Sustainability – Green Events & News

Upcoming Events


Past Events

  • Green Week: April 16-20
  • Fr. John Dear “They Will Inherit the Earth” – April 5, 2018
  • USF Opens “Environmentally-Friendly” Science Hall – February 8, 2018
  • Ethics of Sustainability – April 13, 6 p.m.
  • Sustainability Promise Sign-ups – October 2-4, 2017
  • Blue Stem Earth Festival – May 20, 2017
  • Behind the Scenes of “Making Waves: Battle for the Great Lakes” – April 20, 2017
  • 2017 Green Week – April 16-22, 2017
  • Waste Management Event – March 29, 2017
  • Candice Rosen, “Healing the Health Care Professional” – August 17, 2016
  • 2016 Green Week – April 25-29, 2016
  • Jean-Michel Cousteau “The Great Ocean Adventure” – October 15, 2015
  • 2015 Green Week – April 13-16, 2015
  • Bill Kurtis, “Can the Prairie Save Us from Global Warming” – February 6, 2014



  • Fr. John Dear Speaks at USF: Nobel Peace Prize nominee Fr. John Dear spoke on April 5 at the University of St. Francis about his new book, “They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change.” Speaking from biblical references and personal experiences, Dear spoke about reverting back to ways of nonviolence as a way of life and living peacefully with all of creation. Click here for Facebook photos from this event. (April 2018)


  • LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Science Hall Opens: The first building to be built on campus in over 30 years opened its doors to students for the spring 2018 semester. The LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall was built to meet LEED Gold standards meaning it is the most environmentally friendly building on campus. Above the Banks-Bellah Lecture hall is a green roof which is designed to not only reduce the amount of runoff storm water, but to help control heating and cooling costs too. The walls of the building are also highly insulated to help regulate the temperature of the building. Low-e windows are used for all exterior windows to help insulate the building further. The southeast corner of the building which has entire walls made from windows is made from low-e, fritted glass, further reducing the amount of heat from the sun that can enter the building. All LED lights are installed in the building, reducing the amount of heat produced and energy required. Additionally, there are occupancy sensors located in all offices, classrooms and hallways that will turn off the lights if no motion is detected over a predetermined amount of time. The building officially opened in a February 8 grand opening and dedication ceremony. (Feb. 2018)


  • Student EcoLeader Finds Second Life for Plastic Bags: USF alumna Grace Ball ’17 was the driving force behind a recent initiative on campus to divert plastic bags away from the landfill while also helping the homeless community. Ball got the campus community involved with cutting up and tying together plastic bags to make plastic yarn, also known as plarn. By the end of the semester, Ball had accumulated over 40 balls of plarn from approximately 3,500 plastic bags. The plarn balls were donated to a non-profit organization in Plainfield called New Life for Old Bags, which will crochet the bags into mats for the homeless. (June 2017)


  • USF Continues Environmental Commitment: USF continued its commitment to the environment by installing a bee hive on campus in late April of 2017 and hosting the BlueStem Earth Festival the following month. According to Dr. Brian Moskalik, assistant professor of biology, the bees and their hive will be utilized for projects in all areas of the natural sciences. USF also welcomed the fourth annual BlueStem Earth Festival to campus on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Read the full press release here. (May 2017)


  • USF Awarded Joliet’s Historic Preservation Award: USF was awarded with the City of Joliet’s 12th annual Joliet Historic Preservation Award at a city council meeting on May 16, 2017. The university was honored for renovations made at the St. Clare Campus, 1550 Plainfield Rd., Joliet. Guardian Angel Hall, the main building on the St. Clare Campus, was previously known in Joliet as the “Guardian Angel Home.” Read the full press release here. (May 2017)


  • USF Students Trained To Do Water Audits: Students from USF and Joliet Junior College received training from the Illinois Sustainability Center on Feb. 10 (photo at right). The training was sponsored by the South Metropolitan Regional Higher Education Consortium. USF students will now conduct a water audit of several USF buildings to determine cost saving measures. (Feb. 2017)


  • USF Announces Support of Clean Power Plan: USF will support the Clean Power Plan (CPP) as organized by the Catholic Climate Covenant. The Covenant, established in 2006 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), addresses growing ecological awareness and inspires and equips people and institutions to care for both creation and the poor. USF President Arvid C. Johnson joined 125 U.S. Catholic leaders in signing a letter urging the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, President Trump, Congressional leaders and state governors to adopt the CPP. Read the full press release here. (Feb. 2017)


  • USF to Participate in Northern Illinois Food Bank Food Recovery Program: USF is now participating in a food recovery program with assistance from Northern Illinois Food Bank. To begin, Sodexo (USF’s food provider) met with the students from the Enactus club on campus. That meeting was followed up by another one with Colin Mossup from Northern Illinois Food Bank, who was able to coordinate the weekly pickup with the local recipient: Daybreak Center homeless Shelter in Joliet. Says Janine Hicks of the USF Sustainability Committee, “It’s important to note that careful thought goes into our daily food production and we are only donating product that we cannot use at the university. If we all reduced food waste by 15% it would help cut hunger in half!” (Jan. 2017)


  • Students Selected for SMHEC EcoLeaders Summit: Grace Ball, Cathy Gende and Taylor Ranney (pictured at right) attended the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium’s sixth annual Student Sustainability Summit: “Becoming EcoLeaders.” The summit is an exciting event for a very select group of students who are interested in growing their career potential through sustainability-related projects. Students who attend receive a professional and nationally-recognized certification. SMHEC has partnered with the National Wildlife Federation and its existing EcoLeader program to offer training and development on student projects. The summit equips students with leadership skills, project development and management strategies and a plan for implementation when projects are complete. Gende and Ranney, who are both studying environmental science and biology, are focusing on a water usage study to be implemented next semester. Ball is designing a project for the reuse of plastic bags and studies recreation and sport management. (Oct. 2016)