Sustainable Living


Earth Day 2009 marks the beginning of the Green Generation campaign - a two-year initiative encouraging people to engage in individual and collective activities to promote sustainable living. The Green Generation pledge asks people to stay informed about green topics, to work on transforming their immediate environment by helping to instill green ideas, and to consume wisely.

Finding ways to achieve those goals requires a little more digging, however, and an understanding of some of the philosophies related the living a more sustainable, green life. For example, what is sustainable living? The most common definition says that 'sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources.' Such a broad definition means there are many options for individuals interested in sustainable living, and just as many different questions about the best way to achieve that lifestyle.

A Community Conversation ... on Sustainable Living will address some of the questions, with a discussion of how permaculture, urban agriculture, and alternative energy ideas can help people live more sustainably. 

Gabriel Piser received his certification in Permaculture Design in 2004. Since that time he has been introducing people all over the eastern US to the philosophy and practical techniques of sustainable human settlement. He has offered workshops for participants at the US Social Forum in Atlanta, Georgia, for students at various colleges in the Midwest, for community members in Philadelphia, and most recently for attendees at last fall's SUNY-Social Justice Conference at SUNY-Binghamton. He is involved in youth leadership and ecological literacy, local food systems, urban and rural sustainability, and working towards a green local economy founded on principles of justice, ecological balance, solidarity, and community self-determination.
Melissa Kemp is a Project Designer and Installer of solar electric (PV) and solar thermal systems at Renovus Energy in Ithaca, NY. She conducts site evaluations, drafts system designs and proposals, manages ongoing projects, and works on field crew installations of systems. She has designed and installed over twenty-five systems across Central NY. Before joining Renovus, she worked for Public Citizen in Washington, DC as a technical analyst and local organizer helping communities to oppose new coal and nuclear power plants and make the case for renewable energy. She graduated with a bachelor's of science from Princeton University in 2002. She was born and raised on the east coast of North America, and currently resides in Ithaca, NY.
Andrew Phillips studied permaculture with Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton, and Andrew Jones in New Orleans and Melbourne, Australia. He is a certified permaculture teacher. He is founder of the Hancock Permaculture Center located in Hancock (Delaware County), NY, dedicated to the philosophy and practice of permaculture in the upper Delaware and western Catskills bioregion. He organizes and teaches permaculture courses, running workshops throughout New York and other locations.