Author Scott Sanders aims to preserve environment for future generations

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

March 23, 2014 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated March 22, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.

Scott Russell Sanders grew up playing outside in the wooded area of his childhood home in Ohio, turning rocks over in a nearby creek.

Later, Sanders' family moved onto a military base where the manufacturing of ammunition used in World War II and the Korean War sparked his interest in preserving the environment.

"I saw lots of places where fields had gone bare, and ponds were just empty, like bathtubs," Sanders, 68, said. "Algae wouldn't even grow there."

As a child, Sanders said he became aware of how capable humans are of environmental destruction.

Sanders, the winner of the Mark Twain Award and the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction and a former Indiana University professor, will give a reading at the University of Houston-Victoria and American Book Review's reading series Thursday.

Although Sanders said he does not see himself as an evangelist for the environment, he said he does his best to spread the culture of conservation to others around him.

Throughout his travels across the U.S., Sanders said some noticeable trends show young people making strong attempts at being good conservationists.

"More young people living in cities are living in co-ops and shared living environments," Sanders said. "They've done this so they don't have to contend with commuting. ... 2013 saw the biggest use of public transportation since the mid-1950s."

In his book "A Conservationist Manifesto," Sanders delves into the meanings of words like economy and ecology.

"Both have a root that means household," Sanders said. "In high school, we used to have Home Economics class, and now - much to my own chagrin - they've changed the class title to Consumer Sciences."

Sanders has been married to his wife, Ruth, for 46 years.

He is the father of two grown adults and has five grandchildren.

"Becoming a grandfather did cast my concerns for the environment further into the future," Sanders said. "The prognosis is not good. ... But I am doing what I can to make the world a more sustainable place for future generations."



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