May 12, 2015



Welcome to the second newsletter from the Colleges and Universities page of the Lutherans Restoring Creation website. Our goal is to share information about "care for creation" activities and sustainability initiatives that are taking place at the twenty-six ELCA colleges and universities. 

It is amazing how many different ways ELCA schools are promoting sustainability and creation care on their campuses and in their communities. By sharing information about these initiatives, we hope this newsletter will be a helpful way to share ideas and inspire new projects and practices.  

Please email with any sustainability news you would like to see featured on the website and in this newsletter.  

We look forward to further collaboration with all ELCA colleges and universities. 

Thank you.



Featured Stories

Augsburg, Gettysburg, and Luther College Strive to Reduce Food Waste While Helping the Community

A Gettysburg volunteer gathers donated produce

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.  



California Lutheran University Projects Stress Water and Cost Reduction

California Lutheran University (CLU) has recently developed two projects that focus on water and cost reduction across campus.  With one project CLU is creating new outdoor learning spaces by replacing grass with drought-tolerant native plants. The college's grounds-keepers installed native plants in a teaching garden near a residential area not only to save water, but also to offer choices for homeowners who are ready to remake their yards. 

CLU students are also working to promote water     conservation through a new student-initiated campaign: "Take CHARge". The goal of this campaign is to get Thousand Oaks residents to save water by using biochar.  Biochar is a soil amendment  made from charred and  shredded plant waste that not  only reduces the need for water and fertilizer but also improves plant health. 


Augustana Sioux Falls and California Lutheran University Alumni Seek to Promote Sustainability in Their Communities

Anh Ta and her artwork

Last summer, 2014 Augustana graduate Anh Ta created "Vitality," a piece that appeared in an ad campaign designed by Sioux Falls' Public Works Environmental Division.Ta's artwork was featured on Sioux Area Metro buses for the duration of 2014 in an effort to engage and educate the public about sustainability. 


Jenn Radtke and her daughter

California Lutheran University's 2008 graduate, Jenn Radtke has became a water resource educator, or "Clean Water Evangelist",for the Washington Conservation District in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Radtke has worked to get the word out to residents, businesses and elected officials on addressing issues like water pollution and wastefulness. Radtke presents numerous workshops in the community on the benefits and how-to's of rain gardens. She also is active in her agency's Green Congregations program, which works to further rain barrel use at local churches.

Pacific Lutheran University and Texas Lutheran University Work to Better the Environment Through Waste-Related Initiatives

Pacific Lutheran University has partnered with  Keep America Beautiful, College and University's Recycling Coalition (CURC), and Goodwill Industries to provide the "Give and Go" program. Here, students are able to easily donate unwanted clothes, food, toiletries and furniture. Last year's efforts collected 104 tons of items! 63% of this was either recycled or recovered! 

In the fall, Texas Lutheran University's Sustainability Council hosted a recycling and swap shop event on campus. The recycling event allowed student to bring in their old unwanted batteries, phones, eye glasses, and other hard-to-recycle items for recycling. The swap shop allowed students to bring in any unwanted clothes, non-perishable foods, home decor, and other items to be donated. Students could also take home anything they found appealing at the swap event.  



Staff Spotlight

Maren Beard: Luther College 


Photo Credit: Luther College website

As a Sustainable Foods Educator Maren coordinates a variety of food-related initiatives on campus and in the community. Maren believes that food lies at the intersection of many social, environmental, cultural and economic issues and sees food issues as a great way to bring different groups of people together. At Luther Maren coordinates the CSA Reimbursement Program for Luther employees, food education events, edible landscaping, community gardens, student production gardens and the Cafeteria to Community Program in which food from campus is packed into reusable containers for the food pantry. She also works to promote sustainability programming within Residence Life and oversees marketing and communication projects for the Center for Sustainable Communities. Maren just received a Masters in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College.




This newsletter is provided by the Lutherans Restoring Creation-College and Universities page editors: Jim Martin-Schramm, who is on faculty at Luther College, and Kristina Johnson, who is a student at Luther College. (To read our bios click here.)  We would like to thank you for taking time to read our newsletter. If you have any comments or questions or requests, please feel free to contact us at

Thank you,
Jim Martin-Schramm and Kristina Johnson


Lutherans Restoring Creation: Mission Statement


We seek to empower and equip ELCA congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges and universities, outdoor ministry sites, public policy offices, social ministry organizations, and the ELCA churchwide leadership to embrace caring for creation in more substantive and meaningful ways. 



Upcoming Events


The 80th Annual Association of Lutheran College Faculties Conference



September 25-26, 2015


Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Washington



How does being a good steward of the planet inform faculty teaching, scholarship and service?


Come to the 2015 ALCF conference to share, dialogue, and learn from others about what it means to care for the Earth in a global society and what Lutheran Higher Education has to say about it.


Come to the Pacific Northwest: a beautiful destination of snow-capped mountains, the Puget Sound and fun attractions in Seattle and Tacoma. 


Come to PLU: a sister institution that is celebrating its 125th year of caring "for other people, for their communities and for the Earth!"


For more information and to register, click here.



Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability Conference



June 17th-19th, 2015.



Bemidji State University



Healthy Planet = Healthy People, Campuses and Communities.

Campus sustainability is more than greening operations and integrating sustainability into the curriculum. During our 2015 UMACS conference we seek to elevate the conversation around integrating wellness and healthy lifestyles into sustainability to ensure that not only are our campuses and communities sustainable, but that the people within our institutions are also developing healthy and sustainable lifestyles. 


For more information and to register, click here.



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?



Contact Information


If you you have a story idea for this newsletter or wish to follow up with us about any of the content, please email us at


Also, please email us with any contact information of those who would like to receive this newsletter in the future. 


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