Center for Sustainable Communities
April 7, 2014
Caf to Community program receives grant from Winneshiek County Community Foundation
Luther College's Cafeteria to Community Program is proud to announce a grant of $4,880 from the Winneshiek County Community Foundation to help reduce hunger in Northeast Iowa. Since the  Caf to Community Program was established in the Fall of 2013, volunteers have worked in close collaboration with dining services staff to package over 4,400 pounds of food into containers that are delivered to the First Lutheran Church Food Pantry. The grant will be used to transition the program to the use of reusable versus disposable containers.  Visit the Cafeteria to Community webpage to read more.
Room-by-room lighting and energy study begins
Luther has begun a campus-wide, room-by-room energy study that will focus on modifying lighting levels and improving HVAC controls and performance.  Luther College sustainability staff and work-study students are collaborating on this unique project with Michaels Energy, an engineering firm in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Potential opportunities for energy efficiency associated with this study include: reducing over-lighting by replacing or retrofitting fixtures, lamps and/or ballasts; increasing the use of day-lighting by using daylight sensors and controls; and reducing HVAC energy use when spaces are unoccupied. The goal is to complete the study by June 2014.  
Food, Faith, and Climate Workshop
Join Iowa Interfaith Power and Light for the Food, Faith, and Climate Workshop on April 12 to learn how our food system contributes to climate change, and to reflect on what our faith traditions have to say about sustainable food systems. Held at the First Lutheran Church in Decorah, this workshop will explore how our food system contributes to climate change, what our faith traditions have to say about sustainable food systems, and the opportunity to create a plan to make more climate-friendly choices in your household. Visit Iowa Interfaith Power and Light's website to learn more and to register.  
Spring Break mission trips take students to New Mexico and Guatemala

Over Spring Break, 70 Luther students and faculty chaperones headed south to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Guatemala to work on a variety of service projects. Students in Santa Fe joined Habitat for Humanity to work on affordable housing projects. The group worked on a passive solar house, which needs virtually no air conditioning or heating. In Guatemala, students partnered with Open Windows, an educational program in Dueñas, outside of Antigua. Together they worked on service projects such as painting libraries, doing simple house construction, and offering children's programs. To read the Guatemala trip blog and see more pictures, visit the Spring Break Missions Trip webpage.
Solar Air Heating Workshop a Success

On March 29, Luther College hosted a workshop on how to build a solar air heater using recycled materials. Over 50 people of all ages and skill levels attended from as far away as Mabel, Minnesota.   The workshop facilitated a great exchange of ideas and suggestions between the participants and the presenter, James Dontje, Director of the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation at Gustavus Adolphus College. "This workshop provided a great foundation for future initiatives because it showed that people are interested in sharing their experience and learning from one another about practical skills and projects we can share in our communities," said Stratis Giannakouros, Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities. He added, "We hope the Center is able to offer similar workshops in the future."


Luther intends to install the system Dontje assembled on the south wall of the Storre Theater building in the near future.

Join ECO for Earth Day Conference at the University of Wisconsin
On Earth Day, April 22, Luther College's Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO) will be taking a group of students to the 8th Annual Earth Day Conference sponsored by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Key speakers include Rosario Dawson and China Mieville.  The conference will explore challenges and opportunities presented by changes in the global environment, including implications for energy and climate, human health, natural resources, the economy, urban development, the demographics of the environmental movement and more. The conference has a $15 registration fee, but transportation will be provided at no cost. If interested in attending with ECO, contact Emily Dufford at To read more about the conference, visit the website.   
Graduation Pledge 2014
Graduating seniors are invited to take the following pledge regarding social and environmental responsibility: 
"I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work." The pledge was developed at Bentley University and has since has grown into the Graduation Pledge Alliance. More information about the pledge, its history and participating schools can be found at Graduating seniors  interested in signing the pledge can do so by visiting the Sustainability website.
Sustainability Tip
Now that it is getting warmer outside, use the natural sunlight to your advantage! Rather than throwing clothes in the dryer, hang them up to dry either outside or on a drying rack near the window! Don't have a drying rack? Check one out from the Service Center in your dorm! 
This newsletter is provided by the Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates all sustainability initiatives at Luther College.  The mission of the Center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region.  For more information on sustainability initiatives at Luther and the outreach work of the Center for Sustainable Communities, please visit:
Upcoming Events
Thursday, April 10:
Sustainability Council Meeting 
4-5pm, Mott-Borlaug Room
Monday April 14:
Orchard Basics 
12:15-1:15pm, Valders 362
David Sliwa from Meadow Farm will lead the second session of the Gardening Series, discussing what to consider when selecting a site and fruit tree variety for your own orchard. Read more and register.
Wednesday April 16:
Dairy Free Refined  
12-1pm, Valders 379
C0me explore the wonderful world of cheese and ice cream for those with lactose intolerance, a dairy allergy ,or a vegan lifestyle with Joanna Bergen from the Co-Op! Learn more.
Faculty Spotlight
Eric Baack
Professor of Biology 

Eric Baack has been a professor in the Biology department since 2007, focusing on the topics of plant ecology and evolution. He regularly teaches "Evolutionary Biology"  and "Principles of Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity. "Dr. Baack also serves as the department head for Environmental Studies. Earlier this year, he led a J-term course, "Ecology of the Southwest", where his students looked at challenges and successes associated with protecting wildlife from dams, illegal border activity, grazing, and mining in Arizona. To read more about Dr. Baack's background and research, visit his profile.
Good Earth Village Summer Camp Positions 
Good Earth Village is an ELCA summer camp near Spring Valley, MN in need of staffers to lead summer programs, including day camps, overnight camps, and off-site outdoor adventure and servant programs. Read more.
ISU Extension and Outreach- Regional Youth and Nutrition Coordinator
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is currently accepting applications for an individual to work on projects relating to food and nutrition education in Northeast Iowa. Read more.
Lake Valley Camp- Garden Senior Program Counselor  
Lake Valley Camp, a non-profit serving youth ages 7-17 from under served neighborhoods in Milwaukee, WI, is seeking a Garden Program Senior Counselor to assist in the implementation of our Garden and Food Education Program. Read more.

South Madison Market Manager
South Madison Market is looking for an individual to be the primary operator of a 3000 square foot indoor market, and run daily operations for the grocery section of the market. Read more.

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