Sustainable UofL

University of Louisville Sustainability Council blog.

Interview: UofL alum Cristi Smith on Greening the Holidays

On this week’s edition of Sustainability Now!, your host, Justin Mog, takes a break from holiday crafting to sit down for a chat with Cristi Smith, a health coach at Humana who graduated from UofL in 2016 with a degree in Public Health Education and a minor in Wellness Coaching. In recent years, Cristi has taken steps to reduce her own cognitive dissonance by truly living her values and seeking zero waste, sustainable solutions. Today we’ll talk about simple ideas to make the holiday season more sustainable, sane, and joyful – whether it is DIY gifts and decorations, crafting in community, cooking healthy meals, zero waste gifting, experiential gifts, or simply shopping local and buying in bulk. We’ll break it down for you and get you excited about new holiday traditions that support wellness – for you, your loved ones, and all the denizens of planet Earth.

Some of Cristi’s favorite blogs include: Trash is for Tossers; Going Zero Waste; Trading Waste for AbundaFor more ideas on sustainable giving and living, check out these great resources the Cristi recommends:

As always, our interview is followed by an up-to-date community calendar for the week, so get your calendars out and get ready to take action to make sustainability happen 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

Source: Interview: UofL alum Cristi Smith on Greening the Holidays (Sustainability Now!, FORward Radio, Dec. 10, 2018)


The Cure For Despair

DO NOT MISS THIS! If you are at all lacking hope about our common future, you need to hear this inspiring interview with Erin Bridges, a local organizer for the youth-led Sunrise Movement that is rising up to fight climate change and the entrenched corruption of fossil fuel money in our politics! The are organizing now to return to DC on December 10th to occupy the U.S. Capitol!

On this week’s edition of Sustainability Now!, your host, Justin Mog, raises the blinds and sits down for a chat with Erin Bridges, an inspiring local organizer with the youth-led Sunrise Movement. Sunrise launched just over a year ago to build a youth army to stop climate change and put millions of Americans to work. This summer, they launched a program called Sunrise Semester where over 75 young people worked full-time in the lead-up to the midterms to elect politicians who will stand up for the health and well-being of our communities. They opened “movement houses” in 5 key electoral states to make this happen.

After the election, Sunrise has not backed down. Young people worked tirelessly to give Democrats the House, yet leaders like Nancy Pelosi said they wouldn’t make climate change a priority until 2021. With the recent UN Climate Report telling us we have 12 years to decarbonize our economy and overhaul our society, that would be unconscionable. That’s why a week after the election, Sunrise brought over 200 young people to Washington to sit-in at Nancy Pelosi’s office and demand she sign on to Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Resolution for a Green New Deal. Their next action at the Capitol in DC will be Dec. 10th.
Learn more about the Sunrise Movement and get involved at

A great article that touches on Sunrise’s strategy is at:…climate-change-2020

As always, our interview is followed by an up-to-date community calendar for the week, so get your calendars out and get ready to take action to make sustainability happen 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

Petition for Clean Energy

Good luck on finals this week everyone! If you find yourself needing a study break, check out this petition supporting #sustainability here in Louisville!

This petition is for supporting the resolution of 100% clean energy by 2035, which will soon be brought before the Louisville Metro Council for consideration. If passed, this will benefit the environment (reduces Louisville’s carbon footprint), public health (improve air quality), and the economy (create jobs) of Louisville.

Here is the link:

Don’t Miss Last 2018 EcoReps Lunch & Learn!

Free vegetarian lunch and great conversation about our renewable future at the last EcoReps Workshop of 2018! Don’t miss it!

EcoReps Lunch & Learn: Renewable Energy R&D
Friday, Nov. 30th at Noon, Ekstrom Library room W210
Thad Druffel, Conn Center for Renewable Energy ResearchJoin us for our monthly EcoReps Lunch & Learn workshop featuring a free vegetarian lunch and locals making a difference in sustainability! Our guest for Nov. 30th will be Thad Druffel, PhD, PE. from UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. Thad is the Theme Leader for Solar Manufacturing R&D focused on scalable manufacturing of photovoltaics and other renewable energy production and storage solutions.

Thad Druffel - solar manufacturing researcher (credit Frankie Steele-Courier-Journal)

The Sustainability Council’s Eco-Reps logoEcoReps 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’ll continue our series of in-person workshops each month on last Fridays at noon in Ekstrom Library room W210. Join us for lunch and bring your reusable plate, utensils, and cup to minimize waste! All are welcome. More info on EcoReps website.

Take a Conservation Vacation This Holiday!

Fire safety tips for the holiday break.

Santa’s North Pole is melting, but you can help by taking a few simple steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When you leave for the holidays:

  • Turn thermostats down to 55 and close windows tight.
  • Empty and unplug refrigerators and freezers prior to leaving.
  • Unplug chargers, printers, TVs & non-essential equipment. Get in the habit by switching everything off on a power strip daily. Always shut off computers & lights when vacating a room.
  • Make a New Year’s resolution to carpool, bus, or bike more and to trade that space heater for a sweater.

Santa thanks you! More tips for a greener holiday here.

UofL Fire Marshal Dwain Archer has released the following safety tips for students and employees to follow prior to leaving on holiday vacation. They include several tips that will also help conserve energy and resources, saving the university money and saving us all from unnecessary climate-changing carbon pollution:

  • Before leaving for the holidays, disconnect space heaters, decorative lights, personal coffee pots, battery chargers, and other non-essential energy consuming appliances
  • Unblock exit paths in rooms, offices, and hallways and have no longer needed furniture and equipment picked up by Surplus Property
  • Lower office temperature thermostats to the holiday setting of 55◦F

See full article: UofL Fire Marshal releases holiday fire safety tips (UofL News, Nov. 26, 2018)

Food Recovery Network discussion on 93.9 TheVille!

Check out this awesome interview with two UofL students leading the way for campus sustainability initiatives! Erin Kurtz and Henny Ransdell discuss the Food Recovery Network chapter that they started on UofL’s campus. For those who don’t know, FRN is a group of volunteers who routinely take unsold/leftover food items from various locations on campus and donate them to either St. Vincent de Paul or Wayside Christian Mission, where it is then given to those in need.

This interview will air on 93.9 TheVille on Monday, November 19th, at 6 AM. To listen now, go to For more information about the Food Recovery Network or how to get involved contact Erin at and Henny at

henny and erin radio

Make a Holiday Wreath TODAY at noon!

Garden Commons Workshop: Wreath Making
Friday, Nov. 16th, 12pm-1pm, Garden Commons at the Cultural Center
Garden Interns: Avalon Gupta VerWiebe & Ellie MillerGet in the holiday spirit! Come learn how to make your own beautiful wreath using a variety of plant materials from campus and herbs from our garden. It’s easier than you might think and you’ll take home something beautiful and unique.

This is the last in our fall series of Garden Workshops on Fridays at noon.

The Garden Commons is open to participation any time from students, staff, faculty, and community members. Everyone who comes is welcome to share in the harvest!

Connect with us and get all the details on our Facebook Page.

UofL installs new covered bike parking in high demand locations

New Bike Racks Fall 2018
In line with UofL’s Bike Master Plan, we continued to expand and improve bike parking on campus, with the installation of two new covered bike parking areas providing out-of-the-elements parking for up to 26 bikes in two prime locations adjacent to the main entrances of the new LEED-designed Belknap Academic Building (10 bikes) and Student Activities Center west expansion (16 bikes). New racks for up to 26 bikes were also installed in an exposed location within 50′ of the south entrance to the Belknap Academic Building.

Expanded Free Store Hours!

Thanks to incredible volunteer support, UofL’s Free Store in the basement of Unitas Tower (enter from dUofL Free Store logoriveway off Cardinal Blvd) is expanding its hours for the rest of the Fall Semester!

Through December 3rd, the Free Store will know be open: Mondays 11am-3pm, Wednesdays, 11am-4pm; and Fridays 1-3pm!

16474_548878825255142_3301643498080247142_nAll students & employees are welcome to “shop” for free clothing, shoes, household items, books, school & art supplies, non-perishable food, etc. Donations are accepted any time in the red bins outside the Store.

UofL promotes an inclusive environment for all, regardless of gender identity and/or gender expression. The Free Store is a Transgender-Friendly space.

Help us keep useful stuff out of the landfill while helping those in need – Volunteers are needed each week to open the store and sort donations. To volunteer, contact UofL’s Zero Waste Intern: Erin Kurtz (, 502-298-6673).

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