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Book Review – On the Banks of the Ganga: When Wastewater Meets a Sacred River

Imagine that you are a visitor to India taking a boat tour along the Ganga River. During this tour, you see countless Hindu pilgrims bathing in the river for spiritual cleansing. You know that in the Hindu faith the Ganga River is the physical manifestation of a mother goddess, and that she has the power to spiritually cleanse believers who …

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You Can Eat That?

Common sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)

David Bruce Leonard is holding a weed up to my nose. We’re in a field full of weeds not all that different from the nondescript one in front of my face. “You can eat that?” I ask. He nods. “It’s medicinal, too,” he says. “Helps digestion.” He fires off the plant’s names in Hawaiian (pualele), Latin (Sonchus oleraceus L.), English …

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Will Sweat for Food

I get home and take off my clothes. Muddy boots, stinky socks, sweaty shirt, and all-of-the-above trousers go into a pile on the front porch (called a lanai here in Hawaii). Now in my shorts, I go into my house with a good-sized box of fruits and veggies that you may never find in stores. With my wife still at …

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A Beginner’s Guide to Working in Sustainable Aid and International Development

We can change the world. If you’ve ever studied permaculture or sustainability, you’ve felt it – that overwhelming urge, that burning desire to share your excitement, to spread the good word, to let the rest of world in on the little secret you’ve just discovered: “We’ve got something here that can really help us all, if you would only just …

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The Essential Sustainability Leadership Challenge: Moving Towards Sustainability Science

We are all well versed in the long standing paradigm of disciplinary science that has held sway over how knowledge is produced for the past 400 years. Today it is slowly giving way to a new science more useful for a world filled with “wicked” problem and issues, the likes of which humanity has not encountered before. Wicked problems are …

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“Place” and Sustainability: UH Manoa’s 11th East-West Philosophers’ Conference

The University of Hawai’i at Manoa will be holding its 11th East-West Philosophers’ Conference on May 25-31, 2016. The theme for the five-day conference will be on “place” and sustainability. More specifically, the topic is that of humanity as a place-making species who infuse layers of meaning and significance into locations over time. Through this process, the “place” emerges in …

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Tips for the Eco-Friendly Artist

Creating and appreciating beautiful things is one fundamental aspect of humanity. Forms of artistic expression are found throughout all cultures and societies. But in artists’ attempts to create beauty and express ideas, do they consider the impact of their work on the environment and their health? Let’s take a moment to consider what art materials are made of, their environmental …

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Step One – Have the Conversation

Over the past two weeks the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital has been screening films and hosting seminars across the District (Washington, DC). I was fortunate to attend four events, all of which have further challenged my thinking and exposed me to new ideas. As with anything that interests us, we’re more aware of what’s happening within that …

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4 Things I Learned at the 3rd Annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit

There were a lot of innovative and exciting things presented at the annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit this year. I made this list to highlight what I learned this year. I could have easily made it a top ten or more, but here’s the short and sweet version. 1. The Definition of Sustainability You read that line correct. We …

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Voyaging Food Innovators

Before the globalization of the industrial revoultion, most island nations were self-reliant. They grew and harvested as needed, with much care and very little waste. They lived well-connected to their lands because it was necessary in order to survive. Islands had to be sustainable units because they were isolated from other resources. The idea of sustainability and living resourcefully within one’s means was not …

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