Let’s talk sustainability


Elise Walde, senior psychology major, Natalie Brown, senior environmental studies and sustainability major, Patrick Gamble, junior environmental studies and sustainability major, Tiffani Schelske (back), junior environmental studies and sustainability major, Marissa Landstrom (front), junior environmental studies and sustainability major

Sophie Hillmeyer

Newly sprouted plants in recycled containers filled the Mead Auditorium with life as students from GC 269, Introduction to Sustainability, shared their insights and information to inspire students to start a conversation about sustainability in their own lives.

Let’s Talk Sustainability, a part of Anderton’s Earth Week, was held on Thursday April 19 in honor of Earth Day to help raise awareness for environmental stewardship, Marissa Landstrom, a junior environmental studies and sustainability major said.

The student coordinators of the event grew a variety of plants in their classroom, such as basil, lettuce and pear that were potted in recycled containers for participants to take home for free. A guide to recycling on campus was featured to promote and encourage the sustainability initiative NMU is taking. Participants were also encouraged to fill out a notecard thinking about how sustainability plays into their own major, Landstrom said.

“Sustainability is interdisciplinary. It applies to every aspect of your life,” she added.

The student coordinators also prepared a poster of research about diversity in the field of sustainability to show how it is put into practice throughout different cultures around the world. For example, their research showcases a movement called the Green Belt Movement, which was started in Kenya is 1977 and planted over 51 million trees.

“Sustainability has seemingly been dominated by white men, but a lot of people around the world participate in sustainability practices,” Landstrom said. “We’re offering different perspectives on sustainability.”

The discipline of sustainability is so broad and extensive, so they were working on ideas of how to approach the daunting task of sustainability in a more accessible way, Patrick Gamble, a junior sustainability major said.

“I was excited to be able to share knowledge we’ve learned in the course to inspire a few people and change a few attitudes by making things more easily understood,” Gamble said. “There are a plethora of issues and it’s hard to approach just one when there are hundreds.”