Learning for the Long Haul: The Campus Sustainability Movement Grows

Learning for the Long Haul: The Campus Sustainability Movement Grows

from Nazareth College’s first “Mini Chautauqua” opens a new conversation on an old theme: nurturing planet Earth


from Rethreading the Web: Catherine Keller and the Theology of Entangled Difference: A Report from the Hickey Center’s Annual Sacred Texts and Human Contexts Conference at Nazareth College by George Payne

George Payne is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International and teaches philosophy at Finger Lakes Community College.

In both capacities, George works with local students and attends sustainability workshops and conferences. Today George reviews just some examples of the positive initiatives he has seen on college campuses in the last year and a half of his travels

Nazareth College also is actively engaged in sustainability education.

Last year at Nazareth, George and I attended a “Mini Chautauqua” convening members from various faith communities to discuss how traditional practices provide a spiritual basis reminding us why we are responsible for nurturing the planet.


from Many different paths to restoration” at Nazareth College’s Symposium on Nature and Environment in World Religions

This summer Nazareth’s Sacred Texts and Human Contexts Conference elaborated on how world religions have viewed nature and the environment.

George provided an overview of Catherine Keller’s keynote address; while I looked at how lawyer and university teacher Rick Reibstein has devoted his career to environmental protection.

See more photographs and narrative from George on the Sacred Texts and Human Contexts Conference

Learning for the Long Haul: The Campus Sustainability Movement Grows

Sustainability has more than one meaning. For some it means recycling and reusing. It’s no more complex than that. For some it means living a holistic lifestyle where one’s values are lined up with their consumer habits. And for others it means keeping our planet habitable for future generations. One thing is clear: there is a movement growing on college and university campuses to make sustainability a house hold term which influences every sector of daily life.  From the University of Rochester to Finger Lakes Community College, the area’s institutions of higher learning are becoming not just more aware of their carbon footprint, but willing to take the lead in helping educate the public about what needs to be done to protect our only home.

Photography by George Payne


Hobart William & Smith Colleges Sustainability students attend Naomi Klein talk at Finger Lakes Community College


Naomi Klein at Finger Lakes Community College

Climate change is destroying our path to sustainability. Ours is a world of looming challenges and increasingly limited resources. Sustainable development offers the best chance to adjust our course. — Ban Ki-moon

see Rochester leaves its footprint on La Marche Globale and Musician Turned Climate Justice Activist Inspires Mothers Everywhere to Join the Front Lines


Bust of George Bernard Shaw at Niagara University. GBS was a vegetarian, environmentalist, and early pioneer of social justice based consumerism.


SUNY Brockport students cleaning up the Seth Green Trail along the Genesee River


see A World Heritage Site in our Backyard: preserving and profiting from the history, culture, and ecology of the Lower Falls Gorge

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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