Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities

Sustainability - Community in Action


"Sustainability" is a word that is used and defined in many ways. Many people use the word "sustainable" to mean "environmentally friendly," or as a term that applies mainly to the development of the Third World. But sustainability means much more than that. When a resource is consumed at sustainable levels, people can continue to consume the same amount of that resource year in and year out, from our generation into the next. When a resource is used at unsustainable levels, sooner or later that resource will run out.

In 1990, the U.N. Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Policy Areas:

Venn diagram
Scheme of sustainable development:
at the confluence of three preoccupations

More broadly, sustainable development policies encompass three general policy areas: economic, environmental, and social. In support of this, several United Nations texts, most recently the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, refer to the "interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars" of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection.

The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) elaborates further the concept by stating that "...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature;" it becomes "one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence." In this vision, cultural diversity is the fourth policy area of sustainable development.

Note: This list was last updated spring 2010.

  • Addicted to Plastic
    Connacher, Ian (director)
    668.4192 ADDICTE
  • Against the Grain: How Agriculture has Hijacked Civilization
    Manning, Richard
    630.9 MANNING
  • Age of Oil: The Mythology, History, and Future of the World's Most Controversial Resource
    Maugeri, Leonardo
    553.282 MAUGERI
  • Alcohol Can Be a Gas!: Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century
    Blume, David
    662.6692 BLUME
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
    Kingsolver, Barbara
    641.0973 KINGSOL
  • Better, Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community
    Fodor, Eben
    307.1416 FODOR
  • The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a Quickly Changing Planet
    Suzuki, David
    304.2 SUZUKI
  • Big River: A King Corn Companion
    Woolf, Aaron
    338.1731 BIG RIV
  • Bill McDonough at "One Spokane" Summit 5-29-02
    McDonough, William
    333.715 MCDONOU
  • Bioneers 2007 Plenary DVD Set
    333.72 BIONEERS 2007
  • Bioneers 2008 Plenary DVD Set
    333.72 BIONEERS
  • Bioneers 2009 Plenary DVD Set
    333.72 BIONEERS
  • Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement...
    Hawken, Paul
    333.72 HAWKEN
  • Builder's Greywater Guide
    Ludwig, Art
    696.13 LUDWIG
  • Building Green: A Complete How-to Guide...
    Snell, Clark
    690.837 SNELL
  • Capitalism as if the World Matters
    Porritt, Jonathon
    330.122 PORRITT
  • Carbon Buster's Home Energy Handbook: Slowing Climate Change and Saving Money
    Stoyke, Godo
    644 STOYKE
  • Case for Fewer People: The NPG Forum Papers
    Grant, Lindsey (editor)
    304.66 CASE FO
  • Cash for Your Trash: Scrap Recycling in America
    Zimring, Carl
    363.7282 ZIMRING
  • Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity
    Pernick, Ron
    333.794 PERNICK
  • Climate Change: What it Means For Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren
    DiMento, Joseph (editor)
    577.22 CLIMATE
  • Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
    Sachs, Jeffrey
    338.9 SACHS
  • Communicating Sustainability
    Leal Filho, Walter (editor)
    363.7 COMMUNI
  • Communicating Sustainability
    Leal Filho, Walter (editor)
    363.7 COMMUNI
  • Conserving the Environment
    Woodward, John (editor)
    333.72 CONSERV
  • Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen
    Heyhoe, Kate
    641.5 HEYHOE
  • Corporate Planet: Ecology and Politics in the Age of Globalization
    Karliner, Joshua
    658.408 KARLINE
  • Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
    McDonough, William
    745.2 MCDONOU
  • Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth
    Wilson, Edward
    333.9516 WILSON
  • Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
    McKibben, Bill
    306.3 MCKIBBE
  • Design for Ecological Democracy
    Hester, Randolph
    307.1216 HESTER
  • Diet for a Hot Planet
    Lappé, Anna
    338.19 LAPPE
  • Diet for a Hot Planet
    Lappé, Anna
    338.19 LAPPE 2010
  • Dirt! The Movie
    Benenson, Bill (producer)
    631.4 DIRT TH
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    McKibben, Bill
    304.28 MCKIBBE
  • The Eco-Travel Guide
    Fuad-Luke, Alastair
    910.202 FUAD-LU
  • Economics and the Environment
    Goodstein, Eban
    333.7 GOODSTE
  • Economics of the Environment: Selected Readings
    Stavins, Robert N. (editor)
    363.7 ECONOMI
  • Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis
    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
    333.7 ECOSYST
  • 11th Hour
    DiCaprio, Leonardo (producer)
    333.72 ELEVENT
  • Empty Oceans, Empty Nets
    Cowan, Steve (producer)
    333.956 EMPTY O
  • End of Food
    Roberts, Paul
    363.8 ROBERTS 2008
  • End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World
    Roberts, Paul
    333.79 ROBERTS
  • End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing the World and What We Eat
    Clover, Charles
    333.956 CLOVER
  • End of the Line: Where Have All the Fish Gone?
    Murray, Rupert (director)
    333.956 END OF
  • Endangered: Wildlife on the Brink of Extinction
    McGavin, George
    578.68 MCGAVIN
  • Energy Crossroads
    Fauchere, Christophe (writer)
    333.79 ENERGY
  • Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy
    Randolph, John
    333.794 RANDOLP
  • Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products
    Schapiro, Mark
    363.27 SCHAPIR
  • Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
    Carpenter, Novella
    630.9173 CARPENT
  • Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables
    641.651 PETERSO
  • Freedom from Oil: How the Next President Can End the United States' Oil Addiction
    Sandalow, David
    338.27282 SANDALO
  • From the Farm to the Table: What All Americans Need to Know about Agriculture
    Holthaus, Gary
    630.973 HOLTHAU
  • Future of Higher Education: Rhetoric, Reality, and the Risks of the Market
    Newman, Frank
    378.73 NEWMAN
  • The Garden
    Kennedy, Scott Hamilton (producer)
    635 GARDEN
  • Gardens of Destiny
    Demers, Jocelyn (producer)
    630 GARDENS
  • Global Warming: The Signs and the Science
    Kennard, David (producer)
    363.7387 GLOBAL
  • Going Local: Creating Self-reliant Communities in a Global Age
    Shuman, Michael
    338.973 SHUMAN
  • Good Food
    Young, Melissa (director)
    631.584 GOOD FO 2008
  • Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time
    Rogers, Elizabeth
    333.72 ROGERS
  • Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture
    Stang, Alanna
    728.37 STANG
  • Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability
    Owen, David
    304.2091 OWEN
  • Green Remodeling: Changing the World, One Room at a Time
    Johnston, David
    643.7 JOHNSTO
  • Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage
    Esty, Daniel
    658.4083 ESTY
  • Greening your Cleaning
    Imus, Deirdre
    648.5 IMUS
  • Growth Management for a Sustainable Future...
    Zovanyi, Gabor
    338.9097 ZOVANYI
  • Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen
    Lappé, Anna
    641.302 LAPPE
  • Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability
    McDonough, William
    720.47 MCDONOU
  • Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet
    Lehmeier-Hartie, Norma
    133.3337 HARTIE
  • Health and Community Design: The Impact of the Built Environment on Physical Activity
    Frank, Lawrence
    362.1042 FRANK
  • Hey Mr. Green
    Schildgen, Bob
    333.72 SCHILDG 2008
  • Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy
    Chiras, Daniel
    644 CHIRAS
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution
    Friedman, Thomas
    363.7052 FRIEDMA
  • Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement
    Isham, Jonathan (editor)
    363.7387 IGNITIO
  • Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do about It
    Gore, Al
    363.7387 GORE
  • Inspiring Progress: Religions' Contributions to Sustainable Development
    Gardner, Gary
    201.77 GARDNER
  • It's Easy being Green: A Handbook for Earth-friendly Living
    Trask, Crissy
    333.72 TRASK
  • Kicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming and the Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy
    Sweet, William
    333.794 SWEET
  • "King Corn: A Film"
    Woolf, Aaron
    338.1731 KING CO
  • Last Forest: The Amazon in the Age of Globalization
    London, Mark
    333.75098 LONDON
  • Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability
    Horn, Greg
    640 HORN
  • Living off the Grid: A Simple Guide to Creating and Maintaining a Self-reliant Supply of Energy, Water, Shelter and More
    Black, Dave
    640 BLACK
  • Logic of Sufficiency
    Princen, Thomas
    338.927 PRINCEN
  • Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil...
    Kunstler, James
    303.4973 KUNSTLE
  • Marine Conservation Biology: The Science of Maintaining the Sea's Biodiversity
    Norse, Elliott (editor)
    333.956 MARINE
  • Marine Pollution
    Clark, R. B.
    363.7394 CLARK
  • Methods for Encouraging Water Stewardship in the City of Spokane
    Jackson, Laurie
    333.9116 JACKSON
  • Mimicking Nature's Fire: Restoring Fire-prone Forests in the West
    Arno, Stephen
    577.24 ARNO
  • More: Population, Nature and What Women Want
    Engelman, Robert
    304.62 ENGELMA
  • Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future
    Wessels, Tom
    577 WESSELS
  • Natural Remodeling for the Not-so-green House: Bringing Your Home into Harmony with Nature
    Venolia, Carol
    643.7 VENOLIA
  • Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas
    Worster, Donald
    577.09 WORSTER
  • New Consumers: The Influence of Affluence on the Environment
    Myers, Norman
    333.713 MYERS
  • New Create an Oasis with Greywater
    Ludwig, Art
    696.13 LUDWIG
  • Next Industrial Revolution: William McDonough...
    McDonough, William
    333.715 NEXT IN
  • No Impact Man
    Gabbert, Laura (director)
    333.72 NO IMPA
  • The Northwest Green Home Primer
    O'Brien, Kathleen
    643.1 OBRIEN
  • Our Common Future
    World Commission on Environment and Development
    363.7 OUR COM
  • Our Earth's Changing Land: An Encyclopedia of Land-use and Land-cover Change
    Geist, Helmet (editor)
    333.7 OUR EAR
  • Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth
    Wackernagel, Mathis
    333.716 WACKERN
  • Our Human Planet: Summary for Decision-makers
    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
    333.7 OUR HUM
  • Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies
    Heinberg, Richard
    333.8232 HEINBER
  • Passive Solar House
    Kachadorian, James
    690.837 KACHADO
  • Pesticides: A Toxic Time Bomb in Our Midst
    Levine, Marvin
    363.7384 LEVINE
  • Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble
    Brown, Lester R.
    333.7 BROWN
  • Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
    Brown, Lester R.
    333.7 BROWN
  • Planning for Sustainability: Creating Livable, Equitable, and Ecological Communities
    Wheeler, Stephen
    307.1216 WHEELER
  • Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally
    Smith, Alisa
    641.563 SMITH
  • Positive Impact Forestry: A Sustainable Approach
    McEvoy, Thom
    634.92 MCEVOY
  • Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-carbon World
    Heinberg, Richard
    333.7916 HEINBER
  • Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World
    Merchant, Carolyn
    304.2 MERCHAN
  • Rainforest
    Marent, Thomas
    578.734 MARENT
  • Raising Baby Green: The Earth-friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care
    Greene, Alan
    618.2 GREENE
  • Rammed Earth House
    Easton, David
    693.2 EASTON
  • The Real Dirt on Farmer John
    Siegel, Taggart (director)
    635.092 REAL DI
  • Renewable Energy Handbook
    Kemp, William
    621.042 KEMP
  • Riparia: Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Streamside Communities
    Naiman, Robert
    577.68 NAIMAN
  • Rivers of North America
    Benke, Arthur (editor)
    551.483 RIVERS
  • Rivertime: Ecotravel on the World's Rivers
    Hood, Mary A.
    577.64 HOOD
  • The Sacred Balance
    Suzuki, David
    304.2 SACRED
  • Saving Earth: Energy from the High Frontier
    Proser, Charles
    333.7912 SAVING
  • Saving Energy, Growing Jobs
    Goldstein, David B.
    333.7916 GOLDSTE
  • Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet
    Sorensen, Eric
    640 SORENSE
  • Sharing Nature's Interest: Ecological Footprints as an Indicator of Sustainability
    Chambers, Nicky
    333.72 CHAMBER
  • Sick Building Syndrome...Environmental Politics...
    Murphy, Michelle
    613.5 MURPHY
  • Silence of the Songbirds
    Stutchbury, Bridget
    598.8 SUTCHB
  • Slice of Organic Life
    Goldsmith, Sheherazale (editor)
    640 SLICE O
  • Solar House: A Guide for the Solar Designer
    Galloway, Terry
    690.837 GALLOWA
  • Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry
    Bradford, Travis
    333.7923 BRADFOR
  • Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Study
    Gregory, Guy
    551 GREGORY
  • State of the Earth: Environmental Challenges on the Road to 2100
    Conkin, Paul
    333.72 CONKIN
  • The Story of Stuff
    Leonard, Annie (writer)
    333.713 STORY O
  • The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health - and a Vision for Change
    Leonard, Annie
    333.713 LEONARD
  • Strange Days on Planet Earth
    National Geographic Television
    363.7387 STRANGE
  • Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System
    Patel, Raj
    338.19 PATEL
  • Sustainability and Public Policy: Can the Government Make You Go Green?
    333.7 SUSTAIN 2008
  • Sustainability at the Cutting Edge: Emerging Technologies for Low Energy Buildings
    Smith, Peter
    720.472 SMITH
  • Sustainability Curriculum: The Challenge for Higher Education
    Blewitt, John (editor)
    333.72 SUSTAIN
  • Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change
    Barlett, Peggy (editor)
    378.1961 SUSTAIN
  • Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift
    Edwards, Andres
    338.927 EDWARDS
  • Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design and Delivery
    Kibert, Charles
    690 KIBERT
  • Sustainable Landscape Construction
    Thompson, J. William
    712.01 THOMPSO
  • The Suzuki Diaries: Sustainability in Action
    Suzuki, David
    333.7 SUZUKI
  • This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future
    Kerry, John
    333.7209 KERRY
  • Too Many People: The Case for Reversing Growth
    Grant, Lindsey
    304.62 GRANT
  • Unnatural history of the sea
    Roberts, Callum
    551.46 ROBERTS
  • Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities
    Frumkin, Howard
    307.76 FRUMKIN
  • Water: A Shared Responsibility
    333.91 WATER A
  • Water Resources Sustainability
    Mays, Larry (editor)
    363.61 WATER R
  • Welcome to Doomsday
    Moyers, Bill
    304.28 MOYERS
  • What Can a Student Do? How to Include Sustainability...
    Rowe, Debra
    333.7 ROWE
  • What We Leave Behind
    Jensen, Derrick
    304.28 JENSEN
  • What Would Nature Do? Biomimicry as a Path to Sustainability
    Baumeister, Dayna
    378.79737 BAUMEIS
  • Who Killed the Electric Car?
    Deeter, Jessie (producer)
    629.2293 WHO KIL
  • Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business
    Gipe, Paul
    621.45 GIPE
  • Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century
    Steffen, Alex (ed.)
    333.7 WORLDCH
  • You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet
    Kostigen, Thomas
    363.7 KOSTIGE