Guest post from Jason Tiezzi, AID Chapter at College of William &Mary:

How can we as a society be sustainable, so that we are leaving the Earth no worse than we found it? And how can we as citizens do the same?

It’s a tough question to answer, but we gave it our best shot by inviting professor and sustainable farmer Charlie Maloney to the College of William & Mary earlier this month. His talk focused on ways for us as individuals to get involved with sustainable practices, in particular, about the difference between organic and sustainable, the importance of buying sustainable products, and how to find them. Overall, you couldn’t help but admire the upbeat energy he felt when speaking of both farming and sustainability.

Next, we had Phil Zapfel, Co-President of the Student Environmental Action Coalition and member of the College Committee on Sustainability, speak briefly on opportunities for students to get involved in sustainable projects on campus, for example, getting the cafeterias buy more sustainable food products, planting behind several campus buildings, and joining the committee on sustainability itself.

Following Phil’s advice, our AID chapter members handed out free, re-usable AID canvas bags to those in attendance for groceries and other purchases. The bags were a huge hit. Who doesn’t love getting free stuff and helping the environment at the same time? Hopefully, participants learned a little bit more about the importance of sustainable agriculture and local food systems, discovered new avenues for environmental activism on campus, and if nothing else, at least they will be using one more canvas bag during their next trip to the grocery store!