Learning & sustainable practices

07/15/2013 § 2 Comments

By: Asmalina Saleh, Peer Educator Intern

How can we best define learning? At its core, learning can be thought of as a change in one’s behavior over time as a result of one’s experiences. From a sociocultural perspective, learning is a two-way interaction between the person and the environment, be it material or the social environment. Most of all, the sociocultural perspective assumes that we learn through our experiences as a social creature. While cognitive structures and development impact how an individual perceives the world, this perception is very much influenced by the people around us and the culture within which we are a part of. How does learning relate to sustainable issues? Everything.

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Adapting the Antidote

07/15/2013 § 1 Comment

By Mary Roper

In addition to holding our positions this summer, each of us IUOS interns is enrolled in a one-credit hour class where we learn about the inner workings of sustainability-driven initiatives that are implemented throughout our campus. While the first part of our class focused on Scott Russell Sanders’ book, A Conservationist Manifesto, in which we explored Sanders’ remedy for our destructive consumer-based culture, the second part has enabled us to adapt his antidote into our respective internships and see how our university is doing the same. Perhaps it is the second part of the class that has resonated most with me.

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A Vicious Cycle

07/15/2013 § 1 Comment

By: Jessica Stavole, Energy and Built Environment Working Group Project Intern

Energy consumption patterns seem to trend in the same general direction; the more we consume in our daily behaviors, the more that is produced, imported or transmitted.  The development of renewable and alternative technologies seems to also follow a similar cycle of simple economics; we tend to place more effort into the public development of such technologies when there is a high demand for them.  As “green” as our attitude may be toward consumption, there is a certain point that when reached, it seems that we cannot do much as individuals besides read into the policy behind the madness and hope for the best.

Lately, here has been quite a push toward alternative fuels for vehicles such as hybrid-electric, diesel, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).  Image « Read the rest of this entry »

A Little Less Conversation

07/14/2013 § 3 Comments

By Nikki Wooten, Compost Initiative Intern


This summer I had the opportunity to join a discussion series called Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics, and Sustainability. We met at the local library every Sunday afternoon for 6 weeks. I like to think of it as a food policy book club. If you ever get the chance to organize a Northwest Earth Institute discussion series, I promise that you will enjoy the time spent.

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Taking Time to Appreciate the Small Things

07/09/2013 § 3 Comments

Over the past few weeks I have had the great opportunity to house sit for a professor out in the country. With no internet or television besides PBS (which I have grown to love) I was forced to slow down and appreciate what was around me. He, himself, has three acres but sites directly adjacent to a lovely couple who has 90+ acres filled with trails, lakes and the simple beauty of nature. They have been generous enough to let me wonder through their land and with the extra time on my hands, that not having internet or cable seems to allow, I have taken full advantage of the experience. I have gone on daily hikes to the lake and taken the time to be silent and appreciate nature and the simple things in life, something I had let slip by in the wake of work and stress.Image

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Certified Green

07/09/2013 § 1 Comment

By Rachel Joseph, First Year Experience Intern


One simple change can make a huge difference.

For example, if every US household simply replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), power plants would decrease their greenhouse gas emissions by 90 billion pounds. That’s a lot of gas.

The simple act of replacing a light bulb with a CFL is one of 48 criteria included in IU’s Green Room Certification Program (GRCP). Complete 20 of these sustainable criteria, and your room is officially Green Certified!

All students living in an IU residence hall can participate in the GRCP and become a part of IU’s thriving culture of sustainability.


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Sports go Green

07/08/2013 § 2 Comments

By: Amanda Redfern, Greening of the Athletics Department Intern

Two weeks ago I was given the opportunity to attend the Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Universities from all across the nation came to attend the summit, including UCLA, The Ohio State University, North Carolina State University, and Florida State University. The main theme of the Summit was to implement sustainable practices into the Athletic Department through Green Building Initiatives and Game Day Programs.


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Getting Along With Nature

07/08/2013 § 3 Comments

By: Stone Irr, Green Event and Local Food Sourcing at the IMU

Sun, sweat, and trees. These three words have described just a few of my weekend activities while staying here in Bloomington this summer. I recently started making an effort to go hiking with some friends of mine this summer and have immensely enjoyed the experience. I’ve had the opportunity to climb off-the-trail hillsides at McCormick’s Creek State Park, swim in Lake Monroe outside of Brown County State Park, explore Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve by boardwalk and “almost” get lost hiking at Yellowwood State Forest.


Beanblossom Bottoms–Part of the Sycamore Land Trust

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Redefining Building and Landscape Beauty

07/03/2013 § 3 Comments

By:  Kayleen Glaser, LEED Tools, Processes, and University Standards Intern

On Monday of this week, your lovely interns took a trip to Louisville, KY to visit the University of Louisville’s Office of Sustainability.  As the resident LEED intern for the Office of Sustainability, I enjoyed walking around campus, listening to tales of LEED building certification and green building construction.  Our guides told us humorous stories about unidentified solar panels and building mishaps.  I learned that currently U of L is home to six LEED buildings: 3 Gold certified and 3 Silver certified.  While this part of the trip to Louisville was fun and informative, my favorite part of the trip was our stop at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.

Courtesy of ediblecommunities.com

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How We Can Apply Lessons from Middle School to Attitudes in Sustainability

07/01/2013 § 5 Comments

By Audrey Brinkers, Campus Garden and Edible Campus Coordination

It is easy, I have found, to compare yourself to others–this mindset tormented most eleven- to fourteen-year-old children, and it troubles, I dare say it, most adults today.  And further, these comparisons can certainly be applied to our efforts in sustainability.

So when we (your beloved interns) set forth on our journey down to the University of Louisville today to check out the sustainability initiatives happenings on their campus, comparisons were taking place in the minds of everyone–admit it.  But these comparisons were not necessarily negative; it wasn’t a clear “we’re better” or “we’re worse.”  Instead, it was simply a “how can we do this like (or unlike) them?”

As we listened to our lovely guides Russ and Claude show us the way, pointing us to recycling and renewable waste and LEED buildings and cleaner watersheds, we saw how these differed from our own campus, and we were able to both take and offer inspiration.  In the campus garden, for example, I was amazed at their volunteer dedication and applied permaculture principles.  While we can boast larger square footage and more pounds of produce, they had turned their tiny garden into a place for people to get their hands dirty and enjoy good food, but they also allowed for experimentation and participation by engineers and growers alike.

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You are currently viewing the archives for July, 2013 at Indiana University Office of Sustainability.


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