Sustainability at Beloit Public Library

The Beloit Public Library is sponsoring “Choices for Sustainable Living: Choosing a Lifestyle,” a discussion series developed by the Northwest Earth Institute that explores the meaning of sustainability, considers the ties between lifestyle choices and their impact on the earth, and looks at steps that can be taken to move toward ecologically sustainable organizations, lifestyles and communities. The series will begin Sept. 21 with a introductory meeting and will end Nov. 16.

The discussion group will meet Thursdays for about an hour and a half to discuss readings from a course book. The course book contains a diverse collection of essays, articles and book excerpts organized around themes to create lively discussions. The fee for the course book is $15. The book will be available at the kickoff session.

A Call to Sustainability: The goal of a sustainable society is popular, but difficult to define. How does the way our society functions affect the earth, and how can we be “a blessing to the planet”?

Ecological Principles: Some argue that the earth is the best teacher of sustainable practices. How can nature’s organizing principles be applied in design, production of goods, and everyday living?

Sustainable Communities: The more resources we use in the course of daily living, the larger our “ecological footprint” is. By looking at our actions within the framework of communities, we can learn to shrink that footprint and gain a simpler, more balanced lifestyle.

Sustainable Business and Economy: Is a growing economy equivalent to a healthy economy? What are other ways of measuring success, and how can we encourage businesses to adopt sustainable practices and perspectives?

Sustainable Food: According to one author, our food travels an average of 1300 miles before reaching our plates. How can we lessen our impact on the earth through conscious choices about the way we eat?

Sustainable Buying: Daily messages tell us to buy, buy, buy. How can we escape from these cultural pressures, and instead only purchase what we truly need, from the most sustainable sources available?

Sustainable Living: How can we build, teach, and live, in our homes and with our families, in greater harmony with the natural world?

Visions of Sustainability: Choices we make today are shaping the world of tomorrow. What are the possible outcomes, and how can we create the most sustainable society for ourselves and our children?

Individuals can sign up at any time by calling 364-2908 or 364-3917 or stopping at the library Information Desk. The program is supported by: Friends at Beloit Library (FABL), Rock County Conservationists, Northwest Earth Institute, and the Welty Environmental Center.

From the Sept. 13-19, 2006, issue

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