’s lawn. And so it continues, every day a new leaf blower. Funnily enough, no one seems to have thought of just raking up the leaves, then they would really solve the leaf problem and everyone would be happy. Instead they just pass the problem along.
The neighbourhood leaf blowing got me thinking about sustainability. Rather than just dealing with the problems, solving them properly the first time around, issues are too often thrown around, responsibility pushed from one group to the next. Businesses and organisations report about it on their websites, solutions are proposed and then when we feel the issue has been discussed enough, it disappears. The problem is, often it hasn’t actually been dealt with, just like these leaves, just because we don’t see it anymore, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still there.