Sustainable UofL

University of Louisville Sustainability Council blog.

UofL Sustainability Week kicks-off today with Arbor Day!

UofL Arbor Day Celebration 2020
Friday, Oct. 23rd
10am, HSC at Abraham Flexner Way & Preston
11am, Online via Microsoft Teams
Noon, Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall)

Come help us restore Louisville’s shrinking tree canopy. Join us for a celebration of UofL’s on-going commitment to trees and our status as a Tree Campus USA (for 10 years running!).

  • Help us plant new trees on campus!
    10am at Abraham Flexner Way & Preston
    12:30pm meet at the Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall)
  • At 11am, join us online for a tree-themed Sustainability Roundtable: Green Forests Work
  • A limited number of free native tree saplings will be available to plant in your yard or neighborhood! “Treecipients” can take home a dogwood, Kentucky coffeetree or Shumard oak (all like full sun and tolerate pollution and drought).
  • At HSC (10am-11am at Abraham Flexner Way & Preston), a Louisville Grows Citizen Forester will be on hand to explain best practices for tree planting, and you’ll learn about The Nature Conservancy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities App to increase awareness about tree stewardship and citizen science.
  • At Belknap (noon-1pm at Garden Commons, SW corner of Strickler Hall), enjoy a 30 minute Garden Commons Workshop on Restoring our Urban Canopy while snacking on free local apples from UofL Dining!

Co-sponsored by UofL’s Sustainability Council, HSC Green Team, UofL Dining, and UofL Office of Health Promotion. RSVP on Facebook.

This is a UofL Sustainability Week event! Join us for more tree planting Saturday and the rest of the Week:

UofL Sustainability Week – Oct. 23-30, 2020

I Commit To... Campus Sustainability Day 2015

A full week of events to celebrate, raise awareness, and engage your passions for environmental, social & economic justice! The week will include:

Let’s #RaiseSomeL for the UofL Green Fund!

Support UofL’s Sustainability Initiatives here!
Tuesday, Oct. 20th 6:02pm – Wednesday, Oct. 21st 11:59pm
A lot has changed in 200 years—our commitment hasn’t. Since 1798, the Cardinal family has dreamed big, worked hard and made a lasting impact on our community, commonwealth, and beyond.

Beginning at 6:02 p.m. on Oct. 20th, for 1,798 minutes, Cardinals everywhere will come together to celebrate who we are and Raise Some L. This is a Cardinal call to action to all students, alumni, faculty, staff, and fans to do two simple things:

  1. Make a gift to the Green Fund for UofL and support our sustainability initiatives! Donate here. Use your smart phone or computer to make a gift of ANY amount.
  2. Spread the word. Share your good deed with friends that day on social media using #RaiseSomeL.

Your donations can help us realize this vision by supporting initiatives such as:

We invite you to learn more about our on-going UofL sustainability initiatives and to explore the many ways you can get involved and help us create a better world right here, right now.

UofL ranked Coolest in the Commonwealth by Sierra Club

Sierra magazine has again ranked UofL in the Top 100 “Coolest Schools” (out of a record large pool of 312 colleges & universities surveyed this year) with a score of 65.79 in the 2020 Cool Schools rankings.

In this year’s rankings, the University of Louisville also maintained its esteemed status as the Coolest in the Commonwealth! Four other Kentucky schools made the 2020 list:

  • Berea College ranked #127 (63.69 pts.)
  • University of Kentucky ranked #234 (49.17 pts.)
  • Western Kentucky University ranked #251 (48.12 pts.)
  • Eastern Kentucky University ranked #283 (40.06).

The increased participation knocked UofL down a few notches from #84 last year to #97 in 2020.

These rankings are primarily based upon a school’s score in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, which is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). On Earth Day 2019, UofL officially earned a STARS Gold rating (66.24%). This was the fourth STARS report we submitted since 2011 and we have increased our score each time.

Additional points can be earned when a university makes a public decision to sell (or avoid) investments in fossil-fuel companies, especially when that decision applies to all endowment holdings (all stocks, bonds, and commingled or mutually owned shares and equity positions) and not only directly held shares. If a school still has some fossil fuel holdings, maximum scores require a plan to continue to sell off additional fossil fuel investments in the next year. While the UofL Foundation continues to shrink its exposure to fossil fuel investments, the university has not made any public decision with respect to fossil fuel investments.

Dr. Justin Mog, UofL’s Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives, was filled with Cardinal Pride to learn that the university remains the Coolest in the Commonwealth. According to Dr. Mog, “This ranking verifies that we have much to be proud of as we reflect on UofL’s progress in integrating environmental, social, and economic stewardship into everything we do – from academics and research to operations, administration, and engagement. It also confirms that we have room to grow when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. The Sustainability Council is eager to work with anyone in the Cardinal Community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends – who wants to help us make UofL even ‘cooler’.”

Learn more by exploring the 2020 Cool Schools rankings.

Kamila Bujko pedals 4326mi as Team UofL’s Grand Champion in the 2020 National Bike Challenge

Team UofL pedaled strong from May through September for fossil fuel-free fitness, fun, and frolicking (i.e. transportation) in the 2020 National Bike Challenge.

As we rode across the finish line on September 30th, UofL staff, faculty, and students accumulated a total of 24,840 miles on 1,871 rides, with 478 bike commutes of 3,241 miles preventing 2,083 pounds of carbon pollution! This is equivalent to the amount of carbon released by burning 106 gallons of gas; or the amount of carbon sequestered by 1.2 acres of U.S. forests in one year!

The UofL Sustainability CouncilGet Healthy Now congratulate our top riders who all started strong in May and continued pedaling at a great pace throughout the Challenge:

Team UofL’s 2020 Champion is Kamila Bujko, a Visiting Scholar at the Cancer Center. She pedaled the most miles (4,326) over the second most bike rides (192) and the 4th most bike commutes (27 commutes for 210 miles). From May through September, Kamila burned 160,065 calories while biking and kept 135 lbs of carbon pollution out of the atmosphere! Kamila will be awarded the grand prize of a $400 voucher to a local bike shop!

Team UofL NBC 2020 Runners-up:

  • Melissa Miller, a French Lecturer, logged the most trips on two wheels (302), the second most miles (3,469), and the 8th most bike commutes (12 trips for 246 mi).
  • Justin Mog, UofL’s Sustainability Coordinator, was Team UofL’s best bike commuter, with 139 commutes totaling 1,609 miles; and 3rd best rider overall with 158 bike rides totaling 2,069 miles.
  • Rachel Singel, a faculty member in Fine Arts, was Team UofL’s 2nd best bike commuter, with 88 commutes totaling 198 miles; and 5th best rider overall with 94 bike rides for 208 miles.

We congratulate everyone who joined in the fun, fitness, and clean commuting in 2020 and hope you’ve adopted some healthy new habits to carry forward into 2021! Everyone is invited to join us again in May 2021. Register for the National Bike Challenge. Join Team UofL in the Challenge.

Check out our online resources for UofL Bicyclists – with handy maps, videos, and tips for getting around town care-free and car-free!

 Full Team UofL Top Rider Results for the National Bike Challenge (May-September) 2020:

Top Commuters (Most days riding to work)

1stJustin Mog1,609139
2ndRachel Singel19888
3rdEmily Coleman14045
4thKamila Bujko21027
5thRochelel Holm19825
6thJeny Toyoda2520
7thMohamed Rashed6714
8thMelissa Miller24612
9thYoshi Saito1276
10thJessica Hargitt936

See more »

Top Riders (Most trips)

1stMelissa Miller3,469302
2ndKamila Bujko4,326192
3rdJustin Mog2,069158
4thKathy Rogers597120
5thRachel Singel20894
6thEmily Coleman23590
7thRochelel Holm62278
8thTim Followell47274
9thTyler Ellis2,89363
10thTaylor Smith1,06362

See more »

Top Male Rider (Most Miles)

1stTyler Ellis2,89363
2ndJustin Mog2,069158
3rdJuan David Tabares1,63556
4thDJ Biddle1,15552
5thTaylor Smith1,06362
6thChanakya Tirumala96554
7thMikus Abolins-Abols95358
8thYoshi Saito74132
9thTim Followell47274
10thDaniel Sills26713

See more »

Top Female Rider (Most Miles)

1stKamila Bujko4,326192
2ndMelissa Miller3,469302
3rdKatlyn McGraw91561
4thKendall Soule74635
5thJessica Hargitt68536
6thRochelel Holm62278
7thKathy Rogers597120
8thMaria Ibarra36613
9thAlyssa Thomas36420
10thEmily Coleman23590

See more »

Interview: UofL alumni & professor Tom Lambert on the economics of tackling climate change

Would you behave differently if we finally put a price on carbon? This week’s Sustainability Now! program hosted by Justin Mog explores the issue with UofL alumni and economics professor, Tom Lambert! Listen now.

Justin Mog talks about the economics of tackling climate change with Professor Tom Lambert from the economics department at UofL’s College of Business, where he has recently been assigned as an applied economist in the equine industry program. Before UofL, he taught for Northern Kentucky University’s Master of Public Administration program and the economics department at IUS. He has a masters in economics from UK and a PhD in urban and public affairs from UofL with a concentration in urban economics and economic development.

Professor Lambert will be giving a talk on “Incentivizing Sustainability Through Carbon Fees,” sponsored by the Louisville chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby via ZOOM on Monday, September 14th at 7PM. Register for the talk at

More info about CCL and the bill H.R. 763 the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is at You can find Citizens’ Climate Lobby Louisville on Facebook.

As always, our feature 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

Mohamed Rashed & Katlyn McGraw most improved as Team UofL enters final month of National Bike Challenge

UofL Cycling

Team UofL pedaled strong throughout August for fossil fuel-free fitness, fun, and frolicking (i.e. transportation) in the National Bike Challenge, which runs May – September 2020.

As we ride into the final month of the Challenge, UofL staff, faculty, and students have biked a total of 20,682 miles on 1537 rides, with 458 bike commutes of 3504 miles preventing 2,252lbs of carbon pollution!

The Sustainability Council & Get Healthy Now congratulate our top riders who continue to dominate: Kamila Bujko, Melissa Miller, Rachel Singel, Emily Coleman, Rochelel Holm, Tyler Ellis, and Justin Mog (who was among the top ten bike commuters in the nation in August, having pedaled a total of 350 miles over 26 days for transportation).

We are rewarding our most improved riders in August:

  • Mohamed Rashed (Graduate Teaching Assistant, Electrical & Computer Engineering) for being the most improved rider overall with the 4th most trips (32 trips totaling 82 miles) and 5th most bike commutes (29 miles over 9 days) in August; and
  • Katlyn McGraw (Graduate Research Assistant, Environmental Health Institute) for being the most improved female rider, racking up 247 miles over 15 trips (3rd place among female riders, and 8th most trips overall) in August.

Join in the fun, fitness & clean commuting through September! Your miles and days cycled will qualify you for great prizes through Get Healthy Now, including the grand prize of a $400 voucher to a local bike shop, co-sponsored by UofL’s Sustainability Council! Register for the National Bike Challenge. Join Team UofL in the Challenge.

Check out our online resources for UofL Bicyclists – with handy maps, videos, and tips for getting around town care-free and car-free!

Full UofL Results for August 2020:

Top Commuters (Most days riding to work)

1stJustin Mog35026
2ndRachel Singel5726
3rdEmily Coleman6118
4thRochelel Holm10312
5thMohamed Rashed299
6thKamila Bujko487
7thJared Koopman82
8thJeny Toyoda1.21


Top Riders (Most trips)

1stMelissa Miller59361
2ndKamila Bujko96440
3rdEmily Coleman13236
4thMohamed Rashed8232
5thJustin Mog37529
6thRachel Singel6127
7thRochelel Holm21526
8thKatlyn McGraw24715
9thKathy Rogers7314
10thMikus Abolins-Abols18213


Top Male Rider (Most Miles)

1stTyler Ellis51311
2ndJustin Mog37529
3rdTaylor Smith23512
4thDaniel Sills1899
5thMikus Abolins-Abols18213
6thMohamed Rashed8232
7thJuan David Tabares753
8thJohn Vonhandorf312
9thJohnny Morehouse223
10thJared Koopman83


Top Female Rider (Most Miles)

1stKamila Bujko96440
2ndMelissa Miller59361
3rdKatlyn McGraw24715
4thRochelel Holm21526
5thKendall Soule1638
6thEmily Coleman13236
7thJessica Hargitt1188
8thAlyssa Thomas897
9thKathy Rogers7314
10thRachel Singel6127


Love To Ride banner

Sustainability Roundtable kicks-off Friday 11am: Campus As A Living Lab

Learn more about sustainability as an investigatory lens at the Sustainability Council’s virtual Roundtables every other Friday at 11am. Students, faculty, staff, and the general public are all encouraged to attend! Each session highlights a different topic and disciplinary perspective, but there is always time set aside to meet others interested in sustainability and to explore possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Justin Mog

The Sustainability Roundtable series kicks-off for the new year on Friday with UofL’s Sustainability Coordinator, Dr. Justin Mog, sharing opportunities to use UofL as a living lab of sustainability and his vision of students, faculty & staff collaborating to reshape campus around equity & ecological integrity.

Fall 2020 Sustainability Roundtables
Alternate Fridays, 11am-noon, virtual – Join Microsoft Teams Meeting or dial-in at 502-792-9582 (Conference ID: 430 698 464#)

Aug. 28 – Justin Mog, PhD (Asst. to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives, UofL) Envisioning UofL as a Living Laboratory of Sustainability

UPA Horticulture Zone Ground-breaking 5-22-13

Sept. 11 – Jessica Eggleston (graduate, Master’s in Sustainability, UofL) The effect of legacy contamination and influence of observed soil amendment in an urban community garden Louisville, KY

Sept. 25 – Brent Fryrear, Director, Partnership for a Green City

Oct. 9 – TBD

Green Forests Work

Oct. 23 – Michael French (Director of Operations for Green Forests Work) Green Forests Work: Restoring Ecosystem Service and Creating Economic Opportunities on Surface Mined Lands across Appalachia

Nov. 6 –  TBD
Nov. 20

Everyone is invited to share your research (at any stage) into environmental, social & economic justice at future Roundtables. Contact: Tamara Sluss,

Interview: UofL alum, LeTicia Marshall, BearFruit Gardening

On this week’s Sustainability Now!, your host, Justin Mog (UofL’s Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives), gets his hands dirty with LeTicia Marshall.

LeTicia is a native Kentuckian, a Mom, a UofL alum, owner of BearFruit & Grow, LLC, and the unstoppable force behind the BearFruit Gardening community YouTube channel & Facebook group. On July 31st, she released a video announcing that “it’s official, I am an urban farmer!” LeTicia is so passionate about urban farming and reclaiming our spaces to grow food because she has seen how it results in eating cleaner, healthier food, building community, and improving our mental health. On this week’s show, she tells us about her urban farm project and how you can support it!

Watch BearFruit Gardening on YouTube:

Join BearFruit Gardening on Facebook:

Get in touch with LeTicia at

LeTicia has built a lot of relationships in the community in the past month and during our conversation, she shares about their work in the community:
– 5th Element Farms aka Apocalyptic Acres in the West End
– Ag In the City
– Black Soil
– Urban Ag Coalition
– Louisville Lots of Food
– Louisville Community Grocery
– Black Market KY, establishing a grocery in the West End
– Victory Gardens Landscaping

As always, our feature 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

Listen Now: Interview: UofL alum, LeTicia Marshall, BearFruit Gardening (Sustainability Now!, Forward Radio 106.5fm, Aug. 24, 2020)

Sustainability on Tap: Louisville Water Company

UofL and the Louisville Water Company are collaborating again this year to educate students, faculty, staff, and the public on the value of getting back to the tap with events, guest lectures & water filling station signs.

Do you know where our drinking water comes from or the engineering behind it? Explore the political and global concerns around water, or dive into marketing issues. Louisville Water’s story of science, and public health brings real-world examples to the classroom, and they are always happy to provide staff for guest lectures or tours.

Contact Louisville Water Co.’s Kelley Dearing Smith to arrange a tour or guest lecture: or 502.569.3695

Find UofL Tap Water Filling Stations here.

This Friday, August 28th at noon, the UofL Sustainability Council will kick off its monthly EcoReps Workshop series by highlighting the incredible work of our friends at LWC!

EcoReps Workshop: Louisville Water Company
Friday, Aug. 28th at Noon, Ekstrom Library room W210
Virtual & In-Person for up to 10 attendees (seats are first-come, first-served)

Join us for our monthly EcoReps workshops featuring locals making a difference in sustainability! Our guest speaker to kick off the new year will be Barbara Crow, a Strategic Communications Consultant for the Louisville Water Company. Barbara will share some of the many ways that Louisville’s award-winning, publicly-owned Water Company is advancing sustainability in the provision of safe, healthy tap water to the citizens of Louisville!
The Sustainability Council’s Eco-Reps logo program is designed to move students, faculty & staff beyond talk to action for a more sustainable UofL! We provide basic training & resources, service opportunities, and leadership positions as a point-person & peer-to-peer advocate for sustainability. This fall, we continue our series of in-person and virtual workshops each month on last Fridays at noon in Ekstrom Library room W210. All are welcome. More info on EcoReps website.

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