Archive for ‘sustainability’

April 29, 2015

Environmental Psychology Related Online Courses – part IV (Sustainability)

Sustainable development is a popular (and important) MOOC topic – I’m happy to notice that the updates to my Environmental Psychology Related Online Courses list are getting longer, mostly due to that topic. Here are some new (or newly discovered) options for learning about different aspects of sustainability:


1. Introduction to Environmental Science at EdX

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November 12, 2014

TEDx Talk Announcement: Brian Kateman on The Reducetarian Movement

I was recently at a dinner party where a colleague of mine apologized for being a vegan, feeling her choice was somewhat inconvenient and obviously having experienced social judgement for it before. Luckily, there was an ethics teacher present, who assured her that there’s nothing to apologize for, but to be proud of. Others, however, kept their opinions to themselves. Obviously, being a vegan among other philosophy students at liberal arts college the young teacher just finished was one thing, but holding on to her beliefs among senior colleagues omnivores was another. I see her choice as admirable, but having known many people who adopted  vegetarian of vegan lifestyle during college but not holding on to it long after their mid-20s, I wonder how she’ll handle social pressure from this point on. It also makes me wonder if there’a way to support vegetarian aspirations, and being mindful about what we eat, but also leaving some room for occasional meat consumption. Is being mostly-vegetarian a goal worth pursuing?



The Reducetarian

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October 14, 2014

Environmental Psychology Related Online Courses – part III (Sustainability)

The topic of how people affect the environment makes up one half of the environmental psychology’s story. It is a Yin to its Yang, the complimentary field to the topics of how the environment (both natural and built) affects us. Many studies in environmental psychology target the attitudes and behavior concerning sustainability and climate change, the big issues that transcend the limits of just one science. That is why the third part of my Environmental Psychology Related Online Courses series focuses specifically on these topics. It was very easy to find many promising courses, which is, I believe, due to the fact that many people find sustainability and climate change important and worth learning about. Here are my finds:



introsus 1. Introduction to Sustainability at Coursera

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May 12, 2014

An Interview with Behavioral Ecologist: Gordon Orians Explains Our Innate Loves and Fears


Gordon H. Orians

“We could not understand the environment unless we entered the world already understanding these relationships.” – Immanuel Kant’s conclusion from his Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals is used by Gordon H. Orians to illustrate his own understanding of how our mind responds to the environment. Observing our fascination with natural landscapes, our interest for animals, trees, flowers, sunrises and sunsets, through an evolutionary lens, Prof. Orians argues that the life of our ancestors shaped what we love and what we fear.

Having realised that our interests in human responses to the environment greatly overlap, prof. Orians and I started a discussion via e-mail.  Here are some of his reflexions on the topic, which is explained in detail in his book Snakes, Sunrises and Shakespeare – How Evolution Shapes our Loves and Fears.

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March 28, 2014

An Interview with Environmental Psychologist: Maggie Melin is Changing Habits

In my search for enthusiastic practitioners in the field of environmental psychology, the same name popped up behind several interesting projects.

Maggie Melin

Maggie Melin

Maggie Melin from Michigan, US, completed graduate degrees in urban planning and sustainability science from the University of Virginia and Lund University in Sweden, and her master thesis Active Learning as a Tool for Behaviour Change was inspired by a summer spent working on organic farms (WWOOF) in Italy.

Prior to her studies in Sweden she was running a blog with tips for making our bathrooms more eco-friendly (The Green Toilet) and also worked at the Green Infrastructure Center while living in Virginia. Currently she is active in promoting biking and walking in the United States at both The Alliance for Biking and Walking in Washington, DC and the Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago. The idea I associate with her name is well-expressed in the old saying  “…watch your habits for they become your character”. Maggie helps us watch our habits and change for the better.

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