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Sustainability Connections for Notre Dame's Staff
Special Work-from-Home Edition

With the understanding that personal and family safety is at the forefront of our day-to-day activities, this "work from home" version of the Green Ambassadors newsletter contains a handful of ways we can maintain a mindset of sustainability.  

Please forward this  to your office team members.  We're not asking folks to put solar panels on their roofs during this time of uncertainty.  But there are MANY normal behaviors that we can easily continue that collectively will have a positive effect.
Forward Forward

The Earth Day 2020 Sustainable Office IDEA Award

Please continue to collaborate with your office Green Team and/or sustainability champions about applying for this office award (up to $1000).  We're going to need some positive stories and this may be the way that you and your colleagues create one.  The deadline is still April 10th.  Take a look at the application details.  There will likely be a change to the award announcement time/place - more to come.  

The Show Must Go On...
Green Ambassador "Distanced" Lunch and Learn

April 1, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: ZOOM Meeting:  
Not sure about ZOOM?  Check out OIT's guidance below under "Paperless meetings."

ZOOM Presentation
  • Meet Greg Koehler 
  • Ask questions about Earth Day 2020 Sustainable Office Idea Award - a brief explanation
  • Updates on the Green Ambassador and Green Office Certification Programs (looking forward to normalcy)
  • Update on Recycling (on campus and at home)
  • Your thoughts and ideas
  • Guest Speaker: Greta Thunberg (April Fool!)
Add this Zoom Meeting to your Google Calendar
Recycle SymbolRegardless of where you live, the effectiveness of the recycling system depends on how clean it is.  Please avoid placing non-recyclable items in your area's recycling stream.  And make sure the metals, plastics, glass and paper are clean and do not have food residue on them.

These lists of acceptable recycling by county are taken directly from the respective websites.

Recycling in St. Joseph County

  • Glass jars & bottles; Aluminum & metal cans, foil, pie tins; Cardboard, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, paper bags, telephone books, office paper, file folders, junk mail, newspapers, magazines, catalogs; Plastic bottles & containers, #1 ‐5, #7 NO #6
  • More recycling information for St.Joseph County 

Recycling City of Elkhart

Recycling in Berrien County (Michigan)

  • Colorless glass bottles and jars; Brown paper bags, corrugated cardboard, inserts, junk mail, magazines, newspaper, paperboard (except from frozen or microwave containers); Kitchen metals; Plastic bottles and jugs #1 - #7 from food and beauty products
  • More recycling information for Berrien County 

Recycling in Cass County (Michigan)

Yes - Turn off the lights when you're not using them. 

Since many of you are using your work laptops at home - this is a great reminder to change the power settings so that the laptop automatically goes to sleep (using less energy).  It is likely that your daily work schedule has changed - so go ahead and update your power settings to reflect that.


To adjust the power and sleep settings in Windows 10:
  • Go to Start Windows logo Start button, and select Settings Gear-shaped Settings icon > System > Power & sleep.
  • Under Screen, select how long you want your device to wait before turning the screen off when you're not using your device.
  • Under Sleep, select how long you want your device to wait before going to sleep when you’re not using it. 
  • For more power saving options, select Additional power settings to change how your device uses power.
See more about how to shut down, sleep, or hibernate your PC 


Adjust settings in Energy Saver

When you don't use your Mac for a while, macOS can automatically turn off features that you aren't using. When the computer needs to perform a task, related components power back up.

You can adjust energy-related settings in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Click Energy Saver.
More information for Mac users 
Of course - Healthy is the key. Give your body the nutrition it needs to fight off infection and the added stress we're facing.  

In addition to being conscious of not wasting food when there are so many that struggle to have enough nourishment, consider eating less meat as a way to be more sustainable.  With a little bit more flexibility of eating at home, why not try Meatless Mondays . Eating less meat can be a healthier diet and reduce the demand for greenhouse gas producing livestock.  This is an easy habit you ca develop now and continue when we return to campus.

ZOOM meetings  

(From Notre Dame OIT)  Many employees will use a video conferencing tool called Zoom to meet remotely.  To prepare to use Zoom, follow these steps BEFORE YOUR MEETING:

  • Download Zoom to your computer and log into the Zoom application using your Notre Dame NetID and password.

  • Review the Zoom Quick Reference Guide so you know how to manage your session.

  • Review the Zoom Etiquette Guide to ensure the best online meeting experience for yourself and your fellow employees.

If you have other questions, you can view the article on Teaching, Learning and Working While Away From Campus from OIT or contact the OIT Help Desk.

Google Hangouts  

This is another of many options.  It is not supported by Notre Dame OIT.  However, we have access to Hangouts in our Gmail accounts.  Here is a nice external "how-to" video .

Less Human Activity = Less Pollution

Yes, there is a concern that our country's economy and the interconnected economies of the world will be hit hard from the lock down and work from home policies.  In some parts of the world that have experienced the extremes of this disease, the reduction in human activity has led to cleaner air*.  Scientists at NASA's Earth Observatory are documenting this phenomenon in relation to NO2 pollution (a gas emitted from cars, coal power plants and some factories). 
Take a look at the improvement:
*Acknowledgement: There may be other consequences of Covid-19 that have a negative impact that may offset the health benefits of cleaner air.

Take a walk outdoors

Take note of the changing season - the trees are budding and getting ready to explode with natural green.  The birds are singing beautiful songs - life continues as normal for them.  Appreciate the fresh air and take deep breaths - filling your lungs with the oxygen we all need while being mindful of this wonderful earth.  

Environmental Film Festival

Take a look at the 2020 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Copyright © 2020 University of Notre Dame Office of Sustainability, All rights reserved.

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