Sustainability events are happening year-round at UofL! Don't miss out!

What did I miss?! Check out our Past Events log.

Date Event
Jan. 31 - March 27, 2021

Ecolympics LogoEcolympics 2021
January 31st to March 27th

Two fun sustainability competitions to get you engaged in saving our one green planet! Facebook Event.

Post your sustainable actions and tag @UofLSustainable  or submit them through our online form to win a Cardinal-colored Danon Folding Bicycle, or one of eight fabulous weekly prize baskets!

Campus Race To Zero Waste! - January 31 - March 27, 2021
A friendly annual competition among North American universities. During this 8 week period, UofL will compete to reduce waste, increase recycling & composting, and raise conservation awareness across all three campuses! Keep up with the Cards progress at the Campus Race website.

  • Campus Race to Zero Waste logoREDUCE & RECYCLE! Help the Cards to victory by avoiding disposables (bring your own mug, bottle, plate, etc.) and fully utilizing UofL’s amazingly easy, single-stream recycling system that lets you recycle everything in the same bin, everywhere on campus: all types of plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass! Details on what you can recycle at UofL here.
  • COMPOST! We will be collecting food wastes for composting from The Ville Grill, SAC Marketplace, and other campus dining locations and adding those numbers to UofL's organics recycling totals! You can also compost your food scraps and soiled paper products in the Participant Badge - 2021 Campus Race To Zero Wastecompost bins at the Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall) and the Urban & Public Affairs Horticulture Zone. Please no animal/dairy products, but otherwise, if it came from a plant, we want to compost it: fruit & vegetable wastes/peels/rinds/seeds, bread, pasta, rice, tea bags, coffee grounds/filters, and all kinds of soiled paper products (tissues, towels, napkins, plates, cups, etc.).

Lockdown Drawdown! - February 5-25, 2021
Live on campus? Win with conservation! Inspired by Project Drawdown, UofL residence halls will compete among each other to see who can reduce electricity use the most over three weeks. All you have to do is stop wasting energy! Turn off lights/TVs/computers; unplug anything you're not actively using; skip the elevator for the stairs; close windows tightly; dry clothes on a rack/line; take quick showers or shower with solar power at the SRC; etc.

  • Keep track of each hall's progress with UofL's Building Dashboard, where you can see how much electricity your hall is using and learn how you can conserve! Halls in the competition include:
  1. Bettie Johnson Hall
  2. Billy Minardi Hall
  3. Kurz Hall (real-time data!)
  4. Louisville Hall (real-time data!)
  5. Miller Hall
  6. Unitas Hall (real-time data!)
  7. University Tower Apartments (UTA)

Prizes:Ecolympics 2021 Grand Prize Folding Bike

  • Weekly prizes: At the end of each of the eight weeks of Ecolympics 2021, one person who has shared their sustainable action(s) will receive a curated gift basket on the following themes:
    - Green Thumb
    - Outdoors
    - Transportation
    - Cooking Local
    - Sustainable Home
    - Relaxation
    - Fair Trade Coffee
    - Social Justice
  • Grand Prize: One impressive Cardinal who takes the most sustainable actions during Ecolympics 2021 will win a Cardinal-colored Danon Folding Bicycle (or another bike of your preference)!
  • Post your sustainable actions and tag @UofLSustainable or submit them through our online form throughout February & March to be entered into the competition! New winners will be picked each week! Enter as often as you can!

Feb. 27, 2021 Hike at Caperton Swamp
Saturday, February 27th, 10:30-11:30am, Caperton Swamp (3916 River Rd) the UofL Botanical Society for our first hike of the semester! It's been a crazy winter and we are really excited to get back out there! This hike is a change of scenery from our previous hikes. Caperton swamp is located just off River road on the corner of Indian Hills Trl. Spring is here and we are ready to go check out what mother nature has been saving up for! Come prepared! Wear comfortable, waterproof shoes, long pants, and dress for the weather. We will be out here rain or shine! RSVP on Engage.
Every Sunday UofL Community Composting Volunteer Day
Every Sunday, Noon-2pm
240 E. Bloom St. (one block north of Cardinal Blvd. between Brook & Floyd Streets - map here)

UofL Community CompostingCome help us turn “trash” into treasure as we manage UofL’s volunteer-powered community composting operation. Dress to get dirty. Tools provided. Learn about worm composting and becoming a UofL EcoRep! All participants are welcome to haul home some rich UofL compost for gardening projects in your own containers/vehicle. This is a weekly service opportunity throughout the year. Contact: Brian Barnes, 502-338-1338.
March 5, 2021
Seed Starting Workshop
Friday, March 5th, noon-1pm
Greenhouse at the garden behind Urban & Public Affairs (426 W. Bloom St.)
(NOTE: This event was rescheduled from 2/12 due to inclement weather / university closure)

Seed Starting at Garden Commons 2018Get a jump-start on your food garden this year! Join us in the greenhouse at the garden behind Urban & Public Affairs, 426 W. Bloom St. (west of Bettie Johnson Hall) to learn about starting seeds to save money, get better results, and make the most of the growing season. Learn how and why to start seeds early with this hands-on workshop. Feel free to bring your own seeds to start and containers to take them home in, or help us start some seeds to be planted in our Campus Gardens. Face masks and physical distancing required to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Facebook Event.
March 12, 2021 Engaged Scholarship Symposium
Friday, March 12th, 10am-2:30pm, online - Register here
The Annual Engaged Scholarship Symposium is an opportunity to network and share current research and teaching activities involving community partners and service to the community. Please join us for a half day of panel presentations, lightning talks, and recognition of UofL faculty receiving national awards in community-engaged scholarship.    
The opening Plenary Session will include recognition of:
    Faculty: Dr. Cate Fosl – Anne Braden Institute, College of Arts & Sciences
      The W. K. Kellogg Community Engagement Scholarship Award  2019 Recipient
        Community Partner: The Fairness Campaign
    Faculty: Dr. Dedra Hayden and Krista Roach – School of Nursing
      The W. K. Kellogg Community Engagement Scholarship Exemplary Award 2020 Recipient
        Community Partner: Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund
The 10:45am Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Darren E. Lund, Professor, University of Calgary on "Seeking Cultural Humility in Justice-Based Community Engagement." Dr. Lund’s talk will offer a timely reminder that this work of attending to difference is not simply about pursing harmony with our colleagues, students, and community partners. Bringing about social and institutional changes toward racial equity requires thoughtful advocacy and even some professional risk. Dr. Lund will offer specific insights and ideas from his three decades of work on social justice activism and human rights. He will address notions of privilege, and the need to attend to our own complex identities in community engaged work. His presentation will highlight research from a community-driven university education program that seeks to foster cultural humility in pre-service teachers. For over a decade, the award-winning Service Learning for Diversity Program has worked collaboratively with community agencies that serve diverse young people, including immigrant and refugee children, youth with disabilities, LGBTQ2+ youth, and Native/Indigenous youth. Participants can expect a lively talk that includes meaningful take-aways and resources for a range of settings, as well as some time for questions and answers. Event is free, but registration is required.
March 12, 2021 Pollinators + Beekeeping Workshop
Friday, March 12th, noon, Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall)
Pollinators Workshop at Garden Commons (Apr 2017)Join us in UofL's organic garden for a workshop all about pollinators, specifically bees! Bees are an integral part of our ecosystem, especially within the garden. Without them, we wouldn't get the wonderful produce we cherish in our gardens and farms. We want to celebrate bees and the beautiful honey they make. We will be discussing how to make a garden more pollinator-friendly. Check out UofL Community Composting Project's new beekeeping setup and learn more about pollinators and urban beekeeping from the Kentuckiana Beekeepers Association! Face masks and physical distancing required to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. RSVP on Facebook.
March 19, 2021 Sustainability Roundtable: Louisville Grows
Friday, March 19th, 11am, online
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Or join by phone at 502-792-9582 (Conference ID: 442 798 161#)
Please join us for UofL's Sustainability Roundtable on alternate Fridays throughout the spring at 11am. On March 19th, we will be in conversation with Lisa Dettlinger, the Program Director at Louisville Grows, about their activities and programs. Louisville Grows is an environmental, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to Grow Greener, Healthier Neighborhoods. Their vision is to foster green, just and sustainable neighborhoods in Louisville. They seek to be a leading nonprofit in advocating for health equity through the environmental platforms of urban forestry and urban agriculture. Louisville Grows’ neighborhood-based urban forestry program focuses on rebuilding the urban tree canopy with a goal of planting 1000 trees each year. Their Urban Agriculture program is designed to build capacity in community gardens by providing technical assistance, education and infrastructure. Healthy House programs, workshops and classes center on healthy living, healthy eating, environmental education or environmental equity. They are dedicated to restoring the urban tree canopy and providing environmental education opportunities that will lead to ending health disparities in our community. No pre-registration is required. The format is a 30-40 minute presentation from a variety of speakers throughout the year, followed by 20-30 minutes of open discussion. Anyone with an interest in sustainability can give talks at the speaker series and participate in the audience, including faculty, staff, students, practitioners, teachers, government officials, and members of the public. If you would like to give a presentation, or would like to hear a particular speaker, please contact Tamara Sluss. Facebook Event.
Fridays, Jan. 15 - Apr. 23, 2021 Garden Commons Spring Workdays
Fridays, 12pm-1pm, Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall)
Garden Commons raised bedAll are welcome at our weekly group workdays in UofL's organic Garden Commons at the southwest corner of Strickler Hall, east of the Speed Art Museum Parking Garage, and across the walkway from the Biology Department's Korfhage Native Plant Garden! Join us to learn (by doing) how to grow hyper-local, super-delicious vegetables, herbs, and fruits! Anyone can work in the garden any time, but we'll gather together every Friday at noon throughout the spring (Jan. 15 - Apr. 23) to plant, weed, water, and harvest. Special hands-on workshops will be held monthly: Maple Tapping (1/15); Seed Starting (2/12); Beekeeping (3/12); Rain Barrel Making (4/9); and Serviceberry Foraging (6/4). No prior experience necessary. Tools & gloves provided. Face masks and physical distancing required to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. The Garden Commons is open to participation any time from students, staff, faculty, and community members. Everyone who comes is welcome to share in the harvest! Connect with us and get all the details on Facebook or Instagram. Facebook Event.
March 26, 2021 EcoReps Workshop: Resilience Justice
Friday, March 26th, Noon-1:00pm, online
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting, or join by phone at 502-792-9582 (Conference ID: 135 251 995#)
Join us for our monthly EcoReps workshop featuring locals making a difference in sustainability! Our featured speaker on March 26th will be Professor Tony Arnold, the Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use at the University of Louisville, where he teaches in the Brandeis School of Law and the Department of Urban and Public Affairs and directs the interdisciplinary Resilience Justice ProjectProfessor Tony Arnold and the five Resilience Justice Fellows hike at the Parklands at Floyds Fork on a retreat in summer 2018, while brainstorming about upcoming projects and sporting their Resilience Justice team tank tops.. Professor Arnold teaches and researches about social and environmental justice and governance at the intersection of land, water, and the environment. He has won numerous awards for teaching, mentoring students, and research, and has taught or researched at several universities, including Stanford, UCLA, Florida, Houston, and Puerto Rico. He is active in public policy and community service and has served on many government and nonprofit boards and commissions in Texas, California, and Kentucky, including community-based economic-justice and environmental-justice organizations in low-income communities of color.
Resilience justice is about the unequal vulnerabilities of low-income communities of color to many different kinds of shocks and changes, including climate change, economic and housing shocks, health crises, pollution releases, etc. Systemic racism, structural inequality, colonialism, and other embedded injustices create cross-system effects that undermine communities’ adaptive capacities. We will focus on one type of inequality affecting low-income neighborhoods of color: green and blue infrastructure, which includes parks and green spaces, trees and forests, clean or restored waterways, biotic stormwater controls, community gardens, and the like. Examples from Louisville, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC will be discussed, as will policy and governance reforms.
The Sustainability Council’s EcoRepsEco-Reps logo program is designed to move students, faculty & staff beyond talk to action for a more sustainable UofL! We provide basic training & resources, service opportunities, and leadership positions as a point-person & peer-to-peer advocate for sustainability. More info on EcoReps website. This spring, we continue our series of live, virtual workshops each month on last Fridays at noon. All are welcome. Facebook Event.
April 2, 2021 GO Self Assessment Tool - Facilities & ServicesStaff Training: Green Office 101
Friday, April 2nd, 12-1pm
The Sustainability Council will offer a free training for all UofL staff who are interested in learning more about how to "green" their offices and work environments through sustainability practices that can save money, minimize our environmental footprint, empower people to take ownership of space, and build community. If you've always wondered what you can do to live more lightly on the Earth and to center social, economic, and environmental stewardship in your day-to-day work, then this is the workshop for you! We'll cover all the basic strategies around Zero Waste, Energy & Water Conservation, Sustainable Food & Catering, Transportation Alternatives, Green Purchasing, Eliminating Toxins, and more. Bring your burning questions! This training will be facilitated by UofL's Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives, Dr. Justin Mog, UofL EcoReps Director, Dr. Brian Barnes, and Delphi Center Sr. Associate Director, Dr. Patty Payette. Full details and registration info TBA.
April 7, 2021

Power Dialog: Climate Solutions for Kentucky
Wednesday, April 7th, 3-5pm, online - Register here
Solve Climate by 2030UofL's Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research is excited to host the Kentucky event as part of Solve Climate by 2030 - A Global Dialog on Green Recovery / Climate Solutions / Just Transition. On April 7th, university and high school students across the planet will tune into 100 same-day events in fifty countries, university-hosted regional webinars critical to their future: how an ambitious Green Recovery based in state and local action can put us on the way to solving climate change by 2030. Climate-concerned university and high school faculty worldwide, and across disciplines, will assign these webinars as homework, using them as a springboard for discussing regional climate solutions, energy justice, and a Green Recovery. Here in Kentucky, our panelists will include:

1. Rebecca Goodman, Secretary, KY Energy and Environment Cabinet
2. Steve Ricketts, Co-Owner & General Manager – Business Development, Solar Energy Solutions LLC
3. David Huff, Director, Advanced Meter Initiatives, LG&E KU
Moderators: Jacek Jasinski and Joshua Spurgeon, Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research

The schedule will be:

3:00-4:00pm  Power Dialog Webinar
4:00-5:00pm  Community Discussion

PLEASE REGISTER HERE to join the webinar live, or if you would like to be e-mailed a link to the recording. For more info, contact or see the event webpage.

April 9, 2021 UPA Rain BarrelRain Barrel Making Workshop
Friday, April 9th, noon, Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall)
Join us in UofL's organic garden for a hands-on workshop in which you will learn how to make your own rainwater catchment system. Help us install a rain barrel on the tool shed at our new Garden Commons location, and learn more about water collection and sustainable irrigation methods! Face masks and physical distancing required to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Facebook Event.
April 16, 2021 UofL Maple SyrupEcoReps Workshop: Maple Tapping Pancake Party!
Friday, April 16th, Noon-1:00pm, Under tent on Humanities Quad
You can also join us virtually for the presentation: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting, or join by phone at 502-792-9582 (Conference ID: 135 251 995#)

Join us for our monthly EcoReps workshop featuring locals making a difference in sustainability! We'll wrap up the year on April 16th, with the return of our annual maple syrup harvest celebration after a winter of tapping UofL trees! Come enjoy some pancakes with our very own, hyper-local maple syrup while we talk trees and local sweetness with our community partner, Dave Barker.
The Sustainability Council’s EcoRepsEco-Reps logo program is designed to move students, faculty & staff beyond talk to action for a more sustainable UofL! We provide basic training & resources, service opportunities, and leadership positions as a point-person & peer-to-peer advocate for sustainability. More info on EcoReps website. This spring, we continue our series of live workshops each month on last Fridays at noon. All are welcome. Facebook Event.
June 4, 2021 Serviceberry Foraging Workshop
Friday, June 4th, noon, Garden Commons (SW of Strickler Hall)
Serviceberry ForagingBring a pail or Tupperware and get ready to load up on the sweetest "secret" right under our noses! Serviceberries (aka Juneberries) are native to Kentucky and they are planted all over the city as a common, low-maintenance street tree. The fruits are ripe for only two weeks around June 1st. They are similar to blueberries but a little bit nutty (the trees are in the almond family!). UofL's campus boasts many loaded serviceberries and during this special workshop, we will walk around to visit them all! Pick and take home as many as you can. Enjoy them fresh or freeze them for pies and smoothies year-round! Meetup at the Garden Commons and we'll go from there. Masks will be required and we’ll practice physical distancing to keep everyone safe. Facebook Event.
Rescheduled: Date TBA Nature Scavenger Hunt and T-Shirt Printing at Iroquois Park
Rescheduled: Date TBA, Iroquois Park Amphitheater (1080 Amphitheater Rd) the UofL Botanical Society at Iroquois Park for a Scavenger Hunt where you will have to find things in nature which you will then use as a stamps on a free t-shirt!! It is going to be totally fun an awesome and will be a great introduction into spring. This event will be rescheduled if the weather does not permit. RSVP on Engage.

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