Sustainability in the News
Hoosier to Hoosier raises more than $17,000
The second annual Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale (H2H) raised $17,420 for United Way of Monroe County, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County and sustainability funds with Indiana University and the City of Bloomington.
The sale, which took place Aug. 20, sold approximately 27 tons of donations from students living in residence halls, fraternities, sororities and off-campus housing. An estimated 1,800 shoppers attended sale day, walking away with furniture, small appliances, clothes and other household items. More than 200 volunteers assisted with the sale planning and preparations. Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered, or shopped! Read More >>
IU to take lead in DOE-funded Lake Erie offshore wind study
Indiana University Bloomington Professors Rebecca J. Barthelmie and Sara C. Pryor, along with colleagues from six institutions and companies in the U.S. and Europe, have been awarded $700,000 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study Lake Erie wind resources and to perform a detailed evaluation of remote sensing technologies for wind resource estimation. Read More >>
Indiana University, Beckman Coulter partnership to advance identification of environmental toxics
Indiana University's Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics (CGB) and the international biomedical testing company Beckman Coulter announce a new collaboration formed to create automated solutions for genomics applications designed to better pinpoint toxics that pose risks to the environment and human health. Read More >>
|VISTA Fellows program launched by SPEA
|The inaugural VISTA fellows.|
Seven graduate students from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs are the first participants in the SPEA VISTA Fellows Program, a unique initiative in which the students will gain valuable skills and experience while working full time with anti-poverty organizations and agencies in Indiana and around the U.S.
Read More >>
|Support the Office of Sustainability |
View our archive of catalyst issues
The Antidote to Despair: Moving Forward
by Bill Brown
|As scientists continue to reveal new evidence of the declining state of the biophysical systems upon which we depend for our existence, the nightly news seems to reinforce the consequences of these findings. We witness an almost daily stream of bulletins about record drought, heat waves, wild fires, extreme storms, floods, extinctions, and evidence of oceans more degraded than previously thought. This knowledge of environmental degradation can lead to feelings of fear, sadness, grief and despair.|
Paul Gilding, in his new book, The Great Disruption, talks about despair "as a necessary stage we must all go through when confronted by the enormity of the challenges to sustainability our society faces today. It is in fact a positive sign and an indication of coming to the end of denial. On sustainability, most people start with denial - there is no serious problem. Then comes what we'll call 'denial breaking down' - a more or less intellectual acknowledgement of the science up to a point, but without fully accepting the factual implications and emotional reactions that full acknowledgement would bring. Then comes full despair, sometimes with fear and anger on the way through."
"My conclusion," he states, "is that feeling despair at some point means you've genuinely and fully acknowledged the facts."
Gilding goes on to say, "But while despair is a stage I think we all need to arrive at, individually and collectively, it's also one that we can and must move through." He adds, "The easiest way to do that is to go forward. We act. We start doing things."
|Artist Chris Jordan deals with his eco-despair through his art in several journeys to Midway Island to document the effect of plastics on the albatross, but also to witness a place of great natural beauty. Click the picture above to learn more about his Midway project.|
Positive action, going forward, according to Gilding, is the antidote to despair and the pathway to solving the problems we face. By moving forward, we are not immobilized by feelings of grief or powerlessness. By moving forward, we don't slide back into denial or apathy or numbness. We engage.
Part of my job involves working with 18 student sustainability interns on initiatives they lead in collaboration with various university departments and community agencies. Each has an academic mentor to guide their scientific research and each also has an operational mentor to assist with implementation of their solution on campus or in the community. Some do express feelings of fear, anger, despair and frustration with the pace of the mankind's response to these urgent challenges. Those are the ones who understand the depth and breadth of the response that will be required to turn destruction into regeneration. Those are the ones who end up going forward and they take all of us with them.
We are recruiting the next class of sustainability interns this month, from scores of qualified applicants. They will be challenged with large, complex problems and they will find their way through. Keep an eye out for them.
In them behold the antidote to despair and a reservoir of hope for our collective future, moving forward.
Green Teams Update
by Amy Allen
This month, I would like to spotlight Green Teams from three departments: EHS (Environmental Health, and Safety, Management), CLACS (Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies), and the Registrar's Office. These teams are all achieving success within the Green Teams Program, as well as defining what it means to be a steward of the IU campus environment.
EHS and CLACS are two teams that deserve recognition for recent certification achievement. EHS is the first Green Team on campus to obtain Tree status, which is the highest level of certification within the Green Teams Program. Patty Moser, the team's leader, is already exploring ways in which she and her team can extend their commitment to sustainability to a broader audience. As the only Tree-certified group on campus, her goal is to help other teams achieve their Tree status. In her words, Patty wants to "create a forest." One team that is working their way towards Patty's vision is CLACS. CLACS is a relatively new team, but it has put itself on the map by achieving its Seed certification. The team's leader, Michael Lemon, is also very committed to the sustainability movement on campus and is eager to continue his team's efforts to achieve the next level of certification.
Earning certification is a valuable way in which teams help make IU a more sustainable campus, but there are also other ways that Green Teams contribute. The Registrar's Office, for example, has long been known for taking the initiative in implementing sustainable practices within their department. This summer they once again took the initiative and organized a redistribution event at Franklin Hall. The event was a response to the dilemmatheir office faced regarding the disposal of old office supplies. Instead of sending perfectly good materials to the landfill, they decided to gather the supplies and organize a community sale as a way to redistribute them. To read the full story, visit the Green Teams blog at iugreenteams.wordpress.com.
Events, Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities
If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Saturday evening before your event occurs. Occasionally, we will send out additional notices, but we'll try to keep those to a minimum.
Sustainability Case Competition Information Session
When: 7:00 PM
Where: IMU Georgian Room
Description: Indiana University Student Association (IUSA) in co-operation with University Information Technology Services (UITS) and Indiana University Office of Sustainability (IUOS) would like to introduce the campus-wide sustainability Case Competition! The goal of the competition is to use computer technologies for sustainable gains across campus. This will be accomplished by the design and implementation of a tool, system, or process that aids students, facilities, and staff in living and working sustainably on campus through the use of IT and computer technologies. We are encouraging students to form teams and respond to one of three pressing issues in terms of sustainable computing at IUB. The competition is open to any Indiana University Bloomington student, graduate or undergraduate. The top three teams will each recieve $500 and proceed to the final round. The winner of the case competition will receive an additional $1500 and the abiility to implement their design across the Indiana University Bloomington campus. For further information and the official guidelines, please come to the Information Session.
Wednesday, September 28
Indiana's Potential for Mitigating CO2 Emissions through Terrestrial Sequestration. Seminar by Danilo Dragoni, IU Geography
When: 3-4 pm
Where: IU Bloomington Geology Building Room S-201
Description: One of seven seminars in the Indiana Geological Survey's Fall Seminar Series investigating Indiana's potential for mitigating CO2 emissions through carbon sequestration. See http://igs.indiana.edu/for more details.
Green Teams Happy Hour
When: 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Where: Nick's English Hut, 423 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Description: Our first Green Teams Happy Hour is an opportunity for team members to meet, chat, and share ideas. Feel free to invite co-workers, spouses, and anyone else who is interested in sustainability. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Amy Allen at email@example.com. Click here to register!
Thursdays, September 29 & October 6
Griffy Woods Invasive Species Removal
When: 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Where: Griffy Woods
Description: Join Preserve staff to pull invasive species at Griffy Woods, a parcel of the IU Research and Teaching Preserve. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Meet the Preserve staff at 4:00 p.m., in the Griffy Woods parking lot. The Preserve staff will bring tools and equipment. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and long pants and also bring water. We will provide the work gloves.
Please RSVP on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 855-8742 to let the Preserve Staff know you are coming.
Griffy Woods Preserve: From the 45/46 Bypass / Fee Lane intersection- travel northeast on E. Matlock Rd. for .3 miles. Make hard bend to the left onto N. Headley Rd. Travel on N. Headley Rd around hard bend to right and back to the left, for about .5 miles total until you reach the parking area on the left-hand side.
September 29 - October 4
The Department of Economics, SPEA, the Department of Geography and European Union Center present several upcoming special events in Environmental Policy: 28th Annual American Red Cross Book Fair Where: Monroe County Fairgrounds, Commercial Building WestDescription: There will be between 80,000-100,000 gently used books, CDs, videos, DVDs, cassettes, records, games, puzzles, maps, sheet music, and many other items for sale at very reasonable prices. Opening day admission is $10, but the rest of the week's entrance is free. Please visit http://monroe-redcross.org for complete details (including exciting specials!), or call us at 812-332-7292 to receive a Book Fair bookmark with dates, times, and specials listed, to receive additional information, or volunteer for this event.
China-US 2011 Joint Symposium on Global Sustainability Issues in Energy, Climate, Water, and Environment
Where: Purdue University
Description: The inaugural event of the EcoPartnership between Purdue, U. Tennessee, ORNL and the Chinese Academy of Sciences will be the China-US 2011 Joint Symposium on 'GlobalSustainability Issues in Energy, Climate, Water and Environment' to be held at Purdue September 25-28. We will receive approximately 35 of China's top biofuels, climate, and environmental scientists, as well as about 20 UT/ORNL faculty, representatives from several multi-national companies and US government agencies including the State Department, and a very large number of Purdue faculty and students. We expect a total of 100-150 attendees at the symposium. The web site for the event including registration is:http://www.purdue.edu/tdiscoverypark/sustainability/symposium.
Friday, September 30
Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Seminar Series
When: 4:00 PM
Where: Myers Hall Rm. 130
Description: Mark Bradford, Yale University. "Responses of Soil Microbial Communities to Temperature: Implications for Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics." Hosted by Rich Phillips. Refreshments will be served prior to the seminar.
Saturday, October 1
Tulip Trace Hike in Brown County
Description: Join The Nature Conservancy's Generation Conservation (Gen C) group for their first hike of the year October 1st in the Brown County Hills, near Nashville, IN. Dan Shaver, Brown County Hills Project Director for TNC, will lead two hikes through Tulip Trace, a former Girl Scout Camp that the Conservancy purchased in 2009. The morning hike (start 9:30am) will be challenging and will last about two hours. The afternoon hike (start 1:00pm) will be family-friendly, lasting less than an hour. In between the two hikes, there will be a chili lunch at the "Bridge House," a cool indoor/outdoor structure left over from Girl Scout days.
To register, please email Ann Smith at email@example.com. Maps and directions will be provided upon registration.
October 3, 4, and 7
Lecture Series and Mini-Conference on Environmental Policy
·Lecture Series: The Green Paradox
by Professor Hans Werner Sinn (University of Munich and the Ifo Institute,
Germany) based on his new book The Green Paradox, forthcoming in MIT Press.
Lecture I: Monday, October 3 at 4 pm in Wylie Hall 005.
Lecture II: Tuesday, October 4 at 4 pm in Wylie Hall 005.
·Mini-Conference on Environmental Policy on Friday, October 7
Location: Tocqueville Room, Political Theory Workshop, 513 North Park Avenue
9:15- 10:15: Arik Levinson, Georgetown University: Environmental Engel Curves
1015-10:45: Coffee break
10:45-11:45: Sara Pryor, Indiana University: Furloughing climate science into climate policy: A physical scientists perspective
3:00-4:00 : Hans Werner Sinn, University of Munich and the Ifo Institute: The Green Paradox (forthcoming with MIT Press)
4:00-4:30 Coffee break
October 5 - November 2
IU Fall Energy Challenge
Where: Your academic building, residence hall, and/or Greek house
Indiana University will celebrate the second running of the Fall Energy Challenge from Wednesday, October 5 through Wednesday, November 2. This semester, the IU Office of Sustainability will focus its efforts on increasing participation and engagement within veteran buildings. While past effort was focused on expanding the scope of the challenge and increasing the breadth of buildings participating, emphasis this year will be on increasing the intensity of participation and enthusiasm within the buildings that have been in the challenge for some years.
In pursuit of these goals, IUOS is rolling out a new promotional campaign for the program. The new campaign will focus on securing written, public commitments from participants to engage in sustainable behaviors during the four weeks of the competition. Participants will receive pins declaring "I'm taking the Energy Challenge!" upon signing the electronic pledge form. Participants will also be invited to have their photos taken in a traveling photo pledge booth, all of which will be uploaded to the program's website and Facebook page.
For more information about the 2011 Fall Energy Challenge and water and energy saving tips, please visit http://energychallenge.indiana.edu. If you would like to request pledge pins or to reserve the traveling photo pledge booth for a group or meeting, contact Energy Challenge Coordinator Will McHenry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bluegrass Bioneers: The Leading Sustainable Solutions Conference Where: The University of LouisvilleDescription: Bluegrass Bioneers 2011 (BluegrassBioneers.org) - presented by BEcreative and the University of Louisville Center for Environmental Education - is the southeast's Beaming Bioneers incarnation and is based in Louisville, KY. Louisville is proud once again to be a Bioneers satellite city. The 3-day conference will be held at the University of Louisville & Rauch Planetarium (Google Map Link), October 21-23. The full list of 2011 Plenary Speakers is still being determined, but among this year's renowned national keynote speakers are feminist icon Gloria Steinem; renewable energy guru Amory Lovins; and master mycologist Paul Stamets. More information at http://www.bluegrassbioneers.org/.The third annual Bluegrass Bioneers will combine national plenary speakers and experts on the "big screen" from the national Bioneers Conference in California with live local & regional speakers, experts, and performances for an entertaining and enriching event that encourages innovative, creative solutions to help Louisville and the rest of the world build a more just and sustainable society. On a national level, Bioneers is an inspired and inspiring annual 3-day conference in Northern California of more than 3,000 social, scientific, and environmental innovators working to create a more just and sustainable world for humanity. The website is www.bioneers.org and the organization's tagline is "Revolution from the Heart of Nature."
Where: Cleveland, OH
Description: A weekend youth conference to educate, train, and inspire participants to become agents of change in transforming Americas dirty energy policy into creating a clean economic future. Attendees will participate in grassroots training sessions, public demonstrations, hear from leaders in the environmental movement, learn about the various aspects of sustainability, meet others from Midwest schools who have been effective on their home campuses, and view upcoming environmental documentaries.
An IU coalition is forming to carpool to and from the conference; Early registration ends October 2nd, so register soon to secure the lowest price, scholarships are available through Coal Free IU. All those who are interested can email email@example.com
More information at http://midwest.wearepowershift.org/.
Ongoing Events and Opportunities:
Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage
Want to grow sustainable community right here in Bloomington? Our "retrofit cohousing" ecovillage offers sustainability-related events, community potlucks, music jams, and much more. Come learn with us (even if you don't live in the neighborhood) and make new friends. We welcome folks of all ages who are attracted to our vision. Learn more at www.ganecovillage.org/vision-and-values. To get involved, join our email list by sending a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U8 network seeks IU student involvement
The U8 is a global network that connects students and institutions from around the world to discuss international development issues (
www.u8development.org). We are a non-profit organisation that has been running since 2005 and has previously brought together students from around the world to discuss development issues with the desire to engage policy makers and the media. Our summits in Warwick and Cambridge brought the student voice to the attention of governments and the world's media.
In 2011 we are undertaking our most ambitious projects to date and would love for students Indiana University to be part of this. We already have universities from all over the world who are going to participate, including the prestigious universities of Oxford, Cambidge and Harvard. This November we will be hosting a global online summit that will connect students from all around the world for a weekend of truly inclusive discussion. Student groups from more developed countries will be twinned with those from less developed countries, giving members the chance to gain a exciting and honest first-hand perspective on life in developing countries, donor countries and the public opinion in each towards the other. Of course, as we are a non-profit organisation, all our services are cost free. All we ask for are interested students.
This is a really exciting time for students to link with the U8 and join our network of universities. Students or student societies/organizations that may be interested in joining the U8 global network or starting a U8 group, or those would simply like more information about what the U8 is, how a U8 group works or what the Summit will involve please contact Daniel Waldron (email@example.com).
Bloomington Community Orchard Workdays and Events
Middleway House Seeks Urban Agriculture Intern
Middle Way House, a national model domestic violence program located in Bloomington, is in the process of creating a demonstration production roof garden. There is still time to have an impact on its design and content, but the position requires maintenance of effort as well.
· The Intern will develop and implement late season planting and season extension mechanisms and the vermiculture and mushroom-growing components of the system.
· The Intern will coordinate distribution of the harvest among Middle Way House programs, packaging and marketing some of the produce
· The Intern will maintain records relative to planting, harvesting, and ordering and using supplies;
· The Intern will develop the framework for the roof garden to serve as a demonstration site and play a role in designing the education component.
· The Intern will recruit volunteers as necessary.
The intern will coordinate as much of the roof garden work as possible with the Youth Programs Coordinator. The Intern will report to the Director.
Although not a requirement of the position, grant-writing, if it interests the candidate, would be welcome (and assistance/instruction available).
Intern should attend the next available pre-service training program (a requirement of the State of Indiana) and be willing to sign a release for a background check. References appreciated.
Hours: variable according to season and weather conditions; a minimum of 10 hours/week
Site: 338 South Washington Street; shared office space; on street parking and on-site bike racks, close to bus - and very nice.
Compensation: There will be praise and satisfaction, chocolate and baked goods, and lots of autonomy. We're dead broke.
Menu for the Future announces two fall discussion groups
Menu for the Future is a six-session discussion group in which participants will explore food systems and their impacts on culture, society and ecological systems, gain insight into agriculture and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being and consider ways to create and support sustainable food systems.
Earth Care is hosting two "Menu for the Future" discussion groups this fall:
- Sundays, October 2 through November 6 from 4 - 5:30 pm at First United Church (2420 East Third Street). For more information or to register, contact Janice Lilly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-339-4419.
- Thursdays, October 6 - November 10 from 6:30 - 8 pm at Rachel's Café (300 East Third Street). For more information or to register, contact Ria Collee at email@example.com or 812-336-2512
The cost for the book is $21. Some loaner books are available, if you would like one, please indicate that when you register. Register by Tuesday, September 20. For more information on Earth Care visit earthcareindiana.org.
Volunteer for the American Red Cross Book Fair
It takes over 350 volunteers to help us organize and offer this fantastic event that features recycled, gently used books and media, games and puzzles and other collectibles, all at bargain prices (see event details above). We welcome IU student and student groups to come out, have a good time and help us with this event.
For the set-up days (Thursday, September 22 through Wednesday, September 28), tasks range from carrying boxes of books to the appropriate tables, to helping put up our signs, to organizing the concession stand. We need volunteers in increments of two hours minimum (more is great!) from 8am to noon and 1pm to 5pm daily.
For the Fair itself (Thursday, September 29 through Tuesday, October 4), tasks include walking the floor and straightening the merchandise, answering customers' questions, helping carry items to the customers' cars, or working the concession stand. Again, you can sign up for two-hour minimum slots from 8am to noon and 1pm to 7pm on September 29 & 30 and 8am to noon and 1pm to 6pm on October 1, 2 & 3 and 8am to noon and 1pm to 5pm on October 4.
The tear-down days (Wednesday, October 5 & Thursday, October 6) are when we re-box the leftover books, fold tables, and load the trucks. Hours are 8am to noon and 1pm to 5pm.
Groups or individuals can sign up for as many days/shifts as they'd like. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds from the Book Fair benefit disaster relief, service to military families, and emergency preparedness services in Monroe and Owen Counties.
New time for weekly workdays at the Bryan House Garden During the 2011 Fall semester, students, faculty, and staff are invited to come work in the dirt at the Bryan House every Wednesday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. Tools and gloves are provided. Please share this opportunity with your peers. If you would like to volunteer, or if you are enrolled in a course or work with an organization that you think might be interested in this garden initiative, please email garden intern Stephanie Hopkins at email@example.com.The Bryan House Garden is located on the eastern lawn of the Bryan House, just to the west of the Musical Arts Center.
Fall Weekend Permaculture Design Course Join Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, Rhonda Baird, and guests in a whirlwind of serious fun exploring the world of permaculture.Over five weekends we will cover the core permaculture ethics, principles, and practices. In your time, you will be begin to appreciate, understand, and be able to replicate natural processes. We will introduce you to good design through classroom experiences, field trips, and hands-on experience.We understand that taking two to three weeks away from work, family, and home can be very difficult. For that reason, we are happy to offer the design course in the weekend format.The teaching team combines decades of experience in permaculture and its various disciplines with sensitivity to each others' strengths in the classroom and field. Along the way we have a lot of fun.Location: Bloomington, IndianaDates: September 30-October 2; October 14-16; October 28-30; November 4-6; November 18-20.Cost: $750 includes instruction, materials, and Saturday lunch.More information and link to registration here:http://shelteringhills.net/2011%20weekend%20course.html
Monroe County Pharmaceutical Disposal Program The Monroe County Prosecutor's Office this week announced a new effort to collect and properly dispose of unused, unwanted or expired pharmaceutical drugs and controlled substances in order to reduce the risk of illegal diversion, drug abuse, overdose, and environmental risks resulting from improper disposal. For more information visit http://www.co.monroe.in.us/prosecutor and follow the link to the Monroe County Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Program, or call 349-DRUG.
Take the Pledge - Go Phosphorus Free! Clear Choices for Clean Water is a campaign to increase awareness about lawn care and its impact on our streams and lakes. Water quality friendly lawn care includes practices such as using phosphorus-free fertilizer, landscaping with native plants, managing yard and pet wastes, and overall lawn reform. Click here to take the pledge: http://www.clearchoicescleanwater.org/
Help Indiana get more trees with just a few clicks It's quick, easy, and free to help get more trees for Indiana by voting online. Each vote results in a $1 donation from Odwalla to the Indiana DNR for planting trees in Hoosier state parks. Last year around $3,400 was raised through this program. With the Emerald Ash Borer killing trees throughout the state, more trees will be needed this year to offset the damage and grow our forests.Visit http://www.odwalla.com/plantatree/ to vote. More information at the DNR site here:http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2923.htm
Show tornadoes that they aren't welcome here!! Donate to the City of Bloomington Tree Fund During the storms last May, the campus and community lost an estimated 500-700 trees, some of which were 150 years old or more. Help replace these monuments in our green city! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (or 349.3498) to make a donation. Anything you contribute will help send a signal to tornadoes to dissipate into refreshing spring breezes.
Student Conservation Association Internships The SCA is one of the biggest partners for national parks and forests. Each year, they send thousands of youth across the country to get conservation experience in awesome places. Living expenses, housing, and round trip travel provided. Internships run from 3-12 months and are available in all 50 states. See http://thesca.org/serve/internships for more information and to apply.
Pick Up America Internships Pick Up America seeks interns year-round. It's a great opportunity for young people to get nonprofit experience while getting the chance to travel slowly. Students work closelywith the core PUA team. Travel with us, pick up trash, and focus your skills on a specific project thisyear. Our goal is to make it to Denver by November. If you're interested in this great opportunity to see the USA one step at a time, email Johnna Jackson [email@example.com] with a brief letter to the Pick Up Artists, a resume, and references. At this time, we must ask interns to pay for room/board. $60/week. Or $45/week if you have a car. We'll pay for fuel while you're on the road with us. Visit http://pickupamerica.wordpress.com/help/ for more information.
Office space available in Bloomington Eco Center Great downtown location. Shared meeting space. Fantastic deal, includes all utils. and internet. $350/mo., contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
General comments and questions should be directed to email@example.com.
IU Office of Sustainability
1001 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
Director of Sustainability
Assistant Director of Sustainability