Global sustainability is for most people an abstract slogan that is neither relevant to their daily lives nor amenable to their influence. This paper shows how a community empowerment process, that bridges the gap between individual and community concerns, leads to an expanding definition of the boundaries of people's world. This is illustrated by a case study documenting the struggle of high school students to prevent the closing of their school. The community empowerment process achieves a growing commitment to and feeling of responsibility for the community, participation in decision making concerning local environmental problems, and confidence in the ability to make a difference. The purpose of such a process is to expand the boundaries of the environment defined by the members of the community as their collective responsibility. One of the main conclusions is the need for interdisciplinary theory, research and practice that creates links between the disciplines concerned with ecological sustainability and those concerned with community development, urban and regional planning and environmental psychology.