Sustainability Semester Blog

A St. Lawrence University academic department blog

St. Lawrence University's Sustainability Semester is an off-campus living-learning program located 5 miles from the SLU campus where students create community together with the goals of living sustainably in a renovated farm house, growing and preserving their own food and building both theoretical and practical knowledge pertaining to sustainability. The students take four classes together on site, all focused on aspects of sustainability and travel to Boston for a 2 week urban sustainability component. They cook and share meals together, bake bread, do farm and house chores, engage in projects including wood working, maple sugaring, soap making, and other crafts, and work with community members involved in homesteading, farming, green building and more. This blog is written by the students participating in the Sustainability Semester and gives a snap shot of their reflections and experiences.


By Sean Reville “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it,” – Barak Obama On August 3, 2015 something historic happened.  Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, the historic first-ever national cap on greenhouse... read full story
By Sam Haab & Kim Haab   After our two weeks in Boston we returned for one final week on the farm. The farm house was a lot quieter than the city and we were all surprised by how much the gardens had progressed in our absence. The strawberry patch was lush and full, the garlic was taller,... read full story
Anna Hughes and Emma Philips             After our two weeks spent in Boston we are leaving not only with some good memories, but also with a new knowledge of the many different career opportunities available that are related to sustainability... read full story
By William McMaster and Sean Reville Our trip to Boston has been a whirlwind experience, and Saturday was no different. Saturday we spent the whole day on a tour of the neighborhood of Roxbury. Though one of the poorest neighborhoods, Roxbury is a community filled with people who love where they... read full story
By Emma Phillips and Sam Haab Embarking on the urban sustainability component of our Sustainability Studies core course, we arrived in Boston on Sunday eager to experience a culture drastically different from the secluded, rural farm life we have grown accustomed to over the course of the semester... read full story
April 26, 2015 by Sean Reville and Sam Haab “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead   Last Wednesday, April 22nd was Earth Day, an annual environmental event first celebrated 45 years... read full story
By: Kim Haab and Will McMaster             "The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse." ~Carlos Castaneda... read full story
By Emma Phillips and Sean Reville Imagine, if you will, a place where you are surrounded by rolling green hills and forest; a place where you know each and every one of your neighbors, who all live within 500 feet of you; a place where community dinners are 4 times a week, and afterwards songs are... read full story
By Anna Hughes and Will McMaster ‘Why is everyone so tired in early April? Because they just finished a long, 31 day March!’  Although it was a long and cold March, April is bringing warmer weather that is rejuvenating and energizing us all!  The chickens are roaming far beyond their coop... read full story
Emma Phillips & Anna Hughes Martin Luther King once said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it.”  While this quote clearly speaks to movements that tackled large-scale injustices like the Civil Rights Movement, it can also be applied to... read full story
By Kim Haab and Sam Haab Cutting boards—versatile, stylish, and under appreciated; the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Here at the Sustainability Semester where we cook all of our own meals, we have certainly come to value the usefulness of the cutting board. For this reason, when presented with the... read full story
Will McMaster and Sean Reville Friday started off like any other day. There were breakfast smoothies and hot oatmeal in our bellies as we scurried to finish our rough draft papers for Bill’s class. Most of us were so busy writing we did not even notice that Ben, the homesteader-in-resident, and... read full story