Sustainability in Food Sources

By Kyle Jackson

Sustainability is something that I never really knew about or understood the importance of until I got to college. I wasn’t completely like that person who thinks global warming was a myth and that the environment just takes care of itself, but I definitely lacked an understanding of the pressing environmental issues that are at our doorstep. Since learning the basics about living responsibly and sustainably, I have made some efforts to live my life accordingly.

Growing up my family always recycled whenever it was available, but this was mostly out of convenience since a lot of times recycling is free and trash services cost money. In Michigan, almost all products in disposable plastic bottles and aluminum cans cost an additional ten cent deposit which can be retrieved by recycling them at the local grocery store. This in particular has served as an extremely effective method of cleaning up the environment because people are less likely to throw their cans and bottles away and definitely less likely to throw them out of their car while driving. Even if cans and bottles become litter, there is incentive for random strangers to pick them up and cash them in, which many do.

One other way in which I live a more sustainable life is by hunting and consuming the meat from the abundant whitetail deer population. As opposed to industrial farm raised beef, pork, or chicken, venison is a much leaner and cleaner meat to consume. Plus, the lack of effective natural predators in this region of the country has spawned massively overpopulated communities of deer. By humanely hunting and consuming their meat, it can both help control the deer population as well as keep money out of the pockets of the corporate farms responsible for so much animal abuse as well as meat contamination.

Recycle for Sustainability

By Bea Indurain

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Many years ago, at my home in Spain, we started recycling. At home we have five different trash receptacles. The brown one where we throw away food, the yellow one where we throw away plastics and cans, the blue one where we throw away paper, the green one which is just for glass, and the grey one where we throw away things that cannot be recycled or composted. There are two reasons we started doing this: first, the town where we live has mandatory recycling, and, second, because of my mother.

Anyone that does not recycle in our town gets a fine from City Hall. There is a company that stops at each house every day to pick up a different kind of trash. Mondays and Wednesdays are plastic day, Tuesdays and Thursdays are organic day, Fridays are glass day, Saturdays are paper day, and Sundays are for all other trash. Also, if someone takes out the wrong trash, the company does not pick it up, and they leave a note saying “wrong trash”.

My mother is a biologist and she cares about the environment. I like recycling because it is one thing that humans can control and do for nature and for the environment. I think everyone should recycle. When people do not recycle, we waste a lot of material that could be reused. Also, not recycling leads to cutting down more trees and using more natural resources. When I recycle, I feel like I am helping the environment. Recycling is something that everyone should do. It takes very little time or effort. Instead of putting all of the trash together, you only have to separate it!​

George Masa: A Biography of a Preservationist

May is National Historic Preservation Month!  Thank you to Freshman Historic Preservation major Aly Nahra for sharing this biography she recently wrote on George Masa who inspires her with his commitment to preservation.

George Masa

George Masa

George Masa was an influential person in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Little is known about him before he came to the United States except that he came from Japan in the early 1900s. When he first came to America, he was going to school. Later, he moved to North Carolina and worked a few different jobs there until he opened his own photography studio. He spent much of his time there exploring the Smoky Mountains, which were the subject of many of his photographs. After this, he began promoting the preservation of the Smoky Mountains by selling photographs from his studio. He spent the rest of his life working to preserve the Great Smoky Mountains through his photography, hoping that his pictures would move others the ways the mountains did him.

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Sustainability and Local Farming in Cleveland

Written by Kelly Stenger

I am working towards sustainability by supporting a local farm in Cleveland through service learning volunteer hours. For my service learning project, I volunteered at the Blue Pike Farm, which is located just off of the exit of 72nd street if you are heading into Cleveland from the east. I visited Blue Pike Farm five Wednesdays this past summer and contributed five hours each day as a part of my education for a Service Learning Credit. While at the farm, I participated in weeding, picking berries, transplanting, laying grass seed, harvesting, and sewing seeds.

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Blue Pike Farm – Photo by Kelly Stenger

I became interested in service learning at Ursuline because I was missing a credit hour to be able to graduate. I then searched and searched for a location that would fit into my schedule and was of interest to me. I knew I wanted to do something with urban agriculture because it involves the environment and relates to the outlook of philosophers in the Eco Philosophy course I am taking. I have a garden in my backyard and have always been conscientious about what I eat. Urban farms grow plant based foods which are nutrient dense products that meet the needs of the systems within our bodies. I became interested in Blue Pike Farm because it would be a hands-on experience producing foods that I enjoy and the hours worked with my schedule.

Urban agriculture benefits communities in many ways such as providing healthy, affordable food and green space for residents. It is important to me to support local farms because they play a big part in creating a sustainable community, and provide healthy foods we all can benefit from. My experience at Blue Pike Farm taught me a lot about the importance of making healthy foods available to everyone. More than one third of the United States is obese. Urban Farms provide education on healthy foods and where they can be found to surrounding communities.

By volunteering at Blue Pike Farm I learned a few farming techniques and skills that I can use in my backyard. This experience allowed me to see the process from the seed to the harvest. I also have a reference now if I have any questions about different foods or gardening techniques. I like to know what I am eating and where the foods I eat come from. I am now aware of the importance of local farms and food markets in our area and have developed an interest in how they produce and sell their crop. I also learned about Community Supported Agriculture programs.   As I finish up my undergraduate education, I will be searching to find places to buy my groceries and this farm could be an option.

I will continue to buy healthy foods that are plant based because it is a part of my support towards conserving, recycling, and sustaining our environment. One acre of land is all it takes to produce an abundance of foods we can enjoy and helps the environment, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

Counseling and Art Therapy Takes on Zimbabwe

Values. Voice. Vision. The Ursuline College mantra is on most of the College’s marketing material. It is, then, crucial for those ideals to become part of the curriculum in every discipline. For the Counseling and Art Therapy Department, it’s even more important to incorporate values into their work, to give voice to those that don’t have one and to have a vision for the future. This past January, the Counseling and Art Therapy Department was able to connect with Rebekah Chilcote ’07, who is currently in Zimbabwe for three years working with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). Assistant Professor Katherine Jackson was able to organize a trip for the Counseling Art Therapy Department to put their skills to the test.

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That’s why a group of 15 Ursuline College students, faculty and alumnae traveled to Zimbabwe on January 2 of this year. The group consisted of nine undergraduate students, two faculty members (Katherine Jackson and Megan Seaman) who are assistant professors in the Counseling and Art Therapy Department, three alumnae, and one husband of a student. Due to the grueling 23-hour travel time, the trip took place from December 29 through January 12; however, only 10 of those days were actually spent in Zimbabwe.

The group lived and worked at the Peniel Centre, an orphanage for children that are victims of HIV/AIDS as well physical and sexual abuse, which is run by Gideon and Jennifer Chisamba, along with their son, X (a nickname), and his wife, Privilege. Very camp-like in appearance, the orphanage is not much, with thatched roof huts, cold well-water only and outdoor cooking over big pots. The trip was an immersion experience for the group of Ursuline College representatives, due to the fact that they ate and lived with the children of the orphanage.

Luckily for the Ursuline College students, alumnae and faculty, a good portion of the students in Zimbabwe could speak a bit of English, as all schools in Zimbabwe are English-speaking. The children at Peniel Centre took part in mental health counseling and art therapy, and, as YWAM is a nondenominational Christian organization, they were taught that they are “royalty of God,” so they got to make crowns, and draw pictures of castles and the houses they want when they grow up. Other art projects for the children included masks, puppets and meaningful jewelry, such as friendship bracelets.

Of course, the mission of the trip wasn’t simply to do art projects with the children. It was to help them and care for them. According to the professors along on the trip, “We tried to bring love, that’s all you can really do.”

“The experience impacted both the children and us in a great way,” Jackson and Seaman said, adding that “we did more than what we thought we could do.” According to the professors, everyone on the trip adapted well and rose to the occasion, even the students that had never been out of the country before.

Overall, the trip changed the perspective of all of the participants. “We grew to love the children, and we felt that we touched them,” Said Jackson. In addition, they learned that the basic human experience is the same, in that everyone wants the same things: love, a purpose and solid relationships. The College group also realized that everyone is connected. The professors added, “If someone is hurting in Zimbabwe, it hurts us here, it affects everyone. It is not us or them, this or that, and although that may be human nature, we must try not to think that way.

Chilcote will be in Africa for three years, which lends the Counseling and Art Therapy Department a chance to build a bridge and maintain a connection to the children in Africa that they have worked with on this trip.

The Department is going on another trip June 20-27 to the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, where they will be working with Native American children from both the Lakota and Sioux tribes on the expression arts, including drama, fine arts and participating in an art show.

In addition, the Counseling and Art Therapy Department is also hosting a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal from May 23 through June 2, 2016. The trip is a partnership with United Planet, a non-profit organization, which plans and facilitates humanitarian and mission work around the world. The Nepal trip will include working with women and children that have been victims of physical and sexual abuse. While this trip will have an art component, it will be very specific to mental health and counseling; therefore, those going on the trip must have a high competency in mental health work. This is a chance to use not just art skills, but also counseling skills. The deadline to sign up for the trip is in September 2015, and there will be more information coming soon. Up to 30 people will be accepted to go, and the cost for the trip will be $5,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCES PAYNE BOLTON’S “PLACE” IN PRESERVATION

For Women's History month, celebrate Ohioan Frances Payne Bolton, historic preservation and environmental conservation advocate.

For Women’s History month, celebrate Ohioan Frances Payne Bolton, historic preservation and environmental conservation advocate.

Meghan O’Connor of the National Trust for Historic Preservation recently reported “only 8% of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places embody underrepresented communities, including women.”[i]

Women, however, are approximately half the nation’s population. Further, they have historically been integral in promoting preservation of historic sites at the national level as well as state and local levels.

American women have historically asked questions about their role, their “place,” in American society as well as American history. We would do well to also ask with increasing vigor about women’s “place” in preservation and at historic sites. These are the most noticeable, nonverbal cues about our cultural values and legacy that we can offer to our population.

And so, in the spirit of introducing one woman’s “place” in preservation, I ask: What do former Ohio Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton and our first President George Washington have in common besides public service in national politics?

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Reflection of Blessing Ceremony

 

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“May this oil of gladness strengthen and bless you as you begin your ministry of nursing.”

These positive words were said to us, the sophomore nursing class, right before our hands were blessed. I felt that the blessing ceremony was powerful because it confirmed the calling God placed upon my life. It made me feel special because I was chosen to care for those in need. In addition, the service was moving because our hands were blessed with God’s loving gifts. It joined us all together and was nice to see the faculty members come and support us on our big day. Each clinical instructor blessed us with words of strength and encouragement, inspirational videos were shown, and touching songs were played. It was truly an honor to be part of Ursuline’s blessing ceremony.         Read More

Plastic packaging and writing for sustainable change

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By Alyssa Adamowski, senior Ursuline College nursing student

Lately I’ve been noticing the amount of plastic and other materials used for packaging. Everything we buy comes in a package: food, electronics, clothes, and the majority of other products. Most of this plastic isn’t recyclable. According to the World Watch Institute, humans produce 1.3 billion tons of garbage per year, most of which ends up in landfills. Most of this packaging is unnecessary. But more importantly, why can’t all packaging just be recyclable? Why does my new printer need three pounds worth of packaging? Why does my toothpaste bottle need to come in a shiny unrecyclable box?

Over the past few months I’ve been collecting a list of everything I buy and seeing whether or not the packaging is recyclable. If it’s not I try to abstain from buying it, but I’ve come across problems. Toothpaste, for example, comes in a bottle and a box; is the box really necessary? The box doesn’t contribute to the sterility and cleanliness of the paste! But, I can’t live without toothpaste.

So, I wrote to Colgate and other companies asking them why their packaging isn’t recyclable. Not only have I written to corporations, I’ve written my congressmen asking them to pass a law requiring all businesses to only use recyclable packaging. Well, Colgate was the first to write me back! I found out that the plastic toothpaste bottle is recyclable but the cardboard box is not. They are working on making more of their products and packaging more environmentally friendly. They also sent me a coupon for my interest in their products!

I encourage you to write to your congressmen and tell them to vote for environmental change. Write to corporations and tell them you want them to revamp their products. The more people they hear from the more change we can make! Encourage your friends and family too!

Read more on this topic here.

2015: become a solutionary.

 

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Resolutions are like bad boyfriends.

Everyone knows you have one. Your friends and family are just simply biding their time until you break the news. Then, they politely comfort you when it comes to a halt, even though you were daydreaming of reaching that one-year mark. Resolutions are like bad boyfriends.

Fortunately, there is more to a New Year then one-month gym memberships and fat-free salad dressing. After I woke on Jan. 1, completely missing the ball drop and also my opportunity to form solid resolutions for 2015, I recognized that the New Year is no more a chance for me to make a change than any of the other 364 days. More than that, I have an opportunity each day to put emphasis on the things I believe in – the things I also believe need the most change.

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Art Therapy and Counseling students and faculty launch 2015 with service

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Follow along with Art Therapy and Counseling students and faculty on their journey through South Africa and at an orphanage in Zimbabwe via photos on the College’s Facebook >> facebook.com/UrsulineCollege.