What’s In Your Trash?

11/28/2011 § Leave a comment

What’s in your trash? It’s a question few of us care to ask ourselves. Understandably so, since trash is icky, and there’s usually a lot of it. So who cares? Why? And how far would they go to find out?

Well, for starters, anyone who cares about money cares about trash. Space in and for landfills is finite. The scarcer the space, the more expensive throwing your stuff in there will be. These prices, often called “tipping fees”, vary regionally based on land Imageavailability. Tipping fees exist not just because land is limited, but more importantly because to developed societies trash is nearly worthless. With the exception of methane capture and park space, our trash is the dead end of a linear production and consumption pathway.

Recycling, on the other hand, can curve that linear pathway into a loop of sorts. Benefits result not just in the form of not having to pay tipping fees, but also by selling the recycled stuff back to the production process. Even in a down economy, manufacturing companies pay big bucks for these raw materials as an alternative to mining for new ones. Arguments about efficiency and down-cycling aside, people make a ton of money from recycling.

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This Week in Sustainability 11.28.11

11/28/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to susevent@indiana.edu.

 

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Upcoming Events:

Monday, November 28
“After 175 years, there’s always something new at the Indiana Geological Survey”.  Colloquium by IGS Director John Steinmetz

Time: 4:00 pm
Location:  Geology Building Room 143
Description:  Director of the Indiana Geological Survey, Dr. John Steinmetz, will discuss the history of the IGS and the new research that is being undertaken at this research institute located on the Bloomington campus.

Saturday, January 21
Livable Cities Series presents Dr. Gilbert Liu

When: 10:00 AM
Where: Monroe County Public Library
Description: Dr. Gilbert Liu, MD, MS will give a talk entitled, “Urban Greenness, Physical Activity, and Child Obesity.” More details to come.

Ongoing Events and Opportunities:

Two more workdays this semester at Hilltop Garden
There will be two more workdays this year and we’d love to have your help at both! On November 30th and December 7th we will be working at the Hilltop Garden from 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Hilltop is located at 2367 E. 10th Street just behind Tulip Tree Apartments off Bloomington Transit’s Route 9. Bike racks and a few parking spots are also available. We’ll assemble in the main building at 4pm both days. Come lend a hand as we winterize our new central campus garden! Contact Campus Garden Coordinator Stephanie Hopkins at iugarden@indiana.edu with questions.

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This Week in Sustainability 11.21.11

11/21/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to susevent@indiana.edu by the Saturday evening before your event occurs. 

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Upcoming Events:

Friday, November 25
Plaid Friday: a local alternative to Black Friday
Description: Americans are about to spend a large portion of their annual shopping budget between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31—the National Retail Federation predicts about $700 per shopper. Numerous studies show that if those dollars are shifted to locally owned, independent businesses, they’ll generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in local communities than if that money had been spent at a national chain.
On November 25, Local First Indiana kicks off Plaid Friday, a sane and fun alternative to Black Friday, an idea that was popularized by chaotic early morning visits to big box businesses on the day after Thanksgiving.  In Bloomington, we have a strong and joyful tradition of heading down to the square on the evening of the day after Thanksgiving to turn on the Canopy of Lights.  We suggest a relaxing start to your Plaid Friday, with a visit to some of your favorite local, independent businesses to take advantage of their sales and to say hello to your neighbors as you find one-of-a-kind treasures that are meaningful to you, your family, and friends. Contact Una Winterman (Director, Local First Indiana) at 812-334-8903 or unawinterman@gmail.com for more information.
The name “Plaid Friday” celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses.  Plaid Friday was conceptualized in Oakland, CA, a city known for strong shop local campaigns, and is being celebrated across the country this year as a part of Shift Your Shopping.

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Green Room Certification Program Update

11/17/2011 § 1 Comment

The Green Room Certification Program (GRCP) is in full swing in the residence halls at IU. During the Energy Challenge IU certified its first “green rooms!” In just a few weeks, there are now nearly 50 rooms certified!

The GRCP was developed by the Office of Sustainability in partnership with Residential Programs and Services (RPS) and Residence Halls Association (RHA). The program allows students to certify their room simply by going to the website, www.indiana.edu/~greenrm, selecting criteria for living sustainably in their residence halls and on campus more generally, and pledging to follow the selected guidelines.

The aim of the GRCP is to 1) provide students living in the residence halls a model for living sustainably in their rooms and beyond, 2) connect students to community and campus organizations, as well as faculty working on sustainability-related projects, 3) provide students a framework for educating their peers about sustainability and to connect with one another.

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This Week in Sustainability 11.14.11

11/14/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to susevent@indiana.edu by the Saturday evening before your event occurs. 

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Upcoming Events:

Monday November 14
A Food Studies Research Colloquium – Economic and Political Spaces of Food Activism: the Slow Food Movement
When: 4:00 PM,
Where: Student Building, Room 159
Description: A Talk by Prof. Valeria Siniscalchi, Centre Norbert Elias, L’ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille. Prof. Siniscalchi is an Italian economic anthropologist who has been studying food activism in France and Italy for a number of years. She has done fieldwork on the agricultural economy, households and local politics, and extensive research on natural parks, landscape and concepts of heritage.

 Tuesday, November 15
The Carbon Cycle: Indiana and the World Breathe Together
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Monroe County Public Library, Meeting Room 1B
Description: In a highly visual presentation, IU professor Faiz Rahman will share an overview of what we know and still don’t know about the carbon cycle and its impact on our lives.  He’ll discuss his use of data collected from small planes, a cherry picker, and a tower, as well as NASA satellite data to study changes in Morgan Monroe State Forest and other forested areas in the country, as well as the disappearing mangrove swamps of southeast Asia. You can register here: http://www.monroe.lib.in.us/general_info/events.html.  Drop-ins are also welcome.

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Embracing the Winter

11/13/2011 § Leave a comment

Three days ago, Indiana University saw its first snowflakes of the season.  They may not have accumulated or given us a snow day, but for many people they were definitely a reality check.  No longer can we pretend that we might live in San Diego and Welcome Week weather is our norm.  Nope – we live in the heart of the Midwest and Bloomington is known for competing with the best of them when it comes to winter weather conditions.

So what happens to our bikes?  As the Bicycle Friendly Initiatives intern, I’ve found that most people subscribe to the notion that once scarf season comes around, the bike goes home to the parents.  This practice, however, is completely unneeded and takes away a vital option of transportation for students, faculty, and staff.  Biking in winter is completely possible once it’s learned to do properly and safely.  The Bike Winter organization in Chicago has provided a full website of tips and how-tos related to winter biking.  And if they can do it in Chicago, we can definitely do it here in Bloomington.

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This Week in Sustainability 11.7.11

11/07/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to susevent@indiana.edu by the Saturday evening before your event occurs. 

IUOS Website | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Read our Blog 

Upcoming Events: 

Tuesday, November 8
Brown Bag Seminar: Wind-wave interaction
When: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Where: Gill Center Conf. Rm, Multidisciplinary Science Building II
Description: Lecture by Chris Letchford, Professor and Department Head Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RSVP needed to rbarthel@indiana.edu by noon on Friday 4 November if you would like a boxed lunch. You are also welcome to bring your own lunch.
Abstract:  Wind-wave interaction is important for a number of reasons: storm surge is driven by wind shear, while the wind-roughened sea state characterizes the turbulence for offshore structure design.  While a fair amount of research has tackled wind-wave interaction in the deep ocean, the more complicated near-shore environment remains an area of fruitful study.  In this seminar wind-wave interaction will be discussed and results presented from novel wind tunnel studies on the boundary layer development over simulated waves, both stationary and moving, as well as results from a field campaign during Hurricane Ike in 2008. 

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You are currently viewing the archives for November, 2011 at Indiana University Office of Sustainability.

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