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Emi Day
Feb 4, 2012

ARCHIVE: Lecture series to focus on local sustainability

Feb 4, 2012 by Emi Day

By MIKE O'BRIEN

OREGON DAILY EMERALD
Published February 12, 2008

http://dailyemerald.com/2008/02/12/lecture-series-to-focus-on-local-sustainability/


The distance from the University to Albuquerque, N.M., is 1,400 miles, which would take nearly 22-and-a-half hours to drive, according to Mapquest.com. According to a 2002 study at Iowa State University, the average tomato travels about the same distance before arriving at the grocery store.

Tonight’s Redefine the Dream lecture on relocalization will take place at 7 p.m. in 180 PLC.

Thursday’s event, “Be My Valentine Planet Earth!” followed by a screening of “A Convenient Truth,” will be at 6 p.m., also in 180 PLC.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Jason Schreiner and Ravi Logan – associate directors for local organization PROUT, an acronym for “progressive utilization theory” – don’t like how much energy is used to refrigerate the tomatoes, nor do they like how much greenhouse gases are emitted by the trucks transporting them.

“Of what we consume, only 2 to 4 percent is produced here, which is just really insane if you think about it,” Schreiner said. “The idea is to shorten the distance from where we produce things and make things, and where we consume them.”

Explaining PROUT, Logan said, “It’s a small group of people trying to put forward a positive design-based vision for creating a truly sustainable society.

“It is not adequate to just critique the old system. There needs to be a new model envisioned and begun to be put in place.”

Tonight in Prince Lucien Campbell Hall, Schreiner and Logan will give a lecture on relocalization in the South Willamette Valley, presented by the University’s Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Living as part of the five-part Redefine the Dream series.

“Redefining the Dream is our take on presenting positive future options for the students regarding the negative environmental problems in our world,” said University student Emmalyn Garrett, CASL co-director.

When lecturing about relocalization, a concept rooted in a community-based society, Schreiner said food is a good place to start.

“We all have to eat,” he said. “Plus, we live in such an abundant region for food, so it’s a no-brainer.”

While tonight is Schreiner’s first Redefine the Dream presentation, he has lectured students in the past and been impressed by the positive feedback he’s received.

“When you talk about local projects, it’s much easier to envision how you can plug in and actually get your hands dirty in a project,” he said. “I think younger people have an inherent understanding that (talking) about the future means acting now.”

Schreiner’s suggestions for students include starting a community garden or a food-buying club, wherein groups shop together and buy in bulk.

Previous Redefine the Dream discussions have included panel discussions on sustainable food, housing and transportation.

“We’ve had a lot of pretty inspiring presentations on things that we can do in the future,” Garrett said.

Thursday evening will mark Redefine the Dream’s fifth and final installment. In honor of Valentine’s Day, attendees are invited to make their own eco-friendly Valentines for the earth. There will also be a showing of the 2007 documentary “A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil,” which focuses on the city’s innovations in becoming environmentally-friendly.