Sustainability at SPS: Inspirations for Sustainable Living Part II

By - Systems Librarian October 10th, 2008

Deb Baker – Interim Reference Librarian

Because this year’s Concord Reads book, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, focuses on eating locally, our first post on Ohrstrom library’s “Inspirations for Sustainable Living” display featured resources helpful for learning about the ethical, environmental, and health impact of food choices. The display also includes a diverse selection of books on global warming, from Bill McKibben’s activist handbook Fight Global Warming Now to Eric F. Lambin’s The Middle Path: Avoiding Environmental Catastrophe and Bjorn Lomborg’s Cool It: the Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming. Are you concerned about the social justice impact of environmental issues?  Check out Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came in To Being, and Why No One Saw It Coming.

For an overview of the scientific and governmental response as well as data on the social impact of global warming, explore a new reference book at Ohrstrom, Human Development Report 2007/2008, Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), by director and lead author Kevin Watkins. UNDP’s annual report measures the health, welfare, economic and physical security and well being of people in 175 UN member nations plus Hong Kong and the Palestinian Territories, as well as the status of international treaties on human rights, the environment, and labor. Each year, the report opens with an extensive analysis of a key international development issue, and this year’s focus is climate change and the responses, projected outcomes, and potential impact on human development around the world. Both cautionary and hopeful, this is a useful and fascinating read.

No time to pore over a book?  Check out a film instead, such as Design e2 , a six part PBS series on green architecture narrated by Brad Pitt; or The 11th Hour , Leonardo Di Caprio’s film on earth’s human footprint. With so many sustainability resources at Ohrstrom library, you are bound to find something to intrigue and inform.

HELPFUL FOR: Leadership for Social Justice, Topics in Global Events

FUN FOR: global citizens, Eco-Action members, debaters, future pundits and policy wonks, tree huggers, activists, voters

Sustainability at SPS: Inspirations for Sustainable Living Part I

By - Systems Librarian October 9th, 2008

Deb Baker – Interim Reference Librarian

Were you inspired to shrink your environmental footprint after listening to Anne Stephenson of Clean Air Cool Planet at chapel yesterday? Do you want to know what a locavore is, how to calculate food miles, or why global hunger persists? Ohrstrom library’s Concord Reads/SPS Community Partner display, “Inspirations for Sustainable Living,” can help you sort through the facts, read compelling arguments from many points of view, and learn about the environmental, ethical, and health impact of what you eat.

If you’re interested in the connections between American culture and farming, read Wendell Berry’s essays in The Unsettling of America or The Gift of Good Land. For an ethical perspective, try Jane Goodall’s A Harvest for Hope: a Guide to Mindful Eating. Concerned about the politics, economics, or science of food production? Read Peter Singer’s The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter, Gary Paul Nabhan’s Coming Home to Eat: the Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods, or Dan Imhoff’s Food Fight: the Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill. A selection of recent articles from The New York Times, New Yorker, Yale Daily News, and Environmental Science and Technology provide additional perspectives.

If you want to know where your food comes from and how to eat well in all senses of the word, enjoy Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Ann Vileisis’s Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need to Get It Back, or Brain Halweil’s Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket. Looking for an informative film to enjoy with your organic snacks? Watch American Farm, which explores the struggle of small farmers, told through the story of the director’s own family.

This is just a sampling of the library’s extensive resources on sustainability. Whether your interests are aesthetic, ethical, political, nutritional, or environmental, we have something for you.

HELPFUL FOR: Religion and Ethics, Leadership for Social Justice, American Domestic Policy, American Foreign Policy, Topics in Global Events

FUN FOR: locavores, activists, tree huggers, journalists, future organic farmers, future policy makers, Eco Actioners, people who love to eat, debaters, devil’s advocates

Check back tomorrow on Ohrstrom Blog for Part II of this post.

Sustainability at SPS: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

By - Systems Librarian October 8th, 2008

Deb Baker – Interim Reference Librarian

Concord Reads, a One Book One Community program, has partnered with area high schools and NHTI to hold discussions of the 2008 book, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Anne Stephenson of Clean Air-Cool Planet, a NH nonprofit focused on global warming, will be on campus tomorrow, October 9th, speaking at chapel and meeting with students.  Anne will review the projected changes to the New Hampshire climate, and discuss the significance of institutional greenhouse gas reductions – like those undertaken by St. Paul’s.  Students have a key role in those reductions, and Anne will discuss the ways in which independent school and college students across the country have reduced their institutional footprint, as well as reducing that of their families and communities.

Barbara Kingsolver is a longtime environmental advocate, and her latest book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle describes a year in which the author’s family chose to eat only what they could produce or purchase locally. Kingsolver’s skill as a storyteller makes the book a good read, and the ideas she explores are thought provoking. Her husband Steven, a scientist, adds informative essays on issues such as farm subsidies, agricultural pollution, and the impact of modern food production and distribution on global warming.  Elder daughter Camille adds her own perspective on the family’s experiment including recipes for seasonal eating.  Both the book and accompanying  website are packed with resources for those who want to learn more.

HELPFUL FOR: Religion and Ethics, Topics in Global Events, Leadership for Social Justice, Eco Action

FUN FOR: locavores, climate change activists, journalists, future organic farmers, future policy makers, Eco Actioners, people who love to eat, debaters, devil’s advocates

Stay tuned this week on Ohrstrom Blog for more posts on sustainability.