HCN's Annual Issue on the Future
Sustainability Studies Guide | Special Pull-Out Section
By Emilene Ostlind
Originally Published on hnc.org : January 20, 2014
Selected hightlight from article.
At a time when human and natural systems are colliding with increasingly disastrous results, thousands of students, from Bellingham to Albuquerque, Los Angeles to Missoula, are turning to academic programs focused on building communities that protect — rather than degrade — the planet, while encouraging prosperity and social justice. They are cutting waste, producing healthy local food, designing energy-generating buildings and reducing consumption of fuels and other resources. Between study and class time, many also participate in clubs, organize educational and local events, and work to green their campuses. Here, we’ve collected some of the West’s most innovative programs. Our list is far from comprehensive, but it shows the range of opportunities for scholars hoping to reshape society for the sake of future generations.
Sustainability is a core value of the strategic plan at Lane Community College (lanecc.edu/sustainability) in Eugene, Ore. The college’s Institute for Sustainable Practices administers two-year degrees in fields like energy management and water conservation technology. And the college has ambitious campus sustainability initiatives, including LEED gold or platinum certification for new buildings, low-water landscaping certified as wildlife hab- itat by the National Wildlife Federation, and a program that gives prizes to campus administrative and academic offices that meet waste-reduction and energy-saving goals. Lane Community College also has a student-run Learning Garden that supplies produce for the campus and hosts an annual apple cider-pressing party.