Earth Week and Bike2Campus Week, What?!

Most of us know that Earth Week (April 21st-25th) is approaching. However, not all of us may know that this same week marks the first time ever that the Chicago Network of Sustainability in Higher Education (CNSHE) is hosting the Chicagoland Bike2Campus Week!

CNSHE “is a network of higher education institutions working to advance sustainability and accelerate climate action.”

 As a part of this week, and to help in overall environmental consciousness-rising, Roosevelt University, along with many other colleges and universities in Chicago, is encouraging students to bike to campus. This five-day “alternative transit challenge” aims to get students thinking about reducing emissions,  encourages students to practice a healthy lifestyle, and it teaches students, or gives them the tools to learn, about bike safety issues.

Aside from being a challenge, the event is also very competitive! Why, you may ask? While the rider tracks their trips to and from campus, their campus also tracks their activity (through the use of online surveys and other social media platforms). At the end of the week the school with the most participation will be deemed the “WINNER”! The grand prize will be a 4-year DIVVY membership, while there will also be additional prizes that students can win throughout the week.

This event is supported by Roosevelt University, City Colleges of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Dominican University, Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, the School of the Art Institute Chicago, DIVVY Bikes, Chipotle, and the Chicago Department of Transportation, and yours truly and you should support/show your support too!    

Monday, April 21st-Friday, April 24th marks Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week! All week students, faculty, and staff are encouraged- strongly encouraged- to get involved in many events! On the 14th floor of Wabash, all week long, there will be a box for EWaste (for any electronics, batteries, etc. that you would like to get rid of). By putting any EWaste in here, versus throwing it out as trash, students help to bring down pollution and divert that waste from landfills. Students are also encouraged to Bike2Campus all week! In order to prove that you are doing so, get onto www.bike2campus.com and fill out a sheet to show you have biked, and then, by proving it, you can earn some sweet rewards!

More daily events for Bike2Campus Week/Earth Week are listed below:

Thursday, April 17th: Water Conservation Day. This event will be in Fainman Lounge from 3-5pm. It will mark the introduction of Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week, April 21st- 24th. Students will receive ideas on how they can conserve water, as well as learn of why it is so important. There will also be reusable water bottles being handed out for FREE! Be sure to stop on by and get an introduction to Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week! Students are encouraged to Bike2Campus! You will also be able to receive free prizes for doing so throughout the week!

Monday, April 21st:  Alternative Transportation Day. This event will be from 2-5pm in the Wabash Lobby. It will include more information on Bike2Campus week and alternative transportation!

Tuesday, April 22nd: Rooftop Garden Planting Day. Students can help to start the rooftop garden on the 5th floor of Wabash from 2-5pm! We will be meeting up on the 5th floor by the workout facility. The weather (looking ahead) is supposed to be nice! Come join in on this and get some fresh air, get your hands dirty, and also receive some free goodies!

Wednesday, April 23rd: EWaste donations are welcomed all week, but this day will mark the actual event to dispose of any of your electronics! You will also be able to learn more about why this is beneficial to our environment! The event will be 2-3:30pm on the 14th floor of Wabash!

Thursday, April 24th:  Rooftop Garden Planting Day from 2-5pm on the 5th floor of Wabash (meet by the workout facility)!

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Roosevelt University & Water Conservation, What Sweet Cohesion!

Living in Chicago, at the corner of Lake Michigan and a seemingly endless supply of water, we Chicagoans don’t always think about how much water we use on a day-to-day basis. However, our proximity to a large volume of water should not prevent us from putting our excessive use under a fine magnifying glass. It seems that there is a stigma in which many people in this region, and any region with as much freshwater as us, will point fingers to the West, Southwest region of the U.S. and angrily lecture on how “they” need to conserve water and stop wasting so much! How “they” should not live in a region that is so dry! The list goes on and on, but it side blinds us to the reality that we are not angels in the Midwest either.

Although we live in an area rich in freshwater, our large populations in areas such as Chicago, and the thought process of many people that the water is an endless supply, makes us lose sight of conservation and we instead use, use, and consume some more. Yes, water for bathing, cooking, and other essentials is necessary. However, is it really necessary to wash our sidewalks every other day during the summer? Is it really necessary for us to run the water for 5 min before we actually get into the shower? No! It definitely is not necessary!

So what am I getting at here? Not everyone is going to stop their habits to conserve, but can we at least improve upon that? Yes, yes we definitely can.

I would like to say that it starts with the individual and grows upon that, but that isn’t true in every case. Right now, the way I see it, is that it starts with the institution and then expands. In our case, it starts with Roosevelt University and will, and very well should, expand to our students, staff, and faculty and we will all, hopefully and subsequently, change our thought processes and actually consider: where our tap water comes from, what process gets that water to us and, more so, what process the water undergoes to make it safe for consumption.

This is why Roosevelt University is raising the bar on its sustainability and conservation efforts. We want to raise consciousness, educate students, faculty, and staff, and waste less, we want to waste a lot less… preferably we don’t want to waste any water!

For some ideas on ways that you can save water checkout http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/ Also check out this recent article (http://rutorch.com/2014/03/22/a-lesson-in-sustainability-water-conservation-for-students/) in the Torch by Samantha Reid to get some more ideas on what Roosevelt is doing.

Lastly, I’d like to announce Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week, which is approaching fast (and after that, the end of the semester will be here in no time)! As such, there will be a lot going on with plenty of ways to get involved throughout all of Earth Week! The events that week are as follows:

Monday, April 21st-Friday, April 24th marks Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week! All week students, faculty, and staff are encouraged- strongly encouraged- to get involved in many events! On the 14th floor of Wabash, all week long, there will be a box for EWaste (for any electronics, batteries, etc. that you would like to get rid of). By putting any EWaste in here, versus throwing it out as trash, students help to bring down pollution and divert that waste from landfills. Students are also encouraged to Bike2Campus all week! In order to prove that you are doing so, get onto www.bike2campus.com and fill out a sheet to show you have biked, and then, by proving it, you can earn some sweet rewards!

More, daily events are listed below:

Thursday, April 17th: Water Conservation Day. This event will be in Fainman Lounge from 2-5pm. It will mark the introduction of Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week, April 21st- 24th. Students will receive ideas on how they can conserve water, as well as learn of why it is so important. There will also be reusable water bottles being handed out for FREE! Be sure to stop on by and get an introduction to Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week! Students are encouraged to Bike2Campus! You will also be able to receive free prizes for doing so throughout the week!

Monday, April 21st:  Alternative Transportation Day. This event will be from 2-5pm in the Wabash Lobby. It will include more information on Bike2Campus week and alternative transportation!

Tuesday, April 22nd: Rooftop Garden Planting Day. Students can help to start the rooftop garden on the 5th floor of Wabash from 2-5pm! We will be meeting up on the 5th floor by the workout facility. The weather (looking ahead) is supposed to be nice! Come join in on this and get some fresh air, get your hands dirty, and also receive some free goodies!

Wednesday, April 23rd: EWaste donations are welcomed all week, but this day will mark the actual event to dispose of any of your electronics! You will also be able to learn more about why this is beneficial to our environment! The event will be 2-3:30pm on the 14th floor of Wabash!

Thursday, April 24th:  Rooftop Garden Planting Day from 2-5pm on the 5th floor of Wabash (meet by the workout facility)!

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Lights out for Earth Hour 2014: March 29 2013 at 8:30pm!

On Saturday 29 March 2013 from 8:30-9:30pm, Roosevelt University will join hundreds of millions of people across the globe in switching off the lights of our locations and facilities across the whole campus for

This year launches another way to support the Earth. Earth Hour Blue harnesses the power of the crowd to raise funds for on-the-ground environmental projects from across the world.

For example, the crowdfunding section of the new site will provide opportunities to participate in projects such as delivering energy efficient stoves to families in Madagascar, help communities in the Philippines to build fiberglass boats to withstand climate impacts like Typhoon Haiyan and raise funds to expand and conserve the iconic Table Mountain National Park in South Africa, and more to be announced.

Earth Hour has grown to involve hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life across 7000 cities and towns and 154 countries and territories.  Individuals can also use Earth Hour’s crowdsourcing platform for Earth Hour Blue, which will call for people to add their voice to some of the biggest environmental campaigns across the world; including an Instagram campaign for people to share their love of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, as part of WWF-Australia’s “Lights Out For The Reef” theme for Earth Hour 2014.

For more information visit www.earthhour.org, where you can sign up to switch off, share your action and celebrate with the people of the world your commitment to the one thing we all have in common – the planet.

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Roosevelt Deepens its Commitment to Sustainability—and You Can Too

Roosevelt University reconfirmed its commitment to building a healthy and just world by renewing its membership in AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.)  Membership benefits are free to every individual at RU so that the entire campus community can take advantage of membership, as well.

AASHE offers extensive online resources and discussion forums for professional development and sharing knowledge. AASHE is best known for hosting the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a comprehensive campus sustainability rating system that enables institutions to measure their progress and learn from others. STARS helps institutions select meaningful and appropriate pathways to sustainability while conserving valuable resources, combating global warming, and building healthier communities.

To sign up, go to www.aashe.org and click on “create new account” at the top right of the home page. Use your Roosevelt email address. Next, log in to receive a confirmation email from AASHE using the password they provide.

About AASHE

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. To further its mission of empowering higher education to lead the sustainability transformation, AASHE provides resources, professional development, and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model sustainability in all areas, from governance and operations to education and research.

AASHE defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.  AASHE is a member-driven, independent 501(c)(3).

AASHE – www.aashe.org

AASHE Discussion Forums – www.aashe.org/forums

AASHE Resource Center – www.aashe.org/resources

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Join an interactive Energy Forum in Chicago on Nov 15th

On November 15th, the Institute of Cultural Affairs(ICA) will be hosting a new type of energy forum as part of their Accelerate 77 program. Join us for an interactive day exploring the future of energy in Chicago through ignite sessions, panel discussion, engaging dialogue, and networking! Featuring Keynote Listener: Jamie Ponce. The day will include three topic tracks: – REDUCING – REINVENTING – TRANSFORMING

Location: ICA Greenrise, 4750 N. Sheridan

Date: 11/15/2013 
From: 9:30 AM
To: 4:00 PM

For more information and tickets, visit http://communityenergystrategies.brownpapertickets.com

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RUrbanPioneers Harvest Season Ends with the First Frost

The RUrbanPioneers Community Garden wrapped its second season this week with the first frost. Gardens tended by Food2You were particularly successful, with vegetables served on campus in soups and recipes all summer long. The garden also provided rich learning experiences for preschoolers attending Bright Horizons Early Childhood Education Center on campus, and for adults who tended container gardens at the Institute for Continue Learning at Roosevelt University (ICLRU).

Individual gardeners simply enjoyed the flavor of fresh tomatoes, herbs, squash, cucumbers, zucchini and peppers. They spread the wealth, too, with a generous October donation of 120 pounds of fresh veggies to the Hanover Township Food Pantry, which serves 1,000 area families per month.

See you next year gardeners!

Mary Jo Imperato, Director of Hanover Township Food Pantry accepts RUrbanPioneers donation in October, 2013

Mary Jo Imperato, Director of Hanover Township Food Pantry accepts RUrbanPioneers donation in October, 2013

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Roosevelt’s Environmental Sustainability Committee Welcomes New Members

Eight new members of the University community joined RU’s Environmental Sustainability Committee this month. Hailing from faculty, staff and administration, these new members will help RU advance its sustainable agenda including improving waste diversion via recycling, reducing energy use, expanding sustainable land use and water management, supporting green transportation options and continuing green building guidelines.  Look for news of their impact soon!
  • Diana Zak Beaton, Assistant to the Chair, Department of Psychology
  • John Damascus, Senior Manager, A&S Science Lab, College of Arts & Sciences, Biology, Chemistry & Physical Science
  • Sofia Dermisi, Pasquinelli Professional Real Estate, Heller College of Business, Real Estate
  • Susan J. Johnston, Administration Clerk, Schaumburg Campus, Advising and Assessment
  • Sean Kelly, Assistant VP, Infrastructure
  • Ruth Moser, Adjunct Instructor, Environmental Science
  • Noe Villagomez, Jr., Food & Beverage Manager, Auditorium Theatre
  • Dr. Thea Wilson, Department of Biological, Chemical and Physical Sciences
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, compliments of new member, John Damascus

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, compliments of new member, John Damascus

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