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Sustainable Entertainment

Caring for Our Common Home, At Home: Sustainable Entertainment

By Nick McCreary, Director of Sustainability

Earth Month is finally upon us! During the month of April, the Office of Sustainability Programs will share ways the Creighton community can care for our common home, while working or studying from home, starting with sustainable entertainment.

Next time you find yourself thinking of ways to entertain yourself, consider some of the options below. Each book, movie, and podcast listed offers both entertainment and education.

Books

Aldo Leopold paints a picture of pristine North American landscapes in his classic A Sand County Almanac. Approach this book with patience, as it is best read slowly. Leopold transports readers to the landscapes he eloquently describes, from his farm in Wisconsin to the Colorado River. A Sand County Almanac is equally impactful as it is beautiful. Leopold leaves readers with his land ethic—his philosophy for conservation. Although it was written in 1949, Leopold's views on sustainability are still relevant today. A Sand County Almanac is considered by most to be a seminal text within sustainability. This is a must read. Available at the Internet Archive. Create an account to "borrow" for 14 days. 

For a more modern and prescriptive text, look no further than DrawdownDrawdown is much more than a book; it is a global nonprofit leading the climate solution space. Project Drawdown was founded in 2014 by legendary environmentalist Paul Hawken. The book was released in 2017 and it describes the top 100 solutions to global warming. Each page is beautifully designed and simple to digest. Check out their webpage to accompany your read. Available at the Internet Archive. Create an account to "borrow" for 14 days.

Omnivores Dilemma is Michael Pollan's masterpiece. Pollan details multiple food chains to paint a picture of an American meal's relationship to society, industry and our past. Omaha Public Library has an ebook that one person at a time can read. Check the public library in your area.

Movies

Minimalism is a documentary about consumerism. Dan and Ryan are two friends who have decided to live their lives differently and want everyone to know about it. They have replaced material things with what they describe as the things that matter. Living exactly like them is stretch for most, but there are many important takeaways in this film. Minimalism is available to stream on Netflix. Currently available in Hoopla from the Council Bluffs Public Library. Check whether your public library has Hoopla.

Six years before Bong Joon-ho released his Academy Award winning film Parasite, he gave us the masterpiece Snowpiercer. Snowpiercer does contain quite a bit of violence and gore—view this one after the kids have gone to sleep. The violence and gore are used to good effect to paint a picture of an unequal society very similar to our own. Snowpiercer is also available on Netflix.

Podcasts

Drilled is the most comprehensive piece of investigative journalism focused on the oil industry available in a podcast format. There are currently three seasons available for free. Each cover a different aspect of the fossil fuel industry. Episodes are short and easy to digest.

Podship: Earth is an anthology series focused on all aspects of sustainability. Jared Blumenfeld explores topics ranging from bees, to social justice, to the age of distraction.

Freakonomics, originally a behavioral economics book series, is now a podcast expanding beautifully on what the books started. Many of the more than 400 episodes are related to sustainability. Some particular episodes to check out include, “Episode 289: How Stupid is Our Obsession With Lawns?,” “Episode 71: Is Good Corporate Citizenship Also Good for the Bottom Line?,” “Episode 367: The Future of Meat,” and “Episode 346: Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet.”