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Sustainability

This category contains 107 posts

Can I increase my vitamin D intake with eggs?

The other day, I went down a rabbit hole trying to find out if there were any differences between brown and white eggs. They are laid by different types of chickens and traditionally the hens that laid brown eggs were bigger and therefore cost more to feed, hence the price difference that got passed to … Continue reading

Co-opting social values

Greenwashing is when a company makes false or unsubstantiated claims about how environmentally friendly a product is. They are frustrating because they can be hard to distinguish from true environmentally friendly products. But what about when companies make claims that tie themselves, or at least attempt to tie themselves to broader social values like a … Continue reading

Breaking Down Silos

The sustainability course I teach has students from many different faculties and departments. The first half of the semester we look at, what are commonly referred to as, the pillars of sustainability: economics, society, environment, and culture. I talk about how I disagree with the language of pillars though because it implies that these are … Continue reading

Individual or Collective?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about individual versus collective actions. When I worked in energy efficiency we often focused on individual actions as being a starting point towards sustainability. Part of the hope was that if an individual engaged in individual actions like installing a high energy furnace or not idling while they waited … Continue reading

Are Kids the Way to Increase Concern in All Adults?

When I first got into environmental education the idea that kids would share what they learned with their adults at home and influence their attitudes and decisions was common. A new study by Hartley et al (2021) examined whether kids could influence adults outside of their immediate family. To sum up, kids got the power. … Continue reading

To add or subtract, that is the question

A common excuse in education for not using active learning strategies in a course is that there isn’t enough time because of the amount of content that needs to be covered. This never sits well with me. I fully admit that I can’t cover everything and l make tradeoffs if I want to include something … Continue reading

Building experience into sustainability learning

I’m working on creating the next level of sustainability course for the university where I teach sustainability. Part of my plan is to integrate some community engaged learning or work-integrated learning opportunities. There are several reasons that I want to do this but among my leading reasons is a firm belief that learning that never … Continue reading

Is simulated nature the same?

I’ve written before about the physical and psychological benefits of seeing and spending time in nature. Similarly, I’ve written about some of the barriers that people face in accessing natural settings. Which leads to the question of whether simulated nature has the same benefits as the real thing. Browning et al (2020) asked this question … Continue reading

Reparations and Community Health

It is well documented that Black and other marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Rates of infection, hospitalization, and death are all higher for individuals who are Black compared to white. A new study led by Harvard Medical School examined how monetary reparations to the descendants of Africans enslaved in the US could … Continue reading

The role of climate change in the current pandemic

Most of the discussion around climate change and the current pandemic focuses on how actions to combat climate change have been set back by the battle against the covid-19 pandemic or perhaps the opportunity to integrate climate policy into the global and local recovery plans. But research by Beyer, Manica, and Mora (2021) indicates that … Continue reading

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