What does sustainability mean to you?

What does sustainability mean to you?

Apr 11
Lauren Quinn, ACES Media Specialist
  

The word “sustainable” gets thrown around a lot these days, but we don’t often stop and think about what it means. To me, the word invokes something lasting, something that can take care of itself. For example, sustainable agriculture focuses on perennial crops that can produce food year after year without a lot of fertilizers, pesticides, or tillage. Once they’re planted—whether by human hands or dispersed naturally by animals or the wind—these plants just keep on giving: a pretty admirable quality, if you ask me.

A few years ago, my friend JP became obsessed with the “edible landscape” we live in, leading tours and workshops to educate others about the native fruits around town and on campus. In the fall, he tells me, you can sample persimmons from the two large trees between the University Library and the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art. Heading north, you can load up on serviceberries near the north entrance of the Union, taste pawpaws west of the Grainger Engineering Library, and sample aronia and elderberries growing outside nearly every campus building. Plan to take this tasty tour in late summer and you might be reminded that not all of our food needs to come to us from hundreds of miles away in little plastic boxes. We can experience sustainable eating right here in our own backyard.     

Serviceberries