Our Nature, Penn State Sustainability’s Blog

Our Nature, Penn State Sustainability’s Blog2023-09-11T20:03:48-04:00

We all have a role to play in addressing today’s sustainability challenges. As a Penn Stater, it’s in “our nature” to work collaboratively towards these much-needed solutions. Nittany Lions have a long history of positive climate impact and “Our Nature” chronicles trustworthy environmental news, stories, and perspectives from throughout the Penn State community.

Hear firsthand how faculty, staff, alumni, and students are making an impact each day, what their successes and challenges have been, and what’s fueling their passion for progress. By following these stories or submitting your own, we hope you’ll find inspiration and hope for our shared sustainable future.

Both our choices and our voices are powerful tools that can be leveraged to improve conditions for our planet, wildlife, and selves.

Research Spotlight: Arbor Day, Penn State Research in Tree Molecular Genetics

By Halina Dingo Arbor Day is a holiday dedicated to the planting, upkeep, and appreciation of trees. The holiday originated in 1872 in Nebraska City, when the citizens banded together to change their shadeless landscape and planted over 1 million trees across the state.   Trees play an integral part in ecosystem health and the sequestration of carbon. Even as sources of food, life, and homes for many people and organisms, deforestation continues to threaten tree populations. Arbor Day is a [...]

April 28, 2023|

Intersectionalism and the SDGs

By Tara McCafferty A major component of sustainability that is often overlooked is the power of intersectionality. The creator of this idea, Kimberlé Crenshaw, defines the term intersectionality as “a metaphor for understanding the ways that multiple forms of inequality or disadvantage sometimes compound themselves and create obstacles that often are not understood among conventional ways of thinking.”  While intersectionality is often thought of strictly in regard to social issues such as gender and race equity, in reality, it is [...]

April 10, 2023|

The Definition of Sustainability

By Tara McCafferty What definition comes to mind when you hear the term “sustainability?” Do climate change, trees, plant-based eating, and thoughts of recycling circle your mind? Although these concepts are important aspects of sustainability, individually, they comprise a rather narrow view of the breadth of the sustainability movement.    At Penn State, the Sustainability Institute has curated a unique perspective that has the potential to significantly impact public view and involvement in the pursuit of sustainability achievements. According to [...]

February 15, 2023|

World Vegan Day – Exploring Plant-Based Diets

By Halina Dingo In recent years, Veganism has been surging in popularity in the United States, with many people converting to this diet for a variety of compelling reasons. Whether it be for health, cost, religion, concern for the environment, or animal welfare, people are increasingly embracing plant-based diets.   For many, it can be difficult to transition to plant-based eating, especially if they grew up in a household with meat-centric meals. Misconceptions about this diet, such as it being bland, unfulfilling, [...]

November 1, 2022|

A Student Perspective on Hispanic Heritage Month; Zairi Mercader

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: Zairi Mercader is an undergraduate student at Penn State, double majoring in Marketing and Spanish with a minor in Information Systems Management. She is the President of the Puerto Rican Student Association (PRSA), VP of University Relations for the Penn State Latino Caucus, and the University Relations chair for WIB [Women in Business]. For more information about Penn State's events and initiatives for Hispanic Heritage Month, stay tuned for the end of the article. First, tell a little [...]

October 25, 2022|

What’s the deal with the Green New Deal?

This evening, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, a political scientist who helped author the Green New Deal, is coming to Penn State to speak about how students can join in the fight against climate change and help in a meaningful way. In preparation for Gunn-Wright’s visit and as a general reference, it is important for the public to understand the Green New Deal (GND) proposal and its impacts. Most people have heard of the Green New Deal, but sometimes don’t know the concrete [...]

September 8, 2022|
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