Just over a month has passed since we celebrated Earth Day. In case you didn’t hear, this year’s campus festivities brought some well-deserved attention to Eisenhower Library, as we received the “Above and Beyond” award! This award recognizes the department that has demonstrated the strongest commitment to campus sustainability efforts.

We believe that Earth Day is about more than just enjoying beautiful landscapes one day out of the year; it’s about honoring the natural systems that provide us with fresh air, clean drinking water, energy resources, and healthy, productive soils to grow the food that nourishes us. While large-scale environmental analysis and policies often dictate how we use or conserve the natural world, there is much that we can do as individuals in terms of consumption habits, environmental justice efforts, and “green” volunteering in your local community. Even small efforts make a big difference in helping to protect our natural resources and keep the planet clean. Check out some of the resources below to incorporate sustainability into your daily life:

Urban & Community Gardening:

Learn about the Johns Hopkins’ own Community Garden at Eastern.

  • Community Gardening as Social Action – “Interpersonal relationships of care, commitment, equality, mutuality and joy were seen by some community gardeners as directly counter-acting the impacts of isolation and alienation, and as enabling new forms of co-operative social relations to emerge.”
  • Urban Agriculture – “‘We have a wonderful park already,” a woman in a fashionable tracksuit announced. ‘But this? This would turn it into a hellhole.’ And so it went, each speaker explaining how awful a community garden would be….”

Sustainable Agriculture:

Learn about Sustainable agriculture and other food system issues at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma – “‘What am I eating? And where in the world did it come from?’ Not very long ago an eater didn’t need a journalist to answer those questions.”
  • Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money – “Standing in the Food Lion supermarket in Pittsboro, NC, staring at fresh blueberries imported from Chile at the height of our North Carolina blueberry season, …the produce manager explained it to me. ‘I order them on the computer, and they’re the only ones on the list.’”
  • Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture – “In the midst of the most productive industrial agrifood system in the world, and with college degrees in hand, most of these students who choose to work in the agrifood system are moving away from the vision of mainstream agronomists and economists, choosing to create and participate in alternative ways of doing things.”

Ecocriticism:

Whether you prefer your greenery to come first-hand through outdoor pursuits, or on your plate in the form of locally-sourced organic micro-lettuce, there’s a lot to think about in how we interact with nature. Check out the following subject terms in Catalyst:

And remember, reading a library book that has already been printed is much more eco-friendly than firing up an electronic gadget! Stay green, my friends.


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