Center for Sustainable Communities
April 11, 2016
Earth Day dedication of solar arrays
Luther College will celebrate Earth Day by dedicating three solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, capable of producing 820 kW of electricity. With this additional capacity, Luther College once again hosts the most solar PV in the state of Iowa (1,100 kW). The community is invited to join in the ribbon cutting on this day of celebration, April 22nd at 4 pm at the solar field site on Pole Line Road, one-half mile from campus, for a short ceremony followed by refreshments and conversation. As parking is limited, shuttles will be available from the Union and the Decorah Community Pool parking lot at 3:25 and 3:40 pm. This solar energy project is part of Luther's aggressive goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, with an interim goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2015. With the dedication of these new solar arrays, we celebrate achieving the interim goal through a mix of energy efficiency measures (30 percent) and renewable energy (20 percent). Learn more about the newest solar addition.
Up Up! Film Festival comes to Decorah, Luther College
A 10 day long film festival extravaganza is coming to Decorah from April 13th - April 23rd! Up Up! Film Festival is a collection of independently produced films and shorts, each exploring questions of farmland access, rural livelihoods, and the sustainability of people and place. Several showings will take place on the Luther campus, as well as throughout the community. All events are free and open to the public. The festival is made possible through sponsorship from many organizations including Seed Savers Exchange, Winneshiek Energy District, Luther College and more! Learn more about the festival and film lineup on the website.
Winnesheik County offers safe disposal of medications
The Winneshiek County ERASE Substance Abuse Coalition in partnership with the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office and Helping Services of Northeast Iowa  is offering a free medication drop off for the community. Unneeded medications can be dropped off in designated areas in the Walmart parking lot and Thrifty White Pharmacy on Saturday, April 30th from 10 am until 2 pm. This program provides community members with a safe way to properly dispose of unneeded medications, keeping them out of the waste stream and water sources as well as helping to prevent substance abuse. Accepted items include prescription and over-the-counter medications, needles, thermometers, medication samples, and hydrogen peroxide.
Luther College recognized as Green Gigawatt partner
Luther College has been recognized as a partner in the Green Gigawatt program. This initiative recognizes institutions of higher education that have committed to alternative energies by signing long term third party power purchase agreements, which often make it more cost-effective to utilize these technologies. Luther has been recognized for our wind turbine and solar arrays. The Green Gigawatt partnership was initiated by AASHE and has been made possible by the work of many other founding organizations. More information about the Green Gigawatt partnership can be found at their website.
ECO promotes reusable cup use
In an effort to reduce the amount of waste generated from single-use cups on campus, Luther's Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO) took 'mugshots' of students who committed to bringing a reusable mug to get coffee and other drinks at the Nordic Brew on campus. Over 80 students participated in the campaign! To further incentivize reusable mug use, ECO raffled off handmade coffee mugs and coupons for free coffee at Nordic Brew to students who committed to reducing their waste. To see all the photos, visit Luther ECO's Facebook page.
Sustainability Tip

One important way to reduce waste is to avoid creating trash wherever possible in the first place: when ordering food avoid receiving any unnecessary plastic utensils, straws, etc. (ask in advance), buy ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, don't accept "free" promotional products, and buy products with the least amount of packaging. Every little bit of waste avoided does make a difference!

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, April 13th
Shopping Shuttle
7:30 pm Student Organizational Suite
Monday, April 18th
Lunch and Learn: An Act of Resistance
12:15 pm - 1:00 pm, Valders 379 
Join us for a film showing and conversation over lunch as part of the Up Up! Film Festival. An Act of Resistance tells of the deep history of chocolate in Mexican agriculture. 
Friday, April 22nd
Solar Dedication
4:00pm, West Solar Array, Pole Line Road
Staff Spotlight
Alison Schulte 
Environmental Education and Outreach Fellow

Alison Schulte is the Outdoor Environmental Education and Outreach Fellow. A recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with an undergrad degree in Environmental Ecology Biology, Alison will be working closely with Luther students, staff, faculty, and the Decorah community to carry out environmentally focused teaching programs.  She will help plan and manage the Environmental Studies Pre-college program, reach out to area high schools for interested students in Environmental Studies, and plan and supervise Discovery Camps. Alison is especially excited to use her leadership skills and outdoor experience in her work with the First-Year Immersion trips to make them a great experience for new students and upper-class students alike.
Green Iowa AmeriCorps hiring for 2016-17 
Green Iowa AmeriCorps is hiring students of all majors and backgrounds for positions serving throughout Iowa. Service members help Iowa communities save energy, provide energy conservation education, and engage the community in worthwhile outreach activities. Read more
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Luther College Sustainability | 700 College Drive | Decorah | IA | 52101