issue 289.17.12
Sustainability in the News
From the Director: Million Gallon Challenge Saves 3.7 Million Gallons
Profiles in Sustainability: Elisabeth Gawthrop
Looking Ahead to Academic Year Internship
Events and Opportunities
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Sustainability in the News
IU to conduct public hearing on energy master plan

Scheduled for 7pm on Monday, Sept. 17,  at Whittenberger Auditorium, Indiana University Bloomington will host a public presentation detailing a new energy master plan to create a more efficient and sustainable campus environment. 

Following a half-hour presentation by an IU steering committee and a group of outside consultants on the plan will be a 30- to 45-minute Q-and-A session/discussion.

The purpose of the plan is to define and prioritize categories of projects that will help IU 

Bloomington achieve maximum energy reduction at the lowest possible cost. It also reflects the goals of a Campus Master Plan to guide future development at IU Bloomington.

 Read the full article >>  

Leftover food to help RPS grow produce for students

Members of Volunteers in Sustainability hope their fall campaign, which aims to establish the campus' third compost program, will allow campus food waste to be used to grow new produce for students.  

"We have a different campaign every semester, and this semester, we looked around IU and thought, 'How could we improve things?'" said sophomore Vianna Newman, co-coordinator of the Volunteers in Sustainability fall campaign. "IU doesn't do much composting right now, and we wanted to educate people about that." 

Energy Challenge expands building involvement

Nearly all campus buildings are able to register to compete in the 2012 Fall Energy Challenge for the first time now that more buildings' consumption of water and electricity are monitored.   

Twenty-five spots are available for academic buildings. Director of Sustainability Bill Brown said this number was set as the maximum because it would be too difficult to look at readings from all of the buildings on campus.   

"We may expand it further in the future," he said. "IU has gotten pretty good at this."
Energy Challenge Coordinator Carolyn Raider said it is also important for those overseeing the challenge to have someone from each participating building they can communicate with.  

Million Gallon Challenge competition saves 3.7 million gallons  in first 10 days

In just 10 days, an Indiana University Bloomington water conservation competition has reduced water consumption by 3,715,110 gallons from the same period last year.

IU Bloomington launched the Million Gallon Challenge Sept. 1 to raise awareness about the City of Bloomington's Emergency Water Restriction Order and to reduce water usage on the campus.

Nominations now being accepted for first Campus Sustainability Awards

 The IU Bloomington Office of Sustainability is now accepting nominations for the first Campus Sustainability Awards recognizing outstanding contributions to campus sustainability.  The ceremony will be held from 7-8 pm on November 14 at Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's Grand Hall. 

One Campus Sustainability Award will be presented in each of four categories: Excellence in Research, Excellence in Teaching, Leadership Award and Team Award. Faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni and community members who exemplify excellence in one of these categories are eligible to receive the awards. Self-nomination is acceptable. 

Bloomington to receive environmental upgrade

Bloomington is getting an environmental makeover. 
Hoosier Environmental Council Executive Director Jesse Kharbanda visited Bloomington on Monday and Tuesday to inform the community about future plans for the city. 

The organization plans to undertake many of the environmental challenges in Bloomington by educating and advocating for businesses and programs, Kharbanda said.  

Read the full article >>

Middle Way House rooftop garden thrives despite drought

The buildings along South Washington Street are constructed of red bricks and white doors.  The windows reflect parked vehicles. Brick roofs line the tops of downtown business, except one.
The roof of Middle Way House sprouts with rows of produce. Plants in handmade pots hang from the chain-link fence as hoses wind through a maze of fresh veggies.   

Andrea Jobe, rooftop garden coordinator at Middle Way House, said the garden produces organic, edible vegetables, including squash, peppers, onions, watermelon, tomatoes and more. 

Big Red Eats Green (& Bikes) Festival raises awareness about healthy, sustainable food and biking options

Local restaurants and growers, as well as campus and community alternative transportation groups joined an estimated 800 Indiana University Bloomington students, faculty and staff on Thursday, September 6 for the second annual Big Red Eats Green & Bikes (BREG) Festival. The event was designed to raise awareness about the importance of eating local grown food and biking as healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices.

Attendees had the opportunity to purchase a wide range of food items from area restaurants, priced between $1 and $3 each. All of the restaurants support local farms and food producers and centered their dishes on in-season, locally-grown ingredients. Farmers and food producers from the surrounding area, some of which produced foods used by the chefs, were also on hand to conduct a scaled-down farmer's market where visitors could shop and purchase take-home items.

The IUB Million Gallon Challenge Saves 3.7 Million Gallons in the First 10 Days
By Bill Brown


Before IU Bloomington students returned to campus last month, the Bloomington water utility was experiencing historically high demand due to an extremely hot and dry summer. Industrial fans were brought in to cool the water pumps that were overheating. In anticipation of a bump in demand due to the return of the full IU student body, the city issued an Emergency Water Restriction Order and asked what the university could do to reduce demand.


Even before the order was issued, IU was taking steps to curtail water use, such as turning off fountains, using non-potable water for landscape irrigation, and conserving water used in campus facility processes.


Working with the Physical Plant Utility Information Group, IUOS proposed a Million Gallon Challenge water conservation challenge to make returning students, as well as faculty and staff, aware of the need to conserve water.


In the first ten days, from September 1st through September 10th, IUB has reduced water consumption by 3,715,110 gallons compared to the same period last year. This is equivalent to 743 tanker trucks of water.


Among the residence halls, Collins set the pace with 35% savings compared to last year, followed by Wright and Woodlawn at 15% each.  IU Athletics got into the act with Cook Hall saving 20%.  Among academic buildings, Bryan Hall led with 23% savings, followed by Swain Hall with 21% and Lilly Library with 20%.


Hurricane Isaac delivered much needed rain to Bloomington and cooler weather has reduced the need for irrigation. Last week, Bloomington lifted its emergency order, but asked that citizens continue to conserve water. So the Million Gallon Challenge will go on until the end of this month.


We hope that conservation habits learned during the challenge continue, because saving water is a good idea all the time.


Read the rest of this entry on our blog 


Profiles in IU Sustainability 

This feature profiles a student, faculty member, staff member, IU alum, or community member who has inspired us as a sustainability leader. We hope you enjoy these stories, and we encourage you to send along your own! View this and past profiles at  

Elisabeth Gawthrop is this month's featured sustainer: 


Gawthrop 101

Degree: BS '11, Environmental Science

Current Position: Graduate student at Columbia University, MA Climate and Society program

Current location: New York, NY
Favorite spot in Bloomington: Upland patio
Favorite food: Things with peanut butter; coffee 
Favorite green tip: I think a key tip is to make sustainable behaviors into habit. Living sustainably is much more pleasant when you don't have to think about it or don't feel burdened by making sacrifices. For me, when an action becomes habitual, the sense of burden goes away.


Tell us a little about yourself

I lived in Indiana from about 3 years old until I moved to Columbia University for grad school a month ago. I spend a lot of time reading long essays and articles, I love singing in choirs, and I'm a big fan of tall ships. My fascination with tall ships stems from a semester I spent studying oceanography and climate science while sailing in the Pacific. That experience had a big impact on me.  


What does "sustainability" mean to you?

I think one approach is through responsibility -- responsibility to ourselves (individually, in community, and for future generations) for a just world in which humans can lead meaningful and productive lives in an equilibrium with natural resources. It's such a broad reaching concept, however, that it's pretty difficult to define concretely. More personally, to me it means striving to live intentionally so as to put as little strain on the world's resources as possible, making it possible for others to also live well. 


How did you become involved with sustainability at IU?

I was an environmental science major from the beginning of my freshman year, and before that I started a conservation club at my high school (mostly to implement recycling, which didn't exist at the time), so I guess I came into IU with some interest in environmental sustainability. Although I had vaguely heard of it, I wasn't really introduced to the complete concept of sustainability until I met the coordinator, at the time, of the student group Volunteers in Sustainability (ViS). I liked the more holistic, equity-conscious approach of sustainability (vs. purely conservation). Although it's complicated and confusing, sustainability helped me to make more sense of the world -- so I joined the group. From my involvement with ViS I learned of the sustainability task-force/office/internship program and finally had the chance to apply my senior year. 


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

Absolutely. I learned a lot about communication, management, and systems analysis -- all of which are applicable in any field. I also just got a job on Columbia University's campus that I'm really excited about -- I'll be doing design and making graphics based on climate data from Columbia and NOAA. I would not have been qualified for the position without the graphics skills I gained while working for IUOS!


Read the rest of this entry here.


Academic Year Internship Program in Sustainability to Include Two Exciting New Partnerships with IU Organizations  

 By Emilie Rex


Over the next two weeks, the Office of Sustainability and our stakeholders will interview candidates for the Academic Year Internship Program in Sustainability. We're continuing some great projects, from Sustainable Purchasing to Living Sustainably Off-campus. We also have two new partnerships, we're very excited about: Greening of the IU Health Center and Sustainability and the Greek Community. 

Both provide unique opportunities for engaging new groups of faculty, staff and students on campus. Here's a quick 

summary of what each of these new partnerships entails:

  • Greening of the IU Health Center: IU supports over 80,000 student visits a year through the 66,000 sq ft Health Center.  For the last year, the  Health Center's sustainability committee has explored options for greening the center's building and operations. The intern will collaborate with the committee to conduct a strategic planning exercise, develop an implementation plan, and potentially begin work on high priority initiatives.  Special projects may include: waste analysis to identify new opportunities for recycling, sustainable site and landscape issues, development of sustainability policies for Health Center staff, and energy efficiency upgrades of facilities. Peter Grogg, associate director of the IU Health Center, and Dr. Judy Klein, chair of the Health Center's Sustainability Committee, will mentor the internship in partnership with IUOS.
  • Sustainability and the Greek Community: With 71 unique chapters and student membership over 6,000, the Greek community presents innumerable opportunities for sustainability-related projects and program development. The intern will collaborate with the four Greek councils (IFC, MCGC, NPHC & MCGC) on campus to conduct strategic planning and program development focused on green event planning and sustainable living. Potential projects include, but are not limited to: green events workshops and consultation, local food sourcing in chapter houses, energy and water conservation initiatives, and a feasibility study of system wide recycling. Successful candidates will be familiar or affiliated with the IU Greek community. Michael Goodman, assistant director for sorority and fraternity life, will mentor this internship in partnership with IUOS.

The Office of Sustainability is grateful to our partners at Student Life and Learning and the Health Center for engaging their organizations in sustainability, while providing two IU students with invaluable hands-on experience in sustainability project development, planning and research that will serve them well as they pursue careers in sustainability.

For a full list of new internships offered during the academic year, visit:

Events and Opportunities
Full event listings can be viewed on our calendar, while the latest news and opportunities are viewable on our blog

Upcoming Events:


Monday, September 17
Energy Master Plan Public Hearing
Monday, September 17 
When: 7:00-8:30 pm 
Where: Whittenberger Auditorium, Indiana Memorial Union 
Description: Indiana University Bloomington is hosting a public presentation detailing a new energy master plan to create a more efficient and sustainable campus environment.  There will be a 30 minute presentation with a 45 minute Q and A to follow.   


Tuesday, September 18 

Campus Garden Workday 

When: 5:00-7:00 pm 

Where: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St
Description: Come to the Campus Garden to pull weeds and meet new people who share the same interests. 
 Email with questions. Visit
 for more information about the IU Campus Garden Initiative.


Wednesday, September 19

Water the Campus Garden

When: 8:30 - 10:00 am

Where: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St

Description: We need some help with watering the plants at the Campus Garden. It usually takes about an hour to water everything thoroughly, and it's a great time for some quiet thinking.

Email with questions. Visit for more information about the IU Campus Garden Initiative.


Wednesday, September 19

Get to Know Your Bike

When: 5:15-6:15 pm 

Where: IUOA in Eigenmann Hall, 020

Description: Attend this bike clinic to learn more about safe biking in the Bloomington community. Register by calling: 812.855.1795.  


Thursday, September 20

Water the Campus Garden

When: 8:30 - 10:00 am

Where: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St

Description: We need some help with watering the plants at the Campus Garden. It usually takes about an hour to water everything thoroughly, and it's a great time for some quiet thinking.

Email with questions. Visit for more information about the IU Campus Garden Initiative.


Thursday, September 20

Get to Know Your Bike

When: 12:00 - 1:00 pm 

Where: IUOA in Eigenmann Hall, 020

Description: Attend this bike clinic to learn more about safe biking in the Bloomington community. Register by calling: 812.855.1795.  


Friday, September 20

Campus Garden Workday  

When: 9:00 am - 11:00 am   

Where: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St  

Description: No need to sign up ahead of time, just show up ready to play in the dirt and grow food for the campus community! Gloves and tools are provided. Email with questions. Visit for more information about the IU Campus Garden Initiative.


Saturday, September 21

Dunn's Woods Restoration Project

When: 11:00 - 12:00 pm 

Where: Dunn's Woods, meet at Herman B. Wells Plaza on IU's campus

Description: Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to volunteer and learn more about the cultural and natural heritage of Dunn's Woods (the wooded area of campus near Sample Gates) and Latimer Woods (a ~10 acre woodland near College Mall).  For more information about the project and future volunteer dates, times, and locations click here or email 


News, ongoing events, and opportunities:   

Become a member of the Campus Garden Initiative's Garden Corps team  
Step into the world of Bloomington's local food scene while helping maintain the campus garden. Corps members will have the opportunity to meet with local chefs, farmers, and food advocates while helping to strengthen our own campus food system.

Position Details:
  • 6-10 hrs/wk from September to early December
  • Compensation: In addition to free, fresh vegetables, you will gain knowledge and experience about gardening, time management, organization, and leadership.

To find out more information or to apply to the program click here.


Nominations Now Open for Campus Sustainability Awards 
We are now accepting nominations for the First Annual Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Awards will be presented in four categories: Excellence in Research, Excellence in Teaching, Leadership Award, and Team Award. Any faculty, student, staff, or community member may be nominated for these awards. 
For more information or to nominate click here. 
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. 
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IU Office of Sustainability
704 E. 10th St. 
Bloomington, Indiana 47408
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