GALLOWAY - The Stockton Center on Successful Aging is hosting a new five-week workshop called “Sustainability Matters: How You Can Get Involved” in the hopes of showing people that living such a life can be done at any level and at any age.
“These workshops will help people find their voice and their comfort level of participation,” said Jeff Quattrone, the instructor for the workshop. He is involved in a variety of projects aimed at sustainability, which is about preserving natural resources for ourselves and future generations. Quattrone founded the Library Seed Bank and is co-chair of Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste (Northeast Regional Committee), just to name a few.
One worry that stops many people from attempting to live a sustainable life is the fear that what they are doing is not big enough, but Quattrone says that is not true.
“Small steps can be just as impactful as large ones,” he said. “Small voices lead to loud conversation and the louder the conversation, the harder it is to quiet.”
Another hesitation may be that people feel they are too old to begin living a sustainable life but that is another misconception.
“If we can encourage older adults to leave the legacy of a healthy earth, then I think I’ll have achieved something,” said David Burdick, director of the Stockton Center of Successful Aging.
During the first workshop on Saturday afternoon, Quattrone focused on sustainability advocacy and the number of ways and levels a person can participate. A person may choose to start a sustainable lifestyle by becoming a volunteer for a nonprofit that centers on the environment. According to Quattrone, many nonprofits have small staffs and welcome volunteers.
Another way to become involved is to become an advocate or an activist for the cause of sustainability. However, if those steps are two much for you, there are much smaller ways to begin living a sustainable life.
“It can be as simple as changing your buying habits,” Quattrone said. “Consumers have a lot of power.”
For example, instead of buying your fruits and vegetables from your local grocery store, you can buy them from your farmer. Then you know exactly where your food came from, that it is fresh and did not travel thousands of miles to get to you.
“If you know your farmer, you know your food,” said Quattrone. Another benefit of buying local is that your money supports the local economy and businesses.
The next four workshop will cover:
• Food sovereignty (April 1)
• Climate change (April 8)
• Recycling (April 15)
• Native habitat restoration and preservation (April 22)
All workshops will be held at Stockton University’s Galloway campus in the Campus Center Meeting Room 3 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., except on April 8 when it will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
If you would like to learn more about the “Sustainability Matters” workshop or SCOSA, please visit www.stockton.edu/SCOSA. Visit www.grayisgreen.org to learn more about sustainable living.