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Catalyst Newsletter

Welcome to our new Catalyst format. Previously sent out via our listserv as an e-newsletter, Catalyst will now be published on our website each month. When a new issue is published, those on our mailing list will receive a reminder email. Sign up to receive Catalyst reminders.

Catalyst 36 - May 2013

Sustainability News

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Read news articles published over the past month.

Sustainability an 'operational and academic imperative' at IU Bloomington

Tree Planting IUBMay, 21 2013 -- National awards and progress in meeting internal metrics highlight the remarkable success Indiana University Bloomington has achieved in creating a more sustainable campus.

Five years after a campus report called for IU Bloomington to become a national leader in environmental sustainability, the effort is well on track. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff are engaged in more than 20 initiatives involving energy conservation, waste reduction, environmental studies and other aspects of sustainability practice and education.

"We are seeing tremendous results from establishing sustainability as an operational and academic imperative through the Office of Sustainability," said Provost Lauren Robel.

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New interns keep IU Bloomington sustainability program rolling

May 20, 2013 -- It’s hard to believe, but more than 200 IU Bloomington students have servedas campus sustainability interns in the past six years, putting their mark on programs ranging from recycling and waste management to campus gardens and sustainable food to energy-conservation competitions.

Summer interns IUOS

The latest crop got started last week. Sixteen participants in the 2013 Summer Internship Program in Sustainability are taking part in two-hour workshops every Monday while they pursue individual projects under the guidance of faculty and staff experts. They’re reading “A Conservationist Manifesto,” by Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English Scott Russell Sanders, and using it as a framework for discussing sustainability and behavior change.

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IU Bloomington among leaders in Campus Conservation Nationals 2013

Campus Conservation Nationals IUBMay 10, 2013 -- Indiana University Bloomington ranked among the top five schools in thecountry for water conservation in Campus Conservation Nationals 2013, a nationwide electricity and water reduction competition among colleges and universities.

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Electronic waste recycling a success at IU Bloomington, IU South Bend

April 30, 2013 -- It's time to drag those old electronic devices out of the closet.ewaste IUB Electronic Waste Collection Days will take place May 10 and 11 at Indiana University Bloomington and IU South Bend.

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*The District in Monroe County is offering free, year-round e-waste recycling*

Collection of used items under way for Hoosier to Hoosier sale

Hoosier to HoosierApril 26, 2013 -- With student move-out just around the corner, the IU Office of Sustainability is encouraging Indiana University Bloomington students to donate items to the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale.

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Director Feature

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A Visit to the World’s Greenest Office Building

By Bill Brown, Director of IU Office of Sustainability

The International Living Futures unConference in Seattle last week allowed attendees to learn more about the leading edge of sustainable design that aspires to design “living buildings” that make more energy and water than they use, while also achieving 18 other seemingly impossible “imperatives.” The Living Building Challenge has attracted over 140 registered projects around the world and four have already met the challenge.


BullittOne of the contenders is the greenest office building in the world, The Bullitt Center, a 52,000-square-foot, six-story office building in Seattle that I had the fortune of visiting after attending the conference. Denis Hayes, president of the Bullitt Foundation, was the director of the first Earth Day in 1970.

The most distinctive element of the Bullitt Center is its dramatically cantilevered perforated canopy of solar panels that mimics the tree canopy of the nearby pocket park. It is no small trick to power a six-story office building with solar photovoltaic panels in cloudy Seattle and the size of the canopy makes that clear. One would assume that getting enough precipitation to achieve all the water requirements for the building would not be difficult in Seattle, but Bloomington receives more annual rainfall than Seattle, so the canopy also helps collect rainwater.

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Catalysts for Change

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Hoosier to Hoosier Interns

By Jessica Plassman, Project Coordinator

In just four years the Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) Community Sale has become a staple of Bloomington. With three sale days under its belt, H2H has raised over $57,000 for non-profits and has diverted 82 tons of household goods from the landfill. The success of these sale days has resulted from a tremendous leadership effort of IU Office of Sustainability interns and their mentors, Jacqui Bauer and Steve Akers. 

H2H

Since its inception, five interns have been responsible for ensuring continued success of item collection and sale day revenues. In reading their final reports (documents available to the public on our website), it is clear, coordination for a sale that lasts only a day involves an entire year’s worth of planning.

For this month’s spotlight, we are featuring the five interns who have worked tirelessly to make H2H the success it is today. We look forward to what’s to come at this year’s sale on August 24th!

Click on the names below:

  • John Patishnock
    • Degree: MA Journalism
    • What are you up to now? I'm a sportswriter for a daily newspaper in Jasper, Indiana (about 70 miles southwest of Bloomington)
    • As an H2H intern, what did you do to cultivate a culture of reuse?  The first thing I did was reach out to the many people at IU who are already instilling a sense of sustainability within the campus (Bill Brown, Emilie Rex, Steve Akers, Jacqui Bauer, just to name a few). I connected with non-profit groups and other organizations within the area so that the message of sustainability wasn't just coming from an unknown person but from leaders within organizations that already have a place in Bloomington. I also helped engage the student body with H2H, which was enormously helpful. IU students possess a tremendous amount of positive energy and bottling that for H2H, a philanthropic endeavor that benefits everyone within the Bloomington community, helped get it off the ground and become a success. I also connected with IU Athletics and other groups to learn what was already being done so that the goals of H2H could align with practices in place but so H2H could also systematically and progressively build on what was already being done at IU.
    • What is your favorite reuse tip?  I've used the same water bottles for the last few years because I always refill them with tap water (which I feel is totally underrated).
  • Alexi Lamm
    • Degree: MPA, Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management
    • What are you up to now? I'm the Sustainability Coordinator at Utah State University (I worked on another reuse sale just this afternoon!)
    • As an H2H intern, what did you do to cultivate a culture of reuse? The H2H team is great at making reuse easy and fun, and that's the best way to involve people.
    • What is your favorite reuse tip? Clean it before you bring it.
  • Erica Bramlet
    • Degree: BSPA, Environmental Management. Pursuing MPA, Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy & Natural Resource Management
    • What are you up to now? During the school year I am a graduate assistant for the Environmental Science Ph.D. program. This summer I will be interning with Gibbs Planning Group in the Detroit, MI area doing research on urban and retail planning, as well as an independent research project.
    • As an H2H intern, what did you do to cultivate a culture of reuse? I think just encouraging friends and people I ran into over the course of my internship to be a minimalist of sorts (and to be proud of it). Once you see 'stuff' as just 'stuff' then you can really make better decisions from the beginning--when making consumption choices.
    • What is your favorite reuse tip? Think about what will happen to what you're buying (packaging and all) before you buy it.
  • Skyler Roeshot
    • Degree: MPA/MSES, concentration in energy
    • What are you up to now? I just moved to DC and start a job in June at Resources for the Future as a research assistant.
    • As an H2H intern, what did you do to cultivate a culture of reuse? I enjoyed finding all sorts of reuse ideas and posting them on twitter and Facebook. 
    • What is your favorite reuse tip? efore throwing anything away, look on Pinterest, I bet there is something fun and useful you can do with it! 
  • Sarah Hanauer
    • Degree: Biology BS, Animal Behavior Certificate, Management Minor
    • What are you up to now? H2H Intern! Also a research assistant in Biology department, Student Manager at the IU Auditorium
    • As an H2H intern, what did you do to cultivate a culture of reuse? As an H2H intern, I hope to come up with ways to really encourage reuse of items, perhaps through crafting workshops or by drawing up some easy ways to do wardrobe trades or that type of thing. I want to show people that there are a ton of options for making sure that their reusable items do not end up in the landfill and make “no waste” simple and easy.
    • What is your favorite reuse tip?   I keep all my clothes until they have holes in them, or donate to Goodwill. I turn old jeans into shorts, t-shirts into tank tops, or turn old shirts inside out to decorate for special occasions or parties. The extra material can be used for crafts or as cleaning rags, or to make a rug, quilt, or animal bed!



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Volunteer for Hoosier to Hoosier 

Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) is a volunteer-powered reuse program that aims 1) to divert reusable items from the landfill during student move-out, 2) to prevent additional resource consumption by selling collected items to students and community members in order 3) to raise funds for local charities and other organizations.

We could not pull this event off without the help of our wonderful volunteers! Click here for dates and sign up!

For more opportunites, visit This Week in Sustainability