Herb Garden at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg Campus Ready for Picking

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Oregano at the Schaumburg Campus Herb Garden

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Spearmint at the Schaumburg Campus Herb Garden

Thanks to the plentiful rain that we’ve been receiving here in Schaumburg, and all around the Chicagoland area, many plants are thriving!  This includes our beautiful stock at the Herb Garden at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus.   We invite you to help yourselves.  Take a snip of some fresh chives to add to a crunchy salad.  Enjoy some fresh basil on a sandwich!  Take a pinch of spearmint for a relaxing mojito (make it virgin if you are under 21!).  Use oregano for a fantastic sauce!

We also have fresh lavender, thyme and more!  Stop by today and cook up something exciting for dinner.  What could be better than chemical free, locally grown, fresh herbs in your meal?

For more information, contact Sarah Tag, Environmental Sustainability Student Associate (sfisher@roosevelt.edu).

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Posted in food, RUrbanPioneers

Belated & Extravagant Earth Week & Bike2Campus Recap

This year’s Earth Week events were a huge success and I am proud to say that involvement increased from last year, and new faces got their hands dirty with fun events!

Screening Pic1Monday, April 20th:  A total of 9 students and faculty gathered for a small screening and panel discussion that revolved around the issue of plastic islands in the ocean. While films like this can sometimes bring people down as they realize all the work to be done out there, it also encompasses the opportunity to find strength in struggles and make changes in the way we do things. As we held a small panel discussion after the film, we brought up several themes seen in the movie and connected those themes to larger, ongoing issues, and focused on how we can harness energy in different ways and ultimately invoke change.

Kramer's Pic7Tuesday, April 21st: Six RU students participated in the Kramer’s Health Foods Free Tasting & Seminar! Kramer’s is located just a few short blocks away from the RU Wabash building and they have been in the downtown area since 1936. Students at this event were able to try different juices and foods from the vegetarian café located upstairs of the storefront. Additionally, we were all able to learn about the benefits of juicing and cutting at least some meat out of one’s diet. After, a staff member of the Vegetarian Café gave us a bike maintenance and safety demonstration as well—which was extremely informative and from a biker’s point of view.

As the second event of the day, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosted a Chicago Bike Ambassadors Workshop. This event was open to Roosevelt, Colombia, and SAIC students. While I was the only student from RU to attend, the event had good turnout from SAIC. This event focused on safely riding your bike in Chicago, how to chain you bike up, and more.

Wednesday, April 22nd: There was great turn-out this day as students, staff, and faculty from around RU came to both Symposium Pic1support and listen to the internship experiences of four SUST students. There was pleasant hobnobbing and the presentations invoked curiosity and questions during Q & A.

Thursday, April 23rd: A total of 12 students were involved in the Rooftop Garden Workday in the following ways: cleaning up litter, pulling weeds, loosening up soil, putting together a trellis, and moving a couple of plots around. While it was chilly for part of the morning, the sun eventually came out and the crisp air was more than refreshing.

Garden Workday Pic1During the Garden and Games event later in the evening, five students participated. There was food, games, and more. We all went for the food, started decorating small pots with marker paint, filled them with soil, and planted different seeds to take home with us and watch grow. It was a fun and relaxing get together to be at, especially with finals approaching.

Friday, April 24th: On April 24th, 2015, in celebration of Arbor Day, a joyous and helpful groupArbor Day Pic7 of kids, from Bright Horizons, helped plant 13 fruit trees next to the RUrban Pioneers Community Garden at the Schaumburg Campus. Bill Bedrossian from Bedrock Earthscapes did a remarkable job demonstrating the planting process and the kids had a great time digging, mulching, and watering.  The permaculture food forest contains the following:  Intrepid Peach, Redhaven Peach, 2 Montmonercy Cherry, a 2-In-1 Shiro & Redheart Plum, 2 Paw Paw, Starkling Delicious Pear, Moonglow Pear, Sunglow Nectarine, Candycrisp Apple, Suncrisp Apple, and Starcrimson Gala Apple.

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Earth Week and Bike2Campus Week, 2015

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With the smell of Spring in the air, and finals nearing, Earth Week / Bike2Campus Week offers a great opportunity for everyone in the RU community to take a break, get some fresh air, delve into interesting conversations, and even get their hands dirty if they choose to!

In addition to two week-long competitions, daily events will take place Monday, April 20th-Friday, April 24th. Please see the details below. *Also note that there will be free food and give-a-ways at most events (YES, FREE)! You can also receive 50% off coffee in the Wabash Dining Center if you bring your re-usable coffee mug!

Bike2Campus: Ride, Record, Reward! Competitively participate in this week-long event by biking anywhere in Chicago and recording your trips at www.bike2campus.com. Top participants will be able to win an array of prizes, and will receive a free complementary coffee from the Wabash Dining Center if they bring in their helmet to show they have biked. Don’t forget to #chibike2Campus on Instagram!

Sustainable Action Competition: Show us how you are being green! Go green this week and track your efforts: you can take pictures and/or make posts showing what you have done. You can take a picture of you using your reusable water bottle and/or  coffee mug, your efforts of recycling, biking, taking the train, and more—Record what you feel is green in your life. Keep track of being green by using the hashtag #RUEARTHWEEK2015. Participants’ efforts will be tracked, and top participants will win prizes!

Monday, April 20th: Plastic Paradise Film Screening and Discussion; 5-7pm, Wabash 1017. Screening and faculty-led discussion of the environmental documentary Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch <http://plasticparadisemovie.com/>. Join RU students, staff, and faculty members Bethany Barratt (Political Science), Kim Ruffin (English / Grad Studies), and Mike Bryson (Sustainability Studies) for conversation about this independent film.

Tuesday, April 21st: Kramer’s Health Foods Free Tastings & Seminar; Leave WB Lobby @ 3pm. Join us in a free food/juice tasting at Kramer’s Health Foods & Vegetarian Café (230 S. Wabash). Learn about the benefits of juicing as well as cutting (at least some) meat out of one’s diet, and learn about the benefits of biking.

Chicago Bike Ambassadors Workshop; 4:15-5:45pm, SAIC 37 S. Wabash, Room 327.After the Kramer’s Health Foods Free Tastings & Seminar, walk over to School of the Art Institute (37 S. Wabash) with us for a bike repair and maintenance workshop led by the Chicago Bike Ambassadors. Please bring your state I.D.

Wednesday, April 22nd: SUST Student Symposium; 3-5:30pm, Wabash 616. Open to all from the RU community, the 3rd SUST Student Symposium will be held at the Chicago Campus on Wednesday, April 22, 3-5:30p.m., in Wabash room 616. With the theme of Earth Day in the air, join us to learn more about the research and internship experiences of students in RU’S Sustainability Studies Program.  Indulge in stimulating conversation, pleasant hobnobbing, and free refreshments courtesy of RU’s Physical Resources department. Enjoy lively presentations by SUST majors Melanie Blume, Rebecca Quesnell, Mary Rasic, and Emily Rhea as they reflect on their internships and make noteworthy connections to sustainability themes. Please RSVP to Prof. Mike Bryson at mbryson@roosevelt.edu.Check our past symposia at https://rusustain.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/biodiversity-science-and-art-powerful-themes-at-this-springs-sust-student-symposium-at-roosevelt/ .

Thursday, April 23rd: Rooftop Garden Workday; 10am-5pm, Wabash 5th Floor. Join us for a Rooftop Garden Workday on the 5th floor of Wabash. Volunteers can stay for as long as they would like, sign up for a ½ hour timeslot in the Wabash lobby, or just stop by to check things out. Take a break from finals, and get some fresh air!

RU Reforesting Garden & Games5-7pm, Auditorium 426. Later, from 5-7pm, the student organization RU Reforesting will be hosting a Garden & Games event. There will be free food, games, and other fun activities, open to all!

Friday, April 24th: Arbor Day & Garden Kickoff Event; 8am-12pm, Schaumburg Campus. Roosevelt has much to celebrate this year! We obtained level I Arboretum accreditation from the Morton Arboretum/ArbNet last August AND, for this year’s Arbor Day, we are planting a Food Forest consisting of 13 fruit trees. We are thankful to have the help of a jubilant group from Bright Horizons and Bill Bedrossian from Bedrock Earthscapes too! Everyone is welcome to attend this event anytime between 8am and 12pm (we will be in or near the gardens) as we celebrate accomplishments and have a kickoff for the Schaumburg Campus Community Garden!

If you have questions about any of these events or competitions, please email Rebecca Quesnell at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu

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Discounted Student Divvy Memberships

Hey there RU students! Did you know that there is currently a discounted DIVVY membership rate for RU students? It is $55 versus $75 and it is a great time to take advantage of this discount! Utilize a DIVVY bike to get to class, meet up with friends, run errands, explore the beautiful city you are living in, and more.

In order to get the student membership, simply follow these few short, simple steps:
1. Log on to http://www.divvybikes.com/signup/roosevelt
2. Create an account with your Roosevelt email address
3. Membership Plan: Roosevelt
Partner Password: BikeRoosevelt
4. Enjoy the perks of being a DIVVY member!

If you have any questions, contact Tom Shelton at tshelton@roosevelt.edu

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The Lights Off Event is Coming Soon

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Don’t forget that the Earth Hour Lights Off Event is this Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30pm-9:30pm. Take time and turn your lights off for an hour and reflect on how energy and resources have a huge role in everyday life.

For instance, I am tracking my carbon footprint for my SUST 310: Energy and Climate Change class here at RU. I have done this at least twice in my academic career, and each time it amazes me at how dependent I am on energy. Though I try to use natural lighting in my room during the day, I still work on homework late into the night when there is no natural lighting and flipping the switch is the only option to have light. I take the stairs as much as possible, but I live on the 13th floor and so I use the elevator whenever I need to go from my room to the first or second floor. I prefer hot showers to cold ones, and in order for the water to be warm, energy must be used.

I am a SUST student, and while I try to keep sustainable practices at the core of my heart, the truth is that I am also dependent on energy in my everyday life. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but it is definitely essential to note our dependencies and reflect on how we might be able to reduce our energy consumption. Whether it is turning your lights off for an hour, investing in sustainable and renewable energy, taking shorter showers, using natural lighting, using the stairs whenever possible, and more, it still makes a difference and it helps to rewire our brains into thinking instead of just doing.

So take a long shot and turn your lights off for an hour on Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30-9:30pm. Reflect and Think. And be the change you would like to see, for massive change starts on a much smaller level.

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Earth Hour Lights Off Event, 2015

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On Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30pm-9:30pm, Roosevelt University will proudly join 162 countries and territories worldwide in the famous Earth Hour Lights Off Event, 2015.

Earth Hour, a nonprofit organization out of Singapore, was originally started as a Lights Out Event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. This organization has the goal of uniting people from all walks of life to help combat global climate change through solidarity. This is an iconic event that Roosevelt has participated in the past few years, and we hope that students, faculty, and staff will join in this movement too!

Accept this challenge, and turn your lights off for an hour- you can make it your one hour break from homework, turn it into a dance party, meditate, breathe, or simply close your eyes and take a nap. But don’t forget, this isn’t JUST about turning lights off for an hour- it is also about becoming more aware of how we depend on and react with everyday essentials that also impact our environment in potentially negative ways. An hour is not long, but we hope that it is long enough to have students, faculty, and staff stop and think and become encouraged to go beyond the hour, and incorporate sustainability into everyday life.

Get to know About Earth Hour and check out the Earth Hour 2014 Report by visiting http://www.earthhour.org/ . And don’t forget to check out some mind-provoking blogs on the Earth Hour Blog.

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Call For RUrbanPioneers Community Gardeners!

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My name is Mary Rasic and I am a Sustainability student and Environmental Sustainability Associate for Physical Resources Department at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus.

I am coordinating Roosevelt University’s RUrbanPioneer Community Garden for the 2015 growing season. This is our third year and we are excited to get started.

Everyone interested in access to fresh, organic produce is welcome to participate. Garden members tend their own garden and participate in community tasks from early spring through November.

Last year, we installed a drip irrigation system making each plot customizable to suit individual gardeners’ needs. We continue to learn and experiment with procedures, techniques, and equipment to make for a sustainable gardening. We’d love to hear your suggestions to improve upon previous seasons.

Please let me know if you’re interested in reserving a plot ASAP – assignments will be given on a “first-come-first-serve” basis.

Our goal is to finalize plot assignments by March 20th.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at Mrasic02@roosevelt.edu if you have any questions.

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