This Week in Sustainability 1.10.12

This Week imgIf 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 by the Saturday evening before your event occurs.

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Upcoming Events:

Monday, January 16

Volunteer with the Energy SWAT Team on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
When: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Where: Meet at Showers Atrium, Bloomington City Hall
Description: Learn how to weatherize your home by volunteering to help others! IUOS is partnering with several campus and community organizations to expand last year’s dispatching of “Energy SWAT Teams” to install simple energy efficiency improvements in homes across the Bloomington community this MLK Jr. Day. Here’s the schedule:

  • 8:30-9:15 AM: Meet in the Showers Building Atrium for a weatherization training session to learn basic weatherization techniques.
  • 9:15 AM-1:00 PM: Volunteer teams head out to perform basic energy improvements on area homes and provide residents information about how to make larger-scale improvements that will result in energy savings.
  • 1:00-2:00 PM: Teams head back to pick up their free Bloomingfoods lunch and reflect on their service experience.

No previous weatherization experience is necessary to volunteer! Visit for more details and registration link.
In addition to reducing energy consumption and costs, this effort aims to embody Dr. King’s teaching that “everyone can serve” by articulating the importance of individual action in solving problems that are often perceived as intractable-namely climate change, energy independence, and community resilience.

Volunteers for Change MLK Day Food Drive
When: 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Where: Rachel’s Café (Third & Lincoln)
Description: Volunteers will work in groups of 2-4 to canvass a neighborhood for donations of food or money for Hoosier Hills Food Bank.  Volunteers will be given a map of a neighborhood, bags for collecting, and simple instructions on how to approach people that include a folder with a Hoosier Hills Food Bank logo on it to help identify them. When each group is finished, they will return to Rachael’s to drop off their collections in HHFB barrels and boxes. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Mary Runnells ( as soon as possible so that organizers can plan for the event.

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.

“Changing the Way We Eat” – A Live Telecast Viewing Party of TEDx Manhattan
When: 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Where: Student Building Room 150
Description: Presented by the IU Food Studies, this event is free and open to the public. Click here to download event flier with list of presenters. Additional information is available at For questions regarding the screening, please contact Sara Minard at

 Wednesday, January 25
Green Drinks presents
Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese

When: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Where: Banquet Facility of the Upland Brewing Company,
350 West 11th Street
Description: At 6 p.m., Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese, founder and owner of Twisted Limb Paperworks, will do a presentation entitled “Eco Beer Paper for Green Drinks Fans: How Twisted Limb Paperworks Is Recycling Upland Barley Into a Fun New Product.” Beer Cards will be available for sale with 25% of each sale being donated to Green Drinks Bloomington.
Green Drinks Bloomington is a lively, informal social networking event for people from all walks of life who are interested in making a greener world.  Folks gather every month to share libations and ideas, discuss, debate, explore and make new friends and business connections. It is held the 4th Wednesday of every month from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Banquet Facility of the Upland Brewing Company. There’s a $5 suggested donation, some food will be provided. To receive a monthly reminder, write  To learn more about Green Drinks visit

News, ongoing events, and opportunities:

Need to add another course this semester?

Check out the spring 2012 sustainability course list, available here!

The Student Sustainability Council (SSC) is accepting nominations for the first annual Michael Hamburger Award for Sustainable Action

The SSC will present this award to a member of the Indiana University family who has generated awareness of, interest in, and novel approaches to matters of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.  Nominations are open to faculty, staff, and IUB students.  Nominations are due January 29th. Anonymous submissions are accepted. Please submit nominations at

Downtown Bloomington Recycling Center Now Open for Business

A new recycling center has opened downtown in the parking lot behind the Showers Building on 10th Street. The center is part of a collaboration of the City of Bloomington, Monroe County Solid Waste Management District and Pedal Power owner Chad Roeder to make recycling more sustainable and accessible to downtown residents.

The recycling center is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Materials accepted at the center include:

  • Steel and aluminum cans (no scrap metal)
  • Plastics #1-7
  • Clear and colored glass bottles and jars (no window glass, mirrors, light bulbs, etc)
  • Mixed paper/fibrous products (junk mail, newspaper, office paper, paperboard, etc)
  • Corrugated cardboard

All materials must be free from food contamination, and paper and cardboard products must be dry. The center does not currently accept hazardous materials such as paint, aerosols, poisons or batteries, but these items may be taken to the Monroe County Recycling Center at 3400 S. Walnut Street. Visit their facebook page or website for more information. For further questions about the recycling center downtown call Chad Roeder at 325-2777.

Got aquarium?

Moving out and can’t take your aquarium pets with you? Don’t dump them in the lake or into local waterways! Many aquarium plants and animals are non-native species that can wreak havoc on our local environment. Contact the Bloomington Animal Shelter at (812) 349-3492 or the Monroe County Humane Association at (812) 335-9453.

Sign a petition for local transit funding referenda

Bloomington Transportation Options for People (B-TOP) has passed a resolution supporting a petition from the Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority calling for dedicated funding for transportation. To read and sign the petition, visit Also, if you are involved in an organization that may want to pass a resolution, the coalition is looking for more supporting organizations to sign on.

Park Break program offers expenses-paid program in park management and sustainable living, applications due Jan. 20

The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands has been asked to recruit Indiana University graduate students for the Park Break program, an all-expenses-paid, park-based field seminar that has a focus this year on sustainable living. Even if your institution’s “spring break” isn’t during the program’s time, graduate students that have completed courses and are focused on writing may be interested in this opportunity to network and gain a unique experience.  The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands can assist IU graduate students with application assistance and advice.

The next Park Break session will be held March 19–23, 2012, at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania. The 2012 Park Break project will be the creation of a curriculum on sustainable living, aimed at 8th-grade students, to be used at the Pocono Environmental Education Center.  The Park Break team will draw on the context of several energy projects that are affecting or could affect the park, such as natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation north of the park, or the proposal for a powerline that would cross the park. Park Break is designed for graduate students contemplating a career in park and land-use management or related research and education fields.

Applications for the 2012 Park Break program are being accepted through January 20.  For more information, go to Park Break is a collaborative program of the US Geological Survey, US National Park Service, Pocono Environmental Education Center, and George Wright Society.

IU Global Environmental Brigades seeks students for 2012 Spring Break trip to Panama

Global Environmental Brigades is looking for passionate and motivated students who are interested in getting involved with sustainability and public health projects in Panama during the 2012 Spring Break. Students will be traveling to Central America to volunteer in various projects that directly impact a rural community. Past projects include building latrines, installing brand new water filtration systems, constructing eco-stoves, and educating indigenous communities on a variety of sustainability topics, like proper waste removal, through educational workshops. IUGEB allows students to have a unique opportunity to incorporate their own knowledge, interests, and skills in a productive and meaningful way while empowering community members to become self-sufficient. Join the fastest growing international student-led, non-profit organization in the world and make a visible impact at Indiana University and Panama. For more information, contact chapter President, Jesse Vanhooser, at

Common Circle Education announces cross-country bike trip & permaculture design course

This three-month intensive course combines our Urban Permaculture and Regenerative Leadership Certificate training, followed by a Wilderness First Aid training before we head on the road cycling from Eugene, Oregon all the way across America to Washington DC (we’ll be roughly following the
TransAM bike route – about 4200 miles), promoting and learning about sustainable living and intentional communities. Program takes place between June 1 – August 31, 2012 and is designed for beginner to intermediate cyclists. More details @


“Just Label It” campaign offers student fellowships

The “Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know” campaign advocates for the FDA to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. The organization has Campus Fellowship opportunities available for students who are interested in interning for the campaign as campus representatives. If you are interested, please visit

Habitat for Humanity ReStore Seeks Volunteers

As a volunteer run organization, the ReStore has made great strides this past year, such as sponsoring an energy star rated Habitat home as well as diverting over 228 tons of goods from the landfill. With your help, we can go further. At the heart of the Habitat ReStore’s operating philosophy is a sense for the green and the hope that we can create a more sustainable community in Bloomington. With daily volunteer opportunities available, this is a great way to make a direct impact in your community. Contact Bruce Murray at 331-2660 for more information about how you can help!


Winter Thermostat Settings – a message from the IU Physical Plant

Cold weather is here, so please set down the thermostats to the winter set point of 68 degrees for classrooms, offices, hallways, lounges and general rooms (excluding labs with critical temperature requirements). Set points can be slightly higher for rooms that have window, ventilation or other comfort problems. Vestibules should be set at 60 degrees. The thermostats that control cooling only units should be left at 78 degrees.

Please contact the Operations Dispatchers to have Work Request initiated for each building involved with this work. These Work Requests will be part of Project No. 2012. If these set points cause problems for particular rooms please contact Doug Trueblood ( Thank you for the many ways you continue to help us keep our energy cost down as much as possible.


Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage

Want to grow sustainable community right here in Bloomington? Our “retrofit cohousing” ecovillage offers sustainability-related events, community potlucks, music jams, and much more. Come learn with us (even if you don’t live in the neighborhood) and make new friends. We welcome folks of all ages who are attracted to our vision. Learn more at To get involved, join our email list by sending a blank email to:


Bloomington Community Orchard Workdays and Events

The Orchard has many opportunities for all interest levels. Workdays, team meetings, limestone benchmaking workshop, tabling at community events, tours at the Orchard..the list goes on! Check out our calendar ( for details or email Stacey at for more information.

Monroe County Pharmaceutical Disposal Program

The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office this week announced a new effort to collect and properly dispose of unused, unwanted or expired pharmaceutical drugs and controlled substances in order to reduce the risk of illegal diversion, drug abuse, overdose, and environmental risks resulting from improper disposal.   For more information visit and follow the link to the Monroe County Pharmaceutical Safe Disposal Program, or call 349-DRUG.

Take the Pledge – Go Phosphorus Free!

Clear Choices for Clean Water is a campaign to increase awareness about lawn care and its impact on our streams and lakes. Water quality friendly lawn care includes practices such as using phosphorus-free fertilizer, landscaping with native plants, managing yard and pet wastes, and overall lawn reform. Click here to take the pledge:

Student Conservation Association Internships

The SCA is one of the biggest partners for national parks and forests. Each year, they send thousands of youth across the country to get conservation experience in awesome places. Living expenses, housing, and round trip travel provided. Internships run from 3-12 months and are available in all 50 states. See for more information and to app


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