Colleges & Universities


Latest News Stories


NEW: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.




NEW: Pacific Lutheran University: The Fred L. Tobiason Outdoor Learning Center - A Habitat Restoration Project

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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.


 


NEW: 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.




NEW: 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.



NEW: 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


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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


LoadingConcordia 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

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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.

Augustana is also promoting through their partnership with Wesley Acres, which converts fryer oil into bio-diesel that is used to heat their green houses to extend the growing season and also to run farm equipment. Augustana also composts all pre and post consumer food waste. For more information click here.





Augsburg, Gettysburg, and Luther College Strive to Reduce

Food Waste While Helping the Community

Augsburg 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 lrccu@luther.edu . 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!
Best wishes,
Jim Martin-Schramm

Read a sermon by James Martin-Schramm:


Kristina Johnson, Colleges and Universities Page Student Editor

I am currently a student at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. As I have grown in both my faith and my passion for the environment, I have continually found ways in which the two intertwine. I find that there are many ways in which God is calling us to be stewards for the beautiful earth which he has created. I believe that creation care is not just something that we as Christians should do, it is something that we are called to do. This is why I am currently pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and Religion. I want to find a way to promote the development of sustainable practices, influenced and founded by faith. Read More








Events: Happening Now


NEW: Interfaith Power and Light Hosts Faith Climate Action Week

When? 
April 15 -24

Where?
Nationwide!

What?
Faith Climate Action Week will encompass nine days in April surrounding Earth Day. Celebrations, sermons, service projects, events, and nature walks will be held, all week, around the signing of the landmark Paris Climate Accord . The theme is "Paris And Beyond" and will focus on how achieving the climate protection goals in the Paris Accord requires action from all of us. To learn more about this event and/or sign up to receive more information, click here.


Helpful Resources


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

Accredited Schools Online has come up with A Guide to Sustainability In College and In Life. This includes an explanation of how colleges are being green, the benefits of sustainable living, fun facts about sustainability, and other sustainability-related resources.
  1. Rent, borrow, or share a bike
  2. Reduce use of packaging and bags
  3. Unplug electronics not in use.
  4. Use reusable coffee mugs and water bottles
  5. Use a laptop instead of desktop computer
  6. Use a LED desk light
  7. Watch your water usage
  8. Recycle and compost


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?
How are ELCA Colleges and Universities engaging students, faculty, staff and their communities?



Campus Pastors at ELCA Colleges and Universities:
 

College Contacts:

Contact people at ELCA colleges who are involved in sustainability.

Additional Information:

Contribute a report about what your college is doing about creation care.
Find additional resources for colleges and universities
Position announcements


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.

  1. Refuse – if you don’t need it don’t take/get it

  2. Reduce – only take what you really need, you can almost always get more

  3. Repair – just because it may be inexpensive to get it new, repair will keep it out of the landfill

  4. Reuse – if you are done with it, maybe someone else can use it

  5. Recycle – if there are no other options, recycle, keep it out of the landfill"


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.


Archive of past suggestions...