Sustainable Living Program
Sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well-being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use.
In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for human well-being. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems.
Healthy ecosystems and environments provide vital goods and services to humans and other organisms. There are two major ways of managing human impact on ecosystem services. One approach is environmental management; this approach is based largely on information gained from earth science, environmental science, and conservation biology. Another approach is management of consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from economics.
The Institute for Holistic Studies Sustainable Living Program provides a practical forum for learning. It draws on the experience and expertise developed within other local and international communities and initiatives.
Moving towards sustainability is a social challenge that entails, among other factors, international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), to reappraising work practices (e.g., using permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or developing new technologies that reduce the consumption of resources.
The Sustainable Living Program teaches concepts, tools and techniques for creating sustainable human settlements. It is one month long and may be attended as a whole, or for one or more of its theme-based weeks.
Topics covered include:
- Local organic food production
- Renewable energy systems
- Healthy environments and working in harmony with their ecosystems in an effort to improve human well-being
- Social and ecological sustainability in ways of living more sustainably (Ecological building and engineering)
- Promoting a sympathetic attitude to sustainable land-use, resource use and retaining a closer relationship with the natural world (deep ecology and earth restoration)
This month-long program will in future incorporate the internationally recognised Permaculture Design Course.