Sustainable UofL

University of Louisville Sustainability Council blog.

LouVelo expanding across Belknap Campus

LouVelo Student Memberships.pngThe city of Louisville’s LouVelo bike sharing program is about to expand across Belknap Campus.

Crews are expected to install four new stations March 11-12 at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, between the SAC and Threlkeld Hall, Freedom Park and at the Floyd Street Parking Garage entrance to the SAC. A station will also be installed at The Bellamy affiliated student housing northwest of campus.

The stations, which can hold a total of 12 bikes each, are in addition to off-campus LouVelo stations installed at other city locations. LouVelo debuted in the city in 2017 and the short-trip bicycles have become popular as quick, thrifty, fun and environmentally responsible ways to get around.

Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives, said of the expansion, “We are always thrilled to see more people getting to and around campus on bikes — it means one fewer car we have to park, less traffic, less danger, cleaner air and less carbon emissions, and healthier people using their muscles rather than fossil fuels to get around.”

With the new stations, more than 320 bikes at 37 stations will be available to riders across the cities of Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana.

LouVelo’s student pricing plan is $7.50 per month for unlimited, 60-minute rides. Bikes are checked out by membership card or app, and a student plan can be purchased at

See also: LouVelo set to expand to UofL campus (Insider Louisville, Mar. 5, 2019)


Recycling Hackathon at UofL!

In Spring 2019, UofL’s Sustainability Council and HSC Green Team are partnering with FirstBuild for a Recycling Bin Hackathon redesign process!

Kurz Hall wins Gold in Ecolympics 2019

As a part of Ecolympics 2019, Campus Housing and the UofL Sustainability Council hosted a dorm-based energy conservation competition from February 1-21, 2019.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts by residents, three of the halls were able to reduce electricity consumption over the three weeks:2019 Ecolympics Energy Results

  1. Kurz Hall reduced 8.6%
  2. Louisville Hall reduced 2.5%
  3. Unitas Tower reduced 0.8%
  4. Bettie Johnson Hall increased 0.5%
  5. Community Park increased 1.7%
  6. Miller Hall increased 7.1%
  7. University Tower Apartments increased 11.1%
  8. Threlkeld Hall increased 22.7%

Congratulations to the residents of Kurz Hall for winning their first Gold Medal in Ecolympics!! We will begin planning to reward you with a green renovation.

We also want to congratulate our individual weekly winners so far! They all posted their green actions to social media and tagged @UofLsustainable to be entered to win a Comfy Cow ice cream gift card, or Heine Bros. coffee gift-pack, and possibly the grand prize: a restored vintage Peugeot road bike!

  1. Rachel McDonald, who skips wasteful bottled water and refills with “liquid gold” Louisville Tap.
  2. Sydney Hancock, a GRASS member who was eagerly preparing for the February 22nd rally for climate justice at UofL.
  3. Sarah Drerup, UofL’s new STEM Librarian who enjoys her campus coffee with a reusable mug and a discount. #1

Join in the fun and you could win, too! It’s simple! Post your sustainable actions and tag @UofLSustainable to be entered to win a restored vintage Peugeot road bike, gift cards to Comfy Cow, or Heine Bros. coffee!

Any actions for sustainability count:

      • Shut off lights, TVs, projectors, computers, and other equipment that doesn’t really need to on.
      • Unplug a refrigerator you’re not really using (consolidate items from several fridges into one!), TVs, game consoles, cell phone and laptop chargers, or any other devices not really in use. Many devices consume energy even when they are not turned on!
      • Eat less meat!
      • Buy locally-made products and support small local businesses rather than shipping your dollars off to mega corporations.
      • Take the stairs instead of energy hogging elevators and escalators.
      • Carpool, bike, walk, or bus instead of driving.
      • Air-dry your laundry on a clothesline or rack instead of using that energy hogging clothes dryer.
      • Take shorter showers or enjoy a guilt-free shower with solar power at the SRC.
      • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Compost.

Ecolympics 2019 continues through March 30th with RecycleMania! – a friendly annual competition among North American universities. During this 8 week period, UofL is competing to reduce waste, increase recycling & composting, and raise conservation awareness across all three campuses! Keep up with the Cards progress at the RecycleMania website and get involved simply by taking action:

    • RecycleMania LogoREDUCE & RECYCLE! Help the Cards to victory by avoiding disposables (bring your own mug, bottle, plate, etc.) and fully utilizing UofL’s amazingly easy, single-stream recycling system that lets you recycle everything in the same bin, everywhere on campus: all types of plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass! Details on what you can recycle at UofL here.
    • COMPOST! We will be collecting food wastes for composting from The Ville Grill and other campus dining locations and adding those numbers to UofL’s organics recycling totals! You can also compost your food scraps and soiled paper products in the compost bins at the Garden Commons (next to the greenhouse behind the Cultural Center) and the Urban & Public Affairs Horticulture Zone. Please no animal/dairy products or liquids, but otherwise, if it came from a plant, we want to compost it: fruit & vegetable wastes/peels/rinds/seeds, bread, pasta, rice, tea bags, coffee grounds/filters, even paper products (tissues, towels, napkins, plates, cups, newspaper, etc.).
      UofL is offering a collection of electronic wastes for recycling in every residence hall’s lobby throughout Ecolympics 2019! You can recycle any electronic consumer items, including: all computers, monitors, televisions, printers, copiers, scanners, servers, networking equipment, fax machines, telephones and cellphones, RAM/memory, hard drives, battery backups, and peripherals such as keyboards, mice, speakers, AC adapters, and mixed computer cables/wires. Please make sure your data has been wiped from your device before recycling. We will also have collections for recycling any type of battery, lamps, and ink/toner cartridges.

Interview: UofL’s Russ Vandenbroucke, and playwrights Naomi Wallace & Ismail Khalidi

On this edition of Sustainability Now!, your host, Justin Mog, takes a seat in the theater for a chat with Russell Vandenbroucke, and playwrights Naomi Wallace & Ismail Khalidi. Russ is a Professor of Theatre Arts ant the Director of UofL’s Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Program. As part of the transdisciplinary social justice engagement project “Reading Kanafani in Kentucky,” he is currently directing several free community performances Feb. 27 – Mar. 22 of a reading of Ghassan Kanafani’s novella “Returning to Haifa,” as translated to the stage by Ismail Khalidi and Louisville-native Naomi Wallace. Ismail & Naomi are also the adaptation team behind the “The Corpse Washer,” a new play about Iraq which premiers at Actors Theatre during the Humana Festival of New American Plays, March 1-April 8.

Thanks to fortuitous scheduling, Louisville hosts these two plays drawn from Arabic literature at the same time. “The Corpse Washer,” adapted from Sinan Antoon’s Iraqi novel, is billed as “a haunting portrait of an artist’s fight to survive in war-torn Iraq, where life and death are inextricably intertwined.” “Returning to Haifa” is focused on Palestine and the loss of home and involuntary relocation. This project affirms theatre that engages society rather than providing escape from it by blending arts, humanities, and social science to probe the meaning of “home” and its loss through displacement, dispossession, gentrification, and urban renewal. Each 75-minute presentation will be followed by a facilitated conversation in which audiences will reflect on their own experiences with the themes of the play, including the meaning of home.

Naomi Wallace’s other plays―produced in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East―include One Flea Spare, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Things of Dry Hours, The Fever Chart, And I and Silence, and Night is a Room. Awards: MacArthur Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, Obie Award and the Horton Foote Prize. Wallace received the inaugural Windham-Campbell Prize in drama and an Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

Ismail Khalidi’s other plays include Truth Serum Blues (Pangea World Theater, 2005), Tennis in Nablus (Alliance Theatre, 2010), Foot (Teatro Amal, 2016), Sabra Falling (Pangea World Theater, 2017), and Dead Are My People (Noor Theatre, 2018). His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies as well as The Nation, Mizna, Guernica, American Theatre and Remezcla. Khalidi has received commissions from The Public Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Noor Theatre and Pangea World Theater. He is currently a visiting artist with Teatro Amal in Chile, and holds an M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

“Returning to Haifa” schedule of performances:

Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m., LFPL Western Library, 604 S. 10th St.

Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m., LFPL Iroquois Library, 601 W. Woodlawn Ave.

March 1, 7:30 p.m., Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, 1293 Bardstown Rd.

March 6, 6:30 p.m., LFPL South Central Regional Library, 7300 Jefferson Blvd.

March 20, noon, UofL Kornhauser Library, Preston Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard

March 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m., UofL Thrust Theatre, 2314 S. Floyd Street (at University Blvd.)

For more information contact Russ Vandenbrouke at 502-852-8448 or

Tickets and more information about “The Corpse Washer” is at

As always, our interview is followed by your community action calendar for the week, so get your calendars out and get ready to take action for sustainability NOW!

Sustainability Now! airs on FORward Radio, 106.5fm, WFMP-LP Louisville, every Monday at 6pm and repeats Tuesdays at 12am and 10am. Find us at

Student Strike 4 Climate Justice

Student Strike 4 Climate Justice is this Friday! Join fellow students worldwide in rallying for a better future and demanding for politicians to treat climate change as the crisis of justice and equity that it is! The UofL strike will be from 2-3 PM in the Humanities Quad and feature many guest speakers demanding Kentucky take action for our future! #fridaysforfuture#12yearsleft #climatejusticeisracialjustice

strike for climate justice


A message from the students organizing UofL’s Climate Strike:

“We’re students and citizens from cities and towns across Kentucky, striking from school on February 22nd to demand that our politicians take our futures seriously and treat climate change for what it is – a crisis of justice and equity.

We demand our politicians show they care about our future by moving Kentucky beyond coal towards 100% renewable energy for all. This starts with funds being allocated specifically for renewable energy incentives and subsidies, directed to state and local governments and outside organizations. Coal companies have been poisoning the people of Kentucky for years with no repercussions. These communities deserve clean water and an economic future.

We demand that Kentucky invests in protections for the black and brown urban communities that are poisoned by heavy industry and emissions. These communities face striking health disparities in asthma and cancer rates, not to mention urban heat islands increasing temperatures higher and higher. West Louisvillians, on average, live about 10 years less than those who live in East Louisville. Climate justice IS racial justice.

Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing the world and it isn’t being addressed quickly enough. The United Nations tells us we have just 12 years left to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We need dramatic action now. Our future is at stake.”


For more information, visit the event page at

Volunteer at Louisville Grows!

Louisville Grows Volunteer Opportunity:
“On Saturday, March 2nd we will be in the Shelby Park and Smoketown neighborhoods for our 15th tree planting event! Louisville Grows is dedicated to working with our community to make the city greener. We can only do this with your help! Sign up at the link below for a fun day of community engagement as we work together to make Louisville healthier and more sustainable.
When: March 2nd from 8:00am to 3:00pm
Where: 443 E Kentucky St. Louisville, KY 40203
As always, lunch and a light breakfast will be provided.
The Shelby Park and Smoketown area has a tree canopy of only 25% compared to the rest of the city which has a canopy of 37%. This means, among other things, that these neighborhoods have worse air quality and are on average 10 degrees hotter during the summer months than other areas in Louisville. The 166 trees we will be planting on March 2nd will help close that gap and help Louisville Grows reach it’s goal of planting 1,000 trees a year!
For Questions and concerns contact Jacquelyn at”
louisville grows

First Ecolympics/RecycleMania Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Sarah Drerup, for being our first prize winner for our Ecolympics/RecycleMania weekly giveaways! Sarah is living #sustainably by ditching single use, disposable coffee cups and opting to use her own reusable mug! By doing this, she is helping to reduce the amount of waste created each year from disposable coffee cups!

Winner #1

Our prize for next week will be a Heine Bros. prize pack which will include a gift card, coupons, and a bag of coffee! To be entered to win, just tag us (@uoflsustainable) in a post (on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) about what you do to live sustainably on campus!

Ecolympics and RecycleMania Giveaways

Reminder that our weekly giveaways are still going on until March 30th! Our first winner will be announced later this evening!
UofL sustainable
Sustainability tip of the day: Get involved!

Sustainability in general is very complex and can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many groups right here on campus that are leading the way for a positive, more sustainable future. Some groups include:

ELSB’s Green Initiatives-
Promotes sustainability on an individual and institutional level to create environmental change in the community!
G.R.A.S.S. (Group Recycling And Sustainable Solutions)-
GRASS is a group of dedicated students bringing awareness to sustainability issues on campus partners with groups such as KSEC (Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition)!

(Contact: Sam Hudson at

The Cardinal Cupboard-
A volunteer-run free food pantry on campus with the purpose of reducing the financial burden of students!
The Food Recovery Network-
UofL’s chapter of FRN collects leftover food items from many locations on campus daily, which are then taken to the Cardinal Cupboard, St. Vincent de Paul, or other local groups that accept food donations!

(Contact: Henny Ransdell at

The Garden Commons-
An organic community garden right here on campus! Workdays are every Friday 2:30-3:30 PM, located next to the Cultural Center.
The Free Store-
Located in the Unitas Tower basement, the Free Store allows students to “shop” for free clothing, books, etc. Donations are also accepted in the red bins outside of the store!
UofL’s ongoing peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program for students, faculty, and staff.
UofL’s Community Composting Project-
This project is committed to seeing organic wastes as a valuable resource rather than as “trash” to be thrown “away”. Volunteers are invited to show up every Sunday 12:00-2:00 PM at the composting site to help turn food waste into a much needed resource!
For more sustainability initiatives and events happening here on campus, visit!

L’s Up! Fill Up!

New SAC LWC signage 2019UofL is so thrilled to deepen our partnership with @LouisvilleWater to encourage folks to #DrinkLocal and #TasteTheDifference.

Ecolympics 2019 is the perfect time to ditch disposables, boycott bottled water, and get back to the tap! Now is the time to get in the habit of refilling your bottle with Louisville’s award-winning tap water.

Now through March 30th, take a selfie refilling your bottle on campus, post it and tag @uoflsustainable to be entered to win a bike, Comfy Cow or Heine Bros. gift cards!

Win this bike in Ecolympics 2019!

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