My AP Environmental Science students were discussing the difference between environmentally sustainable practices and economically sustainable practices and the value of each. There was some debate about which is most important, which should be given priority and which is valued more in our society.
As they were debating, I recalled a conversation I had with Antonio, the manager of Open Grounds farm, while I was doing part of my internship at his site. He is a firm believer that the 2 areas of sustainability don’t have to be separate. he explained how sometimes the most economically sustainable practices are also environmentally sustainable as well. He used precision agriculture as an example. Using these practices save the farm a lot of money by pinpointing which locations needed fertilizers and at what amount. This eliminated any overuse of fertilizers, reducing runoff…an environmentally sustainable practice. Win Win!
I shared this experience and conversation with my students and sat back and watch the conversation turn and develop from there.