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January 2021

Happy New Year everyone!  
I'd like to draw your attention to a couple ways that the ND Green Ambassador program is evolving with remote work expectations. 

Below, you'll see a new monthly series of "Eco Tips" for your home office.  By all means - if you have some great ideas and solutions that you'd like to share here - please email them to me at

Also, under "New Info" below, I'm happy to unveil a new opportunity for Green Ambassadors to learn about sustainability on campus, at home and in our communities.  These ZOOM gatherings will substitute for what would have been lunchtime gatherings in person.  This is definitely a glass is half-full opportunity as - perhaps - more of you will be able to participate via ZOOM.  They're meant to be casual gatherings to learn and chat and share.  Please register for those which you'd like to "attend." 

New Info

  • NEW! Green Ambassador Spring Series
  • Sustainability at Home and Around Michiana (Register)
  • Nature & Faith (Register)
  • Campus Energy Update (Register)
  • More Soon


  • The Notre Dame COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) - In addition to working hard to help keep the University open, the CRU has implemented a recycling program for used gloves - and is an early adopter in the K-cup recycling program. 

Eco Tips
@ Home Office

  • Energy: Replace space heaters with a heated floor mat under your desk. (more)
  • Energy: Use smart power strips. (more)
  • Waste:  Reduce junk mail. (more)
  • Water: Use natural cleaners. (more)
  • Wellness:  Move your body. (more)

Sustainability Resources

Green Ambassador Spring Series

Each one-hour ZOOM event will include a 30-minute presentation by our speaker and 10 minutes of questions.  The remaining ~20 minutes can be used to give any relevant updates from the Office of Sustainability - and/or vice versa!  These are free and I am asking for you to register.

While this opportunity is intended for Green Ambassadors, you may certainly recommend it to someone that you think would benefit.

Krista Bailey

Sustainability at Home and in the Community
Tuesday, February 16, noon-1pm

Sustainability is an academic field, and both a personal and professional practice. Krista Bailey, Director of the IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future and faculty member in their Sustainability Studies program, will share how sustainability can be experienced at home and in our community. She will share highlights from interviews she has done for WNIT’s Experience Michiana and Outdoor Elements programs to get you excited about the many ways to experience sustainability in Michiana. 
Fr. Terry Ehrman

Nature and Faith - Fr. Terry Ehrman
Thursday, March 4, noon-1pm

Fr. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C. investigates the relationship between theology and science, particularly the life sciences of ecology and evolution. His interests include understanding who God is as Creator, who we are as creatures, and what our relationship is to God, ourselves, and the natural world. He teaches courses in the theology department ntitled Science, Theology, and Creation and Theology and Ecology. From 2016-19, Fr. Ehrman was the assistant director of the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing at Notre Dame. 

Campus Energy Sources and Uses Update - Paul Kempf
Wednesday, April 7, noon-1pm

Paul KempfPaul Kempf is the Assistant Vice President for the Utilities and Maintenance Departments.  These two University departments are responsible for the operation of the campus’s combined heat and power plant, distribution of all centrally produced utilities as well as the maintenance of over 11 million gross square feet of campus facilities.  
He is a 1980 graduate of Notre Dame and has worked for his alma mater for over 29 years.  As part of the University's comprehensive sustainability strategy, he serves on the Sustainability Strategy Standing Committee, the Energy & Emissions, and Water small working groups.

Eco-Tips @ Home Office

Save Energy: Replace space heaters with heated floor mats for under your desk.

heated floor matAre your feet cold while working at your desk this winter?  A space heater is overkill - using, in many cases, 1500 watts of electricity.  However a floor mat that is designed to warm your feet will only draw less than 200 watts of electricity - you'll see that difference on your electric bill.  You can find these at Lowe's, Home Depot and Amazon (among other stores).

Produce Less Waste:  Reduce junk mail.

junk mailYou don't need any stats to know that junk mail is a problem.  Just think about how much you get and then multiply that by a really big number!

Step 1: Unsubscribe from unwanted catalogs: (free, but donation encouraged)
Step 2: Opt-out of credit and insurance offers: (free)
Step 3: For a $2 fee, you can register at the Direct Marketing Association's website and you can opt out (this is recommended by the Federal Trade Commission).  

Protect Water:  Use environmentally friendly dish soap and cleaning products. 

baking soda and vinegar cleaningSome cleaning chemicals are hazardous to the environment after released into the sewer. Many surfactants in conventional products biodegrade slowly, threatening aquatic life. Excess phosphorus and nitrogen from some products can contribute to nutrient loading in water bodies (e.g., the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan) leading to adverse water quality. Volatile organic compounds in some cleaning products can affect indoor air quality.

Improve Wellness: Move Your Body

When working from a home office, there’s no walk from the car to the office. Your commute may only be 20 steps! It’s easy for the activity level to tank. Force yourself to take some breaks, to get up and move.
  • Set a timer if needed – a five-minute break for every hour of work.
  • Download the Wellbeats app (access is part of RecSports) - look for the "Office Breaks" channel.  
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