Bachelor's in Sustainability

Guide to Sustainable Eating: Improving Your Health and the Planet

Table of Contents What Is Sustainable Eating? Sustainable Food Practices Sustainable Eating Habits How to Eat Sustainably Sustainable Food Choices and Best Practices Examples of Sustainable Foods Does the way we eat affect the environment? Scientists say yes. Diets high in animal protein and certain crops can increase water usage, contribute to soil depletion, and release methane and other fossil fuel emissions into the atmosphere. Large-scale agriculture and livestock husbandry rely on highly resource-intensive farming practices. However, eating a sustainable diet can mitigate these impacts and help lessen the impact of agriculture on the environment. The more individuals adopt the […]

Solving Sustainability Issues: Keeping a Greener Future

Human beings as a species can make individual and collective changes to improve the sustainability of our world. Activist Jane Goodall shares the hope that sustainability issues can be addressed with human intervention. In The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, Goodall finds reasons to be optimistic in “the amazing human intellect, the resilience of nature, the power of young people, and the indomitable human spirit.” The goal of sustainability is to conserve and preserve our natural world — clean air and water, diverse plants and animals, and entire ecosystems of which humans are only one part. […]

Future of Sustainability: Creating a Greener Future

For more than 50 years, people’s ecological footprint has exceeded what the planet can regenerate. Humans use 1.56 times more than Earth’s biocapacity, according to a recent World Wildlife Fund report. That means it would take Earth about a year and a half to restore what people have used in a year. This overtaxing of nature affects all living things, and an average 68% decrease in the populations of over 20,000 monitored vertebrate species between 1970 and 2016 (as the 2020 World Wildlife report highlights), may speak to just how dire the situation is. While human behavior has degraded natural […]

5 Benefits of Carbon Sequestration for Forests

On the hunt for solutions to protect the planet against climate change, scientists are turning to carbon sequestration. But forests are complex ecosystems, and enacting carbon sequestration requires more than simply planting more trees. To learn more about the benefits of carbon sequestration, check out the infographic below, created by Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability program. What Is Carbon Sequestration? Carbon sequestration involves the carbon cycle and carbon capture processes. The Carbon Cycle The cycle through which carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere and absorbed back into Earth is called the carbon cycle. Carbon is stored […]

Why Is Agriculture Important? Benefits and Its Role

Tables of Contents What Is Agriculture?Why Is Agriculture Important?How Is Agriculture Important?Importance of Agriculture in Everyday LifeHow Does Agriculture Affect the Economy?Importance of Agricultural BiodiversityWhy Is Agriculture Important for the Future? When people think of agriculture, they often envision crop farming: soil and land preparation and sowing, fertilizing, irrigating, and harvesting different types of plants and vegetation. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), crop farming is just one element of the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting sector. Agriculture also encompasses raising livestock; industrial forestry and fishing; and agricultural support services, such as agricultural […]

Importance and Future of Sustainable Agriculture

An agricultural manager analyzes crop data on a tablet.

Sustainable agriculture has a significant role to play in feeding the growing worldwide population and reducing the impact of climate change. Today, agriculture accounts for up to 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Bank. The agriculture infrastructure churns out emissions through transportation; the planting, harvesting, and processing of crops; and the production of livestock. That’s not to mention water pollution from pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Clearly, there’s a need to reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment, but at the same time, increase productivity to feed a growing world population. Those who are interested in this […]

Becoming a Sustainability and STEM Advocate

Sustainability advocates and researchers are finding that the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has had positive effects on the environment. Stay-at-home orders necessary to slow the virus’s spread led to a 9.3% decrease in humanity’s global footprint in 2020, according to Global Footprint Network, compared to the same period last year. The research group attributes the decline to less wood harvesting and lower carbon dioxide emissions as offices shuttered their doors and more employees worked from home. “Innovation comes out of challenges,” says Dr. Kyra Krakos, professor of biology at Maryville University and director of the sustainability program. “Coming out of this, […]

Developing a Corporate Sustainability Plan: Small Businesses

Corporate sustainability consists of three pillars: environmental, social, and economic. Each business is responsible for creating a sustainability plan that acknowledges all three. In addition to protecting the environment, sustainability measures can help small businesses gain favor with consumers by demonstrating social responsibility and business ethics. Sustainable practices also positively impact a company’s bottom line by reducing resource waste and improving productivity. To learn more, check out the infographic below, created by Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Sustainability. Add This Infographic to Your Site <p style="clear:both;margin-bottom:20px;"><a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Information on how small businesses can develop a […]

Soil Conservation Guide: Importance and Practices

Soils in all climates, including Arctic ecosystems, are essential to the global carbon cycle. The BBC reports that the thawing of permafrost — a type of soil in the Arctic that holds an estimated 1.5 trillion tons of carbon (more than Earth’s atmosphere and forests combined) — is releasing both carbon and poisons, such as toxins and diseases, into the atmosphere. As this Arctic soil continues to thaw, it further accelerates climate change, creating a harmful cycle that will impact future populations. What is soil conservation? Soil provides the nutrients essential for plant growth, animal life, and millions of microorganisms. […]

What Is Sustainable Living? Ideas and Innovations to Help Get You Started

Sustainable living is about more than just recycling. It encompasses a wide range of actions that people and businesses can take to reduce their environmental impact, such as using less water, creating less waste, and switching to renewable energy sources. Positive changes in how humans live their lives, even for short periods of time, can have a positive impact on the environment. For example, researchers in New York reported carbon monoxide emissions measured in March 2020 were 50% lower than normal levels for the month according to the BBC. In Europe, satellite images of Venice, Italy, showed that the lockdown […]