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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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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A Vision for Sustainable Lighting

One of the most exciting recent developments in Achieving Sustainability is the potential for everyone to dramatically slash the electricity they are using to light their homes. We have been exploring the history of lighting usage, demand trends, technological development and policy initiatives–see the whole series for more. But for Sustainability it is important that … Read more…

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Word! Anthropocene on the rise

Anthropocene has made the leap out of the Ivory Tower and continues to rapidly gain popularity both in the public and academia. The term ‘Anthropocene’ is credited to Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer who proposed that it was necessary to distinguish a new geological epoch of human domination of the planet (PDF).1)Crutzen, P. J., and … Read more…

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Bush Era Law is Helping to Achieve Sustainability in Lighting

Nope, that was not a typo. In 2007 President Bush signed a law, passed by the new Democratic congress, called the Energy Independence and Security Act. This act included a whole host of efficiency measures, one of the most famous being the creation of efficiency standards for household bulbs. This so called “ban on incandescents” … Read more…

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When will we be LED to Sustainable Lighting?

There are plenty of worrisome trends when it comes to Achieving Sustainability but when it comes to lighting the trend is stunningly good–electricity use is falling precipitously. As we explored previously, this trend has been driven entirely by improved technology and not changed household behavior. But what is really exciting is that further technological advances … Read more…

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Word! Foundational Sustainability Works

As I have mentioned before Google has created two neat tools Ngram and Trends for analyzing the popularity of words in books and web searches respectively. Searching for different Sustainability related words produces some interesting results. I won’t be so bold as to call them insights but I intend to share some of the most … Read more…

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A Look at Technology in the Classroom in Mexico

During our time teaching in Mexico, we have surveyed our students about a variety of topics, the results of which I will share bit by bit as I begin to delve into the data. To begin with I looked at the responses of the students from our interdisciplinary elective course on Sustainability from the spring … Read more…

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