“On my first Boy Scout trip, in the mid-1950s, I learned the basic environmental principle that we should leave the campsite as we found it. We were told that the next group of hikers deserved no less, and that in fact we should clean the site up if those before us had been careless. I did not as a child understand that the campsite would be global or that the next hikers would include unborn generations.” - John Sitter
At this point, the idea of sustainability has infiltrated most of our societies. “Sustainable” products, “sustainable” lifestyles, “sustainable” food, “sustainable” development — the term is used often and widely, and even contradictorily. Regularly, “sustainable” really means “less unsustainable,” which can be misleading, at best. The definitions and visions of sustainability differ with each culture in which it is envisioned, and with the agenda of each person or organization promoting it. Sustainability is a complex and contested concept, but at its essence represents the hope for a healthy, just and bright future for us all. We offer this 25th anniversary edition of Choices for Sustainable Living as an opportunity to move beyond the hype to explore sustainability more deeply. The course focuses less on defining sustainability than envisioning sustainability — what would a sustainable world look like? And how can we create it together?
Throughout this course, you will examine and envision sustainability from individual, societal and global perspectives. The readings are intended to invoke meaningful discussion. Each week as you meet with your group, we invite you to bring your own experience and critical thinking to the process. Whether you agree or disagree, you will have an opportunity to clarify your views and values. Ultimately, we hope this process inspires you and others to make choices to live with more intention on Earth.
words from Choices for Sustainable Living readers...
I have been taking daily walks through local parks and appreciating all the spring blooms, the fresh air, the sky. I use this time to get exercise but also to give my mind a rest and "nature bathe". The cherry blosooms on my ancient cherry tree are particularly sweet.
I want to thank you for hosting this smart, informative course. I would not have encountered the articles any other way and not likely had the discussions with anyone.
I took part in a course group at my workplace. The book, along with the thought provoking discussions, influenced me greatly. I still have the book on my shelf and refer to it often. The work you are doing is critical for the future of this planet.
Since last week and the beginning of this week, I completed all of my challenges successfully. I use only reusable water bottles that I refill. I also eat less meat, only once in a week or so. Furthermore, I reduced wastes and recycled as much as possible.
[Mini Session] Choices for Sustainable Living
Preview the first session of Choices for Sustainable Living.
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