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U of M Students Compete for Honors, Kindle Fire

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Students from across the University of Minnesota will vie for top honors in the 3rd annual Sustainability Symposium this Friday, April 11, 1:30-5:00 p.m. at Institute on the Environment.

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students from such diverse programs as civil and mechanical engineering, psychology, architecture, music, finance, chemistry, animal science and more will present past and current projects, describing how their work supports or advances sustainability goals.

This year's Sustainability Symposium kicks off with a keynote address from Chuck Bennett, former vice president of Earth & community care at Aveda Corporation. Bennett, whose career spans more than two decades of corporate citizenship advocacy, will talk about "leading from every chair," the idea that everyone--no matter their level of expertise or chosen discipline--has important contributions and must be willing to engage in developing sustainability solutions if we are to be successful.

For more information about the event, visit 

www.susteducation.umn.edu/symposium2014

Photo: poster competition, Sustainability Symposium 2013, courtesy of Madeline Geifer

Suppers Sow Inspiration for Campus Garden

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BY TASHI GURUNG & ELIZABETH TOLLEFSON
 
A series called "Garden Suppers" launched in January on the Crookston campus of the University of Minnesota that aims to sow inspiration for a campus garden. The IonE-sponsored events, featuring guest speakers and brainstorming activities, seek to engage students, faculty and community members in the project.

I Am Water

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Throw a pebble into a lake or stream and ripples will radiate out from the place of entry, breaking the inertia at the surface. Minneapolis artist Camille Gage hopes her art piece, "I AM WATER," will have a similar effect on people, catalyzing their sense of responsibility for tackling one of the biggest challenges we humans face: protecting Earth's finite water reserves.

YouTube Activism: Interstate Sustainability Leaders Summit

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BY ERIC SANNERUD

Imagine a conference experience that is about more than business card collections, fancy dinners and academic posturing. Imagine a conference experience that extends beyond the closing ceremonies to truly impact your activism.
 
That is exactly what we had in mind when we dreamed up the Interstate Sustainability Leaders Summit. ISLS would be a modern conference that develops relationships and provides tangible takeaways for grounded dreamers. 

North St. Paul Works Toward Resilience

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The community of North St. Paul is working toward some ambitious goals with the help of University of Minnesota faculty and students, including attracting more residents and visitors to an area nature preserve and addressing the issue of an aging population growing old in aging housing stock as part of this year's Resilient Communities Project. The initiative was recently featured on the University's "Discover" page. Read the feature story by Rick Moore, University Relations writer and editor.

The Resilient Communities Project, a program of the Institute on the Environment and the Center for Urban Regional Affairs, is a year-long partnership that connects a Minnesota community with University of Minnesota expertise to tackle community-identified sustainability projects. If your community wishes to partner with RCP for the 2014-15 academic year, apply by Feb. 14.

Image by Mike Howard, courtesy of the City of North St. Paul

New Life Cycle Assessment Tool Aims to Clean Up Supply Chain

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There you are, hunkered over your sink, hands wrist-deep in hot water, swiping suds over food-crusted dinner plates. That squishy, soapy thing that's helping you do so many daily chores . . . ever wonder where its life began and where it will end?

That sponge, like everything on the planet, has a life cycle, composed of all the materials and energy that brought it to your sink and all the tasks it will help you complete until you've squeezed the last bit of work from it and tossed it into the trash. 

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.

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