Archive for April, 2011

$25 Whole Foods Gift Card Winners

Congratulations to Jennifer Valtos and Chris Nadine winners of the Earth Day $25 Whole Foods gift card giveaway.  Thanks to all who participated and remember the best chance to win prizes is to be a subscriber!

LIFE students respond to BP case study

The President’s Climate Commitment requires LIFE to make sustainability a part of the curriculum  for all students. A great example of LIFE fulfilling its commitment is in Wanda Benjamin’s Ethics in Business and Technology (BSN 201) class. Students in this class were asked to read and comment on a case study titled “BP (Beyond Petroleum) Focuses on Sustainability.” I have included responses from some of LIFE’s future business leaders.

 “BP (Beyond Petroleum) Focuses on Sustainability”

 The case study provided a history of the company, delves into controversies regarding business practices, environmental damage and hazards to workers. The article also talks about BP’s efforts to improve its image and manage decisions related to ethics and social responsibility.

After reading the case study the students were asked to propose solutions to BP’s dilemmas and to give a rationale for their recommendations. Joy Weaver, summed up the assignment with this question.  “Prior to the oil spill, BP was doing a great job at improving its image and the impacts of these efforts were being felt everywhere. So what should BP do now seeing as its image is back for public scrutiny again?

Here is what some of the students had to say……

  • “Having a department or outside party inspect to verify upkeep and maintenance is being followed [will] help ensure that employees are accountable and do not neglect or ignore early signs. Transparency will [ensure] that the company is really trying to redeem themselves and have nothing to hide.” Benita Jackson


  • “Good publicity is only going to help BP as they strive for a new image and continue to become environmentally friendly. It also helps out all the stakeholders as well. Good media shows the stakeholders that what they are invested in is improving the world and not destroying it.” Ben Mateialona


  • “I think that BP’s efforts on renewable energy as well as its establishing a Code of Conduct are the first steps in the right direction. It is very hard for a company whose main business is drilling and extraction of fuel to truly gain a totally positive view from consumers; however its efforts to educate people on going green will greatly help.” Megan Page


  • “It just seems to me that BP has repeated the same mistake time and time again for instance, “The twenty-first century found stakeholders more wary of companies, especially after decades of repeated violations and misconduct on the part of the oil industry.” …..So it seems apparent to me that if they just retrain their organization to abide more ethically by the leadership of upper executives that BP can prove to be sustainable.” De’Aires Peterson


  • “Upper Management should lead their employees by setting an example and making ethical decisions at all times. Peter F. Druker says, “Management is doing things right and leadership is doing the right thing.” BP should continue to show environmental stewardship and continue to make society more sustainable. BP should have a plan in place to fix oil leaks and they should act with a [sense] of urgency. BP should always make their stakeholders their first priority.” Christina Thornton


  • Community presence, BP should not just commit to the occurrence of future problems but create a sense of belonging within the communities where it has the drilling sites. Just like it did during its inception in founding a hospital, Abaden, for its employees, BP should look for more opportunities to work with the local communities.” Joy Weaver


The Office of Sustainability would like to thank Wanda Benjamin and the entire class for their hard work and for allowing their work to be shared with our readers. Personally I was impressed and enlightened by their responses. What a great way to incorporate sustainability into the classroom!

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)




Meatless Monday

Here’s a tip from

 Meatless Substitutions

 Turn any recipe into a veggie one by replacing the meat with a vegetarian alternative. Looking for a new stir-fry? Convert a chicken or beef stir fry to vegetarian by substituting tofu or mycoprotein (a protein derived from mushrooms) for the meat. Love your father’s famous chili? Use textured vegetable protein (TVP) for the ground beef.

I have found this is very easy to do. On Meatless Mondays instead of ground turkey or beef I’ll used sautéed vegetables in spaghetti. My favorite substitution is grilled veggies in my quesadillas instead of meat. I like it so much I don’t even need a menu when we order at a Mexican restaurant….I always order a veggie quesadilla.

Avocado Tacos


  • 3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • jalapeno pepper sauce, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix avocados, onions, and garlic salt.
  3. Arrange corn tortillas in a single layer on a large baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven 2  to 5 minutes, until heated through.
  4. Spread tortillas with the avocado mixture. Garnish with cilantro and sprinkle with jalapeno pepper sauce.

I am “learning” to eat avocados! I think this would be a good starter recipe. It gives you the basics….feel free to add lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, black beans, chiles, lime, or cheese.


Wordless Wednesday


 Source: FrontRunner

Why Don’t You Join Us?

See you tomorrow……

Spring Arts Festival


Earth Day Celebration 

@ Life University

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Center for Chiropractic Education Plaza

Over Packaged Products

I hate it when I purchase an item the size of a post it and it comes packaged in a plastic fortress. Over packaging of consumer goods leads to increased waste and excessive consumption of valuable resources. Here are some of the worst (and unnecessary offenders).

 1.  Individually wrapped prunes. Definitely don’t understand this.

2.  Plastic wrapped bananas. Unlike apples, bananas are already conveniently tied together.


3.  Pre-wrapped corn. Corn has a natural wrapper…its called a husk.


4.  Individually wrapped jelly beans. Who has EVER eaten just one jelly bean at a time?


5.  Shrink wrapped potatoes. So excessive, what is the point of shrink wrapping a potato?


Even though I know its wrong, I am guilty of purchasing one of these items….can you guess which one?


Wordless Wednesday


Countdown to Earth Day: 5 days – Come out for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Whole Foods and other prizes from the Office of Sustainability.

Source: Corey Bradshaw

More than you ever wanted to know about Glass

As an Environmental Scientist I try to keep up with recycling trends, exciting right? Well maybe not to an accountant but to me its very important to understand why there is a market for recycling some materials and not for others. During my research I always find interesting tidbits about common, everyday items and my latest find was about glass.

 Did you know…..

  • It’s renewable resource!! Glass is one of the only materials that can by recycled forever (literally) without losing strength or integrity.
  • Brown glass absorbs the most UV radiation so it offers protection from damaging light. Since the taste of beer could be soured by light absorption it is found in brown bottles.
  • Green glass has some light protection and is used to bottled wines and juices since these beverages can stand some light absorption.
  • Clear glass is used for sauces, alcohol and water since they are not affected by light.
  • Because of these differences it is necessary for bottles to be separated by color at the recycling center. Mixing colors will result in a tint on clear glass.
  • Glass is used to bottle many liquids because it is inert…meaning it lacks chemical reactions. Bottom line…it will not affect the taste of the product.
  • Its transparent, tamper resistant, non porous and will not deteriorate or stain. So its safe and sturdy.
  • The glass industry is moving towards more lightweight bottles which uses less glass and reduces carbon emissions through transport.

 Source: Earth 911

Photo: Flickr