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Google+ Community

Sustainability Connections
for Notre Dame's Staff & Graduate Students
AUGUST, 2020

<<First Name>>:
Google+ Community is now the Currents Community.
Not much has changed - a little different look.  But you can still share your sustainability ideas with photos, links and text.

From your ND gmail account - click on the 9 dots in the upper right hand corner next to your Apps.  You'll find "Currents" in the drop down menu.  Click on Currents.  Initially, you won't see the Green Ambassador community.  Just type in "Notre Dame Green Ambassador" in the Currents search bar and then you will see it.   

Talk Sustainability

August's Green Ambassador ZOOM Gathering

YOU are invited to the Green Ambassador ZOOM Gathering - every second Tuesday.  I hope you'll be able to take some time during this busy time of the year to gather and talk about some important information about recycling on campus this Fall.

Coming up: August 11, noon - 1pm
Second Tuesday ZOOM gathering of Green Ambassadors
Topic: Recycling on Campus: New information .
  • I will update you all on what is happening with recycling this Fall - both in office buildings and as an FYI, in residence halls.  As Green Ambassadors, we hope that you'll be able to pass this information on to your respective offices.

Add it to your Calendar for August 11.  Bring some ideas and questions to share.
Add to my Google Calendar

Working Remotely

Green Tips

While working remotely, consider these easy tips for boosting your home’s sustainability. Read on for six easy ways to do so.

1. Use non-toxic cleaners. There are plenty of natural, non-toxic cleaners on the market. However, they can be more expensive. Consider making your own environmentally-friendly cleaners out of common household items. 

  • White vinegar is naturally acidic and makes a great agent for killing mold and bacteria. It is also handy for cleaning mirrors and windows.
  • Baking soda is good for deodorizing.
  • Sodium borate (borax) is a multi-purpose cleaner and great for scrubbing floors and walls.
  • Add essential oils to your cleaners for a fresh scent.

Using these cleaning alternatives is better for the environment and can be more affordable.

2. Lose unnecessary paper and plastic products.

  • Say goodbye to paper towels and use washable rags and cloths.
  • Use a reusable water bottle instead of buying cases of single-use plastic bottles.
  • Use reusable cloth bags instead of taking home hundreds of plastic bags (you still can use these in stores, may have to bag your own groceries).
  • While working from home, print on both sides of the paper if possible.

3. Educate yourself about your local recycling center and learn how to start making your own compost. See the resources below. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a lot of good information for household composting.

4. Reduce your electrical usage (and electric bill)

  • Keep lights off when you don’t need them.
  • Use drapes and dark shades to keep the sun out and your house cooler.
  • Weather strip your windows to reduce heating/cooling costs.
  • Invest in ENERGY STAR rated appliances.
  • Use power strips to better control electricity supplied to computers and other devices which tend to draw energy even when turned off.

5. Reduce your water usage (and water bill)

  • Don’t do a load of laundry or run the dishwasher until they are completely full.
  • Take quick showers.
  • Turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth or doing dishes by hand.
  • Fix any leaky pipes. This can save hundreds to thousands of gallons of water, along with lowering your water bill.
  • Consider installing a low-flow shower head. Look for models rated at 1 to 2 gallons per minute (Here is one example). Some even have a “pause” button to use while you are shampooing or washing your body.

6. Make better consumer choices.

  • Convert to  LED light bulbs instead of regular incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. LEDs are very efficient and don't contain the mercury that is in the CFLs.
  • Use rechargeable batteries. Not only are rechargeable batteries easier to recycle, they also contribute less waste to landfills.

Call to Action & Share

Don't Bag it!

We all want to do the right thing.  The current recycling process works much more effectively when we keep the plastic bags out of our single stream recycling - both on campus and at home.

What is the right way to recycle plastic bags?

You can store your plastic bags and use them for other things - just don't let them go into the single stream recycling!  You can also recycle them:

Sustainability in Michiana

What can I recycle and How?


St. Joseph County

Elkhart County

City of Elkhart:


Berrien County

Cass County
Dowagiac & Cassopolis curbside:

Sustainability news on campus

Now Accepting Nominations - Last Chance

Our next Supplier Expo is scheduled for Fall, 2020, and the University of Notre Dame would like to award the second Procurement Partner Sustainability Award.  The selection committee is encouraging nominations for vendors that have helped advance sustainability initiatives on campus and those that have gone the extra mile to support ND during the COVID-19 crisis. Criteria for the award include: environmental impact, reach of influence, innovation, and commitment to efficiency. 

The Office of Sustainability and Procurement Services encourages employees to continue working with suppliers on sustainability initiatives. Your efforts will be honored during the FY 2020 Supplier Expo.  

To fulfill our commitment to fostering a culture of environmental responsibility, it is important that our faculty and staff communicate and are open to suppliers’ ideas to help drive innovation and identify new and sustainable offerings.  

Ready to Nominate? Click here!

For more information, please visit our website. Questions can be sent to
Important: Deadline for nominations – September 1, 2020
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