Just over a week ago, I was getting my hair cut by the friendliest and most outgoing hairdresser I've ever encountered. George must be in his late 50's, and is an immigrant from the Czech Republic.

So as most hairdressers do, George asked me about my life. "What are you planning on doing after high school?" I replied, telling him that I would be studying in the faculty of Management, and majoring in Sustainability. Through the mirror in front of me, I could see the puzzled look on his face. "Sustainability... like, what is that?"

I was shocked. What is sustainability? What isn't about sustainability these days? But I guess I must remember that George is a little bit older than myself, and I must remember that this whole "green movement" is a fairly new concept. So I tried to explain to George what exactly it is that I will be studying. It proved itself to be a difficult task.
In the week following my hair cut with George, I began noticing, in everything I did, a gross number of things relating to sustainability. Each day, I came across at least a few, if not a hand full, of things related to the notion of sustaining our resources.
  • I attended a job interview for a summer camp where we discussed the sustainable food practices of the company
  • at "Bands for Berna" our guest speakers enlightened us on the concept of sustainable development in third world nations
  • in my Lit 12 class, we learned how William Wordsworth may have been the first poet to ever introduce the concepts of consumerism and sustainability
  • in Geography, I watched a PowerPoint outlining methods of alternative energy and compared how sustainable each energy agent is
  • I wrote a cover letter for a sustainable, organic, and fair-trade bistro
  • I engaged in an argument about the sustainable benefits of cutting meat out of your diet
  • I saw a student in the library at school, re-inserting his piece of paper into the printer so that he could use both sides. When someone asked him what he was doing, he replied, "I'm being sustainable."
  • at the CTS Amazing Race, of course there were no plastic water bottles at the finish line, because sustainability is one of the fundamental values of Catching the Spirit
  • as I rode the bus one night, I eavesdropped on a conversation about how busing is becoming the only option for transportation with gas prices being so high... and busing is sustainable!
  • at my DSLC meeting, we discussed how we can make adjustments next year towards more sustainable practices
  • I listened to 2 classmates debate the sustainability of fishing
Sustainability is all around us. Everywhere. Every day. And while I was shocked that George was unsure as to what sustainability is; that also gives me great hope in the direction our world is headed. If only a few generations back, the idea of sustaining our world was unheard of, then to look at how far we've come today, to see how common the concept  has become in our world gives me great faith.


  1. During my summer course on "sustainable food systems" it was really interesting to see how this word can mean and stand for SO MANY things. When I think about it though, "sustaining" sounds so mediocre to me. I wonder if I should be focused more on THRIVING instead of sustaining. Thanks for the fun thoughts Lisa!


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