Learning Sustainability

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“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn
over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”
—Theodore Roosevelt
Learn ~what is sustainability?
It is one good challenge to try to understand what it means to lead a more sustainable life. It is yet another worthy challenge to understand how to educate others about the promise and peril of nudging our society to more sustaining ways. What you will find on this ever-growing page is the symbolic equivalent of our local ecoscape: shrub and grasslands, which means there are intense bursts of living ideas—some in full flower and some in early stages of growth—and patches of open ground where the living soil of potentiality has yet to flower.
The definition of sustainability can be expressed as the taproot of a rapidly growing organism of consciousness.
There is a growing widespread interest in sustaining our communities over many generations, and most
agree that this means, among many possible aspects, restoring a peaceful relationship with the natural world and with each other.
Some include economics as a branch of the sustainability organism.  For some of us this includes exchanging goods and services in ways that ensure the continued health of natural systems and social networks. Sustainability is a growing way of restoring our relationships with the living world and much good work remains to be done!
Live ~living sustainable
What do we really need to live day in and day out with a quality of life that assures clean water, nutritious food, adequate shelter, and the companionship of other humans and the other-than-humans with whom we share our particular home habitats? The challenge is to sort out the necessary from the niceties, the sufficient from the extravagant in an American culture that generally encourages endless acquisition of material goods. After all, more than 75 percent of the U.S. economy is dependent upon consumer spending.
The idea is to understand what brings a quality of life that better assures physical and mental health and the conservation of the living natural world in which the human cultural sphere is embedded. How much and in what ways can we shrink our footprint(s) on personal and institutional scales without sacrificing what it means to be fully human?
Listen ~ to students and others in action
There is a lot of good and exciting talk about sustaining ourselves and our world over the long term. How do we translate that talk into action?
Some of that talk has been translated into visible action:
  • A greenhouse at the Learning Gardens Brownsville Texas and Urban Harvest in Houston constructed from recycled plastic bottles and lumber, which serves as a wetlands nursery in addition to regular greenhouse activities.
  • Getting around on two wheels instead of four in many communities, and college campuses.
  • Schools are serving fresh food from school gardens in many parts of the country.
  • Community gardens are popping up all around the country!
Share ~ what works for you
Sustainability is a curious creature that displays a variety of characteristics. There is no one model for sustainability. What there is, however, is an ever-expanding garden of sustainable projects and processes and we encourage people to send  brief descriptions of sustainability in action we can share with others.
Even as it takes a village to raise a child, it requires efforts across the diverse topography of culture to raise consciousness about sustainable ways of living.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the nearest Farmers Market.
  • Eat at local food establishments that serve healthy dishes.
  • Start a Ten Toe Express walking club or a  natural gym club and enjoy the outdoors while getting heathy!

The Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit, established in 2009 as a Massachusetts state non-profit corporation to inspire positive environmental awareness and action.