September, 2009
1. Green Lunch Series
2. Green Drinks
3. Call for Staff and Faculty to Serve on Climate Action Committees
4. Call for Students to Serve on Climate Action Committees
5. New course in watershed management in Costa Rica
6. Recycling program receives $40,829 from ADEM
7. HVAC Sustainable Practices Workshop
8. Refill Ink Cartridges: Save Money and the Environment
9. Five $10,000 Grants Available for Students
10. Blooming Colors Vegetable Market

Green Lunch Series
September Green Lunch

On September 30, Dr. Chris Newland, Alumni Professor in the Department of Psychology will give a talk titled, "Cleaning the Air Has Made Us Smarter, Less Likely to Kill Each Other, and May Improve Mental Health."

Newland describes his talk as follows:

We have learned that many environmental contaminants found in the air and water significantly disrupt the nervous system. These effects occur in adults but the developing and aging nervous system are especially vulnerable. Exposure can have serious behavioral effects that persist long after exposure ceases. This sounds grim but actually it is good news since it points to ways to improve our well-being. The predicted benefits of removing lead from gasoline are coming true. The potential harm from methylmercury in the atmosphere is still under debate, but research at Auburn and elsewhere suggests that effects are significant and preventable.

October Green Lunch

Our October Green Lunch will be presented by Mike Kensler, and his talk will be titled "Cultivating Sustainable Communities: How to Ignite and Spread a Commitment to Sustainability."

Mike Kensler is Outreach Programs Administrator for AU's Water Resources Center. Mike has expertise in natural resources management, planning, and policy, as well as in the areas of organizational learning, team building, leadership development, and civic engagement. He has worked with communities and organizations at local and regional scales to cultivate a more sustainable future. He describes the Green Lunch talk as follows.

Sustainable communities evolve as people align together around shared commitments and shared values about the way we want to live and the future we hope to create. How do we build the social fabric that creates a sustainable future? What types of conversations and approaches are most effective in engaging others? How can we generate the energy and commitment necessary to create ecological, economic, and social sustainability? In this interactive presentation, you will learn about and explore principles and practices of engagement that you can use to tap and ignite aspiration and commitment in others.

Fall 2009 Speakers

Student Center





Aug. 18


Dr. Carlos Morera Beita, "The relationship between protected areas, local development and conservation in Costa Rica."


Aug. 26


James Lowery, “Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment.”


Sept. 30


Dr. Chris Newland, Dept. Psychology, "Cleaning the Air Has Made Us Smarter, Less Likely to Kill Each Other, and May Improve Mental Health."


Oct. 28


Mike Kensler, Outreach Programs Administrator, Auburn Water Resources Center, ""Cultivating Sustainable Communities: How to Ignite and Spread a Commitment to Sustainability."


Dec. 2


Panel discussion on local food: producers, restauranteurs, rural solciologist

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Green Drinks

What: Green Drinks
When: Every Wednesday, at 5:30pm
Where: Zazu's Eclectic Eatery, 149 East Magnolia Avenue Auburn

Begun during the early part of the summer, Green Drinks has become a weekly event in downtown Auburn. Every Wednesday people who are interested in green issues and sustainability are meeting in Zazu's Eclectic Eatery, a locally owned restaurant and bar, to discuss in an informal setting the issues that interest them. The owners have kindly offered a discount to this group only.

Please join us and feel free to spread the word to others who might be interested. This is a child friendly gathering.

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Call for Staff and Faculty to Serve on Climate Action Committees

The Office of Sustainability is inviting faculty and staff to participate in the development of the university's Climate Action Plan, or CAP. In fall 2008, President Gogue signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), and the development of the CAP is in response to that commitment. By joining this national project, along with 650 other universities and colleges, Gogue committed Auburn University to significantly reducing its carbon footprint. The campus community will decide how to do it and what a reasonable target goal and date will be for Auburn. Some universities have set 2012 as a target, others 2050; and they have set different target goals.

The Climate Action Plan will be a campus-wide, inclusive process similar to the strategic planning process that occurred in 2007. While the entire campus will be invited to provide input and comment, Auburn University is committed to providing opportunities for direct involvement in the plan for interested members of the campus community. The Office of Sustainability is now establishing working groups to make recommendations in particular areas: energy, information technology, purchasing, transportation, buildings, grounds, food and dining, recycling and waste reduction, campus and community engagement, and student life. The working groups will have 10-15 members representing the campus community. Each working group will have a chair who will serve on the CAP task force that will summarize the working group recommendations in a final report to President Gogue and the Board of Trustees.

If you would like to serve on one committees, please contact the Office of Sustainability at 844-7777 or If you would like more information on the ACUPCC or CAP, visit our website at

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Call for Students to Serve on Climate Action Committees

The Office of Sustainability would like to invite students to serve on the Climate Action Plan committees. One student will serve as a voting member on each of the following teams: energy, information technology, purchasing, transportation, buildings, grounds, food and dining, recycling and waste reduction, campus and community engagement. There will also be a student life committee which will comprise students only, undergraduate and graduate. Students who are interested will be expected to have some knowledge about or experience in sustainability or related issues.

If you would like to serve on one of these committees, please contact the Office of Sustainability at 844-7777 or If you would like more information on the ACUPCC or CAP, visit our website at

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New Course in Watershed Management in Costa Rica

This class, which begins October 12, will provide students an opportunity to thoroughly examine the environmental services that watersheds provide, their ecology, their connection to human well-being, and the market mechanism and payment programs that have been designed to provide incentives for their maintenance. Costa Rica has one of the world’s most developed and creative markets for environmental services and will be used as a case example throughout the course.

A series of seven lectures and readings will be used to provide a basis for understanding the multiple components of environmental services and their markets. During Fall Break (Nov. 21st ­29th) the class will travel to Costa Rica for a series of lectures and on-site tours to provide direct contact with the organizations, agencies, and individual providers involved in the market for and maintenance of watershed services.

Please contact Dr. Morse at: 334-844-8086 or @formore information. Download the PDF here.

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Recycling program receives $40,829 from ADEM

In partnership with Auburn City, the city of Opelika and Lee County, Auburn University Recycling Program has won a combined grant of $120,829 from ADEM, the Alabama Department of Environmental management. Auburn University's program will receive $40,829 out of the total.

Last year, when the global economy contracted, Auburn's recycling program felt the repercussions in the collapse of the recycled materials market. The price for recycled cardboard plunged from $250 dollars per ton to $2 per ton in less than a year, and as a result the market for Auburn's unsorted materials dried up. Determined to rescue the recycling program, waste manager, Donny Addison put in place a sorted materials system that will be in effect from the beginning of this semester. To learn more about the new sorted system, visit the Recycling Program website. With the ADEM grant the university, the city, Opelika and Lee County plan to expand their existing recycling programs and to build a central collection depot from which they will market and sell jointly.

ADEM presented the check to the Lee County Recycling Partnership at a ceremony at the city drop-off center on Friday August 14. Representing Auburn U was Donny Addison, Leigh Jacobson from Recycling and Barnese Adair Wallace, Building Supervisor. Representing the other bodies involved were Auburn Mayor Bill Ham, Opelika City Council President Eddie Smith, Jack Marshall from Lee County, Tim Woody and Andre Richardson from City of Auburn, Dee Stewart from EPA, and presenting the check Trey Glenn, ADEM Director.

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HVAC Sustainable Practices Workshop

On September 10th and 11th the Outreach Program at Auburn University will be hosting a HVAC Sustainable Practices Workshop aimed at HVAC professionals, construction managers, civil and electrical engineers, architects and contractors. The class is approved for 11 CEU hours by AIA. The first day of the conference will be held in the Miller Gorrie Building in Auburn, the state's first LEED Gold building, and a tour of the building will be included. To register for the class or for more information, visit Outreach Programs website.

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Refill Ink Cartridges: Save Money and the Environment

With the new academic year well under way and the cost of books, office supplies and other unexpected items mounting, there is one way you can save money, support a local business and reduce your environmental footprint this fall. Cartridge Solutions, an Auburn University preferred vendor, is a locally owned and operated business, which will refill your printer ink and toner cartridges at a cost 30-70% lower than buying new, depending on the size of the cartridge. Every year 300 million empty ink and toner cartridges are disposed of worldwide. By refilling even a portion of those we can save a lot of energy from the manufacture, transportation and disposal of new cartridges. According to the Cartridge Solutions website, “When remaufactured professionally, ink cartridges can be reused 3-5 times. Toner cartridges, done professionally by Cartridge Solutions, can be reused 12-30 times.”

Cartridge Solutions, who graciously support the mission of the Office of Sustainability, welcome students, staff, faculty and members of the community. For more information about this service, visit the Cartridge Solutions website. And tell them the Office of Sustainability sent you!

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Five $10,000 Grants Available for Students

Auburn students, are you bursting with ideas on how to make Auburn University more sustainable, but you just need some money to get it off the ground? Here is your chance to win one of five grants for $10,000. The College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge, sponsored by Brita, is asking students to design and implement a program that will make the university more sustainable.

For more information and to submit your proposal, visit the Eco-Challenge website.

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Blooming Colors Vegetable Market

The university Market at Ag Heritage Park finished for the season on August 27, but for those of us who are still looking for local vegetables, a new store has opened in Auburn that buys much of its inventory from local producers. The Market at Blooming Colors is bursting with fresh tomatoes, beans, corn, peppers and lots more.

Its opening hours are Monday - Saturday, 8am-7pm and Sunday, 10am - 6pm. The store is located at the Donahue-St College intersection, 1192 South Donahue Street, Auburn, Alabama 36830. The phone number is 334-821-7929.

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