Sustainability & Health
When people think about sustainability, they often focus on overconsumption of finite resources, reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause global warming, or the vast mountains of waste that will not biodegrade. Unfortunately, those definitions tend to overlook the fact that unsustainable practices and environmental pollution are major causes of illness (and even death).
In the last couple of years, considerable evidence has emerged that indicates that synthetic turf is a serious health concern. In 2013, the EPA even took the unusual step of withdrawing their assurances and called for new studies; Environment & … more
Enough information is now available to provide some guidelines so those who must use synthetic turf fields can reduce the risks. While these guidelines are written in terms of individual action, it is essential for institutions to provide training to … more
[Updated March 18] The following open letter is prompted by several stories in the Express-Times and Morning Call reporting that almost all of our high schools already have synthetic turf fields (as do most colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley)—and the few … more
References [updated December 2014] [Citations that include a filename (ending in .pdf) indicate that we have the PDF of that study – contact Peter Crownfield for more information] Altieri, M. “Enhanced Pest Management Through Soil Health: Toward a Belowground Habitat Management … more
Climate and Sustainability Commitment (As adopted by the Bethlehem Area School District, 28 April 2014) “Changes to Pennsylvania’s climate are happening now. While there is uncertainty as to the extent and timing of these impacts, it is undeniable that action … more
There are many inter-related and interdependent factors that contribute to campus sustainability. This section looks at two ways to organize the different aspects of sustainability for campuses. The Sustainable Learning Community: One University’s Journey to the Future, outlines four interdependent … more