Elizabeth Sawin

Elizabeth Sawin is a mother, biologist, and systems analyst. A member of Cobb Hill Cohousing, she lives on an organic farm in Hartland, Vt. She works at the Sustainability Institute, a think-do tank founded by Donella Meadows.

Price tags don’t tell the full story

I have a young friend who, I think, will never eat another banana without thinking a great deal about its history. Going bananas. On a …

Taking on the erosive cycle of contemporary politics

Every day I try to protect my children from problems I didn’t create and cannot solve alone. I spread cream on their skin to shield …

Humans are gobbling up too much of the sun’s energy

The energy of the sun, captured by plants and passed on to animals, powers everything in our world — dolphins leaping out of the ocean, …

Now that's a reason to be jolly

This holiday season, we’re bombing Afghanistan, and perhaps contributing to mass starvation there. We stand apart from the rest of the world on climate change, …

How the bear inside you could save the world

“Sobs racked the body of a middle-aged man as he cradled the head of his baby, its dust-covered body dressed only in a blue diaper, …

Survival sometimes calls for cooperation, not competition

“Human beings will never cooperate. War and fighting are part of our very make-up. We’re competitive, violent animals.” That’s what the cynics say, and sometimes …

Bush should listen to his inner dad on climate change

We were exploring an unfamiliar pond. My four-year-old daughter was out in the water, up to her knees, when I called her back to shore: …