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Articles by Lexicon of Sustainability

The Lexicon of Sustainability Project is based on a simple premise: people can't be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don't even know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability. For the past three years Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton have crisscrossed the USA to learn this new language of sustainability from over one hundred of its foremost practitioners in food and farming -- from Alice Waters, to Wes Jackson, Joel Salatin, Vandana Shiva, and Will Allen. These insights have been translated into large format "information art" photo collages and a series of short films. Study guides, a book, a traveling show, installations, and lastly a website where people can dig deeper into these terms (and even add to our ever-evolving lexicon) are also under development.

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Editor’s note: This is your weekly installment of images from Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton’s Lexicon of Sustainability. We’ll be running one image every Friday this winter, so stay tuned. If you have your own sustainability terms, you can add them yourself to the Lexicon of Sustainability.

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We live in a world of dwindling natural resources. The principle of sustainability offers us a road map for managing what we have left. Yet as we attempt to put our world back in balance, we’ve seen the term “sustainability” grossly misused, its meaning devalued, hijacked, turned into hollow sounding marketing jingles.

Instead of tossing the word away, we should take it back and work to redefine what sustainability means.

Peter Gerica is a third generation Gulf Coast fisherman.  When I asked how his crab business survived both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, he said, “After Katrina, we lost everything. When I say everything, I mean when we got out of the trees all we had on were our pants and a smile. You just have to keep moving forward.”... Read more

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