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


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.


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!

Think before you buy

04/02/2014 § 1 Comment

Heather Oslund Hoosier to Hoosier Sale Coordinator

We all buy things and we usually have some sort of choice in the things that we buy. The Hoosier to Hoosier Sale (August 23rd & 24th this year) is a great way to choose to buy used. And there are many local places to get used clothes and housewares (Goodwill, Flea Markets, etc.) or furniture (Habitat for Humanity ReStore, IU Surplus, Flea Markets) all year round. And these are all great options, but there are even more opportunities to reduce your footprint in terms of material resource use.

Mindful Buying

Other ways to reduce your material resource use

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03/31/2014 § 3 Comments

By Audrey Brinkers, Campus Garden Initiative Coordination

The advancement of mankind was rooted in connections.  Connections between villages allowed for trade; connections between people allowed for relationship; connections with the land allowed for agriculture.  Connections across the globe via planes, trains, and automobiles allowed for industrialization, and connections among great minds allowed for alarming technologies in every field imaginable.


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How We Measure Up? 2014 EPI Results

03/26/2014 § Leave a comment

by Andrew Carty, Greek Life Sustainability Intern

Yale University has released its 2014 data for its Environmental Performance Index (EPI) which ranks the world’s countries as environmental stewards.

The dual objectives of the index revolve around protecting environmental health and ecosystem vitality and are subdivided into nine issue areas. These issues categories are then subdivided again by twenty indicators.


So, who are the top ten countries according to the 2014 EPI?

1. Switzerland- EPI Score: 87.67 Percent Change Over Ten Years: +.8%
2. Luxembourg
3. Australia
4. Singapore
5. Czech Republic
6. Germany
7. Spain
8. Austria
9. Sweden
10. Norway- EPI Score: 78.04 Percent Change Over Ten Years: +2.79%

How does the United States measure up to the world as of 2014?

33. United States- EPI Score: 76.52 Percent Change Over Ten Years: +2.23%

Who are the world’s worst as of 2014?

169. Bangladesh- EPI Score: 25.61 Percent Change Over Ten Years: +3.98%
170. Dem. Rep. Congo
171. Sudab
172. Liberia
173. Sierra Leon
174. Afghanistan
175. Lesotho
176. Haiti
177. Mali
178. Somalia- EPI Score: 15.47 Percent Change Over Ten Years: +6.62%

What are the major findings/global trends according to the history of EPI?

Global improvements have been seen overtime in sanitation, drinking water, and child mortality. Global declines have been seen in air quality, wastewater, and fisheries.

The majority of indicators show vast improvement, but air quality and fisheries declines are still extremely worrisome.


For more information on the 2014 EPI as well as older EPI reports, visit


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