What does sustainable mean to us?

To us, sustainability means living so that the natural systems on which we depend are not negatively affected by us (humans) but rather, we learn to live in synchronization with those systems.

The concept of sustainability is central to everything we stand for and study at Finding the Good. Sustainability is not just about turning your lights off and attempting to drive fewer miles (although both are important!). We believe that sustainable living involves a wide understanding of how human and natural systems relate and connect with each other, as well as the consequences that those connections carry.

During the Finding the Good semester program, we study sustainability through six different lenses:

  • food
  • shelter
  • transportation
  • energy
  • culture
  • environmental conservation

We utilize a wide range of resources – from books and films to meetings and interviews with professionals – to find, investigate, and come to understand the working models of sustainability that exist within individual communities. What you’ll find as you dive into your research at Finding the Good is that each distinct “lens” of sustainability is in fact irreparably linked with the others. Take, for example, that banana sitting on your counter waiting to be eaten. Where was it grown and how did it get to your kitchen? What forms of energy went into creating that banana? What are the environmental implications of growing bananas in the first place? What role – either positive or negative – do bananas play in a cultural context? It is impossible to fully understand one aspect of sustainability without understanding the others as well.

At Finding the Good, we believe that true sustainability is a viable option for communities worldwide. We believe that it is possible and plausible for humans to interact with the natural systems on which we rely without negatively affecting those systems. We believe that there is plenty of good in this regard happening right now in communities scattered across the globe and that you can come with us to find the good and to share it.