NEW: Roanoke College Begins to Pursue New Campus Garden Plans
The Roanoke College Garden Club recently relocated the campus garden to a location that is in a more central place on campus. The garden's new location yielded an excellent harvest this past summer, and the club, with 10 members, is well on its way to creating a wonderful space for the College community. The new garden, 70 feet-by-100 feet, has 13 raised beds. Rather than filling up the garden with more planting space, the next project will incorporate a path that circles the garden.After the path is finished, the club intends to install benches, with room to seat at least 20 people, and compost bins. These projects, slated for next winter, would ideally provide a perfect spot for faculty to bring their classes on beautiful days or for the campus community to relax outdoors when warmer weather returns.The club's goal for the new space is simple - create a garden over which the campus feels ownership. For more information on this project, how it came about, and who is involved, click here.
NEW:Wittenberg College Offers a Series of Global Education Events with a Sustainability Focus
Wittenberg College has hosted a series of speakers for students, faculty, staff, and the community of Sprigfield to attend this past year. According to Nancy Flinchbaugh, the series coordinator: "The series is the result of a group of Springfield citizens coming together with the feeling of "we need to do something" just after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks." Themes for this year focus on community-based research and outreach conducted by Wittenberg scientists and students, which support sustainable decision making for the local area.The Global Education series provides exposure to other cultures and world events to increase understanding and hopefully encouraging respect of the current issues. Topics that have been addressed in the 2016 Spring Semester include: "Wittenberg Forges New Ground with Collaborative Sustainability Efforts", "An Indian/Hindu Perspective on Earth Issues: Deforestation, Pollution and Hope", "Climate Change and the Global Community: What's Happening and What Can We Do? A Muslim Perspective", and "Community Efforts to Cultivate the Earth in South Springfield". For more information on this series and the speakers, click here.
NEW:Waste Reduction Efforts for Luther College Move Out Take Shape
In an effort to reduce the waste associated with move-out this semester, Luther Sustainability has partnered with several Decorah-area organizations to decrease waste and give back to the community.Starting the Friday before finals there will be a clearly marked donation room in each residence hall where students can donate unwanted items. Furniture, clothing, laundry detergent, rugs, working electronics, and posters or other reusable room decorations will all be donated to local thrift shops. The Decorah First Lutheran Food Pantry will receive all unopened non-perishable food. Redeemable glass containers will also be collected, with all money to benefit the a local organization that assists people with disabilities called the Spectrum Network. The goal is that the only things going in the dumpsters are items not able to be repurposed or reused. Helpers will staff waste stations near residence halls three times each day from Wednesday to Sunday during finals week to assist with waste diversion and answer questions about what can and cannot be donated. For more information on Luther's waste-reduction initiatives, click here.
NEW: Carthage College Strives to Practice Sustainability by Using Environmentally Friendly Building Materials
Carthage College practices sustainability by choosing to renovate and build with sustainable building materials. Carthage installs bamboo flooring instead of hardwood flooring, and has chosen this environmentally friendly hardwood alternative since 2001. Bamboo is a renewable resource: Bamboo grass takes only five years to grow to maturity. Other floors at Carthage are Forbo Marmoleum. Marmoleum is made with natural ingredients, contains no harmful VOCs or other toxic chemicals, and is installed with solvent-free adhesives or no adhesive at all. It has no adverse health effects during production, installation, use or disposal, and has been certified as a sustainable product. Furniture in residence halls is made from sustainable plantation-grown wood, not primary first-growth timber or non-plantation grown teak. Also, 50 percent of the turf on Art Keller Field is made with recycled material. For more information about Carthage's sustainable building practices, click here.
NEW: Muhlenberg Students Compile a "Guide to Student Sustainability at Muhlenberg"Muhlenberg College students have compiled a Guide to Sustainability at Muhlenberg. This guide book provides extensive details for students, faculty, and staff about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle in the dorm room and classroom, how to practice sustainable housekeeping, how to "be green" off campus, recycling guidelines on campus, where to recycle electronics, different clubs and organizations that promote sustainability, classroom tips for professors, how to make sustainable food choices, how to study in a sustainable way, sustainable transportation, and more. To view this guide, click here.
Thiel College is to Host Their 17th Annual "Earth Week"
Every year, during the week of Earth Day, Thiel College hosts their "Earth Week". Students have the opportunity to participate in environmental service projects across campus and listen to distinguished environmental-care speakers. This year, one of the speakers is Dr. John Roemer, whose work concerns distributive justice, political economy, and the relationship between them. Another speaker is: Dr. Patrick Applegate, who is an Earth scientist with interests in ice sheets and their contributions to sea level rise, methods for estimating the ages of glacial deposits, and the application of statistical methods to problems in the geosciences. The last speaker is Dr. Feng He, whose research focuses on climate sensitivity and the global carbon cycle. Students will also have an opportunity to plant trees around campus and to view a documentary, "Comfort Zone", which features a unique approach to creating dialogue about climate change.
Pacific Lutheran University: The Fred L. Tobiason Outdoor Learning Center - A Habitat Restoration Project
The Habitat Restoration Project is a student-led project that seeks to restore habitat south of the University Center and on the adjacent western slope. The area was at one time dominated by invasive species such as Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and bindweed, but volunteers have already begun to remove these invasive species. The project will re-establish native plants carefully selected and consistent with historical plant communities of the Oak Woodland/Prairie Mosaic vegetation zone.The project also will create an outdoor classroom where the wider community will be invited to explore the relationship between humans and the environment though interpretive signage. The signage will recognize the natural history of the area, including the historic presence of Clover Creek on campus, indigenous populations, water quality issues, and other human impacts on the environment. The volunteerism, stewardship and community connections associated with this project may enable PLU to apply its experience with habitat restoration to a greater portion of its greenbelt hillside and eventually to a portion of the PLU Golf Course. To learn more about this project, click here.
Cal Lutheran hosts a talk to explore food, climate change link
On Thursday, March 31st, California Lutheran University plans to host a talk to explore the link between food and climate change. Award-winning author Willis Jenkins will discuss the ethics of food and the politics of climate change. In his lecture, Jenkins will outline a "moral ecology of food" and how communities address the effects of climate change. Food ethics is an interdisciplinary field that provides ethical analysis and guidance for how food should be produced, distributed, prepared and consumed.
Jenkins writes and teaches about issues at the intersections of theology, climate change, and religious and philosophical ethics. He is the author of two award-winning books. His 2013 book, The Future of Ethics: Sustainability, Social Justice, and Religious Creativity, won an American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence, and his 2008 book, Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology, won a Templeton Award for Theological Promise. For more information on this event and the speaker, click here.
Gettysburg College Offers Nationally Recognized Recycling Program
Gettysburg College has been home to successful recycling programs since the early 1980s. Since then, the College has won national and regional awards for its recycling program. To increase the ease of recycling, Gettysburg College has recently switched to a single-stream recycling program. This system allows for increased convenience, as it is no longer necessary to sort between aluminum, paper, glass, and plastic recycling bins. Additionally, each student residence is equipped with trash cans and recycling bins for increased student accessibility. In addition to this, items not included in single-stream recycling may be recycled in designated locations across campus. Gettysburg has conveniently located areas on campus to recycle batteries, printer cartridges, used cell phones, old computer hardware, and more! To learn more about Gettysburg's recycling initiatives, click here.
Augsburg College Offers Course Titled: The Calculus of Sustainability
Augsburg College has found a way to combine mathematics and sustainability education! In "The Calculus of Sustainability" students spend the first eight weeks of the spring semester studying coffee plantations in Nicaragua. With this knowledge, they create projects ranging from calculating the carbon footprint of coffee production to building a large-scale differential equation model. To read more about this course, click here.
Cal Lutheran Student "Die-In" Will Advocate Climate Action
California Lutheran University students will hold a die-in, which involves people lying down together in public to simulate their deaths, in order to raise awareness about climate-related threats as world leaders meet at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Students in Victor Thasiah's Religion and Power class are planning the die-in as an experiential-learning project to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on the planet, people and pocketbooks, including issues related to biodiversity and ecosystems. They are inviting other students, faculty ,and staff to join them by wearing green shirts and lying down with them. They want to force people to think about the issues by impeding pedestrian traffic through the academic spine of the campus between classes. For more information about this event, click here.
Muhlenberg's Green Team Promotes Smart Recycling Practices
At the beginning of each school year, Muhlenberg Green Team members reach out to all students during move-in to collect cardboard and recycling, and educate the campus regarding recycling on campus. This year, Muhlenberg recycled 1.28 tons of cardboard, a 25% increase from previous years. A Green Team was organized by the campus Environmental Action Team, the Sustainability Coordinator, Kalyna Procyk, and Plant Operations Assistant Director Jim Bolton. To learn more about this event and other campus initiatives at Muhlenberg click here.
Concordia Moorhead Creates Interactive Sustainability Map
Concordia Moorhead has created an interactive map which shows sustainability-related initiatives and features that are found throughout the Concordia Moorhead campus. These include: experiential learning sites, institutional initiatives, landscaping, student initiatives, transportation, and energy. This map allows users to click on the images in the description for a link to more information on Concordia's website. To view this map click here.
Lenior-Rhyne Residence Hall Uses Storm Water Cistern
Recently, Fritz-Conrad residence hall was outfitted with a storm water cistern. The cistern collects rainwater from the roof of Fritz-Conrad and stores it for later use. In the near future, this water will be used to irrigate new plantings near the dorm. Catching rainwater lowers our dependence on city water supplies, especially during times of drought. Cisterns also reduce stormwater runoff, a major source of non-point source water pollution. To learn more about Lenior-Rhyne's sustainability initiatives, click here.
Extended Growing Season at Concordia Moorhead
Concordia has extended their growing season through the installation of a high tunnel, or hoop house, warmed by a solar air system. Last spring, Concordia received a grant to build a high tunnel. Further research showed a solar air system could extend the growing season even longer. Additional funding made it possible. Solar panels capture sun energy that heats air pumped through tile lines underneath the soil. This combination extends the growing season from Valentine's Day to Thanksgiving. To learn more click here.
Numerous Schools Offer Students the Opportunity to Live in a Community Committed to Living More Sustainably
There are currently eight ELCA schools that seek to promote sustainable living in community by designating on-campus houses.
Here is the list of links to active houses and residence hall floors that dedicate themselves to living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle:and residence hall floors as "sustainable". The students living in these houses and dorms make a commitment to improve their daily practices in a way that will reduce their impact on the environment.
Wagner College Offers a Unique City Studies Minor
In this minor, students study how transnational migration, public policy, labor issues, global finance, environmental sustainability, and the arts are handled in major cities. Field trips in New York City and opportunities to travel to other American and foreign cities give students an intimate and hands-on approach to urban issues. To read more about this minor, click here.
Capital University Practices Sustainable Printing
Capital University is practicing sustainability by reducing their amount of paper waste. That's why they started the Going Green Print & Copy Program. Capital took a look at how much students were using printers and copiers and decided to allot a $50.00 - or 500 page - print and copy credit to each student per semester. This limit is projected to reduce excessive printing and save Capital over 120,000 printed pages each semester.
Take a look Capital's printing tips!
Think Before You Print
You can help Capital preserve the environment and save energy with these printing tips.
Learn to review and edit documents online, so you only have to print a final copy.
Use email, CDs, or flash drives to distribute documents when possible.
Print on both sides of the paper.
Reuse before you recycle. Use the back of waste paper as scratch paper.
Recycle waste paper when you're finished.
For more information click here.
Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois practices sustainability in Dining Services
Augustana College: Rock Island, Illinois is promoting sustainability via their sourcing and disposing of food. The college's "Farm2Fork" Program invests in the health of the broader community and strives to build regional and local food systems. The "Farm2Fork" Program utilizes local and regional foods in food service operations throughout the college.click here.
Augsburg, Gettysburg, and Luther College Strive to Reduce
Food Waste While Helping the CommunityAugsburg College and Gettysburg College are participants in The Campus Kitchens Project. As part of this project, volunteers from these two colleges use unused food from the campus as well as local grocery stores and farmers markets to make meals that are given to those in need. The Luther College Cafeteria to Community Program is very similar. This student-initiated program packages left-over food from the cafeteria, which is then distributed to a local food pantry. Some of this food is packaged into reusable containers which the recipients bring back to be refilled.
Jim Martin-Schramm, Colleges and Universities Page Co-Editor
Greetings! My name is Jim Martin-Schramm. I serve the ELCA as a Professor of Religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. I have the honor of serving as the host for the “Colleges and Universities” section of the Lutherans Restoring Creation website. The purpose of this section is to share information about “care for creation” activities and sustainability initiatives that are taking place on our campuses.
Over time this site will offer access to a wide variety of resources and reports that have been developed at our schools. This can only happen with your participation, however. Please send me hotlinks to related campus websites, related worship resources, reports on campus sustainability projects, climate action plans, and other related news and resources for posting on the website. Please also send me suggestions for blog discussions. Electronic document transfer is preferred. Please send electronic media materials to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please send printed materials to Jim Martin-Schramm, Professor of Religion, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA, 52101. You can also reach me by phone at 563-387-2131.
I look forward to the fruits of our collaboration and sharing!
Read a sermon by James Martin-Schramm:
Kristina Johnson, Colleges and Universities Page Student Editor
Events: Happening Now
NEW: Gustavus Adolphus: Linnaeus Symposium:
Shining Light on Minnesota's Changing Landscapes
When?Monday, June 20, 2016
Where?Gustavus Adolphus College:
Saint Peter, Minnesota
What?Celebrate the summer solstice at the Linnaeus Arboretum. Afternoon presentations by regional experts on Minnesota's grasslands, woodlands, and waters. Dinner featuring locally grown food and a keynote address by naturalist Jim Gilbert who will lead a guided solstice stroll through the Arboretum following dinner.
Ticket Information$40/person for non-members
$25/person for current Linnaeus Arboretum members
Attendees joining the Friends of the Linnaeus Arboretum ($50) at time of purchase receive 2 complimentary tickets
To view the schedule of events and/or register click here.
NEW: Teaching Environmental Ethics: Feeding “The Good Wolf”
Dr. Leah D. Schade
In the Spring of 2016 I taught a course entitled Environmental Ethics at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA. Having taught a similar course at a different college the previous semester, I knew that the study of environmental ethics can easily devolve into a spiral of pessimism, given the unprecedented challenges we face regarding the climate crisis and other ecological threats to the well-being of our planet.... [Read More]
NEW: Guide to Green Degrees and Careers:
With environmental issues gaining traction in the social consciousness, green careers are constantly growing in both popularity and availability. In turn, colleges and universities are offering more degrees which lead to green jobs. This guide was created to help prospective students understand what their sustainability education options are and what type of careers these programs lead to. The guide was developed in part by Nurit Katz, Sustainability Coordinator at UCLA, and provides an in-depth look at the typical green career path, top-paying green careers, and more. To visit this site, click here.
NEW: Sustainability in Action: Tips for Going Green:
Texas Lutheran University
To read this article, click here.
NEW:Generating an Eco-Justice Reformation: A Speakers Bureau
A Speakers Bureau has been gathered of informed leaders in the ELCA capable of serving as conference speakers, panel participants, and workshop leaders for events sponsored by congregations, synods, seminaries, ministeriums, colleges, and other agencies of the church. To view, click here.
More News Stories:
Lenoir-Rhyne and Valparaiso Address Environmental Responsibility
Pacific Lutheran University and Texas Lutheran University Work to Better the Environment Through Waste-Related Initiatives
Augustana Sioux Falls and California Lutheran University Alumni Seek to Promote Sustainability in Their Communities
California Lutheran University Projects Stress Water and Cost Reduction
Click here for an archive of past news stories.
What are ELCA Colleges and Universities doing to save energy?
Campus Pastors at ELCA Colleges and Universities:
Contact people at ELCA colleges who are involved in sustainability.
What You Can Do
Sustainability Tip: Carthage College
Want to know ways that you can be environmentally friendly in the office? Carthage College has provided a list of tips for a greener life at home or work.
Some of these include:
1. Cancel junk mail
2. Repair broken items or donate them to someone who can
3. Use glass or ceramic mugs instead of disposable cups for drinks
4.Use both sides of a sheet of paper.
5.Think before you print: Is this document ready to be printed? Does it need to be printed?
Wartburg College Offers A New Twist to the Common 3R's of Sustainable Living
The majority of people have probably heard of the 3R's of Sustainable Living: Reduce, reuse, recycle. Wartburg College has added two extra categories to their list: Refuse and repair.
"You have probably heard of the 3 R’s of waste reduction (reduce, reuse, recycle) but there are actually 5 R’s at Wartburg College. They should be considered in this order too.
Wartburg Sustainability strives to promote these five R's through sustainable practices around campus.
To read more about Wartburg's sustainability efforts, click here.
Arrange a meeting between the administration of the university and the physical plant offices in order to brainstorm ideas for greening administrative buildings on your campus! Click here for more details.
Colleges & Universities