Sustainability — usually defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs — is the topic of the Peabody’s next temporary exhibition, Sustainable Choices.
Although sustainability issues are global and systemic, even simple decisions, when made day after day, can be hugely effective. One example? While most of us cannot choose how electricity is generated, we can choose daily how to bag our groceries and how to wash our clothes. We’re all familiar with “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but Sustainable Choices invites visitors to “rethink” too.
Think about your shirt: Is it made of cotton, wool or petroleum-based materials? Where were these materials grown or collected? Where were they assembled? How did the shirt get to the store? What will happen to it when you are done with it?
Answering these questions about the life cycle of a shirt is a way to determine its environmental cost. Sustainable Choices examines the issues involving laundry, recycling, composting, light bulbs and transportation, and explains how to calculate your carbon footprint. Information about Yale’s own sustainability initiatives is also highlighted.
While all choices have environmental trade-offs, this hands-on interactive exhibition can help you and your family make informed decisions about how to live more sustainably.