First of all, the Alliance thanks the 5 student interns whose hard work made this project possible: Olivia Barz (Lehigh ’19)Ryan Dougherty (Lafayette ’19)Harris Eisenhardt (SUNY–ESF ’19)Ashley Kushner (Lafayette ’19)Brandy Moser (Boston University ‘21) The project team thanks the many community leaders for their assistance—and is especially grateful to Lin Erickson, … [Read more...] about Acknowledgments (Sustainability Impact Assessment)
Focus on Pages
The "Focus On" section provides in-depth information and opinion on many facets of sustainability. (Although these topics may appear quite distinct and separate, it’s important to remember that they are interconnected and interdependent in multiple ways — in general, the 4 basic principles of ecology apply to all complex systems.)
When you select a Focus On… topic, the system will select all the articles and posts in that category with the most recent pages at the top, just under a brief introduction to the topic. (Many articles appear in multiple categories.)
Background & detail information is organized into the following main categories:
Economy, Business, Finance
Two of the six Alliance goals focus on the importance of the local economy. In order to create equitable and livable communities, we need strong local economies and businesses need to adopt sustainable practices. This includes operations, sourcing & supply chains, and minimizing waste.
by Rich Fegley It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate. If our food is grown that far from where we live, it is safe to assume that a fair percentage of the money that we spend to purchase food will go to the grower who is located 1500 miles away and to the food distributor, possibly located in Texas or Illinois. It is … [Read more...] about Local Economic Systems
by Emma Stierhoff Consumerism […] encourages both increased consumption and increased waste, resulting in environmental destruction. It was not until I began identifying as an environmentalist in high school that I started to question the constant pressure to buy more things, as well as the lack of pressure about disposing of things in landfills. I grew acutely aware of the … [Read more...] about The Environmental Perils of Consumerism
by Lindsay Meiman As I was walking to class with a friend the other day, he casually asked me, “why do you care so much about sustainability?” I paused in my tracks, taken aback by the immensity of possible explanations to a seemingly simple question. I took a moment, ensuring that the question was serious. I had never questioned my passion for sustainable development, as it … [Read more...] about Economy and Environment—Must We Choose?
"A city is judged by how clean it is" In February 2006 the City of Oakland, California, passed ordinance 12727, which enacts a fee on fast-food restaurants, gas stations, and convenience markets to cover litter and trash clean up. The fee is expected to raise $237,000 a year, which will be used solely to fund the clean up program. The ordinance is intended to discourage the … [Read more...] about Tax on Businesses that Generate Litter
The U.S. was built through settler colonialism, which involves taking over lands already in use by other people, displacing the people and often destroying their cultures. (Sometimes the goal was simply to use the land for their own settlements; in other cases the goal was to extract minerals & other resources. In the U.S. & Canada, settlers not only made war on the … [Read more...] about Colonialism
Reliable sources for information on authentic Fair Trade NEW The History of Fair Trade Buying and Selling– Good recap of the history & principles of Fair Trade, plus several valuable links for more information. [January 2018] Reports & News Stories: Why Your Morning Coffee Could Be the Product of Child Labor (Faster Times, November 2011) Combating Slavery in … [Read more...] about Fair Trade links & resources
by Ce-Ce Gerlach The soul and very foundation of municipalities is not the buildings — it’s the people. Development should benefit everyone, not just a handful of the well connected and wealthy developers. It’s time that we shift away from development that is only good for some folks, and instead initiate development that is great for all. Inclusive and Equitable development … [Read more...] about The Need for Equitable and Inclusive Development
by Lindsay Meiman 2016 marked the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous title-holder of 2015, and 2014 before that. Communities around the world are already confronting climate impacts—from one in a thousand year floods and devastating droughts, to food shortages and civil conflicts—all occurring at a pace and magnitude far exceeding predictions. As low-income … [Read more...] about In dark times, movements for justice exalt hope
by Tom Church Our present society values commercial success over ecological sustainability. We fear scarcity more than we celebrate abundance. People cope with the pressure of living in this atmosphere in as many ways as there are people. In this chaotic time, it seems that I try to hang out with like-minded people who are specializing in trying to change other people’s … [Read more...] about Organized Localization