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Future News (pdf)
Volume 3, Issue 4
Sustaining Your Spirit Gift Wrapping Ideas Director's Message Learn Do Sustain Study Sustainability Upcoming Events The Gift of Friendship FireSoul  -  Know the News

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Sustaining Your Spirit Through the Holidays

Center Picks for Green Gifts
Mike, Director: Every year I give my brother and his family a heifer from Heifer International. The heifer actually goes to a family in another country that uses it to sustain their family.
Kathy, Admin Asst.: When I go shopping, I pick up extra cans of dog food and dog toys. Then, I donate them to the Humane Society and give old blankets and towels to the vet office.
Krista, Asst. Dir.: I like to give experiences. Last year, I gave a set of tickets to 5 shows at the Civic Theater as a joint gift to both my partner and I and the couple next door. We mixed and matched who went to which shows; either a household couple or one person from each. We had fun all year long with this gift!
Hailey, Intern: I’ll be giving herbs from the IUSB Campus Garden that I have gathered and dried. What I’d like to receive is an Amtrak gift certificate!
Kelly, Fellow: I typically give cookies or I make a homemade Hooch that's pretty good :)
Myles, Fellow: I wrap all of my gifts Furoshiki style to cut down on waste and as a way to make the wrapping an interesting addition to the gift. I also purchase locally made wine and spirits and give them out to much of my family. Two years ago I knit my grandparents scarves and made my girlfriend earrings. Last year I gave hand knit scarves to about 10 friends at IUSB. I try to do handmade gifts as often as possible. I also purchased triple pane R-5 windows for my mom’s house. That’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Kathleen, Fellow: This past summer, Jonathan and I purchased locally grown grapes, which we processed using a Mehu-Liisa steamer to make the most ambrosial grape juice ever. We bottled the juice in sterilized glass bottles with the coolest flip-top closures. When we give the juice as a gift we tell the recipient we hope they enjoy the contents and if they would like to stay on our list for next year's batch, they only need return to bottle to us!
Jessica, Fellow: I am supporting independent artists by shopping on Etsy for unique gifts for my sisters this year!

Better Ways to Buy what you “need” to buy
-Take your own reusable shopping bags when you do your shopping.
-Stuff stockings with nuts and fruit instead of plastic do-dads. Most of them end up in the wastebasket before Christmas day is over and last hundreds of years in a landfill. My family did this and we would always end up sitting around cracking and eating nuts for days after Christmas.
-If you decorate with a tree, buy a locally grown Christmas tree and remember to recycle it after the holidays are over.
-If you are buying toys or electrical goods that need batteries, buy rechargeable ones, then add a battery charger to your shopping list.
-Bag the meal garbage: Try to plan your meals and only buy what you need. Put a compost bin on your shopping list!
-When buying your food, buy local, organic or fair-trade. A traditional dinner that uses local seasonal produce and food from a local market or grocer helps reduce "food miles."

Be Bold – Do Something Good! (alternative gift options)
Let the sun shine! In many ways, the winter holidays celebrate light. Winter Solstice marks the lengthening of the light, Christmas reminds us of the guiding light of the Star of Bethlehem, and Hanukkah celebrates the miraculous “renewable energy” of the oil lamps in the Jerusalem Temple. Celebrate the sun with some solar gifts such as solar bike lights, solar bags (aka “juice bags”) that keep gadgets charged, and toy solar cars and robots.
Give a gift that gives:
-At Alternative Gifts International, purchase a share of a solar heating panel for a Native American family in South Dakota.
Heifer International: give a flock of chicks, a pig, or llama to families living in subsistence communities.
-Give a gift that will help a child be curious about the natural world: a zoo membership, an ant/butterfly farm, science kits, a kite, a tree you plant together, or a live plant kit.
-Give an experience: a zoo/museum/historical society membership, performance/event tickets, a camping trip, cooking classes.
-Give a service: provided by you or a local business: a baby-sitting gift certificate, a massage, a dinner out, hire a chef in, dance lessons.
-Give a creation: Cook or bake a gift, Write a poem or story about the person, Glaze some pottery
-Give socially conscious gifts! Shop fair trade at Global Exchange Fair Trade, area Ten Thousand Villages shops (or online), or check out the South Bend store Just Goods.
-Give an investment in the natural world: Adopt a gorilla, giraffe or elephant, Adopt a whale, wolf or polar bear, Adopt-an-acre of a rainforest.

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Creative and sustainable gift wrapping ideas
According to the EPA Americans throw away an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills between Thanksgiving and New Year's. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
Did you know…? More than 8,000 ton of wrapping paper will be used on presents, using the equivalent of 50,000 trees.
Try these alternatives:
-Package the gift into a container that is part of the gift itself. Use a lunch box, tool box, makeup bag, or kitchen pot to "wrap" a smaller gift. Simply add a ribbon or bow.
-Try wrapping gifts with any of the following: towels, scarves, fabric, pillowcases, cloth napkins, newspaper, magazines, old calendars, old books, tins or canisters, wallpaper remnants, maps, paper bags, baskets, children’s art work, bottles or glass jars, paper bags decorated with stamps or stickers.
-Watch for presents with minimal packaging, or items packed in recycled or recyclable materials.
-Reuse/Recycle: Save gift bags and tissue paper to reuse again next year and recycle the paper you can’t reuse.

Don’t Forget…
-Recycle your beverage containers, including bottles from wine and plastic egg nog containers.
-If you receive electric goods this season, recycle or donate old electronics them at an area Goodwill store or at Bridges to Digital Excellence
-Take public transportation to go Christmas shopping. If using the car, try to make only one, big trip, cutting down on gas consumption and time.
-If you're having a party, avoid serving food and drinks on disposable plates and cups. If you don't have enough reusable plates, have everyone bring their own!
-Make your New Year's resolution to live more sustainably in 2013!

(Ideas from earth911, AASHE, and Green America)

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Directors Message

As the year rushes to an end, we at the Center want to wish you and yours a joyous holiday and a happy new year. This is certainly one of my favorite times of the year with the many colorful festivities we variously celebrate as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa and each in our own way reflect upon the reason for the season. Looking back over the last year we have much to be thankful for: another year of successful programing and unprecedented community support, a growing and enthusiastic group of highly talented students, increasing institutional support, and ever greater visibility and recognition.

As we turn our eyes toward the future, which we always do at this time of the year, we have great reason for hope, but also concern. Recent reports have just indicated that carbon dioxide levels have hit new highs this year, and will move even higher in the next. Global ice sheets are melting faster than any of our climate models have predicted. Superstorm Sandy gave us an all too real snapshot of what might become the new normal.

Yet, at the same time, solar power is reported to be the fastest growing source of energy in the world right now, and wind power in the U.S. has jumped from 18% of electricity generating capacity to 32% in just over a decade.

Perhaps the best news of all is the holiday season gives each of us a chance to join in and make a difference. On average, each person is expected to spend more than $500 in gifts this year, not to mention decorations and food and beverages. As we have noted in the past, every dollar we spend is a vote for the type of future we wish to see, so we encourage everyone to use this time as an opportunity to vote for a sustainable future.

In order to help us do this, Krista has been compiling ideas for sustainable gifts, decorating ideas, and recipes for our favorite holiday dishes, sweets, and family traditions. Look for them daily on our Facebook page. And while you are at it, share your favorite sustainable holiday suggestion with the CSF community on our page.

Finally, make sure to follow the “12 Sustainable Days of Christmas” as we count down to December 25 with a new sustainable gift idea each day. MAKE SURE to click in on the 25th when the CSF Choir will sing a full rendition for your entertainment. Better yet, come join us when we gather the choir to produce the video. Krista will let you know when we will be filming - no auditions necessary!

In the meantime, enjoy this holiday missive chocked full of ideas how you can celebrate the season and help give the gift of a sustainable future to the planet and all the precious species with whom we share it.

Energizing Indiana

Learn - Do - Sustain

Enerigizing Indiana

These *free* assessments can help raise your home's performance, lower energy consumption, improve in-home air quality, and increase your home's value. PLUS you get a free energy efficiency prodcut package and a report about what energy saving features would be best for your home.

Energizing Effects, by Center Fellow Kelly Hofferth: "I’m proud to let you know that I have just completed my Home Energy Assessment with NIPSCO! We have been encouraging folks to schedule their assessments before the end of the year, as the Center will receive $50 for each one booked in 2012.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about the outcome of my energy assessment. How could I ever be a Friend of the Future with such a poor history with NIPSCO? Well, the inspector gave me the review and I was thrilled to learn that my biggest problem was going to be getting additional insulation in the roof. Not too shabby!

For each one completed, the Center receives a donation of $25 - or more! Learn more and schedule yours HERE

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Study Sustainability

Sustainability Studies at IU South Bend:
Spring Sustainability Courses:Sustainable Communities %7e Costa Rica: Travel with us over IUSB's spring break (March 8-17, 2013) to learn sustainability in Costa Rica. Deadline to apply is December 19, 2012!! Click HERE for more information.
Foundations of Sustainability, Sustianability Practicum, and a dozen more are available this spring at IUSB. Learn more HERE
Sustainability and Innovation Workshop:Save the Date! Learn now to use sustainability and innovation to strengthen your business or organization and make Michiana more prosperous as part of the emerging green economy. The next workshop will be help Friday, March 29, 2013 on the IU South Bend campus. Learn more about the workshop HERE
New Online Course: Foundations of Sustainability in Summer, 2013!
Graduate Certificate in Strategic Sustainability begins Spring, 2014!

Find out about what courses are available, which apply towards the degree, and learn about what this degree can offer HERE.

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Upcoming Events

Changing the Way We Eat
TEDxManhattan LIVE Webcast Event at IU South Bend
Saturday, February 16
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At this TEDx event, TEDTalk video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" will feature food activists and scholars, and will include local speakers during breaks and time for attendees to meet each other and look for new synergies and new ideas to help bolster the sustainable food movement.


Sustainability Lecture Series
Bringing the great minds in sustainability to campus - virtually. A live local panel of folks in fields related to the speaker provides a post-lecture guided discussion. Each event includes networking, refreshments, the talk, and panel discussion. Two lectures remain this academic year - in February and April. Updates will be posted on our Events page, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Learn more about these and other events HERE.



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Give the Gift of Friendship

Greetings Friends!
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. In this time of giving, I encourage you to consider becoming a Friend of the Future. It is a gift that truly keeps on giving, not only to the environment but also to future generations. With your help, we can make South Bend a greener city through both education and action. Please visit our Friends page to learn more about how you can give to the Center and become a Friend of the Future.
All the best this season,
Kelly
Fellow, Center for a Sustainable Future

 

Dwayne

People of the Future

FireSoul Dwayne Borkholder, President, Borkholder Buildings and Supply & New Energy Homes.

An alumni of IUSB, Dwayne has inspired us with his forward thinking, people-planet-profit approach to business, and with his passion for conservation of resources and energy. He recently joined us on campus as a panelist as part of our Talking Sustainability (virtual) Lecture Series and impressed us with his sustainability savvy approach to his business that is based in Nappanee, IN, but reaches into other countries. We recognize his in this issue as a FireSoul, a person with a strong interest in sustainable development and community change who are willing and able to work hard to implement ideas. Learn more about Dwayne HERE

 

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Know the News

Sustain the Future Social Media Feature

Our blog, "Talking Sustainability" is generating quite the renewable buzz! Check out the latest conversations from Fellows, students, interns, and more HERE.

The Center’s Facebook page is a great way to connect, learn, and find out what is happening in the Michiana sustainability community. “Like” us HERE.

Pin It! Tweet It! Subscribe to our channel! Our social media outreach is growing - grow with us and be part of the conversation!