The Gryphon Greenhouse was created to from a place of empowerment. I want to collect and share stories of people to really understand and more effectively communicate sustainability to the general public.
The Gryphon Greenhouse is truly my own 'lil passion project :) I hope you enjoy browsing my site and all of the unique stories that I share. I hope you relate, connect, and get inspired by these stories - and of course, I would love to hear your own!
Why a Gryphon Greenhouse?
To plant stories, insights and perspectives to grow awareness, knowledge, care and action towards personal and institutional sustainability, such that environmental sustainability is a personal value within every single person on campus.
These stories will then allow us to understand why people value sustainability and how we can foster this value to those around us and the world!
The Full Story
The Gryphon Greenhouse is a project for the University of Guelph community that collects and shares different peoples' stories, perspectives, and insights regarding sustainability.
During my time on campus, I realized that there is a gap: there seems to exist an awareness and internal support for environmental sustainability within students on campus, but there is a lack in acting upon said awareness. I realized that most people who attend sustainability-related events are people already interested in sustainability; partly counter-intuitive, as the aim of many of said events is to broaden the message to those not already active in the cause. Tackling this disconnection, this project will allow everyone on campus to not only connect with the topic of sustainability - wherever they find themselves relating to the movement - but also spark and normalize its discussion. I want people to see that living with sustainability as a value is important and fulfilling.
We will be interviewing people on campus regarding topics such as:
what sustainability / institutional sustainability means to them
why sustainability is / is not important to them
common challenges / misconceptions / barriers to sustainability
(personal and/or institutional)
how sustainability first became an important value for them
how they think campus can be more institutionally sustainable
...and many more!
This project is innovative because oftentimes, projects like these will focus on either a specific population to interview (i.e. the Sustainability Office has a “Sustainable Humans of Guelph” blog where they interview Guelphites that are actively involved in environmental work), or be quite general and interview anyone within an area about their stories (i.e. “Humans of New York”).
The Gryphon Greenhouse acts as a bridge between those concepts, where anyone can be interviewed (whether you are a ‘sustainable human’ or not), but, on the topic of sustainability. This will allow the maximum amount of people to connect with the cause, while representing as many aspects and perspectives within the cause at the same time.
I want to share these stories across multiple platforms and in multiple formats - including this website, Facebook, and Instagram. The length and format of the interview and knowledge transferred will be different based on the platform; the website/blog will have the most in-depth interviews in full paragraphs, the Facebook posts will have highlights of the interview, and the Instagram posts will be a picture/video and a quote. I want to tell these stories creatively, and the Gryphon Greenhouse allows me to explore many other formats of communication, such as podcasts, videos and events.
Identifying this Knowledge/Value-to-Action Gap
Throughout the past decade of my life, I have been heavily involved in environmental activism and work to promote sustainable practice at my institutions, especially during my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph. I have observed that in a university campus setting, a general consensus to support climate action does exist. However, there is a wide gap between this knowledge that environmental sustainability is important and the actual action of sustainable behaviours (i.e. reducing waste and the mindful consumption of energy, water, food, and other resources). In other words, there is a lack of acting upon said awareness – both at a personal and institutional level.
This gap manifests in numerous ways, and contributes to a disconnection between the sustainability community (leaders, members of groups and individuals promoting sustainability) and the general public. The Gryphon Greenhouse is here to bridge this gap and foster mutual understanding.
The Goals of the Gryphon Greenhouse
The goals of the Gryphon Greenhouse are deeply rooted in its engagement with the surrounding community! Below are our primary goals:
Increase awareness in the importance of environmental sustainability
Increase interest and engagement in learning about environmental sustainability
Increase and normalize discussion (in person, on social media, within groups, etc) around personal and institutional sustainability
Validate or contradict previous knowledge regarding climate change and action
Inform future knowledge-inquiry activities, as this project has the potential to gather many stories and become a starting point for social research
Inform or change attitudes around sustainability by presenting a wide variety of perspectives on the topic, ultimately fostering care and active support for environmental sustainability
Inform or change behaviour; to lead to increased sustainable actions
Inform or change practice; to increase institutional sustainability
Empower individuals to share their stories, insights and perspectives on a platform they can feel comfortable sharing through
Invite and connect people otherwise missed in conventional discussions around sustainability, into the discussion, in a manner that fosters understanding, connection and community.
All in all, the Gryphon Greenhouse aims to create an environment on campus that will help increase awareness, knowledge, care and action towards personal and institutional sustainability through sharing stories, insights and perspectives of people across all demographics on topics regarding sustainability.