Sustainability, Local Government and Volunteers

06/30/2014 § 1 Comment

Emily Hughes, Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale

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In class we have been discussing the e-book, Community Based Social Marketing which describes how to build effective programs that lead people to adopt sustainable behaviors. After identifying the behavior that needs to be adopted and crafting a relevant message to a specifically defined target audience, the most interesting and challenging part of the social marketing strategy is harnessing social norms to instigate behavior change.  According to the book, people are unlikely to change how they behave based on information they have, but they will change their behavior if they feel social pressure to act in a certain way. Our classroom discussions prompted me to think more deeply about how it might be possible to implement effective behavior changing strategies on larger scales.

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The Real Food Movement Continues to Grow

06/24/2014 § 3 Comments

Angela Babb, Food Planning and Implementation

Last month, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, which directly affects over 400,000 students across 23 campuses as well as faculty, staff and the surrounding communities.

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The Real Food Campus Commitment, developed by the Real Food Challenge, states an institutional plan to purchase 20% sustainable food by 2020. For the CSU system, this is approximately $25 million that will be transferred annually to more sustainable farming and fair business operations. Twenty-five colleges and universities across the U.S. have already signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, but the size and impact of this pledge at CSU is unprecedented and provides important succor to real food advocates across the nation.

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The Growth of Corporate Sustainability

06/16/2014 § 3 Comments

By Brad Lufkin, Education and Research

More often than not, in order to convince businesses to adopt sustainable practices, it has to be shown that the practices make financial sense; unless these efforts help the company’s bottom line, no action will be taken. With rising consumer pressure and increasingly available technology and processes, however, the adoption of sustainability as a key business tenet is inevitable.

One of five Walmart facilities equipped with solar panels in Puerto Rico. One of Walmart’s broad sustainability goals is to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

One of five Walmart facilities equipped with solar panels in Puerto Rico. One of Walmart’s broad sustainability goals is to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

The “business case for sustainability” is tired at this point, and it’s now generally accepted that participating in sustainability initiatives will lead to improvements to a company’s bottom line. So what is the delay in the adoption of sustainable practices across the board? One of the major hurdles seems to be the bureaucratic organization companies — sustainability wasn’t a primary concern when many business structures were initially developed, so there is a delay in operations and results. Behavioral economists also blame status quo bias and groupthink for some of the stagnancy seen in the adoption of corporate sustainability [1].

Despite this latency, however, there are burgeoning trends in corporate sustainability that provide direction for the future.

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Summer Reading

06/11/2014 § 1 Comment

 BY Dana Schroeder (Peer Educator Program), Emily Hughes (Hoosier to Hoosier Sale Coordinator), and Meghan Ploch (Rain Garden Development)

In the midst of a busy semester filled with reports, presentations and research, it’s difficult to find time to read for fun. Now that summer is here, we can afford time for personal reading. Although letting your mind escape into an enchanting, far away world is tempting, we encourage you to read not just for pleasure but to expand your mind on new subject matter. Check out these books:

A River and Its City : The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans – By Ari Kelman

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The promise of lucrative profits from river trade made the banks of the Mississippi River at the Gulf of Mexico an appealing place to establish a port city, but the marshy low-lying lands proved difficult to settle.

Ari Kelman follows the residents of New Orleans through history as they build levees, drain wetlands and cut navigation channels in an effort to make their surroundings more hospitable and profitable. Kelman’s reflections on how environmental and cultural forces have intertwined to shape New Orleans provide a fascinating way to think about how cities are embedded in environmental systems and processes. By tracing the progression of commercial and developmental endeavors that have left the city more instead of less vulnerable to destructive environmental forces – A River and Its City illustrates the urgent necessity to build or rebuild cities that adapt to, rather than fight against the surrounding environments.

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Ecosystems and climate change

06/09/2014 § 1 Comment

By Kelsey Smith, Green Events Coordinator

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Ecosystems produce a rich array of benefits that people depend on and these basic needs for life are at the highest risk of damage due to climate change.  In fact, the resources provided by ecosystems have been so important to our evolution and survival, that we universally recognize aspects of them as beautiful.

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Californian Drought: What does it mean for farmers and for you?

06/05/2014 § 2 Comments

Kit Gambill, Campus Garden Coordinator

Image For the past three years, California has been suffering from a serious drought. In January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the state, also laying the blame for the drought in part to climate change. The drought hasn’t only affected unessential sectors such as recreation, but has severely affected the drinking water of communities as well the access to vital irrigation sources for farmers.

According to the USDA, California ranks number one in the country for total agricultural production. California also produces half of all fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the US. However, many fields currently lay fallow and unproductive due to the present water crisis. According to the Reuters news agency, this could result in the loss of the jobs of nearly 14,500 full-time and seasonal farmworkers. Farmers themselves are suffering due to the loss of production as well as resorting to more expensive methods of irrigation.

Thus far the drought has yet to affect food prices in a drastic way. This is because farmers have been relying on backup water supplies from water aquifers, but these supplies are running low and will not last forever. Additionally, the drought has not affected all of the state in uniform severity. Farmers have still been able to produce enough to export to the rest of the US in a way that has kept prices stable. Despite this, consumers should expect food prices to rise as the drought continues and farmers’ groundwater supplies dwindle.

Free Fishing!

06/02/2014 § 3 Comments

By: Andrew Carty, Sustainability and the Greek Experience

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Free Fishing Weekend JUNE 7-8, 2014

For this weekend, Indiana residents will not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish the state’s public waters.

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What if you don’t know where to fish?

“Go FishIN in the City” program provides fishing opportunities at several city park ponds.

Furthermore, DNR-specified locations will host derbies, knot and casting clinics, and cleaning and cooking classes. Some events require pre-registration, so call ahead.

June 7-8 Free Fishing Weekend Event Locations

Family Learn to Fish Carmel, IN – June 7
Family Learn to Fish Bloomington, IN – June 8
Family Learn to Fish Edinburgh, IN – June 8

Other Opportunities:
Property Location

Brookville Reservoir Brookville
Buffalo Trace Park Palmyra
Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber SRA) Cloverdale
Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon SRA) Rockville
Cedar Lake Cedar Lake
Chain O’ Lake State Park Albion
Eagle Creek Park Indianapolis
Fort Harrison State Park Indianapolis
Hardy Lake Austin/Scottsburg
Hurshtown Reservoir Fort Wayne
J. Edward Roush Lake Huntington
Lake Maxinkuckee Culver
Lincoln State Park Lincoln City
Logansport Isaac Walton League Logansport
Marion Utilities Marion
Mississinewa Lake Peru
Monroe Lake Bloomington
Mounds State Park Anderson
Muscatatuck NWR Seymour
O’Bannon Woods State Park Corydon
River Preserve – Bainter Town Goshen
Patoka Lake Birdseye
Pigeon River FWA Mongo
Pokagon State Park at Trine SRA Fremont
Prairie Creek Reservoir Muncie
Robinson Lake Hobart
Salamonie Lake Andrews
Sam Peden Community Park New Albany
Saxony Park Fishers
Shakamak State Park Jasonville
Starve Hollow State Recreation Area Vallonia
Summit Lake State Park New Castle
Tippecanoe River State Park Winamac
Trine State Recreation Area Fremont
Versailles State Park Versailles
Whitewater Memorial State Park Liberty
Willow Slough FWA Morocco

Fishing is not all about catching fish, but rather the experience of trying to catch fish. Just have some fun and enjoy! If you like it, purchase a fishing permit through DNR and explore the rest of the fisheries of the State. Permit proceeds go toward maintaining the State’s fisheries as well as the public access to those fisheries.

Contact DNR about Free Fishing Weekend at gofishin@dnr.in.gov!

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You are currently viewing the archives for June, 2014 at Indiana University Office of Sustainability.

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