Issue 20


Sustainability in the News
After 25 years, sustainability is a growing science that's here to stay, research from Los Alamos, IU shows
IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing Ph.D. student Jasleen Kaur.
Sustainability has not only become a science in the past 25 years, but it is one that continues to be fast-growing with widespread international collaboration, broad disciplinary composition and wide geographic distribution, according to new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Indiana University.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesas the "Evolution and structure of sustainability science," were assembled from a review of 20,000 academic papers written by 37,000 distinct authors representing 174 countries and over 2,200 cities. 
Authors of the paper, Los Alamos research scientist Luís M. A. Bettencourt, and Jasleen Kaur, a Ph.D. student in Indiana University Bloomington's School of Informatics and Computing, also identified the most productive cities for sustainability publications and estimated the field's growth rate, with the number of distinct authors doubling every 8.3 years. The study covered research generated from 1974 through 2010. Read more >>
 IU study finds climate changes faster than species can adapt

 The timber rattlesnake could be displaced from much of its range in the eastern U.S. by climate change projected to take place by 2100.

The ranges of species will have to change dramatically as a result of climate change between now and 2100 because the climate will change more than 100 times faster than the rate at which species can adapt, according to a newly published study by Indiana University researchers.


The study, which focuses on North American rattlesnakes, finds that the rate of future change in suitable habitat will be two to three orders of magnitude greater than the average change over the past 300 millennia, a time that included three major glacial cycles and significant variation in climate and temperature. Read more >>

Rooftop garden receives grant to grow

Rooftop garden 
Freshman Jenna Pinkston shovels soil in the rootftop garden Aug. 27, 2011 at Food Works for Middle Way House.
The interior walls at the Middle Way House in Bloomington serve as a refuge for women and their children struggling against domestic violence. The roof of the three-story brick building, however, is used a little differently - to grow vegetables.

So far, the operation has remained low-key and operated through a small grant from the Bloomington Garden Club, providing food for the women and children living in the shelter. But beginning next year, the size of the garden is expected to grow. The project recently received a $2,500 Sustainability Partnership Grant from the city of Bloomington and a $1,000 grant from the Bloomington Project School, the fourth and fifth grade students of which help water the rooftop garden each morning. 

 "I don't think there's anyone else in town growing food on a roof," said Garden Coordinator Lindsay Davies, a senior studying biology. "So it's a great learning tool, first of all, for people to see that you can do it and it can be successful."
Alongside Davies, seven other interns, all of whom are female, donate time to the garden pro bono. Six of these interns are current IU students, Davies said, and one is an IU graduate. Read more >> 
Students take 30 day sustainable clothing challenge
Day 7 of Keiara Carr and Jake Wright in the Six Items or Less challenge. (IDS)

"Sustainable fashion" can be an oxymoron, but last semester two IU students challenged the contradiction by wearing various combinations of only six items of clothing for an entire month. They recorded their experience each day, and a weekly update was published in the IDS. Their daily reflections begin
here, and you can read their final thoughts on the experience here.

On-campus printing offers sustainable choices 

Hundreds of computers. Thousands of students. Millions of assignments. It all adds up to an extraordinary amount of computer and printer use on IU's campus. 
The Sustainable Computing working group is on a mission to reduce the impact of that use on the environment.
The group is the creation of a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and University Information Technology Services.
"Together we have worked with administrative and academic departments to identify key needs in computing that affect the environment," said Susan Coleman Morse, UITS Senior Communications and Sustainability Specialist. Read more >> 
Campus map design wins sustainability case competition

 After more than a month of idea development, a graduate student team's campus walk map took first place in the IU Student Association co-sponsored case competition.
The campus walk map would serve students by incorporating information about walkways on campus, including shortcuts such as paths in the Arboretum or Dunn's Woods.
Much like the Google mapping event IUSA sponsored last month, the winning case competition idea would help students and campus visitors more easily navigate campus. Read more >> 
In this issue:
IU study finds climate changes fast than species can adapt
Rooftoop garden receives grant to grow
Students take 30 day sustainable clothing challenge
On-campus printing offers sustainable choices
Campus map design wins sustainability case competition
From the Director- Looking back, moving forward
Profile: Mike Steinhoff
SSC continues to lead student sustainability activities on campus
Green Teams Update
Events and Opportunities
Support the Office of Sustainability
Give Now

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Looking Back, Moving Forward
by Bill Brown

When someone asks me what's happening with IU Sustainability, I ask him or her how much time they have to listen. It's a pretty long answer! Here's a brief look back on the highlights of sustainability initiatives at IU Bloomington in 2011.  


On January 5, 2011, IU Bloomington became the seventh university to be rated under a new campus sustainability metric developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) called STARS for Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System. Over 300 institutions have now registered under the comprehensive rating system, and over 145 have reported for ratings. We are hard at work to raise our initial silver AASHE STARS rating to gold.  


Indiana University Bloomington was one of the first twenty colleges and universities to be named a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists in March. Our initial bronze rating was based on responses to 93 in-depth questions evaluating five categories of bicycle friendliness: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning. Student sustainability intern Amy O'Shea compiled the IU survey with guidance from her mentors, David Good and Perry Maull, who also co-chair the Office of Sustainability's Transportation Working Group. A campus steering committee, nurtured by sustainability interns Rachel Abrahams and now Hannah Hunt, meets regularly to improve bicycle transportation on campus. Bicycle repair tools have been added on at all parking garage booths and at the IMU and Wells Library for free use for minor repairs.  


Speaking of bicycles, the first Green Little 500 occurred in April, the brainchild of IU Student Foundation directed by Dana Cummings. It was a joy to consult with this amazing organization and signature event.


Spring and Fall Energy Challenges each involved over 6 million square feet of buildings and their 18,000 occupants. Overall, the six Energy Challenges have resulted in a savings of 3,430,445 kWh of electricity and 6,556,104 gallons of water during the 24 weeks of competition. When combined with conservation due to the persistence of Energy Challenge behaviors, these savings jump to almost 25,000,000 gallons of water and nearly 10,000,000 kWh of electricity. The efforts of the thousands of Energy Challenge participants have resulted in an avoidance of over 9,300 metric tons of CO2 emissions and have saved the university over $1 million in utility costs. Lee Walters and Glenn Moulden of the Utility Information Group worked with sustainability interns Will McHenry and Nolan Hendon for this year's savings.


This was also the year IU Bloomington's 16 million square feet of buildings became fully metered with digital, radio-read meters that will provide a wealth of data about building performance, providing even more feedback for conservation behavior change in 2012 and beyond.  


One of the key recommendations set forth by the Energy Working Group of the IU Task Force on Campus Sustainabilitywasto develop an Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) for the IUB campus. Toward that end, 8760 Engineering was hired in 2010 to provide an Integrated Energy Master Plan, and most of that work was completed in 2011 with the final report due in a month. The plan will examine how to feasibly reduce energy consumption and move away from coal. Jeff Kaden, university engineer and former co-chair of the Energy and Built Environment Working Group, has been a driving force behind this important study that will inform the future of energy use on this campus for decades to come.  


Solar power dawned at IU in 2011. First came 2 kilowatts on the Indiana Memorial Union, courtesy of a $12,000 Senior Challenge Grant to Coal Free IU. RPS got into solar in a big way with 20-kilowatt systems for Briscoe Quad and Tulip Tree Apartments.  E-House, our new office headquarters, added 4 kilowatts in December.   


Two Sustainability Course Development Fellowships were awarded to Indiana University Bloomington faculty by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. This year's recipients were Catherine Tucker, associate professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, with "Exploring the Challenges of Sustainability: Ecology & Society"; and Scott Shackelford, assistant professor, Department of Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business, with "Sustainability Law & Policy."


Sustainability Research Development Grants were awarded to two teams of Indiana University faculty and graduate students who will explore the conditions for successful implementation of low-carbon distributed energy programs in developing countries and the use of policy tools to promote protection, conservation and development of the urban tree canopy. Winning proposals were "Collaborative Provision of Low-Carbon Distributed Energy in Developing Countries," by Jennifer N. Brass and Sanya Carley, and "The Impact of Institutional Mechanisms on Sustainable Urban Development," by a team led by SPEA professor Burney Fischer.

The grant program, jointly sponsored by the University Graduate School, the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, the Center for Research on Energy & the Environment, the Center for Research in Environmental Sciences and the IU Office of Sustainability, provides opportunities for faculty members and students to develop externally funded research related to environmental sustainability.


IU scientists tapped into sustainability research as one of the fastest growing areas for research funding in the fields of energy, climate, geology, biology, geography, hydrology and computer science, grabbing a share of over $100 million in funding in 2011.  


The Student Sustainability Council (SSC) and its 22 member organizations succeeded in their petition drive to get a check box on registration for their sustainability fund.  They have started accumulating funds and are developing guidelines for how the projects will be selected. In addition, SSC initiated a speaker series in honor of emeritus professor Ben Brabson and a service award named for Professor Michael Hamburger, geology professor and former co-chair of the Campus Sustainability Task Force and the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board.  


President McRobbie's New Academic Directions Committee concluded that "IU should seize opportunities for strategic structural innovation." Among the eight innovations listed was "Sustainability Studies: develop a new interdisciplinary undergraduate major and a strategic plan for service learning and community outreach in sustainable development." An interdisciplinary committee is working hard to make that recommendation a reality.


Eighteen summer sustainability interns were hired in March. Eighteen before them gave their presentations at the semi-annual Sustainability Internship Symposium on Friday, April 22, 2011 (Earth Day!) in the Grand Hall at Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. In August, the summer interns graduated with their symposium, a new academic year class of 17 started in October, and we are currently hiring for Summer 2012. Over 150 sustainability interns have transformed IU Bloomington and themselves forever.  


Indiana University committed to building green buildings certified LEED Silver or better in 2008.  This year, a number of projects moved toward LEED Gold certification, including the Cyber Infrastructure Building, SE Residence Hall, SE Apartments, Jacobs School of Music, Forest Dining Center, and the new Kelley School addition.  


Arbor Day Tree Planting and Veterans Day Tree Planting days offered memorable exercise for students, faculty, and staff while restoring our tree canopy. Burnie Fischer and Mia Williams and other members of the IU Tree Campus USA steering committee led these efforts, which continue to attract numerous eager volunteers.  


A successful campus garden pilot project at Bryan House led to a campus garden at Hilltopthat is ten times larger. Sustainability intern Stephanie Hopkins led the way and established an Edible Campus Steering Committee that meets regularly to expand the initiative.


Greening Cream and Crimson. Sustainability intern John Hageman and his mentor Chris Reynolds, Senior Associate Athletic Director, have made remarkable progress toward the goal of making IU a leader in sustainable practices in athletics. IU athletics administration and staff, along with hundreds of volunteers have made progress in game day and daily waste diversion, building energy conservation, and other operational initiatives. IU has competed in the past two EPA Game Day recycling challenges.  


Sustainability Intern Bridget Flynn was ambitious in Greening First Year Experience, working with the Office of First Year Experience to organize an IU Beginnings experience focused on sustainability, launching the green dorm room certification program and working with Residence Hall EcoReps. The Office of First Year Experience continued to green events like Orientation and Welcome Week. The Office of Enrollment Management, under the direction of Vice Provost David Johnson, became the first department to initiate green teams in all of its offices.  


Several of the more than 30 Green Teams across campus utilized a new green team online certification program and the Environmental Health and Safety Green Team made it all the way to the top "Tree" certification level in the first year. Sustainability intern Amy Allen provided able leadership for this growing program.  


The first Big Red Eats Green Festival was held at the Indiana Memorial Union and it was a raging success.  Conceived by the Food Working Group, co-chaired by Bruce Jacobs and Christine Barbour, the event was designed to connect campus to the local food community and the healthy food options it provides. PhD candidate and sustainability intern Sara Minard did an outstanding job and calmly presided over a last-minute move of the event indoors due to inclement weather.  


The third annual E-Waste Days was held May 12-13 and another several hundred thousand pounds of electronic waste was diverted from the landfill. E-Waste has now become part of University Information Technology Services (UITS).  The Sustainable Computing Working Group had a busy year establishing policies to promote double-sided printing, automatic computer energy savings, digitization of paper forms, clarification of legal needs for retaining documents an modeled how to move a department while eliminating waste with the Cyber Infrastructure Building move as the pilot.


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. Leadership for this massive town-gown effort was provided by student sustainability intern, Alexi Lamm, mentored by H2H veterans Jacqui Bauer, city sustainability coordinator, and Steve Akers, RPS environmental director.  


The 2010 Campus Master Plan recommended a Transportation Demand Management Study be conducted for IU Bloomington to find ways to reduce demand for single-occupancy vehicle traffic on campus. VHB was selected to perform the study, which has commenced with ample opportunities for faculty, staff and student input.  


After many months of work by dozens of stakeholders, IU Bloomington now has a comprehensive campus-wide recycling program, including desk-side recycling and outdoor recycling for the first time that accepts paper, glass, metals, and plastics numbers 1 through 7. Credit Tom Fallwell, of Building Services, Steve Akers of Residential Programs and Services and sustainability intern Meredith Dowling for most of the heavy lifting on this team effort.  


Next month I will talk about where we are headed in 2012 as we near the third anniversary of the IU Office of Sustainability.

New Feature: Profiles in IU Sustainability

This new feature in catalyst will profile an individual each month who is (or was) involved in sustainability at IU. We hope to share here the thoughts and experiences of a variety of campus players, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni!


Alumnus Mike Steinhoff is this month's featured sustainer:


Steinhoff 101Steinhoff

Degree:  MSES/MPA 2007 (SPEA)

Current Location:  Boston, MA

Favorite Food:  Anything with salsa on it.

Favorite Movie: Brazil

Favorite Book:  Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Buckminster Fuller  

Favorite Green Tip: With whatever you are trying to improve, take down some data and track it.  It's the only way to know if you're really doing better.


What made you become involved in sustainability at IU?

When I entered the SPEA graduate program in 2004, there weren't many courses that covered sustainability explicitly.  However, right about the same time sustainability-related side-projects started cropping up in both the City of Bloomington and at IU.  I jumped on as many opportunities as I could to complement my coursework.   


What does "sustainability" mean to you? 

To me sustainability is about incorporating our ever-widening understanding of the interconnectedness of, well, everything.  It's about internalizing the externalities and trying to hasten the development of a stable and regenerative socio-economic-environment system; rather than waiting for it to happen through trial and error.


What were some of the highlights of your time at IU?

Being coordinator of the 2008 Summer Intern Program was one of the greatest experiences I had at IU.  There were so many different projects and assisting the interns with them helped me answer all the nagging questions that I had about how to make campus more efficient and less wasteful.  That experience also gave me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented students on campus that shared my drive for improving our surroundings.


Has your involvement in sustainability at IU benefited you in post-grad life? If so, how?

The experiences I had there were incredibly valuable.  I took part in a wide range of projects, and each one presented new challenges.  Subjects included how to perform a representative waste audit in the dorms, where to locate new bicycle resources, how to encourage the student body to think about energy consumption, and how to grow algae in the depths of the Central Heating Plant. I came to enjoy taking on new things that pushed me to learn more.  I've held on to this pattern of seeking out new ideas and projects, which has made my professional life more engaging and enjoyable. 


What are you up to now?

I am now a Senior Program Officer at a non-profit organization called ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability that provides technical assistance for local governments in pursuit of deep reductions in greenhouse gases and more sustainable communities. I design and administer software and other technical resources that support the organization's mission, and I occasionally work on consulting projects related to municipal greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans.


How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?

Recently I've been volunteering in a group that has transformed a garbage-filled abandoned lot into a community garden and orchard.  This is a project that has bridged many social and cultural divides while providing an example of adaptive reuse of degraded urban land. 


Anything else you'd like to add?

I've been amazed at the work that has been done under IUOS.  I left IU just as it became official and the accomplishments in such a short time period are impressive.  While my current job is great, I wish I would have been able to see some of these things first hand.

Student Sustainability Council continues to lead student sustainability activity on IUB campus
by Elisabeth Gawthrop
The Student Sustainability Council (SSC) is an IUB student organization that seeks to provide students with opportunities to advance sustainability initiatives at IU, while coordinating cooperation among the many student groups with an interest in sustainability issues. The council consists of two bodies, the General Assembly, composed of representatives from organizations across campus, and the Administrative Body, composed of individual students. Around 20 student organizations are currently represented on the council, including the IU Student Association, Alpha Phi Omega, the Environmental Management Association, and the Residence Halls Association. Here's what the SSC has been up to this year:  


The IU Sustainability Fund. Last year, the SSC and its member organizations successfully collected over 11,000 signatures to secure a $5 donation checkbox on the student registration page. The donations collected through the checkbox go directly to the IU Sustainability Fund, which is overseen by the Sustainability Fund Committee of the SSC. Students and organizations can submit funding proposals to the committee for projects that seek to further the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the IUB campus. SSC Finance Director Ian Kaelble, who oversees the committee, says they would "love to get as many proposals as possible, at any level of detail." Any IU student is also invited to be a part of the granting process by serving on the Sustainability Fund Committee. Students who wish to submit a proposal or serve on the committee may email Kaelble at If you missed the checkbox during registration but would still like to donate, visit onestart>student services>financial>optional services. More information about the fund, the committee, and how to get involved is available here.


SustainIU. The SSC is once again organizing for its annual "SustainIU" week to take place this April. Although still early in its planning stages, it will follow its usual format of a combination of lectures, hands-on activities, arts activities, and films focused on a common theme. Visit last year's calendar of events for examples of the kinds of events offered. SustainIU will also feature the following new events recently approved by the SSC:


            -The presentation of the inaugural Michael Hamburger Award for Sustainable Action.  The SSC will present this award to a member of the Indiana University family who has generated awareness of, interest in, and novel approaches to matters of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.  The SSC is accepting nominations from now until January 29, 2012. Nominations are open to faculty, staff, and IUB students.  Anonymous submissions are accepted. Click here to submit a nomination. 


            -The inaugural Ben Brabson Lecture on Sustainable Ideas. The lecture is intended to address a timely issue of environmental, economic, or social sustainability. It can be given by a member of the IU community or an outside expert. This year's lecture has not yet been decided.


Both events are named after IUB professors who have, according to the SSC, "embodied the most important, enviable traits needed to fulfill their chosen approaches to the sustainability movement." If you have a suggestion for an event or would like to get involved in the planning of SustainIU, contact SSC Events Director Rachel Geiger at


IUSF Senior Challenge Grant. The SSC recently received a $12,000 grant from the IU Student Foundation. The grant will fund the purchase of reusable coffee mugs that will be given to next year's incoming freshmen who sign up for the Green Room Certification Program. Students will be able to sign up for the program during orientation, and, if any mugs are left, they will also be available at events geared toward first year students at Welcome Week events.


Participate. Membership and Publicity Director Stephanie Hopkins says that the SSC is always looking for interested students and student organizations who want to help move IU in a more sustainable direction. "From committee involvement to participation on the council itself, there is a place for all who wish to reduce the effects of the University on the natural environment while promoting social and economic justice," Hopkins said. Those organizations wishing to join the SSC as part of the General Assembly should contact Hopkins at Students interested in joining the Administrative Body should contact the director(s) of the committee(s) in which they are interested. The committees and the contact information of the directors are available here.

Green Teams Update
by Amy Allen 


Make Sustainability a Part of Your New Year's Resolution!


Looking for ways to integrate sustainability into the way you live, learn and work?  Here are a couple of simple New Year's resolutions that can help you reduce your environmental footprint and increase the health of our community. Take a look through the list, and let us know here what you've resolved to do for 2012!


Resource Use

1. Initiate a conversation about purchasing at least 50% recycled content paper for printing

2. To reduce transportation emissions, combine delivery orders for office supplies and equipment when possible

3. Use electronic documents and only print when necessary 



1. Make a commitment to using as many reusable containers as possible, and recycle those you can't reuse

2. Contact IU Surplus to have used materials, appliances, and furniture picked up for reuse

3. Visit the No Waste site to learn more about what can be recycled and where special items such as cell phones and batteries can be safely disposed of on the IU campus

4. Repurpose food waste by bringing in a small compost bin for your office kitchen


Sustainable Computing

1. Set up printers to automatically duplex print (double-sided)

2. Activate sleep mode on your computer

3. Plug all electronics (computer screens, printers, scanners, speakers, etc.) into a power strip so you can turn them off when you leave every day


Energy & Built Environment

1. Improve indoor air quality and office aesthetics by adding plants

2. Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms

3. Have energy-efficient light bulbs installed

4. Take the stairs instead of the elevator



1. When possible, choose alternative modes of transportation like walking, biking, or taking the bus

2. If you need a car, try carpooling, Zipcar, or Zimride



1. Use reusable mugs and dishware in your office kitchen

2. When hosting an event ask for local caterers that emphasize sustainable practices

3. Buy Fair Trade, shade-grown coffee for your office


Education & Outreach

1. Start a Green Team in your office or building

2. Share a favorite "green tip" with a co-worker

3. Participate in one of the sustainability-related volunteer activities listed in the "This Week in Sustainability" bulletins

4. Compose a blog post on the Green Teams blog about green initiatives in your office 

5. Join one of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board's seven working groups: Academic Initiatives, Energy and Building Environment, Environmental Quality and Land Use, Food, Resource Use and Recycling, Sustainable Computing or Transportation (email to get started)

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 by the Saturday evening before your event occurs. 


Upcoming Events:


Wednesday, January 18

Bloomington Food Policy Council Quarterly General Meeting

When: 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Where: McCloskey Room, Showers Building (City Hall) 

Description: The Bloomington Food Policy Council exists to increase and preserve access to sustainably produced, locally grown, healthful food for all residents in Monroe and surrounding counties.  All are welcome.



Saturday, January 21


Livable Cities Series presents Dr. Gilbert Liu

When: 10:00 AM

Where: Monroe County Public Library

Description: Dr. Gilbert Liu, MD, MS will give a talk entitled, "Urban Greenness, Physical Activity, and Child Obesity." More details to come. 


"Changing the Way We Eat" - A Live Telecast Viewing Party of TEDx Manhattan

When: 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Where: Student Building Room 150  

Description: Presented by the IU Food Studies, this event is free and open to the public. Click here to download event flier with list of presenters. Additional information is available at For questions regarding the screening, please contact Sara Minard at 


Wednesday, January 25

Green Drinks presents Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese

When: 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Where: Banquet Facility of the Upland Brewing Company, 350 West 11th Street

Description: At 6 p.m., Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese, founder and owner of Twisted Limb Paperworks, will do a presentation entitled "Eco Beer Paper for Green Drinks Fans: How Twisted Limb Paperworks Is Recycling Upland Barley Into a Fun New Product." Beer Cards will be available for sale with 25% of each sale being donated to Green Drinks Bloomington.

Green Drinks Bloomington is a lively, informal social networking event for people from all walks of life who are interested in making a greener world.  Folks gather every month to share libations and ideas, discuss, debate, explore and make new friends and business connections. It is held the 4th Wednesday of every month from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Banquet Facility of the Upland Brewing Company. There's a $5 suggested donation, some food will be provided. To receive a monthly reminder, write  To learn more about Green Drinks visit


Saturday, February 4 

Free Electronics Recycling Program

When: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Sanitation Garage, 406 South Walnut St., just north of the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter

Description: The City of Bloomington Sanitation Department, in partnership with Vintage Tech Recyclers, will host its second Electronics Recycling Program, during which the City invites residents of Bloomington and surrounding communities to dispose of unwanted electronics for recycling.  The following items will be accepted: computers, laptops, monitors, LCDs, cell phones, printers, scanners, modems, cables, televisions, VCR's, DVD players, camcorders, cameras, gaming systems, telephones, pagers, answering machines, typewriters, calculators, fax machines, copiers and postage meters. All items collected are recycled according to R2 and BAN standards, and hard drives will be wiped or destroyed using the same standards. For more information, please contact the Sanitation Department at 349-3443 or read more online at


News, ongoing events, and opportunities:


FoodCorps Opens Applications for its Next Class of School Food Changemakers

FoodCorps, a national organization that addresses childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, is now accepting applications for its second annual class of service members. The selected emerging leaders will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems - expanding hands-on nutrition education programs, building and tending school gardens, and sourcing fresh, healthy, local food for school cafeterias. FoodCorps seeks up to 100 men and women with a passion for serving their country as AmeriCorps service members by building healthy communities in 12 states around the country. Emerging leaders interested in getting more information should visit


The Student Sustainability Council (SSC) is accepting nominations for the first annual Michael Hamburger Award for Sustainable Action

The SSC will present this award to a member of the Indiana University family who has generated awareness of, interest in, and novel approaches to matters of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.  Nominations are open to faculty, staff, and IUB students.  Nominations are due January 29th. Anonymous submissions are accepted. Please submit nominations at


Downtown Bloomington Recycling Center Now Open for Business
A new recycling center has opened downtown in the parking lot behind the Showers Building on 10th Street. The center is part of a collaboration of the City of Bloomington, Monroe County Solid Waste Management District and Pedal Power owner Chad Roeder to make recycling more sustainable and accessible to downtown residents.

The recycling center is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Materials accepted at the center include:

  • Steel and aluminum cans (no scrap metal)
  • Plastics #1-7
  • Clear and colored glass bottles and jars (no window glass, mirrors, light bulbs, etc)
  • Mixed paper/fibrous products (junk mail, newspaper, office paper, paperboard, etc)
  • Corrugated cardboard

All materials must be free from food contamination, and paper and cardboard products must be dry. The center does not currently accept hazardous materials such as paint, aerosols, poisons or batteries, but these items may be taken to the Monroe County Recycling Center at 3400 S. Walnut Street. Visit their facebook page or website for more information. For further questions about the recycling center downtown call Chad Roeder at 325-2777.


Got aquarium?   

Moving out and can't take your aquarium pets with you? Don't dump them in the lake or into local waterways! Many aquarium plants and animals are non-native species that can wreak havoc on our local environment. Contact the Bloomington Animal Shelter at (812) 349-3492 or the Monroe County Humane Association at (812) 335-9453.


Sign a petition for local transit funding referenda

Bloomington Transportation Options for People (B-TOP) has passed a resolution supporting a petition from the Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority calling for dedicated funding for transportation. To read and sign the petition, visit . Also, if you are involved in an organization that may want to pass a resolution, the coalition is looking for more supporting organizations to sign on.    


Park Break program offers expenses-paid program in park management and sustainable living, applications due Jan. 20

The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands has been asked to recruit Indiana University graduate students for the Park Break program, an all-expenses-paid, park-based field seminar that has a focus this year on sustainable living. Even if your institution's "spring break" isn't during the program's time, graduate students that have completed courses and are focused on writing may be interested in this opportunity to network and gain a unique experience.  The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands can assist IU graduate students with application assistance and advice. 

The next Park Break session will be held March 19-23, 2012, at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania. The 2012 Park Break project will be the creation of a curriculum on sustainable living, aimed at 8th-grade students, to be used at the Pocono Environmental Education Center.  The Park Break team will draw on the context of several energy projects that are affecting or could affect the park, such as natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation north of the park, or the proposal for a powerline that would cross the park. Park Break is designed for graduate students contemplating a career in park and land-use management or related research and education fields.

Applications for the 2012 Park Break program are being accepted through January 20.  For more information, go to Park Break is a collaborative program of the US Geological Survey, US National Park Service, Pocono Environmental Education Center, and George Wright Society.


IU Global Environmental Brigades seeks students for 2012 Spring Break trip to Panama

Global Environmental Brigades is looking for passionate and motivated students who are interested in getting involved with sustainability and public health projects in Panama during the 2012 Spring Break. Students will be traveling to Central America to volunteer in various projects that directly impact a rural community. Past projects include building latrines, installing brand new water filtration systems, constructing eco-stoves, and educating indigenous communities on a variety of sustainability topics, like proper waste removal, through educational workshops. IUGEB allows students to have a unique opportunity to incorporate their own knowledge, interests, and skills in a productive and meaningful way while empowering community members to become self-sufficient. Join the fastest growing international student-led, non-profit organization in the world and make a visible impact at Indiana University and Panama. For more information, contact chapter President, Jesse Vanhooser, at


Common Circle Education announces cross-country bike trip & permaculture design course

This three-month intensive course combines our Urban Permaculture and Regenerative Leadership Certificate training, followed by a Wilderness First Aid training before we head on the road cycling from Eugene, Oregon all the way across America to Washington DC (we'll be roughly following the
TransAM bike route - about 4200 miles), promoting and learning about sustainable living and intentional communities. Program takes place between June 1 - August 31, 2012 and is designed for beginner to intermediate cyclists. More details @


"Just Label It" campaign offers student fellowships

The "Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know" campaign advocates for the FDA to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. The organization has Campus Fellowship opportunities available for students who are interested in interning for the campaign as campus representatives. If you are interested, please visit .


Habitat for Humanity ReStore Seeks Volunteers

As a volunteer run organization, the ReStore has made great strides this past year, such as sponsoring an energy star rated Habitat home as well as diverting over 228 tons of goods from the landfill. With your help, we can go further. At the heart of the Habitat ReStore's operating philosophy is a sense for the green and the hope that we can create a more sustainable community in Bloomington. With daily volunteer opportunities available, this is a great way to make a direct impact in your community. Contact Bruce Murray at 331-2660 for more information about how you can help!   


Winter Thermostat Settings - a message from the IU Physical Plant

Cold weather is here, so please set down the thermostats to the winter set point of 68 degrees for classrooms, offices, hallways, lounges and general rooms (excluding labs with critical temperature requirements). Set points can be slightly higher for rooms that have window, ventilation or other comfort problems. Vestibules should be set at 60 degrees. The thermostats that control cooling only units should be left at 78 degrees.

Please contact the Operations Dispatchers to have Work Request initiated for each building involved with this work. These Work Requests will be part of Project No. 2012. If these set points cause problems for particular rooms please contact Doug Trueblood ( Thank you for the many ways you continue to help us keep our energy cost down as much as possible.


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 To get involved, join our email list by sending a blank email to:


Bloomington Community Orchard Workdays and Events

The Orchard has many opportunities for all interest levels. Workdays, team meetings, limestone benchmaking workshop, tabling at community events, tours at the Orchard..the list goes on! Check out our calendar ( for details or email Stacey at for more information. 


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 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:


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 for more information and to ap

Contact Us

General comments and questions should be directed to

Our address:

IU Office of Sustainability

704 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47408

IUOS staff:

Bill Brown
Director of Sustainability

Emilie Rex
Assistant Director of Sustainability