This year's Green Initiatives committee has been a little different than past years because all of the MS Teams meetings in plce of in-person meetings. However, there is no drop in passion for sustainability as we work to make environmental topics more known by providing interesting and engaging content.
One of the biggest challenges this year has been our inability to connect with committee members in person, but we still a fun time online talking with committee members and getting to see them in their natural environment.
A really cool opportunity that came with the pandemic been our goal to be more intentional about community engagement and working with great organizations. One of the organizations that we worked with is Change Today Change Tomorrow, a local non-profit working hard to increase accessibility to resources and foster community among marginalized Louisville residents. Green Initiatives had the opportunity to help Change Today Change Tomorrow build raised garden beds.
We also took the opportunity to support Koko The Shop, a local sustainable living shop and refillery. We highly recommend you check out their hair and body care products.
Overall, it was really cool giving back and make people’s day as we support local shops in a time when business everywhere can be really slow.
Green initiatives this year has been an amazing experience!
Briant Grant is the co-director for Green Initiatives.
Dear Green Initiatives,
Thank you so much for a wonderful year filled with service, education and fun! We would not have been able to accomplish everything we did this semester without you all! We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to making this campus, and more importantly this world, a better and more sustainable place for all. We hope to see you all again and to welcome some new smiling faces next year!
Have a great summer everyone!
With love, Henny and Megan
Grab your popcorn and get settled, Green Initiatives NPR-style podcast is here! Our director, Henny Ransdell, has a fun time interviewing her co-director, Megan Husted, about sustainability: what it means, how you can be more sustainable, opportunities on campus, and more!
When I first started volunteering for FRN, I did not understand how much of an impact it would make. The process is so simple, yet the impact is so profound. I started picking up bagels from Einstein’s on campus last semester and taking them straight to St. Vincent DePaul food pantry. Let me tell you, carrying 35 lbs of bagels around campus is a humbling experience.
Since the opening of FRN last January, 1,938 lbs of food has been recovered. That’s 1,491 meals or enough food to feed a single person for over 3 years. Being a part of something that is directly changing the lives of so many people is so rewarding. And now with the grand opening of Cardinal Cupboard, which is the free, sustainable food and resource pantry on UofL’s campus for cardinal staff, faculty and students,I am even more excited to help people directly affected by hunger or lack of resources in our UofL community. By opening the pantry Student Involvement is letting the UofL community of students, faculty and staff know that students on campus genuinely care about them and their wellbeing.
I am looking forward to being a part of this new chapter at UofL and seeing the profound impact FRN and the Cupboard will continue to have.
Volunteers are always welcome! Some of the tasks include manning the pantry in the SAC, recovering food on campus, and helping to collect food donated by community members in various drives we will be arranging. All the information is on the ELSB website! https://www.uoflelsb.org/cardinal-cupboard.html
This September, Henny and I had an event called TARC 101: Kroger and Back! The purpose of this event was multifaceted- we put this event on to show people how riding public transportation is easy and environmentally friendly, and we shopped consciously by using reusable shopping bags! As a bonus, we gave people advice on how to shop more sustainably. Here are some of our favorite tips!
1. Shop Organically
Shopping organically cuts down on your carbon footprint. Foods that are organic use less CO2 than foods that aren’t and reduces climatic stress.
2. Shop Seasonally
Vegetables and fruits that aren’t in season are grown two different ways; in greenhouses that use a lot of energy or rely heavily on importation.
Good thing apples are in season!
Check which foods are in season here: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
3. Shop Less Meat
Meat production has been growing at a much faster than the rate of population growth. Shopping less meat means that your carbon footprint will decrease and you will be saving water!
4. Cut Down on Waste
When shopping, make a conscious effort to bring reusable shopping bags. Buy foods with less packaging and stay away from individually wrapped food items!
My name is Natalina Vaccaro, and as the new Director of Green Initiatives. I am going to be leading this committee along with Henny Ransdell, the Associate Director. As someone who was an active member in Green Initiatives last year and is passionate about sustainability, I know firsthand what it takes to make Green Initiatives flourish.
The news can sometimes be discouraging. With current and former administrations implementing policies that do little to help and even hurt the environment, it may seem like our government doesn’t care about the environment- not even the EPA. Littered with scandals, it seems like the last thing on the EPA’s agenda is environmental protection. Therefore, we need to take matters into our own hands and continue the movement for sustainability. And Green Initiatives is just the place for us to start.
We will hold biweekly meetings where Henny and I will come up with fun, sustainable activities! We already have some fun ideas planned for this year, but we want our committee members to have a say in what we focus on. Whether it’s waste, energy, or clean air, we know we can make an impact.
We care a lot about sustainability and want to make a significant effect; not just at UofL, but in our local community. On that note, we will participate in LOTS of service!! Stay tuned for cool opportunities to get involved, including volunteering at Louisville’s local nonprofit Louisville Grows and the University of Louisville’s very own Garden Commons.
Want to get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info!
Green Initiatives promotes sustainability on an individual and institutional level to create environmental change in the community.