Open Book event to promote sustainability

By Joie’ Thornton 

Culture/Events Editor 

Something as simple as a Nike shoe can help bring greater understanding of environmental impact,Mountain View College Sustainability coordinator Lori De La Cruz said.

As part of the 2014-2015 Open Book project, Brookhaven College will host an event connected to the book “Global Weirdness.” According to the authors at Climate Central, “Global Weirdness” is an attempt to explain the underlying science of climate change in clear and simple language.

“‘Global Weirdness’ provides snapshots of climate change science in simple terms,” De La Cruz said. “Using a shoe to understand sustainability and its connections to climate change does the same thing.”

This event will take place at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 18 in X Building. De La Cruz said, “We believe that the facts, presented in a straightforward way, are convincing enough.”

Nelda Contreras, developmental writing professor, said the purpose of ‘Global Weirdness’ is to give a quick overview of sustainability using something ordinary. “Students will examine an everyday object, a Nike shoe, to gain a well-rounded understanding of their global impacts and how everything is connected in an enormous sustainability web,” De La Cruz said.

The audience will examine the production of a Nike shoe, analyzing its ecological and economic social impacts. “By learning how design, raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, facilities, sales, transportation, marketing and disposal are all interrelated, the conversation will widen to a deeper understanding of systems thinking,” De La Cruz said.

The Nike shoe relates to sustainability because Nike launched its sustainability initiatives in 1998, De La Cruz said. “They created the Nike Considered Index, which uses a life cycle approach to examine design and production factors such as material selection, solvent use, garment treatments, waste and innovation.” The Nike shoe was chosen because De La Cruz’s daughter loves Nike shoes.

The event aims to help the audience learn how to look at products as systems, interconnected with the environment, economics and society. “They [students] will see how they impact climate change every day and see the endless opportunities to turn this sinking ship around,” De La Cruz said. People who are reading or have read the book will notice the connection between the book and the shoe.