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Greening Your Curriculum Pilot Program Deborah Renville and Bert Jacobson October 2010
Many other resources that you can draw on for your courses or your continued interest in sustainability will be available athttp://www.igencc.org/home/gychttp://www.aashe.org/resources/programs.phphttp://www.TheSEEDCenter.orghttp://www.asle.org/
Six Modules Defining Sustainability Developing Ecological Literacy Social Equity/Environmental Justice The Emerging Green Economy Developing a Capstone Project Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
Module One Setting the Stage for Sustainability: Defining Sustainability
Objectives: Upon completion of this module, faculty participants will be able to develop course learning activities that will promote student abilities to: Define Sustainability Discuss sustainability in relation to a particular course learning activity
Syllabus Organization Core Tenets Learning Objectives Integration with current course Supporting Data—Core concepts Risks and Challenges/Reasons for Hope Curriculum Examples, Resources and References Student Engagement This PowerPoint presentation
Brainstorm Take 5 minutes and brainstorm by yourself what you believe to be the definition of sustainability.
Read Top 10 Myths about Sustainability The Difficulty in Defining Sustainability
Your Carbon Footprint http://www.myfootprint.org/
Write a Reflection • How do you feel sustainability connects to your curriculum?
The Wombat http://globalcommunity.org/flash/wombat.shtml
Module Two Developing Ecological Literacy: Understanding the Ecological Crisis, Causes, and Imperatives
Objectives: Upon completion of this module, faculty participants will be able to develop course learning activities that will promote student abilities to: Describe human impacts on a variety of Earth life support systems Translate these concepts into their current course. Discuss systems thinking, the interconnectedness of environmental systems, and the human impact upon these systems.
Brainstorm Take a few minutes write down what ecological literacy means to you.
“Higher education now has a challenge bigger than any other it has ever faced because humanity is at crossroads without historical precedent.” --Dr. Anthony Cortese, President, Second Nature
Global Perspective life supporting resources declining consumption of life supporting resources rising Courtesy of Debra Rowe, President U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production." -Ecology Center, Berkeley
Why is Sustainability so important • HOT: Climate change • FLAT: Human presence on a global scale • CROWDED: Unprecedented growth in population and consumption • All living systems in long term decline at unprecedented and accelerating rate (Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Thomas L. Friedman)
Some Facts Freshwater withdrawal has almost doubled since 1960 and nearly half the world’s major rivers are going dry or are badly polluted (New Internationalist, no. 329) 11 of the world’s 15 major fishing areas and 69% of the world’s major fish species are in decline (State of the World, Worldwatch Institute)
Consumption over last 100+ Years We have used up about: Half the topsoil Half the oil Half the rainforests Third of all natural gas Third of all coal
Dominant Inaccurate Human Beliefs of the Old Worldview Humans dominant species separate from environment Resources free and inexhaustible Technology the answer Earth can assimilate all wastes All human needs can be met by human means Individual success independent of health of communities, cultures and ecosystem vs. Updated Worldview of Sustainabilty
Green Washing Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
Walmart Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf65xUKRCuk&feature=player_embedded
Esso Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVpEauWmGeQ&feature=player_embedded
Clean Coal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bcRgnIcntI&feature=player_embedded
Break into Groups Which commercials are green and which are green washing and why?
Write a Reflection • How do you feel Ecological Literacy connects to your curriculum?
Let’s Go Fishing http://www.cloudinstitute.org/games/
Module Three Social Equity and Environmental Justice
Objectives: Upon completion of this module, faculty participants will be able to develop course learning activities that will promote student abilities to: Define Social Equity, Environmental Justice, and the Triple Bottom-line Discuss social equity, social justice, and social paradigm shifts in relation to sustainability. Identify opportunities for student civic engagement around local, regional, and global issues. Discuss regionally appropriate responses to meeting basic human needs.
Brainstorm What does ‘social equity’ or ‘social justice’ mean to you? Take a few minutes and write something down.
Social Equity/Social Justice Focuses on the individual, community, corporate, and government responsibility to develop, implement, and monitor practices that are fair and objective.
A general definition of social justice is hard to arrive at and even harder to implement. In essence, social justice is concerned with equal justice, not just in the courts, but in all aspects of society. This concept demands that people have equal rights and opportunities; everyone, from the poorest person on the margins of society to the wealthiest deserves an even playing field.
Environmental Justice “We all have a right to a clean and safe environment where we live, work, play and go to school” --ASPEN
Overview The production of goods and services results in the production of environmental pollutants and hazardous waste. • Operational and abandoned industrial facilities • Landfills • Incinerators • Sites for treatment and storage of wastes This waste and pollution often is left behind for communities to deal with.
Overview “Data suggest that people of color and lower-income groups are exposed to these hazards with greater frequency and magnitude … segments of the population are not equally exposed to hazards in the environment.” – The Reporter’s Environmental Handbook
Overview “Urban environmental problems are threats to present or future human well-being, resulting from human-induced damage to the physical environment, originating in or borne in urban areas.” –David Satterhwaite, “The Links Between Poverty and the Environment in Urban Areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America” (1999)
History The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire because it was so filled with oil and debris. Fires raged on the river in 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948, and in 1952. The 1952 fire caused over $1.5 million dollars in damage. It wasn’t until another fire in 1969 that the country took notice of the environmental problems plaguing Ohio … yet river pollution continues today. Cuyahoga River Fire Nov. 3, 1952. Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State University Library. Plain Dealer photo of reporter Richard Ellers from Cleveland.com.
History The environmental justice movement was started by individuals, primarily people of color, who sought to address the inequity of environmental protection in their communities. It is grounded in the struggles of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Yet the Office of Environmental Justice wasn’t established until 1994. Today, policies such as the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act regulate pollution. But there’s a lot of cleanup and regulation still needed.