IU Office of Sustainability HEADER
IUB's sustainability newsletter
April 29, 2010Issue 2
In This Issue
IUOS in the News
Featured Sustainability Catalyst
Green Team Update
Featured CSAB Working Group
Featured Sustainability Intern
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
From Brown to Green
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IUOS in the News

EC Residence Hall WinnersCollins LLC, Geological Sciences and Survey and Zeta Tau Alpha win the Energy Challenge

Collins Living Learning Center won among the residence halls, Geological Sciences and Survey took first place for academic buildings and Zeta Tau Alpha was the No. 1 Greek house in the third annual IU Bloomington Energy Challenge.

Tom Morrison, Indiana University vice president for capital projects and facilities, announced the winners to a crowd gathered in Dunn Meadow on April 22, the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Morrison said the growth of the Energy Challenge to include one new residence hall, eight Greek houses and eight academic buildings is indicative of the competition becoming a part of the tradition of Indiana University.


Sunflower at Oaklyn Library

City of Bloomington names first sustainability coordinator

"Jacqui is the ideal person to begin to take the community on a more sustainable path," Kruzan said. "She brings with her a great deal of practical experience related to the complex relationships between the environment, the economy and social equity, and a demonstrated ability to implement projects to improve the quality of life in local communities."

Kruzan credited City Council Member Dave Rollo for having educated him on the concepts of sustainability six years ago and said their work on the issue culminated in the Coordinator post being created. "I can't imagine a better way to celebrate Earth Day," Kruzan said.


E-waste Days 2010

IU Bloomington event nets 350,000 pounds of e-waste for recycling

Electronic Waste Collection Days this month at Indiana University Bloomington collected an estimated 350,000 pounds of electronic waste for recycling and environmentally safe disposal.

According to preliminary results, some 2,147 cars and trucks dropped off old computers, monitors, TVs and other devices at the purple lot north of Assembly Hall during the second annual event, conducted April 8-10.


Bloomington Community OrchardThree days remain in online contest to win free fruit trees for the Bloomington Community Orchard

For over six weeks, supporters of the Bloomington Community Orchard (BCO) project have been participating in an online competition to win a free fruit orchard from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and Edy's Fruit Bars.  Individuals can vote once per day for their favorite project. 

Currently the BCO is in second place with a total of 89,309 votes.  Supporters have three days remaining to log votes. 

Here's how you can help:

  1. Set your browser homepage to: www.communitiestakeroot.com
  2. Follow the directions to vote for the "City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department"
  3. REPEAT every day until Saturday, May 1
  4. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same!
Additional questions can be directed to Amy Countryman at acountry@indiana.edu.
Jennifer Meta-Robinson

Sustainability research development grants available for the 2010-11 academic year

Applications were due April 28, for the Sustainability Research Development grant program, which provides opportunities for Indiana University faculty members and students to develop externally funded research related to environmental sustainability. The grant program is jointly sponsored by the IU Office of Sustainability, University Graduate School, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Center for Research on Energy & the Environment.

Last year's program resulted in the funding of five interdisciplinary faculty-graduate student research projects focusing on topics that include forest management in the U.S., land use patterns in Brazil and Honduras and student transportation choices in Bloomington.


Decorated Recycling Bin

IUSA launches custom Zimride rideshare service

The Indiana University Student Association (IUSA) has launched a new rideshare and carpool matching service known as Zimride. The Zimride platform connects IU community members through an easy to use private network that will reduce campus traffic, parking difficulties, and provide substantial cost-savings for our community. Zimride is the largest dedicated carpool technology company in North America with over 300,000 users and has created rideshare communities for over 40 of the nation's leading colleges and universities. This service is now being offered free but you must be a student, faculty, or staff member of the IU Bloomington Campus.


Arbor Day

'World is Flat' author Thomas Friedman to headline IU's Themester 2010

The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington will explore the concept of sustainability through the university's second-annual themed semester, Themester 2010, "sustain·ability: Thriving on a Small Planet."

Headlining Themester 2010 is Thomas Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and best-selling author of The World is Flat and Flat, Hot and Crowded, who will speak at IU Auditorium Nov. 4. The event is free and open to the public, as are all on-campus Themester events.


IU Energy Challenge Poster

Spring football game marks start of IU Athletic Department initiative, Greening Cream & Crimson

The annual Cream & Crimson Spring Game, held Saturday, April 17 at Memorial Stadium, was more than an intrasquad scrimmage for the IU football team this year. The event also served as a pilot project for the IU Athletic Department's new initiative, Greening Cream & Crimson. The game marked the first event held as part of the IU Athletic Department's effort to become the 'greenest' athletic department in the Big Ten Conference. The success of the event was in large part due to the participation of nearly 70 volunteers, the Cream & Crimson Green Team, who assisted with a number of new projects on game day.


SustainIU Logo

SustainIU events unite IU Bloomington community in learning to live sustainably

The Student Sustainability Council at Indiana University Bloomington organized the third annual SustainIU initiative to spread awareness about sustainability and how individuals can make a positive impact on their environment. SustainIU featured a week of diverse events, all aimed at engaging and educating the campus community on issues related to sustainability.


Recyclemania Logo

'RecycleMania' competition concludes - IU Bloomington tops schools in waste minimization

The national RecycleMania competition, a benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities on campus, has concluded and the IU Bloomington campus ranked first in waste minimization among participating Indiana schools. The contest ran for ten weeks, ending Friday, March 27. 

Over the ten week competition, IU Bloomington recycled 457,440 pounds of metal cans, plastics, mixed paper, and cardboard. IU ranked first among schools competing to produce the least amount of municipal solid waste (including both recyclables and trash) per person, with 37.53 pounds of cumulative waste pounds per person. Purdue (main campus) ranked second with 42.39 pounds of municipal solid waste per person. Other Indiana schools who participated in the competitive division were the University of Notre Dame and Butler University.

According to Steve Akers, IUB RecycleMania coordinator and associate director of environmental operations for Residential Programs and Services, "The contest has provided benchmark weight data that will be valuable to analyze as we seek to waste less and recycle more."

Sunflower at Oaklyn Library

Summer Institute on Service-Learning to unite IU and community around sustainability

The seventh annual summer Institute on Service-Learning, set to take place May 12-14 at Indiana University Bloomington, will focus on the theme of sustainability this year. As a joint initiative between the IU Office of Service-Learning and the IU Office of Sustainability, the institute seeks to encourage community partnerships and service participation that advance sustainability in the Bloomington and IU communities.


Eco Cell

Eco-cell cell phone recycling now available in the IMU

Eco-Cell is a new cell phone recycling program now available at the Indiana Memorial Union (the big green collection bin is one floor down from the Starbucks across from the information boards).  Eco-Cell collects all cell phones-functional or not-and all of their accessories, including batteries, chargers, headsets, etc.  They have a strict no landfill policy; absolutely everything in the bins is recycled safely.

Cell phones contain many toxic metals called persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs), including lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic, and also brominated flame retardants.  When placed in landfills, these toxic wastes leach into the soil, where they damage both the environment and human health.

Toxic landfills are not the only problems posed by cell phone disposal.  Many cell phone components are lined by an element called tantalum, obtained through a naturally occurring ore called coltan, which is mined in the Congo in the middle of crucial gorilla and elephant habitat. Cell phones that are improperly recycled increases the need for coltan causing destruction of forests in the gorillas' habitat. Thus, Eco-Cell prevents the obliteration of the habitat that gorillas and elephants so desperately need for their survival.

For more information on Eco-cell, visit them on the web

Featured Sustainability Catalyst:
Lee Walters, Manager of the Utilities Information Group

(Editor's note: In each issue of Catalyst we feature one or more campus sustainability catalysts who are making heroic efforts to move IU in a more sustainable direction. Nominations welcome!)

Zipcar at IU

You may have read elsewhere in this issue that third annual IU Energy Challenge, completed on Earth Day, saved over 2.5 million gallons of water and over 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity (approximately equal to the energy used by 1000 homes in the same time period). What you may not know is that the success of this challenge has a lot to do with a sustainability catalyst whose heroic conservation efforts make this competition possible: Lee Walters, Manager of the Indiana University Bloomington Utilities Information Group. 

Lee and her associates have been working with IU Sustainability Interns for three years in an effort to raise awareness of campus energy and water usage. Lee's group works with the interns to analyze historic usage data to provide 3-year baselines for each building in the Energy Challenge, which this year included 11 residence halls, 26 Greek houses and 8 large academic buildings. During the challenge, another Utility Department employee, Glenn Moulton, tirelessly monitors the meters of all these buildings each week to determine which buildings are saving the most energy and water compared to their historic usage for that same time period.

IU Utilities has been on a water conservation mission since 2004. They have implemented measures that have contributed to a 24% savings in water use since 2004, although over 400,000 square feet of new building area have been added in that time. Someday, IUB hopes to have meters in every building on campus relaying real time usage information. When that day arrives, we can all look back to the work of Lee Walters and her colleagues in the Utilities Information Group for their catalytic efforts to provide us with a measure of success.

Featured Green Team:
Geological Survey

Arbor DayThe Geological Survey green team has implemented several green initiatives within their department, including desk-side recycling bins in every office, reducing the amount of trash produced, and have strategically removed unneeded lighting ballasts to reduce wasted electricity to excessive lighting.  They have also created and distributed a "sustainability pledge" encouraging faculty and staff to commit to green practices like turning off computer monitors and lights when not in use. IUOS plans to adopt the pledge as a model for a campus-wide sustainability pledge!

Q&A with Marni Karaffa, Geological Survey Green Team Organizer:


Q: Has anything surprised you about sustainability issues on campus? What green actions do you think are most achievable?

A: I have to admit that I was surprised by the lack of cohesion in the recycling effort on the Bloomington campus. I really believe that this is one of the most achievable actions. Cohesion and visibility of a recycling program would improve the efforts of the campus community.


Q: What benefits have you seen with your Green Team activities?

A: I would have to say that there is just a greater consciousness of sustainability in our workplace. The consciousness was there, but many were hesitant to act due to a lack of information. We have tried to dispel some 'myths' and misinformation, and change the attitude of 'why should I do this if they don't do that!?' People are now asking more questions, engaging in conversations, and becoming more open to the implementation of green activities.


Q: Do you have any advice for those looking to start a Green Team?

A: Start with small and simple goals: recycling, turning off lights, computers, and unplugging appliances. Keep in mind that you cannot change everything all at once or right away. Keep your team and your building occupants informed through IU resources: Office of Sustainability, other Green Teams, and the internet. We used a 'campaign' of emails and signage throughout the building. Be persistent, encouraging, and inclusive! We developed a pledge to have people commit to the cause, no matter how small the commitment - every effort makes a difference. We also developed a 'reward' system for those who signed - drawings for gift cards to local businesses. Don't get discouraged - sometimes change can be difficult for people!


Q: What's your favorite thing about IU?

A: I am happy that IU supports research institutes, such as the Indiana Geological Survey, and promotes valuable scientific inquiry. Research across campus can provide insight, possibly solutions, to environmental sustainability issues.

Featured Campus Sustainability Advisory Board WG:
Sustainable Computing 

Go Green RPS Bottle

Working Group Spotlight: Sustainable Computing

The Sustainable Computing Working Group, in collaboration with Apple, recently organized the successful collection of approximately 350,000 pounds of electronic waste during the 2010 Electronic Waste Recycling Days.  The event took place April 8, 9 & 10 in the Purple Lot of Memorial Stadium, thanks to the support of the IU Athletics Department.  Over the three day period, 2,147 cars frequented the lot to drop off electronic waste.  A sister event at IU South Bend, organized by the Center for a Sustainable Future and also in collaboration with Apple, was also highly successful. Approximately 250,000 pounds of electronic waste were collected and 1,535 cars contributed items to the event.

Recent discussions within the Working Group have also focused on developing a best practices document for sustainable computing on campus that would include a variety of resources, including instructions on how IU departments are to handle electronic waste. Additionally, the Working Group is investigating the possibility of creating a sustainable computing capstone course in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs for the spring 2011 semester.  The course would allow graduate students the opportunity to develop solutions to some of the energy related computing issues on campus. 

The issue of developing consistent monitoring of energy usage on the IUB campus has also emerged as a focal point of the Sustainable Computing Working Group's discussions.  Currently, conversations are underway with IU's engineers and Information Technology experts to brainstorm solutions for consistently metering buildings on campus.

Featured Sustainability Intern:
Tatyana Ruseva, Doctoral Student, SPEA
Integrating Service-Learning into Sustainability Coursework
Tatyana Ruseva

Over the past several months, I have worked with the IU Office of Service-Learning (OSL) and the IU Office of Sustainability (IUOS) on efforts to integrate service-learning into sustainability coursework at IUB.  This project was part of the Academic Initiatives working group of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board and its strategic plan to move Indiana University towards a leadership position in the academic arena of sustainability. My work was structured around three project areas: (i) organization of a Summer Institute on Service Learning & Sustainability (May 12-14, 2010); (ii) mapping sustainability-related courses that provide service-learning opportunities; and, (iii) exploring opportunities for service learning with the IUB operation units.

Work is well under way for the Summer Institute - a joint initiative between the IU Office of Service-Learning and the IU Office of Sustainability - that seeks to encourage community partnerships and service participation that advance sustainability in the Bloomington and IU communities. The three-day institute will provide IU faculty and community organizations with a structured opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, network and discuss potentials for future partnerships.  Institute participants will have the unique opportunity to take part in community service, on May 13, 2010, at one of the following sites: Sycamore Land Trust, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Habitat Restore and Bloomington Housing Authority, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, and Middle Way House.

To infuse service-learning components into sustainability coursework, consultations with the OSL were central. This work is helping identify community partners and service projects for selected Fall 2010 courses, by theme (Food and Sustainability, Consumerism, Culture and Sustainability, Ecological Sustainability, Political and Social Aspects of Sustainability). In addition, a review of past IUOS internship recommendations (2007-2009) helped recognize niches for experiential education within the borders of our campus.

Results from this internship project contribute to performance indicators that can ultimately help IU earn credits under the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program of AASHE, specifically: ER Credit 12: Sustainability Immersive Experience; PAE Credit 19: Community Sustainability Partnerships; PAE Credit 22: Community Service Participation; and, PAE Credit 23: Community Service Hours.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Arbor Day Tree Planting Team

April 30th, 10-2pm

Arbor DayEvent Description:  The Arbor Day Foundation awarded IUB with one of five national grants to purchasing of 50-60 trees for Arbor Day.  A campus-wide coalition including the Campus Tree Board, the City of Bloomington, the Office of Sustainability and the IU Alumni Association are planning a planting day focused on educating volunteers how to plant trees, while expanding our tree canopy on campus.

What's Involved: Volunteer check-in begins at 10am in the field just south of the DeVault Alumni Center.  Click here for a map.  If you have further questions, please contact Wes Kocher at wkocher@indiana.edu.  Interested volunteers can register here.  This event will occur rain or shine.

The Perks: Volunteers will learn how to plant trees and receive a free catered lunch.

Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) Drop-off Day

May 1st, 12-4pm

Arbor DayEvent Description:  On Saturday, May 1st, volunteers will be collecting reusable items to resell during the first Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale.  The event aims to divert reusable items from the landfill while providing the IU and Bloomington community with affordable goods.  All sale proceeds will be donated to United Way member organizations and Habitat for Humanity.  

Drop-off location:  Memorial Stadium, Gate 5

Event date and time: Saturday, May 1; 12-4 PM

Questions or comments?  Email h2h@indiana.edu

Themester 2010 - sustain.ability: Thriving on a Small Planet

Fall Semester 2010

Several exciting events are in the works for Themester 2010, sustain.ability: Thriving on a Small Planet.  New sustainability-related courses are available for Fall 2010, and faculty are currently able to register for the Sustainability Teaching and Learning Institute taking place in March and April. Themester 2010 will open with a festival in Dunn Meadow on September 10, 2010, providing students, faculty, staff and community members the opportunity to learn and share ideas about sustainability, while being entertained with music and local organic food.  The rest of the semester will include intriguing speakers, film series, roundtable discussions, art exhibits, concerts, volunteer activities, service-learning projects, and more.  A few confirmed events include: a Cardinal Stage production of The Grapes of Wrath, a community art project facilitated by artist Joe LaMantia, Patten Lectures by Wendell Berry and Jean Palutikof, a town-gown discussion series titled Talking Sustainability, a climate change speaker series, the Grand Energy Challenge, and a keynote speaker soon to be announced.  For more information, please visit http://www.themester.indiana.edu or contact Themester Coordinator, Jeff Weber: themes@indiana.edu.

From Brown to Green
by Bill Brown, Director of Sustainability 

Top Three Free Ways to Improve Sustainability

One of the great joys of my job is that I get to talk to diverse campus and community groups about sustainability and learn what is important to them and how the IU Office of Sustainability can help. I had the pleasure of having a stimulating conversation with the Bloomington Professional Council on April 21st, and they asked some excellent questions.

For example: What are the top three free ways to improve sustainability?

I have never been asked this question before, so it required some thought. Here's the top three free ways to improve sustainability I came up with on short notice:

1)    Turn things off when you are not using them

2)    Spend less time in your car

3)    Go paperless

I expanded on each of those, and, in case you missed the meeting in the lovely daylit penthouse conference room of the Kelley School, here is a repeat.

1) Turn things off when you are not using them

This applies to lighting, computers, monitors and other electronics, water fixtures, idling vehicles, fume hoods (each of which uses three times the energy of an average home) and the little darlings of the phantom load underworld - chargers. Turning corded devices off is facilitated by plugging them into smart strips, which can be switched off with one pinky. Computers can be set to automatically power down when idle for a period of time and University Information Technology Services (UITS) is working with departments to roll out a software routine that does this automatically after two hours of inactivity (the Go-Green Gadget), yet still allows them to be awakened for service or remote login.  A pilot study of this program, conducted by the School of Education, revealed average savings of 48%, without having to think about it. A true no brainer, which would save the university upwards of $500K/year if fully implemented.

Lighting can also be switched off manually (free) or automatically (not free, but more reliable) when spaces are unoccupied or when ample daylight is sensed. The faster we can install occupancy and daylight sensors in every building on campus, the faster we can reap a high rate of return on investment and spend the windfall on more important things, like educating students. Everything else requires forming new habits, which is why things like prompts, social norms, Green Teams and month-long Energy Challenges come in handy. Energy Challenge 2010, completed on Earth Day, saved over 2.5 million gallons of water and over 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity, just by making people more aware of their energy and water consumption. We hope these new habits persist.

2) Spend less time in your car

Alternatives to Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOVs) abound on our campus. You can walk across campus and smell the spring blossoms, have chance meetings with your friends, listen to students having conversations with their roommates on their cell phones, feel the sun on your face and get vigorous exercise on the hills - all for FREE! This elevates your quality of life, melts away that extra fat, and saves time you would have spent waiting in the queue on 7th Street to find that elusive parking spot next to the front door of your building. If you live further away from campus, you have another fitness option, riding your bike, which is quite the in-thing in Bloomington, home of Breaking Away, the Little 500, and geeks like me with our right pants leg stuffed in our socks to avoid sprocket cuff.

If you live outside the easy walking or biking range of campus, there are still other options to help you avoid your rolling isolation. One is our fantastic bus system that (if you mention my name and wink three times) is free to all faculty, staff and students. If you commute from beyond the bus lines, there are still other options. For example, the best-kept secret on campus is the outstanding Carpool or Ride Share program through Parking Services. Here's the deal. If three or more employees conspire to ride together, they get their own premo marked spot in the lot or garage of their choice, discounted A pass, free F passes, and guaranteed rides home for emergencies (such as your child is excused early from school). Another option is that you can rent a Zipcar, parked right on campus, for $8 bucks an hour, including gas, if you just want to run out to the mall or the doctor's office, then rejoin your carpool for the ride home. Please don't tell anyone about this stuff. It is a secret.

Just last week, IU Student Association (IUSA) announced yet another program, Zimride, a computerized, social-networking-based ride-sharing system for faculty, staff and students. In the first two days, over 850 people signed on to this free service subsidized by IUSA for $7500 per year. This is yet another free service to you that somebody else is paying for! Combine this with the Carpool program and I know you will feel like a band of pirates when your gang rolls into your personalized marked spot.

Bottom line, Hoosiers don't let friends commute alone. Getting out of your car will save you money and improve the quality of your social life and health, not to mention the quality of our air.

3) Go paperless

IU uses 84 million sheets of copy/printer paper each year. To give you a better picture of this, that would be a stack 5.3 miles high!  Over 70% of that paper is virgin paper with zero recycled content. This involves an unimaginable amount of trees, water, bleach, energy and transportation to get it to your office - then it involves an unimaginable amount of printer ink, printer energy, supply storage, staff filing time, and paper waste going to the landfill.

Fortunately, the paper tide is turning rapidly. The Registrar's office has eliminated several hundred thousand pages of paper forms in the past year, replacing them with digital forms that don't have to be printed, filed or transported. No longer must students trudge around campus and wait in line for these forms to be processed. No longer must workers finger through physical files to find the documents, they can just search online. Reclaim your office space! Throw out your five-drawer filing cabinets! What paper forms are you using now that can be digitized? What would work better in dynamic electronic form than it does in paper form (think phone directory, encyclopedia, dictionary, class catalogue, your class, etc.). Go paperless! Tell us how you did it. Over 9 million pages of paper on campus became obsolete in 2010 so far! Join the stampede. We have 5.3 miles to go before we sleep.

I would love to hear YOUR top three free ways to improve campus sustainability.

Need to contact IUOS?
General comments and questions should be directed to sustain@indiana.edu.

Our address:

IU Office of Sustainability
1001 E. 10th St.
Geology 429
Bloomington, IN 47405

For IUOS staff:

Bill Brown
Director of Sustainability

Emilie Rex
Sustainability Program Coordinator