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Fundamentals of Sustainable Living

Learn practical strategies for sustainable living that can help you cut costs, live healthier, and promote a more regenerative world.
Fundamentals of Sustainable Living is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 24.
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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent course for those interested. Fundamentals of Sustainable Living is a good, though not exceptional course. The professor is a competent presenter and does an excellent job when discussing various technologies for increasing energy efficiency, collecting water, and making compost. The downside of this course is that it is overlong, and the professor seems to run out of good material by the end. He is also sees sustainability as a worldview which encompasses all things sweet and nice, and this leads him to incorporate things that I found superfluous, such as his discussion of transcendental meditation. I found his non-scientific use of the word entropy to be annoying but not a deal-breaker. If you are actually looking to incorporate sustainability into your house then this course will serve the purpose very well, especially lectures 2-7. If you have a more general curiosity or casual interest then I would advise against this course.
Date published: 2024-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well organized and thorough A very complete overview of sustainable building! Easy to follow as it felt more like a tour of an existing facility than actually learning how each component interacts and compliments the other - what a wonderful idea! We humans could do more of this in our efforts to build sustainable “social” communities… purposeful, productive, even rewarding interaction and complimentary coexistence.
Date published: 2022-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Overview of Sustainability I found the course informative and appreciated the inserted videos on several processes. As it is now 7 years after its release, an update lecture would have been great.
Date published: 2022-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Covered a lot of ground This was a great survey of the various aspects of sustainable living. The many visual references to processes he described really helped. He also offered references to learn more about the many subjects he covered. For me, he brought together many techniques into a whole way of living.
Date published: 2021-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The first lecture was heartening! Leapt for joy! As I watched and listened to this well constructed and thought through, smart living model, I could see this presenter is demonstrating a "hallmark" directive for living with deep care for humans and our planet and environment, It is a beautiful presentation on how we can live and be in sync, as needed, to live well, fully, with the right priorities, keeping with the needed restoration of our planet, its climate and our beloved, beautiful, sacred ecosystem. You can truly tell the professor is rooted in a deep commitment to care, love and model a way to live that will help me and many Great Courses' (Wondrium) "students" more likely absorb, ,,,truly absorb and follow elements of the directive this course engages us in . Bravo! For time is short to "heal the planet." It is in our hands and this course helps us chart a needed course correction.
Date published: 2021-08-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average Course Too much repetition. Lectures 10 and 11 were not helpful (eg: transcendental meditation (???)). They seemed to be "filler material" because he quickly ran out of course material of substance. Overall, I would rate this course at the bottom of the list I've taken through Great Courses.
Date published: 2021-04-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I expected I was thoroughly disappointed with this attempted guilt trip. I listened to this hoping to learn more about things like masonry heaters and dollar water heaters and how to build them. Instead the last six lessons were all about how wonderful socialism is. I'm interested interested in sustainable living because I want to do it not because it should be forced on the world.
Date published: 2021-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must-see! Excellent course, provided by this amazing professor, well explained and very informative.
Date published: 2021-01-14
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Energy and resource conservation are a priority for everyone. Sustainability is not about doing without. It's about doing more with less and meeting our needs without diminishing the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Fundamentals of Sustainable Living reveals how you can participate in the sustainability revolution. Over 12 practical and inspiring lectures, learn strategies to reduce your cost of living.


Lonnie A. Gamble

Rather than being passive consumers, we can become co-producers of food, energy, building materials, and more.


Maharishi University of Management
Professor Lonnie A. Gamble is a founding faculty member and Co-Director of the Sustainable Living program at Maharishi University of Management, where he has taught since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University and has completed additional studies in renewable energy, cognitive science, and computer science at the University of Maine; Maharishi University of Management; and the University of California, San Diego. Having lectured around the world, Professor Gamble has received numerous teaching and service awards, including the teacher-of-the-year award at Maharishi University of Management; an award from the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club; a mayoral award for his work in Fairfield, Iowa; and a fellowship and award from the Agrestal Fund. He has received $250,000 in grants from a wide range of foundations in support of his work. Professor Gamble is a co-founder and former board chair of the Sustainable Living Coalition, and one of the founders of the emerging field of deep sustainability. He has founded half a dozen companies in the areas of renewable energy, telecommunications, sustainable building and development, and sustainable agriculture, in addition to a consulting practice in the design of high-performance buildings and renewable energy systems.

By This Professor

Fundamentals of Sustainable Living
Fundamentals of Sustainable Living


Making Your Lifestyle Footprint Regenerative

01: Making Your Lifestyle Footprint Regenerative

What does it mean to live sustainably? How can we better live within the biophysical limits of the planet without engaging in self-denial? Begin to answer these questions here as you consider how your choices of home, food, transportation, energy, and more promote a sustainable lifestyle. ...

30 min
Sustainable Energy Options

02: Sustainable Energy Options

Every day, the sun delivers 14,000 times more energy than the human economy uses. Discover how solar energy in all its forms can be harnessed and used in efficient ways, in addition to the financial benefits that come from using it. Learn how you can use energy wisely in your home....

28 min
Sustainable Building Choices

03: Sustainable Building Choices

Buildings and cities have a huge impact on our well-being, sustainability, and ecological footprint. See how architects design green buildings that are regenerative-giving back more energy than they take-by using natural daylight, nontoxic materials, and superior levels of air quality and thermal comfort, all for about the same cost as conventional building....

32 min
Cultivating Sustainable Landscapes

04: Cultivating Sustainable Landscapes

If we make our landscapes beautiful and functional, many of our needs can be met where we live. That's the idea behind sustainable landscapes, the benefits of which you'll explore here, from the surprising abundance of edible plants and household materials that can be produced, to the valuable services they can perform. ...

32 min
Fresh Food from Your Own Garden

05: Fresh Food from Your Own Garden

Explore the benefits of local, sustainable food production and find realistic ways you can become more involved with your food, from seed to fork. Learn simple methods for growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs-even if you live in a city apartment-and about revolutionary gardening philosophies and gastronomic movements, including Slow Food....

28 min
Winter Gardening

06: Winter Gardening

Local produce is readily available year round when you know tricks for off-season gardening. Learn the advantages of and methods for planting during the "second spring," including tips on building a simple, inexpensive structure that creates a microclimate, making it possible to harvest fresh food all winter long....

29 min
Sustainable Water Use

07: Sustainable Water Use

Sourcing clean water and using it wisely are key to sustainable living. Consider how systems can be designed to sustainably provide water for drinking, washing, irrigation, and other uses, and find smart ways to get the same or better services using less. Also, examine ecological approaches to handling storm water....

30 min
Transportation Alternatives and the Ecocity

08: Transportation Alternatives and the Ecocity

Turn your attention to how settlement patterns-from rural to suburban to urban-and their existing infrastructures affect sustainability by defining how people can travel within and between locations. How can cities transition to ecocity design? What are the greenest modes of travel? How can we continue to drive cars and still live sustainably? Find out here. ...

35 min
Sustainable Products for the Home

09: Sustainable Products for the Home

Learn how you can live a greener lifestyle and establish a regenerative ecological footprint through the choices you make every day as a consumer, whether you're shopping for groceries or replacing your carpeting. Find out why organics cost more, how you can make safe and effective cleaning products at home, and more....

29 min
Green Economics: Living Well

10: Green Economics: Living Well

What does a sustainable economy look like? Take an in-depth look at the core concepts necessary for an economy that meets people's material needs while respecting the hierarchy of sustainability and working in service to humanity and nature. Such ideas include a steady state economy and the movement for degrowth....

30 min
Inner Dimensions of Sustainability

11: Inner Dimensions of Sustainability

Move from outer elements of sustainability-such as solar energy, ecocities, and organic agriculture-to inner dimensions of sustainability: spirituality, holistic health, and well-being. Learn what faith-based organizations have to say about sustainability, investigate meditation, and delve deeper into the Slow Food Movement....

29 min
Shifting to a Sustainable Worldview

12: Shifting to a Sustainable Worldview

Integrate everything you've learned in this course with a high-level review. Look closely at permaculture and its ethics; consider the customs of the Tlingit, a self-sustaining people indigenous to the Pacific Northwest; and discover biomimicry, an emerging discipline that uses nature as a model for technological design....

34 min