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*New* Sustainable Cornell Book Club

Monday, March 7, 2022

Virtual Event
  • Monday, March 7th - Sunday, May 8th
  • Virtual event through email with zoom chats
  • Register here

Open to Cornell community

Do you want to better understand how climate change, racism, wealth inequality, and consumerism are connected? Are you looking for ways to make sustainable change happen both individually and collectively? Join the Campus Sustainability Office for our new Sustainable Cornell Book Club, featuring our inaugural book: Consumed | The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism.

A call to action for consumers everywhere, Aja Barber asks us to look at how and why we buy what we buy, how it's created, who it benefits, and how we can solve the problems created by a wasteful system. To participate, you will need to borrow or purchase a copy of the book. Students living in one of the residential communities listed below as a 'book club partner' may request a free book during registration. These communities will be hosting 1-2 small in-person chats for their residents to complement the virtual club.


Book Club details

  • Each week you will read one section of the book
  • You will receive weekly emails from the Campus Sustainability Office encourging you to reflect on what you learned using a virtual journal
  • We will have two campus discussions for book club readers to engage in as a group.
  • Several residential communities will be hosting 1-2 small chats for community residents to connect and talk in-person. Current book club partners include: Alice Cook House, Ecology House, HILC, High Rises, Latino Living Center, Mews, Toni Morrison Hall
  • Towards the end of the book, one of our campus discussions will explore how we can apply what we have learned - to begin living and working on campus differently, together. #BeyondWaste


Beyond Waste | Keynote Speaker: Aja Barber

Free Virtual Event | Register here
Thursday, 2/24 at 3:00pm EST Join us for an engaging conversation on these topics with Aja Barber, followed by a live audience Q&A. 


Book Description

In Consumed, Barber calls for change within an industry that regularly overreaches with abandon, creating real imbalances in the environment and the lives of those who do the work—often in unsafe conditions for very low pay—and the billionaires who receive the most profit. A story told in two parts, Barber exposes the endemic injustices in our consumer industries and the uncomfortable history of the textile industry, one which brokered slavery, racism, and today’s wealth inequality. Once the layers are peeled back, Barber invites you to participate in unlearning, to understand the truth behind why we consume in the way that we do, to confront the uncomfortable feeling that we are never quite enough and why we fill that void with consumption rather than compassion. Barber challenges us to challenge the system and our role in it. The less you buy into the consumer culture, the more power you have. Consumed will teach you how to be a citizen and not a consumer. 

About the Author 

Writer and consultant Aja Barber hails from Reston, Virginia, and currently lives in London with her husband and their two cats. Consumed is her debut, a treatise on the intersection of fashion, climate change, and social justice. After publicly announcing that she would not use fast fashion companies to sponsor her social media presence, Aja is now considered to be an expert voice in this space. You can find some of her writing on Instagram, and more of it on Patreon, where readers support her work. 

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type

Author Appearance, Cultural, Reading, Special Event, Networking, Student Events Newsletter


Sustainability, Campus Sustainability Office

University Themes

Campus Life, Diversity, Sustainability




Campus Sustainability Office

#BeyondWaste, sustainability

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Kimberly Anderson

Contact Phone


Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information

The Campus Sustainability strives to make all our events inclusive and accessible. If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please reach out to We would be happy to speak with you.

Open To

Cornell students, faculty, staff, and the broader Cornell community

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