Health Science Campus experiences sustainability week for first time Friday, Nov 1 2019 

By Byron Hoskinson —

The University of Louisville’s 12th annual Sustainability Week featured over 30 sustainability-related events across the Belknap and Health Science Campuses.  

The week is held each October to raise awareness for environmental issues, promote student engagement in eco-friendly initiatives and showcase career opportunities in sustainability.  The eight-day, multi-location production was the collaborative effort of the university’s Student Government Association, Sustainability Council, Office of the Provost, Dining Services, several RSOs and local nonprofit organizations.   

 It started in 2008 as a single day event, but sustainability week has expanded over the years as the university has made sustainability a central part of its long-term plans, assistant to the provost for sustainability Justin Mog said.  

For the first time, Sustainability Week events spread beyond the Belknap campus to the Health Science Center.  The HSC events were spearheaded by the recently formed HSC Green Team, a group designed to address sustainability concerns related to the health field, Mog said. The events included a series of documentaries, free bike tune-ups and a professional development workshop presented by Mog called “Business as Usual is Killing Us: It’s Time for Institutional Weirding in the Age of Global Climate Weirding.” 

The week included plenty of food for students, kicking off at the Red Barn with the Farm-To-Table Dinner, hosted by the university’s dining services and featuring a five-course meal created with locally-sourced ingredients. It concluded with a “Lunch and Learn” workshop, hosted by the Sustainability Council’s EcoReps program and featuring a free vegetarian lunch.  

The Cardinal Cupboard, a project of SGA’s Engage Lead Serve Board, collected over 1,500 pounds of nonperishable goods for students in a two-day collection blitz held across campus, said Sustainability Council communications intern Henny Ransdell.

Additionally, over $600 was raised for U of L’s Green Fund, which goes towards implementing new campus sustainability initiatives, Mog said.  

Throughout the week, numerous nonprofits and environmentally-focused organizations came to campus to raise awareness and promote jobs in sustainability and renewables.  

Mog was similarly optimistic about graduating students’ prospects in sustainability fields.  

“The opportunities for careers in sustainability have been expanding.  Most universities and many corporations and governments now have a sustainability coordinator or director,” he said.  “There’s been a big boom in interest and it’s encouraging to see.”

Sustainability week ended with some of its initiatives carrying over into Homecoming Weekend.  

“For the Homecoming game, fans should see a new ‘zero-waste approach’ implemented to game days,” Mog said.  He said the approach is an attempt to eliminate all non-recyclables from within the stadium itself, including from vendors and fans.  

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Health Science Campus experiences sustainability week for first time appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Improving sustainability at U of L with assistant provost Justin Mog Tuesday, Oct 22 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

Justin Mog, assistant provost of sustainability at the University of Louisville, is 45 years old and has never had a driver’s license. This is one of the ways he’s “weirding” in the age of global climate weirding, as he puts it.

During U of L’s sustainability week, Mog has visited the Health Science and Belknap campus’s to discuss environmental, social and economical stewardship. He is looking to raise awareness and show students, faculty and staff how they can contribute to making U of L a more sustainable university.

“We need to act now and do something different,” said Mog.

With climate change undeniably in the forefront of today’s world, Mog is educating those who want to help make a change. Something as simple as brining a reusable water bottle with you to work or school makes a difference, said Mog.

He reflected on U of L’s past and the progress they have made in the 10 years that he has been here. Specifically, he touched on when U of L’s campus flooded in 2009 how that was a turning point for the university’s sustainability initiatives.

Suggestions Mog made for a more sustainable campus include:

  • Eliminating waste and pollution.
  • Eliminating abuse and injustice to people, animals and the planet.
  • Relying on renewable resources.
  • Swapping disposable for durable.
  • Cultivating diversity both ecologically and as humans.

“It’s the kind of thing we need to do in the face of crisis,” Mog said. It was a point of his that people don’t have to suffer to be sustainable, rather they just need to change habits.

As a whole U of L’s carbon footprint has decreased by 13 percent since 2006. Initiatives such as the roundabout at Floyd St. and Brandeis and the new student walkway on Brook St. are a couple of the ways Louisville has made an impact on the environment. Both of these changes have decreased the amount of idling and emissions on campus.

Areas where U of L is having trouble with sustainability are purchased electricity (fossil fuels), on-campus stationary and student commuting. As of 2018 72.4 percent drive alone to campus along with 86.3 percent of faculty doing the same.

In the past U of L has tried to offer incentives for students not driving to campus, such as their “Earn-A-Bike” program. Students received a $400 voucher to a local bike shop so they could purchase a bike to ride to school. This initiative only lasted from 2012 to 2016.

Despite U of L’s failed initiatives in the past and vast room for improvement, they are still the most sustainable university in Kentucky. U of L received their highest STARS rating this year, making it their first time rated as Gold.

“When you start adding it up we can make a difference at U of L,” said Mog.

Photo By Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal  

The post Improving sustainability at U of L with assistant provost Justin Mog appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.