IU Office of Sustainability HEADER
catalyst
IUB's sustainability newsletter
June 30, 2010Issue 3
In This Issue
IUOS in the News
Partnerships with City of Bloomington
Featured Sustainability Catalyst
Green Team Update
From Brown to Green
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IUOS in the News
Arbor Day
Sustainability research development grant recipients announced for the 2010-11 academic year

Four Indiana University research projects -- examining topics that include agroforestry in southern Mexico, the impact on community sustainability of Home Depot's product donation program with Gifts In Kind International, remediation of exotic invasive species in Dunn's Woods and food waste at IU -- have been awarded Sustainability Research Development Grants for the 2010-11 academic year.  

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H2H Logo

Hoosier to Hoosier program promotes reuse of furniture and household items

An initiative to promote the reuse of furniture and household items discarded by Indiana University students at the end of the school year is expanding to include not only residence halls but also fraternities, sororities and off-campus housing. Called Hoosier to Hoosier, the program will sponsor a drop-off collection day this Saturday, May 1, from noon to 4 p.m., to collect items from off-campus students and residents of Greek houses.  

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Jordan River


Sustainability Course Development Fellowship recipients announced

Recipients of the Sustainability Course Development Fellowship are Laurel Cornell, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; and Christine Barbour, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. The fellowship is awarded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington, with support from IU's College of Arts and Sciences.

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Summer Flowers
IUOS names new 2010 summer interns


IUOS names new 2010 summer interns The Indiana University Bloomington Office of Sustainability has named 18 summer 2010 interns to continue efforts toward a greening of Indiana University. Interns will work on a broad array of issues related to sustainability, from utility conservation in academic buildings and sustainable computing to recycling, composting, and transportation issues.

From its inception in 2007, the sustainability initiative at IU has striven to promote experiential learning as an integral part of the 'greening' of the IUB campus. Sustainability internships have been offered over the past three summers and during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. The new class of interns will continue that tradition and represent an effort to expand awareness of sustainability to all facets of campus, including academics, research, operations and student activities.

Meet the interns >>
Partnerships with the City of Bloomington
A Message from Sustainability Coordinator Jacqui Bauer

Arbor DayAbout one month ago, I was delighted to join the City of Bloomington as its first Sustainability Coordinator. In the intervening four weeks, I have spent a lot of time meeting people, listening, asking questions, and learning-perhaps learning primarily that the learning curve is huge!  Sustainability, as all of you know, is an all-encompassing concept that can lead us in so many different directions, and deciding where to focus is a challenge.  Nevertheless, out of these conversations, the early figments of a plan are starting to emerge. My early activities are likely to focus on:
  • helping to coordinate the city's efforts to comply with the Green Building Ordinance that was passed in 2009;
  • planning and support of an effort to improve home energy efficiency;
  • continuing work with IUOS to organize the collection and sale of reusable items generated during the student move-out (the Hoosier to Hoosier Sale-August 21); and
  • supporting local efforts to achieve a Platinum rating from the League of American Bicyclists-as a bicycle commuter and recreational cyclist this is an issue that is particularly close to me.
And of course there are a great many other topics waiting in the wings-urban agriculture, green infrastructure, water and energy conservation, social enterprise, and much more. I will be working closely with Bill and Emilie whenever I can, and will be contributing periodically to the catalyst newsletter to keep the campus community informed of sustainability efforts in the broader community. Small cities are in many ways ideally suited to sustainability. My hope is to work with the great many people who are already involved, and to reach out to those who are not yet involved, to make Bloomington a model of what small cities can do. I look forward to connecting (and reconnecting) with many of you!
Featured Sustainability Catalyst
Steve Mangan, General Manager of the Indiana Memorial Union
Arbor DayIUOS would like to thank Steve Mangan, General Manager of the Indiana Memorial Union, for his incredible service to our students, faculty and staff.  Steve has been a long time advocate for sustainable food, working diligently to provide local food options on campus. 

Steve will be leaving us shortly to lead similar efforts at Northwestern.  Thank you for all of your hard work, Steve!  We'll miss you! 
Green Team Update
New Green Team Certification Program 

Arbor DayIUOS is excited to announce the creation of three new green teams: The School of Informatics and Computing; Kelley School of Business- Undergraduate Program; and University Information Technology Services.  The addition of these teams brings the total number of IUB green teams to 22!

New Green Team Certification Program

Taking an important step forward in its green teams program, IUOS has developed an online system of certification.  The certification process is voluntary, but has the potential to increase the legitimacy of the green teams and to highlight the worthwhile actions that they take. 

The process consists of a linear series of four certificates: Seed; Sprout; Sapling; Tree. In order to receive a level of certification, a team must fulfill the sustainability-related actions included on a corresponding checklist.  Those sustainable actions are spread across eight categories:  Education and Outreach; Recycling; Energy and Built Environment; Food; Resource Use; Sustainable Computing; Transportation; Environmental Quality.  The categories are in line with the IUOS working groups and will help further the groups' objectives.

The categories are also inspired by those used by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its "Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System," or STARS.  IU is a charter participant in STARS and the IUOS believes the system will soon be the norm for all colleges and universities. By obtaining certification, green teams will help ensure that IU continues to be regarded as a leader in sustainability.
From Brown to Green
Learning to Live Beyond Petroleum
by Bill Brown, Director of Sustainability 

As we enter the third month of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I have been trying to determine how to respond personally. It is difficult to watch a disaster of this magnitude unfold and not be drawn to action. 

Last week, a government panel released a new estimate that 60,000 barrels, roughly 2.5 million gallons, are spewing into the ocean each day. In the United States, we use an incredible 20,680,000 bbl/day. The BP daily spill rate, while mind boggling, would supply the US demand for only four minutes. Demand for oil in the US and Canada is about 3 gallons per person per day, while in other industrialized nations it is less than half of that and the world average is .5 gallons/day.

Should I join the pickets at the local BP gas station? Should I take a few weeks off and go help save oil-soaked pelicans and sea turtles? Should I help lay oil boom or suck oil off the beaches? Or, should I end what George W. Bush called my "addiction to oil?"

I have decided that my response should be to attempt to reduce my oil consumption to below the world average of .5 gallons per day. This is relatively easy for me on the transportation side, because I can bike to work in less than 20 minutes and I can take the #5 bus that stops about 100 feet from my house, and the university has a ZimRide ride sharing network that can help me find a carpool just about anywhere. For this "sacrifice" I will be healthier, lighter and make new friends at the bus stop and in the car pools.

The more difficult piece is determining what my other activities contribute to oil consumption. For example, I am pretty sure that the early corn on the cob I have been enjoying and those bananas on my cereal did not come from Indiana. I will be expanding my garden and relying heavily on local produce from the Farmer's Market for the rest of the summer. The science of the petroleum content of food is not well developed and the amount of petroleum that goes into food and manufactured products is often difficult to get a handle on.  The amount of petroleum required to raise a steer, for example, ranges from 18 to 280 gallons, according to what it eats and where it came from and who is doing the estimating. I think it is safe to say that buying local and regional products and living in a walkable community, close to my work, on a bus line, is a reasonable strategy to move in the right direction.

When I purchase plastics or similar materials that have high petroleum content, I am contributing to the demand for oil, which leads oil companies to drill for oil a mile below the surface to get down another 18,000 feet to reach dwindling supplies, which leads to high risks of the kind playing out on the evening news each night.  When I throw anything away that could have been reused or recycled, I am contributing to the tar balls rolling up on the beaches of Alabama. When I purchase goods that have to be shipped great distances, I am complicit in oiling pelicans to death in the Gulf of Mexico and fouling 120 miles of coastline to date.

When I add to our national addiction to oil, I am personally responsible for the BP oil disaster and I am contributing to increased national security risks due to dependence on foreign oil.

I vow to curb my addiction. No more than half a gallon per day, to start. Perhaps I can learn to live "beyond petroleum" with research, ingenuity, and practice. 

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
brownwm@indiana.edu
812-855-1822

Emilie Rex
Sustainability Program Coordinator
ekrex@indiana.edu
812-855-2678