SustainAbility Newsletter

The Origins of Audubon

John James AudubonJohn James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785, in Haiti (then called Saint Domingue). He grew to become a famous American ornithologist, naturalist, hunter, and painter. He painted, catalogued, and described the birds of North America in the early nineteenth century, and published Birds of America, a massive book containing 435 hand-colored plates of 1,065 individual birds.

Audubon became the chosen name and symbol for a movement that began in the late 1890s to stop the unrestricted slaughter of birds. Early Audubon Society members pledged to shun the fashion of the day of wearing hats and coats adorned with bird feathers and wings, and to hunt birds for consumption only, rather than sport or trade.

Early Audubon members studied birds, improved their habitats, and fought for bird protection. Their activism fledged a broader conservation movement and eventually led to passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918. The Act ended trade in migratory birds, and was among the first federal protections ever afforded to wildlife.

Audubon Lifestyles
Audubon Lifestyles accomplishes its goals by developing partnerships with individuals and businesses that embrace the same set of principles and ethics. By linking together individuals, businesses, universities, communities and not-for-profit organizations we work to create a unified team approach based on the International Sustainability Council’s Principles of Sustainability. It is our belief that together we collectively accomplish more than any one individual, business or organization can accomplish alone. The Audubon Lifestyles mission is to assist people in how they live, work, play, and learn to promote sustainable living and lifestyles.

The Audubon Movement
Today there are over 500 Audubon societies, and thousands of organizations, sanctuaries, centers, and businesses around the world using the Audubon name. Each of these groups is independent and separately incorporated, and each is free to establish its own programs. Audubon organizations vary greatly in their scope and missions: some remain small bird clubs or societies, while others focus on state, national, or international bird conservation and environmental issues. Through a diversity of approaches, Audubon organizations today carry on the conservation ethic that began at the turn of the 20th Century.

Fast Facts:

  • Massachusetts Audubon Society was the first Audubon organization created in 1896, and is still in existence today!
  • John James Audubon is the illegitimate son of a French sea captain and plantation owner and a Creole chambermaid who died months after his birth. He was educated in France, and in 1803 came to live in his father's estate, "Mill Grove," near Philadelphia. 


References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon International

The International Sustainability Council

The US Environmental Protection Agency

Organic Farming Research Foundation

United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

Natural Resources Defense Council


SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

10 Fast Facts About Solar Energy

Why not switch to solar energy? Whether you install PV panels, thermal panels, or merely use smaller solar‐powered devices to charge appliance batteries, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint.

Solar PowerWhen considering renewable energy options, there is so much information out there. How can you know what is true and what’s not? Here are 10 fast facts about solar energy, including why we need it!

Read and consider whether you are doing enough to conserve energy and reduce use of fossil fuels:

1) Each hour, of each day, more energy from the sun reaches our planet than is used by the entire global population in an entire year.

2) The projected annual growth rate for renewable energy sources is 7.2%, the fastest rate.

3) Over 3,500 square miles of federal land are currently awaiting permits for solar power development.

4) The U.S. ranks 5th in the world among nations producing the most CO2 home emissions (behind Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Estonia).

5) Use of electric lights results in 1/2 the pollution of all the cars on the road. Switching to LED lights use 75% less energy.

6) Solar PV is rated number 1 in growth for energy technologies.

7) MIT scientists have discovered a way to store solar power after the sun goes down (how cool is that?).

8) Every 2 months, a typical U.S. home uses one ton of coal to generate electricity.

9) Switching to a solar hot water heater (using solar thermal panels) can drastically reduce fossil fuel use. The typical 50 gallon electric water heater uses 11.1 barrels of oil a year, which translates into the same amount oil used by a typical 4 door sedan driven by the average consumer.

10) Between lower costs and tax incentives/rebates, PV solar panels are a viable option for just about any homeowner with a south‐facing roof. Payback on investment, through energy savings, is about 7‐9 years.



References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles

The International Sustainability Council 

The Reserve at Lake Keowee

Sustainability Campaign


The Royal Society of Biological Sciences

National Geographic

Double Oaks

Global Stewards

United States Department of Energy

American Society of Golf Course Architects

The United States Golf Association (USGA)


$25 Annually $100 Annually $250 Reg / $100 Annually


Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity. 


A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

Read more