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.
03/31/2014 § 2 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.
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%
5. Czech Republic
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
173. Sierra Leon
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 http://www.epi.yale.edu/epi.
03/25/2014 § 3 Comments
The United Nations declares 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, an initiative that aims to promote family and community owned farms in order to address human and environmental issues such as food insecurity and natural resource management.
03/13/2014 § 2 Comments
By: Nadia Lovko, Sustainability Metrics & Reporting Intern
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been coming under fire lately with their use in crops. 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn produced in the U.S. are GMOs. Crops have been at the center of the GMO debate, but much more is being done with gene modification than just producing pest resistant corn. Scientists have begun trying to use gene modification to bring species back from the edge of extinction. But how is this done?
03/11/2014 § 4 Comments
By Rachel Joseph, First Year Experience Intern
I understand the rationale behind the new parking meters. I really do. Not only do they raise more money for our city, but they also discourage people from unnecessarily driving to and around downtown when they can walk, bike, skate, ride public transportation, or in some fantastic cases, whip out their old school Razor scooter for a whirl. While my opinion and knowledge of the former monetary incentive is somewhat lacking, I can fathom the importance of the latter motive—encouraging more environmentally friendly transportation. By erecting more meters downtown, and by keeping them open until 10pm, people capable of walking, biking, or bussing to and around downtown are more likely to ditch their cars and take advantage of alternative modes of transportation.
While the new parking meters have the potential to discourage automobile use and decrease Bloomington’s CO2 emissions, I don’t believe most people see it this way. This includes myself a lot of the time. The new meters feel more like a punishment than a present, a hindrance rather than an opportunity. All I’ve heard from folks since the meters’ appearance are complaints, criticisms, and protests. Indeed, what did the city expect?
03/11/2014 § Leave a comment
By: Jessica Stavole, Energy & Built Environment Intern
In December of 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted and the first commitment period took place from 2008 to 2012. Although the United Stated did not sign the Kyoto Protocol, the EIA reported that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012 were the lowest since 1994, at 5,293 million metric tons, achieving a 5.2% reduction in CO2 emissions since 1997, meeting the Kyoto Protocol standard.
As shown in the above graph, the majority of carbon dioxide is emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is considered to be one of the principal greenhouse gases (GHG), absorbing and emitting radiation within the thermal infrared range of light, ultimately contributing the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and climate change.