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Design, Ecology, and Ethics Essay

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Design, Ecology, and Ethics


“We need to design institutions (and cars and homes and toothbrushes, etc.) that make it easy for people to be good.” (Jim Farrell)

Right now, if someone in America wants to be good to the earth and good to future generations, it’s hard. It’s expensive to purchase local, organic food. In the suburbs, to get to work and practice and the store and back home again on a schedule without a car is tricky if not impossible. To think about how and where and by whom nearly 100% of products in Target are made is to most certainly become ashamed. It’s disheartening to watch tax dollars go to funding war in far away lands and, as McDonough says, on future generations. And why is it that the majority of restaurants we have to choose from degrade the environment and our bodies?

This is all because of poor design. American environmentalists, people who act in ways small and large to reduce their ecological footprint, are in the minority because we are constantly trying to wade upstream against the swift current of institutions shaped by cheap and dirty energy...


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