Fall Break

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We here at Achieving Sustainability are going to be going on a short hiatus due to an October full of travel and other personal commitments. We will without a doubt be back in time to give you discussion topics for your Thanksgiving dinner. :)
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Identifying the Consumption Choices that Matter

Today we have a guest post from Robert Kutter PhD, a recent graduate of ASU’s School of Sustainability. Paper or Plastic? Most consumers used to think the environmentally friendly option at the grocery store checkout was paper bags. Paper bags are made out of natural materials after all, whereas plastic bags are made from non-renewable … Read more…

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This Book is Definitely NOT Junk

For some reason in Sustainability we are always exhorting people to know where their products come from-who is your farmer, where is that widget made?-but once they drop their waste in a blue bin they can forget about it. Adam Minter rolls back the curtain on your “recycled” waste and not just to your local … Read more…

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On a Quest to Find Sustainability

Today we have a guest post from Snigdha Nautiyal as she reflects on her first days at the School of Sustainability. I have now formally been a student of sustainability for less than twenty days. In this brief time, I have already heard the word ‘sustainability’ thousands of times from dozens of people within the … Read more…

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Don’t be seduced by “No Fundamentalism”

No! Ban this! No compromise! All too many people think these nagging scolds are what Sustainability is all about, even though there are many positive messages out there.1)One example is Carbonnation: “An optimistic, solutions-based, non-preachy, big tent film…” But it is not principally Sustainability’s image problem that concerns me, rather it is the prevalence in … Read more…

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Toothbrushes are not going to Achieve Sustainability

A friend recently asked me, “What would you recommend for a Sustainable Toothbrush?” After a moment’s thought I gave up on being able to fit my response in a chat as I realized this question was actually a perfect window into a larger issue. I believe that one of the biggest barriers we face to … Read more…

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Teaching Sustainability; How’d it Go?

In 2014 Dr Erin Redman and I taught a Sustainability course, Socio-Ecological Systems for Sustainability. We designed an original structured approach based on current research, implemented it at a Mexican University and collected some data to assess the effectiveness of this approach in achieving the stated objectives. Here I share some of our preliminary analysis … Read more…

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Down the A/C rabbit hole

It’s the summer and air conditioning is in the news; generating a spat of articles from journalists mostly sniping at each other about whether it is a gift from God or from the Devil. A somewhat pretentious piece in the New York Times decrying our freezing buildings kicked it off, rebutted quite thoroughly only days … Read more…

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¯\_(ツ)_/¯ =Me on GMOs and Achieving Sustainability

It is with great trepidation that I dip my toe into discussing GMOs but I hope that I can contribute just a bit more sanity against the great weight of vitriol out there. Unfortunately the extreme polarization on GMOs has made it hard to find balanced perspectives and it is frustrating that so many who … Read more…

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T.I.P. to Achieve Sustainability

While Sustainability could be defined by the complex nature of its problems1)See my thoughts on a Sustainability Science piece by Ben Warner., what distinguishes Sustainability from most other fields is the focus on solving those problems not just trying to understand them. Unfortunately what you typically see is a laundry list of solutions for Achieving … Read more…

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