We hear the word "sustainable" a lot these days: sustainable living, environmental sustainability, financial sustainability, sustainable education, sustainable relationships, and sustainable resources. There's a whole new vocabulary too: upcycle, low-output (waste), repurpose, grey water, reskilling, rainwater catchment systems. "Green" isn't just a color anymore and "footprint" doesn't always mean what you leave behind you in the sand.
Despite the varied and trendy jargon surrounding the sustainability movement, the meaning of sustainability is actually quite simple: to be able to continue doing something indefinitely without wearing out or using up the resources involved. There is an important component of "the other" in sustainability. We are not just looking out for ourselves, but for the wellbeing of others, the Earth, and future generations. Interestingly, much of the progressive action around sustainability focuses on going back to traditional living skills, as you'll find out in these pages.
So why dedicate an entire issue of Living Education to the issue of sustainability? When the learning process is tightly woven into the fabric of daily life, community, and seasons--as it is with homeschooling families--the issue of sustainability becomes not just a lofty ideal, but an educational imperative. We heard from hundreds of readers when we asked, "How do you teach your child the meaning of sustainability?" We hope their answers, and the many other viewpoints expressed in this issue translate the language of sustainability into informative and inspiring applications for your homeschooling journey. As Earth Day approaches (Monday April 22, 2013), perhaps you and your family will work together to make a few changes in honor of our great Earth.
At Oak Meadow, we strive to weave aspects of sustainability into our workplace, having discovered that promoting a balance between home and work, as well as work and play, makes for a happier, healthier, and more productive community. We hope that you enjoy our latest journal and within its pages find the support you need to make your lifestyle more sustainable.