What is ‘sustainable?’

According to Merriam-Webster, “sustainable” can be defined as “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>”; or “of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>.”

The Civic Commons hosted a great conversation about sustainable communities two years ago.

When I ask the question about Oberlin, I’m not asking about its energy savings or recycling in any direct sense. I want to know, more than 175 years after its founding, what sustains Oberlin as a community?

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