Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day observance (April 22), the faculty and staff at the college, where environmental issues are the sole academic focus, were asked to suggest one thing people could do to live more sustainably.
Reducing consumption came out on top, followed by a suggestion that people change their eating habits to include less meat, especially red meat, and more locally produced foods.
“The crises the earth faces are not environmental problems,” said Dr. Susan Senecah, an environmental studies professor whose research focuses on public participation and public policy. “They are human problems—human appetites, human decisions for behavior, human-created policies, human decisions for research, etc.”
More than 25 percent of the respondents said curbing consumption is the first step toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
“Think before you act. Think about everything you do and ask if it might make the world a better place,” said research biologist Dr. H. Brian Underwood. “Use the most important tool of sustainability nature has ever crafted: your brain.”
“Curb your consumerism. In plain English, just don’t buy ‘stuff’ when you shop. Just look,” suggested Dr. Chad Dawson, who teaches wilderness and forest recreation management.
About 20 percent of the respondents said a change in eating habits is a good way to start.
“The easiest thing an individual can do is to plant a vegetable garden and go off a red meat diet,” said Dr. Allan Drew, a forest ecologist.
Growing vegetables eliminates shipping, cuts costs and reduces the need to mow part of a lawn, Drew said. For people who don’t want to give up beef, eating beef from locally raised, grass-fed cattle eliminates overuse of antibiotics and preservatives and allows land to return to a forested state so it can sequester more carbon, Drew said.
Bradley K. Woodward, the food service manager at the ESF Ranger School in the Adirondacks, made a suggestion closely related to his own area of expertise: “Eat less meat.”
The third most common answer was to reduce energy use by walking or riding a bike.
“Walk or bike instead of drive, take the stairs instead of the elevator, rake instead of leaf blow, use a manual mower instead of a gas-driven one. Use exercise to do productive things,” said John Auwaerter, a staff member in the Department of Landscape Architecture.
Other suggestions were having fewer children (overpopulation is the world’s biggest environmental challenge, according to the 2009 ESF survey), using wood for construction and energy because it’s a renewable resource, and increasing energy efficiency.
Claire B. Dunn | Newswise Science News
Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy