Center for Sustainable Communities
March 7, 2016
Sustainability Council Meeting

The Sustainability Council met last week to share updates about Luther's sustainability initiatives. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Money has raised money to begin a second phase of solar panel installation at the President's House. When coupled with the existing panels at the President's House, it is expected that enough electricity will be generated by solar to entirely offset usage. Measures are also being taken to increase the energy efficiency of the house.
  • Luther has been awarded a $20,000 forgivable loan from the Iowa DNR Solid Waste Alternatives Program (SWAP) to purchase a food pulper for the cafeteria dish room. The addition of a pulper will lead to a significant expansion of composting efforts on campus.
  • Cargill Climate Action funds have been allocated to purchase a Chargepoint electric vehicle charging station that will be placed behind Olin on central campus. The system will be installed sometime this spring.
  • Luther was chosen to receive free technical assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the feasibility of solar storage on campus.
  • Zero Waste student workers weighed over 800 plates of student food waste from the cafeteria and concluded that the average waste was about 0.2 pounds per person. The Weigh the Waste project had an overwhelmingly positive response from students and findings will be used to improve food waste infrastructure on campus.
Summer Internships Available to Students
The Center for Sustainable Communities is working with the Career Center to offer stipends of up to $2,000 for sustainability-related internships for students. A list of organizations interested in hosting Luther student interns is available on the sustainability website. Students are encouraged to reach out and make connections with these organizations but also to reach out and make new connections with other organizations that would provide a good internship experience. All students interested in applying for an internship stipend must attend a mandatory meeting on March 8th at 9:40am in Olin 106. Applications are due by April 1st. Internship connections and more information about the internships are available on our website.
Discovery Camp Registration Open
Start making your summer plans! Registration for Discovery Camps is now open. These youth programs are a great way to get your kids outdoors and engaged with the natural world. This summer, classes include the ever-popular Survival Camp, a brand new Pathfinders Camp, Wild Wonderers, Kindernature, and Adventurers! Programming ranges from 2-5 days and there are camps available for students entering pre-K to grade 9. A new partnership with Winneshiek County Conservation will add a whole new level of fun and learning this summer! A full class list, including prices and registration information, is now available on our website.
Funding Available for Course Development and Research
The Center for Sustainable Communities and the Dean's Office invite proposals for the development of new or significantly revised courses that promise to infuse sustainability into the Luther curriculum. Award recipients will receive a $1,200 stipend funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and assistance with course development. Potential applicants are encouraged to consider the sort of integrated and applied learning in any field that would help equip students with the skills necessary to analyze the long-term stability of any complex system and then to react appropriately and creatively. These grants provide an opportunity for rethinking traditional disciplinary content and to refresh our commitment to the integration and application of learning toward contemporary local and global challenges. For more information about this opportunity, contact Jeff Wilkerson.
Conference on Food Ethics to be held at Viterbo University in April
The 2016 Conference on Food Ethics will bring scholars together for a conversation about the ethical responsibilities of individuals, communities, businesses, and government agencies in regards to food and agriculture. The conference will take place from Thursday, April 14 through Saturday, April 16 at Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI. Each day will be full of presentations and break-out sessions to engage further in the conversation about food ethics and justice. Keynote speakers include Will Allen of Growing Power, Inc., Sarah Lloyd of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, and farmer and ecologist Peter Allen. For more information about the conference, visit the conference website. Please contact Maren Beard if you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.
Sustainability Tip
Change your computer settings! Optimize your computer's energy-savings by setting it to automatically hibernate after several minutes of inactivity.  While you're at it, change the screen saver on your computer to a blank screen, which greatly reduces energy use.
Questions or Comments?
The Center for Sustainable Communities is always looking for ways to improve our publications and incorporate more information for our stakeholders. If you have any questions, concerns, general comments, or story ideas for future newsletters, please email at any time. Thank you!
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
Wednesday, March 9th
Food, Purchasing, and Waste Task Group meeting
3:00 pm Valders 374
Thursday, March 10th
Go Solar! Workshop
12:15 - 3:15 pm, West Union Public Library, West Union, Iowa 
Saturday, March 19th
Shopping Shuttle
11 am  Student Organizational Suite
Staff Spotlight
Allison Hren 
Food & Farm Fellow

As the Food and Farm Fellow, Allison will be managing the Luther Gardens, supervising student workers and helping to produce food for the College's cafeterias. She also works with the Cafeteria to Community program, which re-purposes excess food from the Cafeteria for a local food kitchen. Allison is a recent graduate of Elon University where she managed the campus gardens and most recently worked on a small farm in New Mexico. Allison is excited to work with students and learn about food production in the Midwest.
U-Haul Car Share student internship available
U-Haul is currently hiring for a student intern for the Car Share program on campus. The intern will promote and manage the car sharing program on campus. Read more
Driftless Gardens hiring summer crew members
Driftless Gardens, a native landscape and design business serving the Driftless region, is hiring for the summer. Crew members, based out of Decorah, will be responsible for many tasks including planting, weeding, and landscaping. Read more
Food Hub General Manager position available
The Iowa Food Hub, a non-profit local food distribution business, is accepting applications for a full-time General Manager to be responsible for daily operations. Read more
Iowa Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative
The Iowa Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative is seeking a Workforce Development Coordinator to work with the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi to develop the Red Earth Garden. Read more
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Luther College Sustainability | 700 College Drive | Decorah | IA | 52101