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Sustainability in the News
From the Director: Moving Forward
Profile: Steve Akers
ImagineBloomington: Integrating Growth and Sustainability
Events and Opportunities
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Sustainability in the News
Little 500 teams compete, convert energy at SRSC

Eleven Little 500 men's teams and eight women's teams competed and converted the mechanical energy they produced into electricity Saturday at the Student Recreational Sports Center.

This event was made possible through three PlugOut cycling bikes. One typical workout on the bike has the potential to power a cell phone for a week, according to the PlugOut website. The bikes have the ability to produce anywhere from 50 to 250 watts of energy in just one workout. In 18 minutes, each team produced an average of 180 watts. 


Student Sustainability Council honors IU faculty with creation of annual award, lecture

An annual award and lecture created by the Student Sustainability Council at Indiana University Bloomington will honor IU faculty members Michael Hamburger and Ben Brabson for their commitment to sustainability on campus and in the community.


The council voted unanimously to establish the Michael Hamburger Award for Sustainable Action, recognizing a member of the IU community for support of sustainability; and the Ben Brabson Lecture on Sustainable Ideas, to stimulate critical thought on a timely issue of environmental, economic or social sustainability.

 Read the full article >>



IUOS, ViS, SSC, & City of Bloomington offer weatherization workshops

 To help students stay warm and save money, several organizations partnered in January to offer free winter weatherization workshops.

These workshops, made possible by an IUSA grant, were targeted to students who live off-campus and see a spike in utility bills in the winter months.


New downtown recycling center caters to students
Chad Roeder is making recycling even more eco-friendly for downtown Bloomington residents.
His 4-year-old business, Bloomington Pedal Power, has partnered with the City of Bloomington and the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District to open the Downtown Recycling Center located at City Hall. Roeder started Pedal Power in 2007 to make recycling easier for downtown businesses because the city does not offer curbside pick-up for buildings with more than four units.He and three part-time employees pedal across town, picking up recyclable goods and delivering them to drop-off stations.
Their goal is to facilitate sustainable living through eco-friendly pedaling. In the past three years, Pedal Power has collected over 700 tons of recycling in Bloomington.
The new center is still under construction but has been up and running for about a month. Although Pedal Power has been successful, with an average of 100-150 drop-offs each week, Roeder said the cooperation between agencies is notable. 
IUSA Congress talks mandatory classes, recycling

IUSA voted on a push for recycling bins to be placed beside all trash cans on campus, arguing that students are 
more likely to recycle if it is more convenient and adding morerecycling bins will promote overall sustainability efforts at the University. The resolution passed with 86 percent in support.


Bourdain, Ripert talk sustainability, health at IU Auditorium
Known as one of the culinary world's most notorious bad-boys, Anthony Bourdain visited Bloomington with celebrated chef and best friend Eric Ripert. 

After opening the show with a roast, the two discussed U.S. sustainability practices. 
"We are visitors to this planet, and we came and it was in a certain state," Ripert said. He iterated the need to leave the world in a better state than we receive it. Bourdain agreed and promoted eating healthily, shopping for organic items and treating animals ethically. 


Moving Forward
By Bill Brown


Just as the Campus Master Plan highlighted the importance of sustainability in campus design and operations, President McRobbie's New Academic Directions Committee called for IU to "seize opportunities for strategic structural innovation." Included was the recommendation to "develop a new interdisciplinary undergraduate major in sustainability studies and a strategic plan for service learning and community outreach in sustainable development." Creating new interdisciplinary majors is much more difficult than, say, unifying a comprehensive campus-wide recycling program, but it is critically important work and the initiative is moving forward.


The IU Office of Sustainability  (IUOS) will be searching for ways to greatly expand our current collaborative programs to catalyze sustainability research and curriculum development in 2012. Assistant Director Emilie Rex will continue to oversee one of the country's largest and most successful student sustainability internship programs as an effective way to integrate research and teaching into campus operations.


Click here for a brief preview of what 2012 may hold for IUB Campus Sustainability, organized by the seven working groups of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board.


Campus sustainability is not a spectator sport. Over 200 faculty, staff and students are actively engaged in making IU Bloomington an international leader in this new world of opportunity and you can be part of it, too.  Contact us today.


Read the full article >>

Profiles in IU Sustainability

This new feature will profile a student, faculty member, staff member or IU alum who has inspired us as a sustainability leader here at IU. We hope you enjoy these stories, and we encourage you to send along your own!
Steve Akers
Featured Sustainer Steve Akers

Steve Akers is this month's featured sustainer: 


Akers 101

  • Position: Associate Director, Environmental Operations within Residential Programs & Services
  • Time at IU: 21 years
  • Hobbies: Drummer and member of the Eastside Ramblers, a local band that plays at venues all around Monroe County; hiking & camping, especially in the Smoky Mountains
  • Favorite spot in Bloomington: A Saturday morning in the middle of summer at the Farmers Market downtown.
  • Favorite Green Tip: Seek value in all things. By recycling, reusing, or composting, I have learned that nearly everything has some value. So let's all try and see just how little in our lives must be thrown "away" to a landfill.


What does "sustainability" mean to you? It is our responsibility to care for our natural resources so they will be intact for future generations. Through conservation and moving away from carbon-based resources, I believe we can sustain ourselves and maintain the natural beauty for those after us to enjoy.

Have you had a favorite sustainability-related moment at IU?  I recall many favorite sustainability-related moments over the past few years: the announcements of how much electricity and water has been conserved from the various Energy Challenges, the installation of outdoor recycling on campus, but best of all was the establishment of the IU Office of Sustainability. My favorite current project is the Hoosier-to-Hoosier Community Sale. Now in its third year, the sale has saved over thirty tons of reusable items (in good condition!) from being land-filled, while donating thousands of dollars in sale proceeds to local non-profits agencies. The sale has been a great achievement, bringing together dozens of volunteers in a campus and city partnership.
 This year's sale will be on August 11, 2012!

What do you see as the biggest challenge for sustainability at IU? There are many challenges but most important is to move our energy producing systems away from the practice of burning coal. I hope the campus will diversify its methods of obtaining energy by using solar, wind, biomass, and even geothermal. Some of these systems are on campus now, and I am optimistic that expansion will occur to satisfy the campus demand. 


Read the full interview >> 


Integrating Sustainability and Growth into Bloomington's Future


imagine bloomington


Yesterday marked the beginning of ImagineBloomington, a visioning process to decide what Bloomington will be like in 25 years. According to the ImagineBloomington website, "results of this process will create the foundation, Bloomington's vision, for the City's comprehensive plan. Having a new vision for the community is the first step in the process for updating the City's Plan - known as the Growth Policies Plan." The process offers several ways for citizens to be involved, including community workshopssurveys, and online forums.


A long-term plan such as this offers much opportunity for weaving sustainability ideals and practices into the fabric of Bloomington's infrastructure and policies. The relationship between sustainability and growth, however, is not easily reconciled. Every new person, organization, and business in Bloomington brings the possibility of enriching our community, but they also come with a new carbon footprint. How can we make our city welcoming to new people and development without the fear of damaging the quality of life for future generations? Sustainability often comes with the negative connotations of austerity and sacrifice. How do we create an environment in which we can thrive without guilt?


By using tools such as renewable energy, effective public transportation, stormwater management, and support for local farmers and businesses, we can try to offer some solutions to these questions.  Public input is vital to the planning process, and we want to make sure those who value sustainable policies are included. Whether you take a few minutes to fill out the survey or spend a couple of hours at a workshop, make your voice heard! 


Events and Opportunities

Upcoming Events:


Friday, February 24

Spring Workday for the Campus Garden Initiative @ Hilltop Garden

When: 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Where: Hilltop Garden (map)  

Description: Volunteer with us at the Campus Garden Initiative's new plot at Hilltop Gardens: learn and practice skills for planning, planting and tending to edible plants; help shape the plan for using produce grown this summer; and meet fellow volunteers passionate about growing food for our campus.

For more information, contact Stephanie Hopkins, Garden Coordinator at or visit


Volunteer at Bayles Road with the IU Research and Teaching Preserve

When: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Where: Meet to carpool at Kmart East Location: 3216 East 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN

Description: Preserve staff to assist with the removal of a research experiment at Bayles Road, a parcel of the IU Research and Teaching Preserve. Meet the Preserve staff at 1:00 p.m., in the Bloomingfoods East / K-Mart parking lot. The parking at Bayles Road is minimal, so we will meet in the parking lot to carpool over to the property. The Preserve staff will bring any tools and equipment. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, and layers of clothing if the weather is cool. Volunteers should also bring water. We will provide the work gloves. Please email or call 855-8742 to let the Preserve Staff know you are coming. We look forward to working with you!


Saturday, February 24

Bloomington Community Orchard class--Dormant Pruning Workshop

When: 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Where: The Orchard (2120 S. Highland Ave.)

Description: The workshop includes the discussion and demonstration of dormant pruning techniques and the opportunity to practice on trees in the

Bloomington Community Orchard. Bring hand pruners, if you have them. Tools are provided for those who need them. Register online ( by Feb. 22 with Code 17625-A, but registration is also available at the beginning of the workshop. The cost is $7 in-city and $8 non-city.


Thursday, March 1

"Critical Approaches to Environmental Sustainability across Latin America" with Michael Cepek and Andrew Matthews

When: 7:00 pm

Where: Sassafras Rm, IMU

Description: You're invited to join the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies for a dialogue with Michael Cepek (UT--San Antonio) and Andrew Matthew (UC--Santa Cruz) on "Critical Approaches to Environmental Sustainability Across Latin America." This event is sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Sustainable Development Initiative, a U.S. Department of Education Title VI Project.


Tuesday, March 6

Prospect Hill presents: Permaculture Presentation by Keith Johnson

When: 7:00 -9:00 pm

Where: Monroe County Public Library Auditorium 

Description: Come learn about Permaculture from Keith Johnson! Permaculture is about designing ecological human habitats and food production systems.  It is a land use and community building movement which strives for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, and water into stable, productive communities. A central theme in permaculture is the design of ecological landscapes that produce food. However, permaculture entails much more than just food production. Energy-efficient buildings, waste water treatment, recycling, and land stewardship in general are other important components of permaculture. Permaculture has expanded its purview to include economic and social structures that support the evolution and development of more permanent communities, such as co-housing projects and eco-villages. 

Keith is an experienced permaculture site designer and teacher.  He has been providing consulting advice and design since 1979.  He has developed an intimate knowledge of various regional landscapes, botany, soils, earthworks, natural building and other skills.  With a wealth of experience in temperate climate permaculture systems he offers a range of consulting services to regional and distant clients.


News, ongoing events, and opportunities: 

Applications due 4/10 for internships with Earth Charter Indiana
Sustainable Indiana 2016 is a collaborative project initiated by Earth Charter Indiana to leverage our upcoming bicentennial as a catalyst for Indiana becoming a much greener state through grassroots education and motivation. This year the theme is "Plant a Garden." We have funding to field a summer intern in each of the nine regions of the state. The summer interns will locate gardeners in every county of the region, thank them for contributing to sustainable food security, discover how they are building community relationships through their garden, and offer to honor their garden with an attractive sign reading "Indiana Bicentennial Green-Legacy Garden." To download the position description and instructions on how to apply, click here. Applications are due April 10th, 2012. 

Seeking Operation Team Leaders/Members for the Bloomington Community Orchard

Are you interested in the day-to-day maintenance, hands-on work, systems building, or volunteer involvement of Bloomington's ever-evolving, publicly-owned, volunteer-run Orchard? We are looking for team members to fulfill many different roles needed for upkeep, including: organizing workdays, creating and preparing projects, deciding when things will happen and how, connecting volunteers with certain activities, and preparing the Orchard for all the activities we do. If you would like to get involved with the Operations Team, please contact Stacey Decker at


Call for Entries - Trashion Refashion Show

The 2012 Trashion Refashion Show is looking for fashion designs from the two following categories:

 - Trashion is the result of creatively turning discarded items into fashion.

 - Refashion is the result of modifying existing clothing into something more fashionable.

Up to 3 entries, in any combination of categories, may be submitted per designer or team.  Submissions are due on March 1, 2012. The show itself will take place on April 22nd (Earth Day!) at 7:00pm in the Buskirk Chumley Theater.  All levels of design are welcome!  We look forward to making the 3rd annual Trashion Refashion Show our biggest success and to raise funds for the Center for Sustainable Living. Submission guidelines and other information is available on the Trashion website:


Byron Fellowship 2012: Request for Nominations

The Byron Fellowship is an interdisciplinary course in sustainable communities that uniquely engages participants through place-based learning. We are looking for 18 to 20 exceptional upper class undergraduates, graduate students, or recent graduates that have a passionate interest in creating sustainable communities.

 This year's Byron Fellowship will take place May 20 - 25 at Turkey Run State Park in Parke County, Indiana. 

During the five and a half day program, participants will learn from a collection of academic teachers and active practitioners. Participants and mentors represent a wide spectrum of disciplines including the arts, natural science, social science, engineering, and theology. The teaching methods include tutorial mentoring, collaborative discussion, team building, and individual reflection.

More information is available at:


2012-13 On-Campus Americorps Positions - applications due 2/24
Are you a student who cares about service and is willing to put your passion into action? Student Life and Learning and the LEAD IU program are hosting 
AmeriCorps positions during the 2012-2013 academic year. After completing 300 hours of community service and leadership training with the support of SLL staff, members will receive a $1,175 Education Award. Please complete an application and email it to by 5pm on February 24th . This program is graciously supported through Indiana Campus Compact.


Join the Student Committee for the IU Fall Involvement Fair
Interact with other students, build relationships and gain leadership experience through this volunteer opportunity. The committee will be broken up into smaller committees that include: Publicity, Entertainment and
Sustainability. Students involved will attend committee meetings and work with other students starting this semester. Plan sustainability initiatives and be a part of the "Green Team" at the fair!
We need creative students to help make the next Student Involvement Fair a success! Students with ideas for the fair or just an eagerness to be involved with the process should contact Allie Medellin at  


Bloomington Winter Farmers Market 
Saturdays, 9am to noon, Harmony School (909 East 2nd Street)
The Bloomington Winter Farmers Market is a great opportunity to buy directly from local growers during the winter months. Our cozy indoor market features local products, live music, and a wonderful community. Join us for breakfast and buy local produce, meats, baked goods, dairy, and more! The market is open throughout the winter until March 31, 2012. 


Permaculture interns sought for Bread & Roses Gardens

Bread & Roses Gardens is a woodland homestead in Will Holler, on the south side of Lake Monroe, 10 miles south of Bloomington in the heart of Hoosier National Forest. Certified Permaculture Designer Salem Willard founded Bread & Roses in January of 2011 to create a thriving example of sustainable living. Interns will be asked to commit to a minimum of 4~6 hours/week. Ideally interns will be able to join us throughout the growing season (March~October), however seasonal positions will be considered. In addition to cerebral and kinesthetic learning at B&R Gardens, we will naturally send helpers home with handfuls of hearty goods to feed their hearts and hungry stomachs. We are more than willing to negotiate hosting independent learning projects for credit through the University. Visit to learn more about Bread & Roses. Click here to download PDF flier with more information about the internships.    


Opportunities with Pick Up America   

Pick Up America is looking for people to travel with us this year! In 2012, we will be completing our three year coast-to-coast roadside litter pick-up by walking from Colorado to the California coast. We are seeking young, energetic leaders who are ready to hit the road, pick up litter, and organize for a more sustainable America. We are a one-of-a-kind traveling nonprofit crew aiming to connect with one-of-a-kind individuals. An ideal candidate would be self-motivated, know how to be a team player, and be eager to educate, strategize, network, and inspire resource stewardship and zero-waste in America. Visit to find details about the available positions.   


Green Corps Now Accepting Applications 
Green Corps is looking for college graduates who are ready to take on the biggest environmental challenges of our day. In Green Corps' year-long paid program, you'll get intensive training in the skills you'll need to make a difference in the world. You'll get hands-on experience fighting to solve urgent environmental problems - global warming, deforestation, water pollution and many others - with groups such as Sierra Club and Food and Water Watch. And, when you graduate from Green Corps, we'll help you find a career with one of the nation's leading environmental and social change groups. 
In the next few months, we'll invite 35 college graduates to join Green Corps in 2012-2013. We're looking for people who are serious about saving the planet, people who have taken initiative on their campus or community, and people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work for change over the long haul. If you think you're one of those people, visit to submit your application to join the 2012-2013 class of Green Corps' Field School for Environmental Organizing. Green Corps' year-long program begins in August 2012 with Introductory Classroom Training in Boston, and continues with field placements in multiple locations across the U.S. Candidates must be willing to relocate. For more information, visit or contact Aaron Myran, Green Corps Recruitment Director, at or 617.747.4302

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


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, 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.    


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 @


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 or 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 apply. 

About Us
The mission of the Indiana University Office of Sustainability is to advance sustainable human-environment interactions within the Bloomington campus and community by facilitating collaborative academic and operational initiatives. 
Contact Us
IU Office of Sustainability
704 E. 10th St. 
Bloomington, Indiana 47408
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