Green Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, Americans will eat over 46 million turkeys- that’s one sixth of all turkeys sold in the US each year.  Enjoy the delicious meal, but try to pay attention to how, what, and the amount you eat this year for the sake of your health and our environment.  Let’s show some gratitude to Mother Nature.  Here are some tips for a healthy thanksgiving, both for you and our earth:

  • Be concious of waste.  Some ways to do this include taking an inventory of what food items you have before you grocery shop, so you know exactly what you need. Also, have plans for your leftovers after the big day.
  • Pick a perfect turkey.  Here are some options for turkeys that are both earth and wallet friendly:
    •  
      • Certified Organic/Naturally Grown- These turkeys have been fed organic feed all their lives and have never been treated with antibiotics.
      • Pastured- A turkey that has been raised outside with ample room to move around.
      • Free-Range- A turkey raised free from confinement for its whole life, though it may have been kept in a barn. 
  • Buy local.  Side items like sweet potatoes or onions can easily be found at nearby farmers markets
  • Use china and cloth napkins.  It may sound appealing to use paper plates and napkins to make the after-dinner clean up easy, especially after a long day of preparation, but china and cloth is more eco-friendly.  This prevents the wasteful use of trees for disposables.
  • Polish silver without toxic cleaners.  Standard silver polish often contains harsh chemicals, like ammonia.  Choose a polish made from natural ingredients.

These tips will hopefully be of help, but more than anything, enjoy the day with family and friends!

GoodGuide App Helps Locate Green Products

Did you ever worry about how “green” the products are that you are purchasing at thegrocery store? Well, your worries are over thanks to the GoodGuide app! The GoodGuide app is an iPhone application that gives shoppers the power to seek out socially conscious products, right in the palm of their hand. This new barcode scanner application takes from scientific information on the health, environmental and social performances for more than 50,000 companies. This application provides an instant rating for the product scanned by the shopper.

By just simply scanning the barcode of their favorite hair care product, food product, or cleaning supply, consumers are able to find out details they never knew before about their favorite products. The app rates products on a scale from 1 to 10, assigning scores for their effects on health, the environment and society as well as an overall quality score. You can also see all of the rated products of GoodGuide through the app.

So why not make each day a little more green? The app is free!

How to Make All-Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm

Did you know that the average person injests nearly 5 pounds of lip balm in his or her lifetime?  This statistic considered, your lip balm should be all-natural and toxin-free.  Here is a quick and easy way to make your own:

Necessary Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of pure, filtered, unbleached, cosmetic grade beeswax pastilles
  • 1 teaspoon organic, raw shea butter
  • 3 teaspoons organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • 20 drops of essential oil of choice
  • 6 3/16 oz. lip balm tubes

Instructions:

Set your oven on low-medium heat.  Combine all ingredients in a small pot and put on the oven.  Stir the mix until all the shea butter and beeswax has melted.  Remove the mixture from the heat and turn the burner off.  Using a funnel, fill the tubes up, and allow them to set for 20 minutes.

This lip balm is great for protecting your lips during the dry winter months, and also make nice Christmas gifts.  Enjoy!

DIY Wall Art

Fall at Loyola is in full bloom, and the colors this year are fantastic.  To preserve the beauty, follow these steps for pressing leaves in wax paper for quick, easy, and vibrant wall art to brighten up your dorm or home!          

  • Gather a few relatively flat leaves with low moisture content
  • Position individual leaves between two sheets of waxed paper
  • Placing a t-shirt or rag on an ironing board first (so as to protect the board from melted wax), put your leaf/wax paper “sandwich” on top, and then place another t-shirt/rag on top of this
  • Heat the iron to high, but NO steam!
  • Slowly and gently run the iron back and forth over the rag.  As soon as the paper has begun to seal, press hard on the iron, holding for 4-5 seconds on each spot.
  • Lift the rag to check if the paper has melted and sealed around the leaves.  You will be able to see them clearly if it has.
  • Allow the leaves, still between the two sheets of wax paper, to cool.  Cut them out, being sure not to cut immediately up against the leaves so as to ensure that the wax paper will hold its seal.

Enjoy! These leaf decorations will last for months at a time.

Sustainability Update: November

Hello Greyhounds!

There are a lot of things going on in sustainability this month and we hope that you’re excited to help us spread the word!

The Sustainability Initiative, a series of lunch meetings where students, faculty, staff, andadministrators are invited to come discuss environmental issues, is holding it’s second meeting today (November 5th) at 12:15 in College Center, Conference Room 113. We are going to be holding these meetings throughout the year and we hope that everyone will join us. The meetings are held once a month and we discuss a variety of different topics. Please join us and help us make a difference at Loyola!

We have also finished taking a trash and recycling bin inventory of the buildings on the quad! We are currently selecting stickers that will go on the new bins that will help streamline the recycling and landfill process here on campus. Once we select the stickers and have begun stickering the academic buildings, we’ll post an update so you know what kinds of stickers to look for in the future.

In addition to those large projects, we are working on a number of smaller projects that will begin to take shape over time. We are currently gathering information about the Real Food Campus Commitment to present to a group of administrators to begin taking steps for a presidential signature. We are developing monthly activities to keep students engaged and constantly thinking about sustainability. We are currently working with our Green Office Representatives to schedule a meeting and create a progress report for the semester.

So far, November is a busy month but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Check our blog weekly for updates about sustainability stories from across campus (and the web) and monthly for our updates!

We also just sent out our monthly newsletter! Didn’t get it? Read it here and then email us to sign up for the future!

Upcoming Events!

Hey Greyhounds!

We have a lot going on around campus and we’re excited to share it all with you.

Small Steps, Big Impact Campus Challenge

Loyola was invited to participate in the national Small Steps, Big Impact Campus Challenge, a competition that empowers undergraduates to take small steps to create big social and environmental change. Throughout each semester, thousands of participating students take small steps – environmentally- and socially-responsible actions like riding a bike to campus, powering down electronics, donating blood, and more – to earn recognition and prizes.

http://smallsteps.netimpact.org/LoyolaUniversityMaryland

Sustainability Initiative: Building a Greener Loyola

Are you interested in environmental sustainability at Loyola? Please drop by for a brown-bag lunch and a conversation with students, faculty and staff about what is happening on campus and what YOU can do for sustainability at Loyola. Dessert will be provided. Drop in Thursday October 10 from 12:15-1:30 PM in the College Center Conference Room 113.

For questions and to RSVP please email sustainability@loyola.edu. If you cannot make the lunch but would like to stay updated, please contact sustainability@loyola.edu as well.

Litterati Movement

We have joined forces with the Instagram Litterati movement based out of California and are starting our own branch here at Loyola! When you find litter around campus, take a second to stop and…

  1. Take a picture
  2. Upload the picture to instagram with #greengreyhound and #litterati
  3. Dispose of the litter

Want more detail? Check out our Loyola Litterati page.

We’re really excited about all these initiatives and we can’t wait to start moving these projects along. Want to help us get these off the ground? Please join us in any way that you can!!

Celebrate World Animal Day

Today, October 4th, is World Animal Day! World Animal Day began in 1931 when ecologists decided that they needed to highlight the plight of endangered species. October 4th was selected as today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assist, the patron saint of animals. Today, World Animal Day is a day for paying tribute to all the world’s animals and those who love, respect, and work to save them.

World Animal Day is currently working to promote the holiday through the use of “World Animal Day Ambassadors;” they currently have a total of 83 ambassadors in 71 countries. The ambassador for the United States is Kay Rosaire, the founder of Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Florida. If you would like to contact her, her email is bigcathabitat@yahoo.com.

How can you be involved with World Animal Day?

  • Host an event (and share it on their webpage): Plan an event for World Animal Day. You can discuss conservation, human impact on animals, animal testing, or a number of other things! Once you have your event planned, share it on their global calendar to let people know.
  • Sign the pledge: Every pledge to help animals makes a difference. When sending in your pledge, include your name, country, and a note about why you love/save animals.
  • Be an advocate for animals: spread to word about animal issues that are important to you. You can send emails, write petitions, or volunteer at a local animal shelter.

As you think about animals today, reflect on how you impact animals across the globe. What is your favorite animal? How can you live your life more sustainably and help give animals a chance?