Center sponsored events: Rain barrel Auction (L) by Gary Mester; Food Summit keynote speaker Oran Hesterman (R)

Upcoming Events and Activities

From the Center  

2014-15 Virtual Lecture Series

Join us as we hear from leading experts, followed by a panel of local experts for a lively discussion. Network with others from the community committed to sustainability.

Time and place: 7-8:30 PM, Alumni Room, Administration Building (map)

September 29th - Amanda Burden, "How public spaces make cities work"

November 17thJames Hansen, "Why I must speak about climate change"

February 23rdClint Smith, "Celebrating resilience: Reframing the narrative around our students"

April 13thChris McKnett, "The investment logic for sustainability"

The Virtual Lecture series is made possible by generous support from Nipsco



Pill Drop - September 26th, 7:30am - 2pm

The safe and sustainable way to get rid of unused medicine. 


Ongoing Events

South Bend Green Drinks

South Bend Green Drinks Professional Networking Gathering
3rd Tuesday of each month

Location rotates among local establishments in South Bend. See the South Bend Green Drinks website or Facebook page for more information.

Elkhart Green Drinks Professional Networking Gathering
2nd Wednesday of each month

Location rotates among local establishments in Elkhart. See the Elkhart Green Drinks website or Facebook page for more information.

Sunset Coast Green Drinks Professional Networking Gathering
St. Joe/Benton Harbor
3rd Wednesday of each month

Location rotates. See the Sunset Coast Green Drinks website for more information. 

Sound of the Environment
The first Wednesday of every month
12:00 noon
Goshen, IN
Feel free to bring a sack lunch and hear from an interesting presenter and participate in a lively discussion geared to all things which can and do affect the environment.
Michigan's Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum Green Lunch
First Wednesday of each Month 12:00pm
Mammina's restaurant; St. Joseph, MI
Network with other businesses who are striving toward sustainability goals.  Around 12:30pm we have a guest speaker who provides educational information relating to something within our community, business, and environment for approximately 15 minutes.  No RSVP is necessary (always check location via our website to ensure it hasn't changed) and lunch generally adjourns about 1:00pm.  This is a GREAT way to get to meet new people, learn something new, and eat your lunch!!
For more information: or see the website

Free Electronics Recycling
Last Wednesday of the month
Habitat ReStore
2411 S Main St
South Bend, IN
For more information: 574-232-4911 or


National/International Events
America Recycles Day
November 15, 2011

World Water Day
March 22 2012

Earth Hour
8:30pm 31 March 2012

Earth Day
22 April 2012


Recent Events

E-Waste Recycling Fest
May 9-10, 2014
9:00am - 2:00pm each day

IU South Bend (map)
Over the past 5 years, over 1,000,000 pounds of electronic waste have been collected to be safely and securely recycled!  These 2-day recycling events provide a day for businesses to drop off materials (pre-registration encouraged but not required) and a day for the general public to walk, bike, and drive in materials. Businesses, institutions, and the general public are invited to drop off their items FREE OF CHARGE during designated drop off times.
Business/Institution pre-registration is here: (no registration is needed for the general public)

April Showers Music Composition Premieres by Marjorie Rusche (Center Fellow alumna)

4:00 P.M. 
Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall
Northside Hall, Room 158
Indiana University South Bend
You are cordially invited to attend: variations vortex (into the swirling storm), dedicated to the inspiring imagery of nature and the sustainability of our environment. Featuring Jacob Murphy, violin and Nicholas Roth, piano.
Music Composition Commission from USA Projects, Artists2Artists Fund, USA Open Matching Fund, Cheswatyr Music Commissioning Fund (American Composers Forum), Stickley Foundation, Indiana University South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future, and 30 individual donors.
Earth Day Reception
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
IU South Bend University Grill
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Dinner and a Book
Saturday, April 26, 10:30 am & Monday, April 28, 8:30 pm
Channel 34.2
Center Director Mike Keen discusses the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer with "Dinner and a Book" host Gail Martin. Togethe, they will prepare food from Malawi (Kamkwamba's home country) to go along with the discussion.
GreenTown Michiana 2.0
April 22, 2014
DoubleTree Hotel
Downtown South Bend
Join us for GreenTown Michiana 2.0  to expand on the progress made at GreenTown 2013 and to come together as communities to make real, sustainable change both locally and regionally.
*Learn about new projects and initiatives including Michiana’s growing sustainable food system and the Indiana Michigan River Valley Trail
*Meet new people and network with others interested in creating healthy, sustainable communities
*Become part of an exciting new regional networking and planning initiative
Register HERE and Learn more HERE
Sustainability (virtual) Lecture Night
Monday, April 14, 2014
Featuring Majora Carter - Local Eco-Entrepreneurship

IU South Bend Alumni Room (map)
A visionary voice in city planning comes from this South Bronx native who views urban renewal through an environmental lens. The South Bronx native draws a direct connection between ecological, economic, and social degradation. Hence her motto: "Green the ghetto!" Carter's confidence, energy and intensely emotional delivery make her talks themselves a force of nature. Awarded a 2005 MacArthur "genius" grant, Majora Carter went on to form the economic consulting and planning firm the Majora Carter Group to bring her pioneering approach to communities far outside the South Bronx. The Majora Carter Group is putting the green economy and green economic tools to use, unlocking the potential of every place -- from urban cities and rural communities, to universities, government projects, businesses and corporations -- and everywhere else in between.
The lecture will be presented virtually via a TED talk. Joining her will be people from local businesses, government, organizations, and education who are taking similar approaches to the featured speaker in their efforts to grow a sustainable Michiana.
A reception and networking period will follow.
4th Annual Growing Summit: A Learning Event
March  28th, 29th & 30th  
Keynote Friday at 7:00pm
Doors open 8:30 am on Saturday 
Film screening “Food Patriots” at 4:00pm
Doors open at 9:30 on Sunday 
Wiekamp Hall, IU South Bend campus (map)

The weekend kicks off with a Friday evening keynote speaker. Then Saturday & Sunday are filled with classes and vendor booths. This event gets better every year, so join us!
Keynote speaker   Karana Olivier "Growing Communities- What makes us a community?"
Saturday & Sunday March 29th & 30th Classes & Vendors 
Monday, February 24, 2014
 Ron Finley & Pam Warhurst – The Future of Food/How We Can Eat Our Landscapes
5th Floor, IU South Bend Schurz Library (map)
At this event, we will be bringing two continents together with one goal: empowering ordinary people to take control of their communities through active civic engagement by planting the seeds and tools for healthy eating.
Pam Warhurst is the Chair of the Board of the Forestry Commission in Great Britain, which advises on and implements forestry policy for the nation. She also cofounded Incredible Edible Todmorden, a local food partnership that encourages community engagement through local growing.
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA -- in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."
The lecture will be presented virtually, via a TED talk or popular public talk by leaders in their field. Joining these nationally and internationally known speakers will be people from local businesses, government, organizations, and education who are taking similar approaches to the featured speaker in their efforts to grow a sustainable Michiana.
A reception and networking period will follow.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat
IU South Bend Education and Arts Bldg, Rm 1011 (map)

Join us on the IUSB campus for part or all of a day-long live webcast of this annual TEDx event, featuring live streamed talks intermingled with local spekers and foods.
Sustainability (virtual) Lecture Night
Monday, November 25, 2013
Featuring Bill Ford, executive chair of the Ford Motor Company
IU South Bend Elkhart Center
Rm 221
Download the flyer HERE
William Clay Ford, Jr. is the executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, founded by his great-grandfather, Henry Ford, in Detroit. This massive company found great success selling cars to the world. Now, Ford is looking toward a future that's not simply about selling more and more cars. Ford looks to a future where cars are greener and cleaner, move more efficiently on better, smarter road systems -- and sometimes are replaced by mass transit and other forms of mobility.
As CEO, Mr. Ford improved quality, lowered costs and delivered exciting new products. During his time in that position he took the company from a $5.5 billion loss in 2001 to three straight years of profitability. Through the years, his vision for the company has remained unchanged. He says: "The ongoing success of Ford Motor Company is my life’s work. We want to have an even greater impact in our next 100 years than we did in our first 100."
The lecture will be presented virtually, via a TED talk or popular public talk by leaders in their field. Joining these nationally and internationally known speakers will be people from local businesses, government, organizations, and education who are taking similar approaches to the featured speaker in their efforts to grow a sustainable Michiana.
A reception and networking period will follow.
GreenTown Michiana
October 10&11, 2013
DoubleTree Hotel
Downtown South Bend, IN
GreenTown brings together the public sector and the private sector to "connect the dots," to inspire and to work together to remake our communities. From healthy lving to local food, energy to green infrastructure, water to outdoor space, GreenTown will help you make the healthy choice the easy choice.
GreenTown conference will be held Friday, October 11, 2013. Pre-conference events will be held on Thursday, October 10.
More information on the flyer or at or on the GreenTown Facebook page.
Keynote Speaker: Mark Fenton of America's Walking! Mark will take us on a walk of downtown South Bend and get us moving and thinking about how to develop a sustainable downtown.
GreenTown Michiana Pre Conference Workshops 
(separate registration required - only $20!)
Thursday, October 10
DoubleTree Hotel
Downtown South Bend,. IN
Click on links for more information about each workshop.
Sustainability and Innovation: The Natural Step to Prosperity.
Learn how to use a Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development so you may effectively utilize sustainability and innovation to strengthen your business or organization and make Michiana more prosperous as part of the newly emerging green economy. The workshop will provide the basic principles of sustainability and explain how to integrate them into your business or organization to gain cost savings, customer and employee loyalty, and competitive advantage.
How do we increase commercial food scrap collection in the Michiana area? What are the economic development opportunities related to expanding recycling? What are the steps for creating large and small-scale zero waste community events? This session includes presentations, dialogue, and training that will advance landfill diversion in Indiana, Michigan and beyond.
Healthy Water, Healthy Communities
Here in the Great Lakes Region, we have plenty of water. But how much? For how long? And at what quality? This is a session for those who care about, or work with, water and how it impacts our communities now and for generations to come. Learn about the current state of water quality and quantity, the diverse groups in the Michiana area to spur greater stewardship, cooperation, and progress, the Importance of a Watershed Approach, explore ideas and identify future opportunities and next steps to work together to protect, improve, and celebrate water resources in Michiana.

Monday, September 16
Featuring Amory Lovins - Reinventing Fire
IU South Bend Alumni Room (
Amory Lovins was worried (and writing) about energy long before global warming was making the front -- or even back -- page of newspapers. Since studying at Harvard and Oxford in the 1960s, he's written dozens of books, and initiated ambitious projects -- cofounding the influential, environment-focused Rocky Mountain Institute; prototyping the ultra-efficient Hypercar -- to focus the world's attention on alternative approaches to energy and transportation. His critical thinking has driven people around the globe -- from world leaders to the average Joe -- to think differently about energy and its role in some of our biggest problems: climate change, oil dependency, national security, economic health, and depletion of natural resources. Lovins offers solutions as well, which focus on how to conserve natural resources while also promoting economic growth.

The lecture will be presented virtually, via a TED talk or popular public talk by leaders in their field. Joining these nationally and internationally known speakers will be people from local businesses, government, organizations, and education who are taking similar approaches to the featured speaker in their efforts to grow a sustainable Michiana.
A reception and networking period will follow.

Rain Barrel Ball
Saturday September 7, 2013
Century Center
Downtown South Bend
Produced by Greening the Bend, which seeks to bolster a renaissance in South Bend by promoting green spaces and human-friendly urban features that protect Water and our River as a precious natural resource. A Premium event will provide a centerpiece to the campaign to fund the Century Center Roof top Garden. Plan to attend the Inaugural Rain Barrel Ball! Area artists and artist groups, including women at St Margaret's House and local school children are painting Rain Barrels that are underwritten by local businesses and organizations and will be sold at auction. Event includes dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions.

Connecting Our Local FoodshedLocal Foodshed event flyer
Saturday, June 8
10:00am - 1:00pm
Goshen Farmers Market
Transition Goshen, Edible Michiana, Rachel’s Bread and the Goshen Farmers Market, are bringing together a gathering of regional organizations representing a variety of initiatives to revitalize our local food systems. The event will run concurrently with the Farmers Market in the south parking lot. Learn about these regionally unique organizations such as Elkhart Local Food Alliance, Hens for Goshen, Maple City Market, Peace Bees, Purple Porch Co-op, Seed to Feed, Slow Money Michiana, Unity Gardens, and The Window, to name a few. Find out about Michiana's network of services connecting producers to consumers, of which the Goshen Farmers Market is a small but vital component.
*Free* event open to the public.

Earth Day Reception
Monday, April 22
IU South Bend
Join the Center to celebrate as we prsent Sustainability Awards, review acomplishments of the last year, recognize underwriters and supporters, and look ahead to future projects, dgree programs, and community events. 

E-Waste Recycling Fest
May 10-11, 2013
IU South Bend
Our 5th annual event! We will be collecting your old, unused, and even broken computers systems and accessories, A/V equipment, handheld devices, and office equipment.
May 10 is for business and large organization drop offs.
May 11 is for community drop offs.
For more information, see the event page HERE or download the flyer HERE

Sustainability & Innovation: The Natural Step to Prosperity
March 29, 2013
IU South Bend
Click HERE for more information

Ignite Michiana
March 28

The State Theater
214 1/2 S Michigan St.
South Bend, IN 46601

Passion. Everyone has at least one; it’s that something that excites you, fires you up, widens your eyes, makes you talk a little faster, and gives you that rush of empowerment. Ignite Michiana provides the platform to share these life-shaping experiences, passions, and unique perspectives. It is a high-energy evening of five minute presentations by people who have an idea – and the guts – to get onstage and share it with fellow creative folks. For Ignite Michiana #1 the theme is Sustainability and Innovation. Join us for Ignite Michiana and become exposed to new creative ideas and people!
Produced by Center Fellow Willow Wetherall and Center faculty Joshua Wells in partnership with The State Theater of South Bend, and co-sponsored by First Source Bank, DTSB, Fog Pilot, The Music Village, and Moray Labs LLC.

TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat
February 16, 2013

Wiekamp Hall Rm 1001 (map HERE)
IU South Bend

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" will take place in New York City and webcast LIVE in South Bend. During breaks from the liove webcast out of Manhattan, there will be time for attendees to meet each other and look for new synergies and new ideas to help bolster the sustainable food movement.
Find out more about the event and speakers HERE

Interested in participating by displaying and sharing your organizations information? Contact us
Interested in presenting a short (5 minute) talk? Click HERE for speaker application information

Green Solutions: A Cross-Sectional Discussion
U.S. General Services Administration and Indiana University South Bend

Ann P. Kalayil
Regional Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration
November 1, 2012
12:00 pm -1:30 pm
IU South Bend Administration Building
Alumni Room, 2nd Floor
1700 Mishawaka Ave, South Bend, IN 46634

The Indiana University South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future invites you to participate in a roundtable discussion on November 1 featuring Ann P. Kalayil and focusing on the costs and benefits of green technology, strategies for implementing this technology, and how public/private partnerships can advance this technology.
The event is free of charge, though pre-event registration is required and space is limited. RSVP to Mike Keen (574) 520-4429 or

Want to know more? Download the flyer HERE

Community Energy Day Tours
Saturday September 29, 2012

Local Food Projects: Tour and Learn!
A series of event to see what's growing on around Michiana and beyond. All events are free and open to the public.
Growing Power
Wednesday, September 12
Purple Porch Co-op
Lang Lab (1302 High St, South Bend)

A group of Michiana folks headed to Milwaukee to see this premier urban agriculture center. Founder Will Allen received the McArthur Genius Award for his work developing Growing Power. Drop in for an introduction to the Purple Porch Co-op, bring a light dish to share (optional), and enjoy pictures and hear impressions and lessons learned from the tour group.

Rise Up Farms/Elkhart Local Food Alliance
Saturday, September 15
9:30 yoga; 10:30 tour

Visit this innovative shared farming experience, visit area gardens, and learn about the founding and operations of the Elkhart Local Food Alliance

Goshen Market Tours & Talks
Tuesday September 18

Come see and hear how Goshen markets are connecting growers and consumers. The Goshen Farmer's Market Manager will talk with the group about the market in adjoining Rachel's Bread, which will have dinner available for purchase. While together, we will discuss a bit more broadly about food projects happening in Goshen and about the Transition Goshen movement. An optional visit to the Maple City Market, ocated just a few blocks away, along with an after-tours stop at nearby local food (and beverage) supporting restaurant Constant Spring, will follow the Farmers Market visit. Connecting with the Maple City Market and their new manager may follow - stay tuned!
For information on the Goshen Farmers Market and for directions, see the website HERE

Transition Michiana: Building a healthy, sustainable economic future for South Bend and the surrounding area.
January 24-26, 2013
Salvation Army Kroc Center, South Bend
For anyone interested in creating a better future for our communities, in issues of sustainability, and working together to build a healthy, resilient economic future. This gathering is to educate, empower, and unite people to work together to build a better Michiana by envisioning and preparing for a sustainable future. Additionally, it will build and expand networks of people to work on:

  • Local food production, distribution and preservation skills
  • Engaging local government and institutions around sustainability issues
  • Local transportation
  • Sustainability education integrated across family and school environments
  • Local job creation
  • Strengthening community relationships
  • Local energy production
For more information: