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Infusing Sustainable Living Education Modules into the College Curriculum

Julie A. Bixby, Elizabeth Locklear, Sarah VanWye,
LaQuina Fulton, Patricia L. Jerman and Bruce C. Coull

Students developed a thirty minute presentation entitled Sustainable Living to target undergraduate students at the University of South Carolina.  The presentation was offered in a variety of classes on campus as well as in residence halls and other informal settings.  Sustainable Living is a dialogue-friendly interactive exercise, given by students to students, which has been very well received.  In the last year, we reached approximately 250 students on campus. 

The presentation begins with an overview of worldwide sustainability issues.  Population growth trends are demonstrated using a world map with dried beans used to indicate individual population size.  The discussion then focuses on the environmental impact of consumption and waste across cultures (i.e. the United States has approximately 5% of world’s population but uses 25% of the world’s resources).  Students are asked to calculate their own ecological footprint as an introduction to a discussion of how each person affects the earth.  The discussion which follows can focus on local issues, personal choices, or plans for future action. 

This education module has been incorporated into classes covering most academic disciplines at the University, allowing sustainability education to reach large numbers of students on campus without making curriculum changes or adding new courses.
Graduate students teach a U101 Sustainable Living Module.






















Prepared by:  Kim Buchanan
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