IC Honors Seminar Spotlight: Eating Sustainably

For our final seminar spotlight, professor John Hopple in the Environmental Science and Studies department is offering a seminar on sustainable food! If you’re interested in learning more about how to be more sustainable or natural in your food choices, or just curious about what kind of natural foods are out there, check this seminar out!


Describe your seminar in one sentence. “Eating Sustainably is a discussion-based seminar about our food and its relationship to sustainability and the environment in which we prepare one whole-food plant-based meal each class session (and then eat it).”

Describe your classroom style in one sentence. “Each class session we will cook a whole-food plant based dish then follow this with a discussion of a food-related topic while we eat the dish we prepared: so cook then discuss/eat.”

What is one thing you hope students will take away from your seminar? As conscious eaters we can make decisions regarding our food that ultimately better both ourselves and the planet.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to students? “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants. (From Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food.)”

Some extra info: “Students need to provide their own transportation for the two field trips we will take: one to Plowbreak Farm near Mecklenberg and the other to Greenstar Coop on the corner of Buffalo and Elmira Rd. We will be reading Sherry Colb’s book Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger? and Other Questions People Ask Vegans.

Check out the entire list of seminars here and all the seminar spotlights here.

IC Honors Seminar Spotlight: Living Well in the 21st Century, The Good Life – Individual Choices towards a Sustainable Future

Check out Environmental Sciences & Studies Professor John Hopple’s 1-credit course on living sustainably through Helen and Scott Nearing’s The Good Life! Learn more below:

Describe your seminar in one sentence.This seminar will explore the various ways in which we can live more sustainably by maximizing our quality of life while minimizing the negative impacts of our actions on the environment.

Describe your classroom style in one sentence.This course is about great ideas. Class format will most often be lively discussions of fascinating and thoughtful readings.

What is one thing you hope students will take away from your seminar? If we accept the premise that the status quo is unacceptable in terms of our relationship with the environment then we need to make some changes in the way we live. There are a lot of really creative solutions to our problems and they don’t necessarily require that we deny ourselves in order to achieve them.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to students? Business as usual will not cut it in the future. We will have to find new ways to tackle old problems if we want to survive as a species. That doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice a high quality of life in order to live in balance with our environment. But it does mean we need to be creative and imaginative in searching for better solutions to current problems.”

Want to know more? “The text for the course will be Helen and Scott Nearing’s The Good Life. The book is about a 20th century couple and their experiments in sustainable living. There will also be additional readings, videos, podcasts, online readings etc. drawn from a variety of sources including many on the most up-to-date approaches to living in balance with the environment.”

Check out the full list of seminars here and the whole list of spotlights here.