2015 Sustainability Forum

At the 2015 Sustainability Forum, academic, industry, and nonprofit leaders will examine the reasons for and impacts of our everyday consumption habits, focusing on our use of food, clothing, shelter, and personal electronics.

“Rethinking Our Consumption: Beyond Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” will be held 8:30Forum-Banners-1_14_2015-300x112 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, in Union South’s Varsity Hall. Free and open to the UW community (with pre-registration), four sessions during the day will address how and why we consume things, the impacts of our consumption choices, how to identify sustainable choices, and how our individual choices can shape the future.

GHI postdoctoral researcher Maggie Grabow will present “Mindfulness and Sustainable Behaviors; Shifting Beyond a Culture of Consumption.” Craig Benson, director of the Office of Sustainabilitiy and a GHI Advisory member, will present a campus sustainability education and research update.

Liad Weiss, an assistant professor of marketing at the Wisconsin School of Business, will open the first session with a talk about how owning products affects the ways we perceive both those objects and ourselves.

In the second session, author and leading carbon footprinting expert Michael Berners-Lee and several UW-Madison researchers will explore ways to think about the environmental impacts of everyday items and actions, such as the selection and disposal of food.

Biological farming expert Gary Zimmer will the third session open the session with a discussion of grass-fed beef and the connections between healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy livestock, and healthy humans.

The fourth session will focus on how individual decisions can shape the future.

The day will conclude with a Weston Roundtable lecture by Michael Berners-Lee, who will discuss the climate impacts of our fuel consumption in a talk called “Burning Questions.”