issue 3112.5.12

Sustainability in the News
From the Director: Pre-Winter Break - Power Down Checklist
Profiles in Sustainability: Mark Milby
Events and Opportunities
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Sustainability in the News
Recipients announced for first IU Bloomington Campus Sustainability Awards

The first Indiana University Bloomington Campus Sustainability Awards were announced this week. In an awards ceremony at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's Grand Hall, the 2012 recipients were recognized for outstanding contributions to campus sustainability in the areas of leadership, teaching, research and collaboration.  

They were Paul Sullivan, Excellence in Leadership; Scott Shackelford, Excellence in Teaching; Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group, Excellence in Research; and IU Surplus Stores, Team Excellence.


"We could do this every week and still not recognize all of the sustainability heroes doing great work in all of these areas," said Bill Brown, director of sustainability at IU. "Their positive impacts are evident on campus, in the community and around the world."


Read the full article >> 

Winners of IU Bloomington Fall Energy Challenge announced

This week marked the end of the 2012 IU Fall Energy Challenge, with Recreation Sports, Military Science, Forest Quad, Campus View, Sigma Alpha Mu and Alpha Chi Omega all taking home first-place trophies.  


The Fall 2012 Energy Challenge was a three-week effort that spanned from Oct. 22 to Nov. 12. The competition encouraged reduction of electricity and water consumption and was designed to foster behavioral changes in students, faculty and staff. This year's challenge had a record number of 82 building entries, which prompted event coordinators to split the buildings into six categories: academic houses, large academic buildings, sorority houses, fraternity houses, residence halls and apartment housing complexes.


Read the full article >>
Director named for IU's new Integrated Program in Environment

 A highly respected scientist and academic leader has been chosen to direct Indiana University Bloomington's new Integrated Program in the Environment.


Jeffrey R. White, a teacher and researcher whose interests include the potential for life on Mars, will be the first director of IPE. It is the first phase in a reorganization of environmental sciences at IU Bloomington as outlined in the New Academic Directions report approved by the IU Board of Trustees in April 2011. The Trustees will get an update on the progress of the program from Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel when they meet Dec. 6 at Indiana University Kokomo.


The Integrated Program in the Environment is a joint effort of the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences and School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where White is a member of the faculty.


Environmental council organizes Indy conference
The Hoosier Environmental Council has organized the fifth annual Greening the Statehouse at the Schwitzer Student Center of the University of Indianapolis.

On Saturday, the meeting will include the state's largest gathering of environmental advocates. The gathering will focus on the ways the environment impacts jobs, life and the country's economic growth, according to a press release.

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the HEC, said the council will strive for many goals in 2013. 

Students collect 75 bags of trash for annual campus cleanup
Wrapped in thick sweatshirts and The North Face jackets, junior Julia Lamorelle and a crowd of students huddled around a white tent Sunday in Dunn Meadow. 

It was time for the Civic Leadership Development's annual Campus Cleanup Day, and they were ready. 

Armed with gloves and garbage bags, students departed in groups to five different parts of campus, covering the tailgate fields and various areas surrounding University housing. 

Pre-Winter Break- Power Down Checklist
By Bill Brown


Chances are very good that you will be away from campus during the winter break for at least a few days, or weeks, if not for good - congrats to the December graduates!


As you gear up to get out of town, consider taking a few minutes to make a big difference.


You can give planet Earth and Indiana University a gift while you are gone by reducing consumption of resources you will never miss.  Tis the season for making lists, so I have a checklist for winter break as we vacate our classrooms, offices, homes, and apartments.

  • Unplug anything that is plugged in that will not be in use while you are gone.  Be aware that many appliances draw electricity even when you are not using them.  Unless you want to eat really old stuff when you return, empty out your refrigerator, defrost the freezer, and turn it off, if you are going to be gone for an extended period.  These are major energy hogs.  Great to start the New Year with a fresh, clean fridge and ice that is not from the Ice Age!  
  • Shut the sash.  This applies to window sash and lab fume hood sash.  Make sure your windows are latched to keep out drafts and other Grinches.
  • Turn down the thermostats.  You will not be there to feel the chill.  Consider cranking it down to 65 degrees when you are gone.  If you have access to your water heater thermostat, turn it down, too.  If you are in a house that is subject to winter pipe freeze ups, now is the time to add insulation, automatic heat tapes and other precautions before you go.
  • Mind the flora and fauna.  Please don't leave pets and plants unattended or release them into the local environment.  Make a plan for their care. Do not dump aquaria containing living organisms. Exotics can cause chaos for local ecosystems.  When in doubt, check with the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter: 812-349-3492,
  • Check the flow.  If you have a problematic plumbing fixture, such as a toilet that runs on or a faucet that drips, consider turning it off at the wall valve while you are gone, if you can't get it fixed before you leave. Make sure all faucets are turned off.  Check to make sure that any garden hoses are detached from outdoor hydrants and stowed to prevent frost damage.
  • Take it out.  Take out the trash, composting, and recycling before you leave.  This can get stinky while you are gone and entertain uninvited guests.  If you miss the pick-up cycle, city and county drop-off stations are open daily. Click here for Monroe County and downtown location hours. 
  • Donate.  If you are graduating and leaving town, consider donating your useful items to local agencies such as Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restore, or Hoosier Hills Food Bank, rather than leave them on the curb or in the dumpster.  This will lighten your load and give you a jumpstart for your holiday spirit.

In any case, may your holiday season be safe, merry, and bright and may your wishes come true.  All the best as you say farewell to 2012 and welcome the New Year of 2013! 


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 


Mark Milby is this month's featured sustainer: 


Milby 101


Degree: BS in Ecology from University of Georgia; Currently pursuing an MPA in the department of SPEA at Indiana University.


Time at IU:  One and a half years 
Hobbies: Gardening, canoeing, exploring local parks, playing bluegrass, DIY projects using waste materials

Favorite Spot in Bloomington: Either the Upland Patio with a local brew or a trail at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.  


Tell us a little about yourself

I'm a second-year MPA student at SPEA studying sustainable development and graduating in May. I grew up near Atlanta, studied ecology at the University of Georgia, and was an environmental educator with Georgia 4-H before I moved to Bloomington. For as long as I can remember, I've felt an affinity for natural spaces and a call to be a steward of the ecosystems we affect. I've enjoyed my studies at SPEA, but I'm ready to put my training to full-time use.

What does sustainability mean to you?  

Sustainability is a design and behavior challenge that confronts near-sighted economics. Waste, for example, is simply a consequence of bad design, which we only allow because we don't bear the costs (but of course, someone always does). Sustainability often requires substantial shifts in behavior, too, but this is made easier when we frame these shifts as consensus-based or as upgrades in quality of life.

What role do you play in supporting sustainability initiatives at IU?  

As the No Waste Program Coordinator, my goals are to support exiting reuse and recycling initiatives, to facilitate the Resource Use and Recycling Working Group, to create a reliable waste measurement and data collection system, to create new and innovative waste reduction programs aimed at changing behavior, and to identify opportunities for IU to move closer to their goal of 40% waste reduction by 2020.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for sustainability at IU?  

Institutions of higher learning must recognize the responsibility they hold as teachers, leaders, and innovators in our societies. I believe we, as society members, must call upon them to make decisions based on more than just a bottom line. For any university sustainability program, there is no greater challenge than ensuring a holistic institutional commitment to sustainability in all aspects of campus operations.


How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?  

As I go about my day, I try to consider whether each action is optimal from a triple bottom line point of view (how well it meets economic, environmental, and social goals). For example, am I engaging in certain actions just because everyone else around me is? Am I buying the products that I buy simply because they're cheap and convenient, rather than actually thinking about how they were made? By making choices based on convenience, am I contributing to problems in other parts of the world? 

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

Events This Week:


Walkable Community Proposals
Thursday, December 6 
When: 8:00 - 9:30 am 
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 401 North Morton Street Description: 
Four teams of graduate students in an IU SPEA Sustainable Communities class taught by Bill Brown, IU Director of Sustainability, analyzed Bloomington's walkability using the Walk Friendly Community Assessment Tool.  From their findings, they will be presenting proposals on Engineering and Enforcement today.  Presentations are open to the public.  

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities:

Friday, December 7
Campus Garden Workday 
When: 9:00 - 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. For more information, visit the IU Garden Blog.  


Saturday, December 8
Latimer Woods Restoration
When: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm  
Where: Latimer Woods
Description: Come out and volunteer with the Dunn's Woods Restoration Project! We are an interdisciplinary team of students, faculty, staff, and community members dedicated to understanding and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of Latimer Woods (a ~10 acre woodland near College Mall). We are in need of volunteers to help remove the invasive Purple Wintercreeper species and plant native wildflowers! It is not difficult work and all tools and gloves are provided! Please follow this link to learn more about the project and future volunteer dates, times, and locations click here. Contact or for more information.


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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