More than solar panels and recycling

In spring 2021, U Sustainability launched its first-ever podcast series, “Sustain.” The goal of “Sustain” is to broaden the understanding of the holistic meaning of sustainability and highlight sustainability’s three pillars—environmental integrity, social equity and economic security—by diving deep into campus efforts and faculty research.

You can listen to the first four episodes here, or on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

For more details on “Sustain,” we talked to the host, Maria Archibald.

Why did Sustainability decide to create a podcast?

I think “sustainability” has become quite the buzz word and is often associated with things like solar panels and recycling bins, but sustainability should mean so much more than that. It shouldn’t be about sustaining our current systems at any cost, because what’s the point in sustaining systems that are racist, colonial or sexist? It needs to be about building communities that are just and equitable—building the world we want to sustain and finding ways to keep that world going for future generations.

We started “Sustain” to have these conversations with students and faculty in the environmental and social sciences, and to understand how they conceive of sustainability. We chose to do a podcast to engage people in these discussions through a new and accessible medium. There are a wide variety of learning styles and accessibility needs out there, and we wanted to find a creative way to reach people who learn best by listening or who are just tired of looking at a screen all day but have some time to tune in on their evening walk or grocery run.

What is the podcast about?

The podcast is about sustainability in a very broad and holistic sense. Each episode centers a U student or faculty and the work they’re doing to create and sustain a more just world.

What can listeners expect next from Sustain?

In the coming episodes we’ll hear from Dr. Juliet Carlisle and Dr. Tom Maloney about the drivers of inequality in America and what we can do a new to address them, they discuss a new course they’re teaching this fall called The United States of Inequality: Political and Economic Challenges and Remedies. We’ll talk to Dr. Thomas Michael Swensen about Indigenous sovereignty and belonging in Alaska and beyond, with Dr. Armando Solorzano about Latinx relationships to land in Utah, and with Dr. Ana Antunes about how student-focused education can catalyze social change.