July 2018

FRIDAY July 13th, 12PM - Notre Dame Room in LaFortune
In April, the Enrollment Division held a sustainability competition to coincide with Earth Day. The division was split into 3 teams. They created a point system based upon sustainable activities including charitable donations, walking and being outdoors, a photo contest, a trivia contest, etc.

We have invited Enrollment Division Sustainability Chair Kristina Wright to speak at our next Lunch & Learn to tell us all about how they put this event together, what worked well, what she would improve, and how this could translate to our own offices.
Bring your lunch and we'll provide dessert! We look forward to seeing you there!

Green Gardening Tips

Plan a garden for this summer with our green gardening tips. 

A small indoor herb garden adds greenery to a home while providing fresh, flavorful accents for winter recipes. Basil, thyme, oregano, sage, and parsley are great herbs for beginning gardeners. Place your plants in a spot where they'll receive at least five hours of sunlight. A south-facing windowsill is ideal. Keep the soil moist and enjoy your locally grown herbs all winter. Find gardening tutorials here and here.

Reduce waste and give your garden a healthy dose of nutrients by composting food scraps and yard clippings. Or, if wigglers don't give you the willies, give vermicomposting a try. Using compost, or "worm tea," is a great way to fertilize your garden naturally. Short on space? Not to worry: compost bins and worm condos come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some communities also pool their resources and form massive compost heaps.

Community gardens are a terrific way to transform unused space in your town. They beautify neighborhoods, supply low-cost produce, and unite people in learning how to grow resources locally and with their own two hands. Design your garden with your community's needs in mind, and enlist a coordinator (you?) to organize and oversee a work schedule. Donate leftovers to food charities or to a local school lunch program.

The gutters that bring April showers to your May flowers can also bring delicious greens to your dinner table. Attach a few rows of gutter to your wall, cap the ends, fill with potting mix, and plant your favorite lettuce, spinach, chard, or arugula. Harvest your greens' baby leaves and pair with other fresh veggies for a homegrown salad. This sleek garden is best for shady walls to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.

If you're a new gardener, chances are you'll be surprised by some sort of infestation before the growing season is over. Connect with local gardeners to determine the most common problems in your region, then look for organic fixes. Many pest control solutions can be concocted from household items: For example, aphids are deterred by garlic and cayenne pepperslugs find eggshells unappealing, and ants (who can exacerbate an aphid problem) dislike coffee grounds and vinegar. Before you apply organic treatments, be sure to research their effect on beneficial insects like ladybugs.

Water is a precious resource, so when you're designing a garden, consider options for collecting or reusing water that would normally be "wasted." Set up a rainwater collection system or reuse bathwater with a graywater recycling system. Once you've collected the water, remember that the best time to give plants a drink is in the morning, when less will be lost to evaporation.

Eco-parents, consider giving kids a garden patch that they can design and cultivate on their own (younger children will need some supervision, of course). Cornell University's "Greener Voices" study suggests that children are more engaged in learning when they are responsible for planning and decision making. Even if your child's mini-garden turns out to be a disaster, he or she will still learn a small-scale lesson about the challenges and rewards of caring for the Earth. Check out Cornell's Garden-Based Learning Web site for additional child-friendly garden activities.

Taking care of your lawn can be exasperating -- and harmful to the Earth. We're happy to know, then, that a movement to do away with manicured lawns and replace them with functional (and beautiful!) gardens is catching on across AmericaLawns decrease biodiversity; many of the most common pesticides used on them kill birds and fish and cause cancer and birth defects in humans. The chemicals also run off lawns after rainstorms, flowing into drains, rivers, and lakes.

So enough with the bad news -- what can we do to change this? Well, we can dig up some of the grass in our lawns and create some raised beds instead, to allow for improved soil quality. If you keep some grass, use a push mower instead of gas-powered one. And when planting your garden, choose plants that thrive in your climate so that you don’t have to over-water them or use artificial fertilizers. Finally, opt for fruits and vegetables that you know you’ll enjoy so that your hard work pays off in a refreshing salad or delicious soup.

"Green Gardening Tips." 2015. Sierra Club. 

Faculty Support Center
Mendoza School of Business

2 Leaf - Green Office Certified!!!
Upcoming Events

Friday, July 6, 2018
Summertime Stargazing

Time: 10:00PM - 12:00AM  Location: Jordan Hall of Science
Cloud/rain date will be Friday, July 13th.  All are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Call for Graduate Student Volunteers: Art 2 Science Summer Camp

Time: All Day  Location: Notre Dame Campus
ND Energy is looking for graduate student volunteers for their Art 2 Science Summer Camp.  If interested, contact Anne Pillai at

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Recycled Words Book Art

Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM  Location: St. Patrick's County Park, Harvest Room, 50651 Laurel Road, South Bend
Registration and payment of $8.00 per person are required by July 6th.

Friday, July 13, 2018
EnviroFest 2018

Time: 5:00PM - 9:00PM  Location: Wellfield Botanic Gardens, 1011 N. Main Street, Elkhart, IN
This year's event includes bike valet service.  Bike to the event and receive a free goody bag.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Cultivate Culinary Taste of Hope

Time: 4:00PM - 8:00PM  Location: Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center, South Bend, IN
This event includes an all-you-can-eat BBQ, live entertainment, silent auction, and more!

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Science at Sunset: Disentangling the Language of Nature

Time: 6:30PM - 7:30PM  Location: St. Patrick's County Park, 50651 Laurel Road, South Bend
This event is free and open to the public, but please register by July 13th.
It is that time of year again when air pollution, particularly ground level ozone, can create breathing problems for vulnerable populations. These include:

*The elderly
*People with lung-related illnesses
*Those who are especially active outdoors

Here is a list of ways to help combat high levels of ozone and air pollution on Air Quality Action Days including:

Refuel vehicles after 7pm. When you pump gasoline into your car tank or a gas can, some escapes as fumes. On hot summer days, these emissions can react with sunlight and heat to form ground-level ozone. Refueling after 7 pm prevents emissions from escaping during the hottest hours of the day when they’re most likely to form ozone.

Delay using powered lawn equipment - including mowers - until after 7 pm. Someday, hopefully soon, we may see our energy grid powered completely by renewable energies like wind and solar. Until then, though, anything that runs on power - gas, electricity, etc. - run on fossil fuels at some level and releases emissions when used.

Don’t let your vehicle idle. Letting your car idle for longer 10 seconds release more emissions than simply restarting. Avoid heavy traffic times, drive-thru lanes, and any other idling on Action Days.

Choose a cleaner commute. Walk, ride a bike, take public transit or hitch a ride with a carpool to prevent or minimize emissions from driving.

Set the thermostat a couple degrees higher. Not only is it easier on your utility bill, saving the energy it takes to run your AC full blast reduces emissions and ozone.

Combine errands to reduce trips back and forth. You’ll save emissions and time. It’s a win-win.

Delay your use of garden, household, and workshop chemicals until the air has returned to healthy levels. Some contain VOCs that may react with sunlight and heat to form ozone.

Tell others about Air Quality Action Days and how they can help. Michiana is our home. It belongs to all of us, and preserving the quality of our air is our shared responsibility. Pass this information along to your friends and family, and tell them about ways they, too, can make a positive impact.
Charlie Allen
Associate Program Manager
Office of Sustainability

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University of Notre Dame Office of Sustainability · 20 Haggar Hall · Notre Dame, IN 46556 · USA

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