Definitions

Sustainability has been described hundreds of different ways—literally.

Many definitions revolve around the concept of the importance of what is called the triple bottom line of protecting the environment, promoting economic opportunity, and ensuring social justice.

Protecting the environment

Short-term vs. long-term perspective

  • Piecemeal vs. systematic understanding of the indispensability of ecosystems for the viability of human existence
  • The concept of built-in limits to the human impact that ecosystems can sustain
  • Environmental degradation as stressor

Promoting economic opportunity

Recognizes the importance of providing secure, long-term employment without jeopardizing the health of ecosystems

  • Importance of natural capital—the economy is a subsystem of the ecosystem.
  • Concerns about growth vs. development
  • Poverty as stressor

Ensuring social justice

Cooperation and community building; well being of the individual and the larger community are interdependent

  • Social cohesion, compassion, and tolerance help make all members of the community feel their contribution to the whole is appreciated
  • An equitable distribution of resources is recognized as essential for the long-term viability of society.
  • Social inequality as stressor

And, because of the long-term impact our actions have, we also need to think intergenerationally.

What we do today impacts the future either positively or negatively. We all should consider the consequences of our actions:

How do our choices impact the environment?

Do those actions promote expanding economic opportunity and ensuring more just social conditions?

Your daily actions speak louder than words.

Welcome Back to Campus!

As you arrive or return to campus this for the start of Fall Semester 2014, be sure you look around campus.

Look around as you come on to campus and as you walk from class to class. In addition to even more recycle containers around campus, we now have 2 Zip Cars.

And two new charging stations for EV's (electric vehicles) in 2 locations.

Read more >>

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