delware environmental institute

Oct 21: Workshops scheduled for UD Sustainability Day

Several workshops on sustainability will be held during the University of Delaware Campus Sustainability Day, Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Rooms 209 and 211 of the Trabant University Center.

Sustainability Day will be part of a three-day celebration of the environment at UD, which will culminate in the official launch of the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) on Friday, Oct. 23.

DENIN is a multidisciplinary institute focused on providing solutions to global environmental challenges through knowledge-based partnerships that integrate environmental science, engineering and policy.

Related events are:

  • Thursday, Oct. 22: Environmental Sustainability Day and “2020: A Greener Vision,” an undergraduate expo; and
  • Friday, Oct. 23: Delaware Environmental Institute Opening, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    UD Sustainability Day workshops will be held as follows:

RE-think, RE-use, RE-fashion - 10:30 a.m.

Simple changes in thinking and design practice can bring about big results in sustainable practices. Explore how re-using can work in the fashion realm. You will learn how to take “fashion action” with your own wardrobe by re-creating existing items. Bring one garment with you to the workshop that you really like in some way but that you no longer wear. Bring a pair of scissors and pencil and paper for drawing too. We will examine the design potential, even barter for resources with other workshop participants and re-create your garment.

Presenter: Janet Hethorn, chairperson, Department of Art.

An Argument for Living Landscapes - 11:30 a.m.

With as many as 33,000 species imperiled in the U.S., it is clear that we must change our approach to gardening and landscaping if we hope to share the spaces in which we live and work with other living things. The first thing we must do is put more plants into our denuded landscapes, because plants provide the food that drives all food webs. Native plants will play a key role in the restoration of our landscapes because only natives provide the coevolved relationships required by most animals. By supporting a diversity of insect herbivores, native plants provide food for a large and healthy community of natural enemies that keep herbivores in balance and our gardens aesthetically pleasing. Gardening in this crowded world carries both moral and ecological responsibilities that we can no longer ignore.

Presenter: Doug Tallamy, chairperson, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology.

Knowledge is Power - or, in this case, Knowledge of Power - 12:30 p.m.

Why is it important to know about energy and power? It is rare these days to be able to avoid media and political discussions that center on energy, or at least make reference to energy concepts. But what are some basic concepts that everyone should know, i.e., what are the ABCs of energy literacy? What is the relevance to UD as a whole, or to community members as individuals?

This session targets a non-technical audience and is intended to explain some energy terms and concepts to enable non-engineers to understand the discussions of energy and power as they relate to the UD, other communities and individuals. Concepts covered will include renewable energy, UD's electricity and natural gas purchases, usage and associated carbon footprint implications.

Questions that will be addressed include: What is the difference between the way UD purchases energy and how a homeowner or renter purchases energy? What information can UD obtain from our energy bills? What information can be obtained from a residential energy bills? What is the difference between heating/cooling on campus -- in classrooms and residence halls -- compared to a home? What good can come from smart meters -- and what are they anyway? How can I find out how much energy I'm using? Why do so many organizations push the use of CFLs and EnergyStar appliances? What do I need to know to be an informed citizen?

Presenter: Anne-Marie Crossan, maintenance engineer, Facilities.

Simple Ways to be Sustainable - 1:30 p.m.

This session will present numerous ways to live a more sustainable life by reducing energy consumption, avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and reducing contributions to the waste stream. Being sustainable does not always require a significant lifestyle change -- many areas can be tackled without spending significant amounts of time and money. Practical ideas and their significance will be presented. Several energy and waste related topics will be discussed and example calculations will be done showing how small contributions can make a very large impact when adopted campus-wide.

Presenters: John Clinger, student, and Janet Johnson, associate professor of political science and international relations.

Rain Barrel Construction - 2:30 p.m.

Join us for a rain barrel construction workshop during UD's Sustainability Day. This workshop will be presented by members of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, which houses the University Stormwater program, and will focus on the materials, tools and techniques used for constructing your own rain barrel at home. There will be a raffle to win a rain barrel at the conclusion of the workshop.

Presenter: Leslie York-Hubbard, environment health and safety specialist.

Sustainable Landscapes - A How-to Tour - 3:30 p.m.

Leave Trabant and walk through the UD campus to the new Visitor Center to learn about sustainable landscapes. A brief orientation to sustainable landscape concepts indoors will be followed by a tour of the garden to show participants how soils, water, plants, resources and human wellness can be incorporated into a healthy functioning landscape that attracts wildlife and requires reduced inputs.

Participants should meet inside the Trabant University Center, at the entrance closest to the corner of South College Ave. and Delaware Ave.

Presenter: Susan Barton, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences.