By Jonathon Smith
Sustainability Studies Intern
Sustainability has everything to do with my internship.
To start, I want to see how the local farming and community garden projects are working out here in South Bend. For any society to last and thrive economically they must have a system that keeps the economics running without causing a degradation of the resources from which the economy is relying on.
The globalization of the food systems are not stable enough to handle the growing population and as climate change increases around the world working on ways to have sustainable food systems on a local level is the answer and part of my interest in this internship.
The definition of sustainability is meeting the needs of the present while not compromising the needs of future generations. This entails how economics along with the
environment and society interact and rely on each other to maintain a balance and way of life.
Sustainability can also be looked as a form of design or development that promotes ecological and social systems towards the shift of prosperity and future economic growth without damaging the environment or ecosystems that we need for our resources and a healthy well-being.
I hope that my internship will address the four principles for a sustainable society
because it has to do with local food systems. By planting vegetables and herbs for the local
people to cook with will help reduce the contribution of materials from the earth’s crust by
avoiding the use of processed foods which need fossil fuels for their production. The use of
natural or organic gardening also stops the spread of unnatural compounds from chemicals and pesticides that run off into the ground water table and the local river system. This action helps promote the health and wellness of the local community. By gardening for my internship the gardens feed local people and do not contribute to the degradation of nature because it is a type of small local farming and makes good use of land that people live on. In turn this saves extra materials from food processing production and leaves no impact on the local land or the community. The local gardening also offers a product to give back to the community and insures the social interaction of the local people by having a healthy environment to interact within and educate children on how to farm and grow food.