Green Resources

WVPE is your gateway to green and sustainable resources in Michiana.

Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is accomplished by finding a balance between businesses, the environment, and our society (people, planet, and profit).

National and International resources on sustainability include:

Explore ways to support sustainability in the Michiana area through the Green Links Directory.

The IUSB Sustainability & Innovation Series:

All lectures will be start at 7:00 pm at 1001 Weikamp Hall on the IUSB campus.

1. JANUARY 30 -- Reinventing CSO Solutions Through Intelligent Urban Watersheds
Kieran Fahey, IntPE. Long-term Control Plan Director, City of South Bend
South Bend is subject to a federally enforced mandate to implement a long-term plan requiring the City to make certain prescribed changes to its combined sewer system. This represents the single biggest Public Works project ever attempted by the City; when fully financed and repaid the cost of this project would be more than one billion dollars- $10,000 for every man, woman and child. Recognizing and fully embracing the importance of the project to the environment, yet constrained by simply not being able to afford the plan, the City has devised its own alternative- a smarter, greener alternative that will save hundreds of millions of dollars yet still attain the same environmental benefit. 
2. FEBRUARY 6 -- NIPSCO's Role in Helping Drive Community Sustainability 
Kelly R. Carmichael, Vice President of Environmental for NiSource Inc, Kelley Davies, Commercial & Industrial Accounts Manager , NIPSCO 
NIPSCO and its parent company NiSource are recognized leaders in sustainability.  We play a vital role in helping assure our communities continue to thrive and grow long term.  Join us to learn and discuss what NIPSCO is doing to be a sustainability partner.   
3. FEBRUARY 13 -- Roots, Webs and Nests: Place-Based Community Organizing
Environmental Network of Northern Indiana 
The Environmental Network of Northern Indiana promotes a healthy, thriving, diverse, biodiverse community in Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan.  We build coalitions of individuals and organizations to work with area governments to ensure that environmental and community wellness are primary considerations in decision-making.  Join us to learn about ENNI’s beginnings, the cultivation of our network and platforms for creating change in our community!
4. FEBRUARY 20 -- Pervious, Permeable, and Porous Surfaces ..... how they relate to stormwater management!
Mark Walker, Director of Business Development, Kuert Concrete
Low Impact Development (LID) regulations are pushing for advanced water management technology that will preserve environmental quality and mimic the pre‐development watershed hydrology of the site. Learn about ways to produce cost-effective Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) while maximizing developable land. Mark will explain and explore "The 3‐P’s" (Permeable, Pervious, and Porous surfaces) by covering:
* How to identify the goal when considering stormwater runoff,
* Defining the different characteristics of Pervious, Permeable, and Porous surfaces,
* How these different surfaces relate to stormwater management,
* Maintenance procedures when defining a BMP.
This subject is currently one of the most talked about within America today due to recent EPA and legislative mandates. Come learn from Mark, a leader and key speaker on this topic across the midwest, and stay for Q&A and lively, solution-oriented conversation.
5. FEBRUARY 27 -- An Accessible Region through Active Transportation
Alaina Parrish, Active Transportation Planner, Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG)
Zach Dripps, Deputy Director, MACOG
The daily decisions we each make on how to travel has an impact on our communities, the broader region, and beyond. MACOG is working to create an accessible, connected active transportation network that can provide individuals with more choices throughout the region. By developing long-range plans, funding active transportation projects, creating a regional trail brand, and providing technical assistance to local governments, MACOG is envisioning a healthier future.   
Alaina Parrish joined MACOG in 2018 in the new Active Transportation Planner position created to implement the vision of the Regional Active Transportation Plan and support local communities. She holds a BS in City and Regional Planning with a minor in Global Public Health from The Ohio State University. In her spare time, she enjoys running and exploring the Michiana region.
Zach Dripps has been with MACOG for 10 years and has a variety of experiences ranging from transportation to community planning and active transportation plans to watershed management. Currently, he is the Deputy Director and oversees all planning activities at MACOG. He enjoys spending time with his wife and 7 young children.
6. MARCH 6 -- Flatland Vistas: How to Find and Appreciate the Surprising and Uncelebrated Beauty of Nature in the Midwest
Vince Gresham, naturalist, field technician/Nursery Marketing Coordinator, Cardno Native Plant Nursery
Those who appreciate wildlife and natural beauty often look to the West, its bear, bison, wolves and huge areas of unbroken wilderness. Nature seekers who feel that they must escape the Midwest, though, may be overlooking the incredibly diverse flora and fauna of our prairies, forests and wetlands.
Naturalist Vince Gresham will share images and video of some of Michiana’s most surprising wildlife, from boldly colored birds that look as if they have been transplanted from the Amazon rainforest, to
tiny wasps that develop within the caterpillars in your tomato garden. Vince will show how and where to find these and other natural wonders in Michiana.
7. MARCH 20 -- Sustainability in Practice: A Panel Discussion
Featuring: Roger DePoy, EE&CONSUMER PROGRAM COORD, Indiana Michigan Power; Tim Powers and Tyler Kanczuzewski, Inovateus Solar; Adam Parsons, Facilities Manager, City of South Bend; Allison Mihalich, Senior Program Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Notre Dame; Kirby Dipert, LEED® Green Associate and Field Engineer, Lockheed Martin Energy; Rachel Smith, Chief Steve Cox, SBFD (
Gain a better understanding of what energy efficiency is all about and how you can be incentivized for improving energy efficiency at home, school, or work. The panel will offer a “behind the scenes” view into how the University of Notre Dame, the City of South Bend, and area businesses are meeting their sustainability goals, and representatives from Inovateus Solar  will offer a “primer” about Solar PV systems and how they operate. 


An ongoing oil spill that has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for more than 14 years is finally being contained, the U.S. Coast Guard announced on Thursday.

The Taylor Energy oil spill began after Hurricane Ivan triggered an underwater mudslide in 2004 that caused the company's oil platform to topple and sink.

The New Orleans-based company managed to cap some of the 25 broken pipes leading to the leak, but many were left unplugged.

Scott Pruitt, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and his staff spent roughly $124,000 in excessive travel costs during a ten-month period, according to a new report from EPA's internal watchdog.

Mold. Leaks. Rodents. Crime. These are just some of the things the nation's 2 million public housing residents have to worry about. Many of the buildings they live in have been falling into disrepair for decades. Public housing officials estimate that it would cost $50 billion to fix them up.

But the Trump administration wants to eliminate the federal fund now used to repair public housing in favor of attracting more private investment to fix up and replace it.

When a marine biologist from Australia traveled to a remote string of islands in the Indian Ocean to see how much plastic waste had washed up on the beaches, here's just part of what she found: "373,000 toothbrushes and around 975,000 shoes, largely flip-flops," says Jennifer Lavers of the University of Tasmania in Australia.

And that's only what was on the surface.

Electrical transmission lines owned and operated by utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) caused last fall's Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, state fire investigators said Wednesday.

The fire in Northern California's Butte County burned more than 150,000 acres and killed 85 people.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted "middle of the road" approaches on climate change, an apparent criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden.

A California jury has awarded a couple more than $2 billion in a verdict against Monsanto, a subsidiary of Bayer. This is the third recent court decision involving claims that the company's Roundup weed killer caused cancer.

The jury in Alameda County, just east of San Francisco, ruled that the couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, Calif., contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma because of their use of the glyphosate-based herbicide. They were each awarded $1 billion in punitive damages and an additional $55 million in collective compensatory damages.

Many residents in the southeast U.S. and along the Gulf Coast are already thinking about the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1. Last year brought two of the most destructive storms to ever hit the U.S.: Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

Many college students studying abroad focus more on soaking in the culture — and the local drinking scene — than on their future careers. But for Charles Brain and Walker Brown, their time as exchange students in South Africa in 2014 sparked something more.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


Centuries ago, the kingdom that made up much of modern-day Laos was called Lan Xang. In English: "Land of a Million Elephants."

Yet while the Asiatic elephant may have endured as a cultural icon for the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the numbers tell a story of a species in crisis.

The Laos government and conservation groups estimate there are only about 800 elephants left in the country — 400 wild elephants, 400 in captivity.

The Seychelles magpie-robin is about 9 inches long, with inky blue-black feathers, and white patches along its wings. There may be only 200 or so of these beguiling birds in the world, all in forests of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa.

It is alarming to think of just a few birds left of a single species, isolated and fragile. It seems as if a sudden storm, or a rampant sickness, could extinguish them.

Humps and hair. That's the scene in Bulgan Soum, a tiny Mongolian town in the middle of the Gobi Desert about 160 miles north of the Chinese border.

Bactrian camels arrive in all directions on foot, bearing bundled-up riders wedged between their two humps. It's early March. While the sky is cloudless, the wind can pick up quickly. Officially called the Thousand Camel Festival, the crowd that arrives for the kickoff appears to consist of 100 camels.

The two-day festival begins with a camel beauty pageant.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


The Mississippi River is rising again as torrential rain falls across much of the Midwest. It's the latest in a series of storms that have flooded major cities and small communities along the length of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers on and off for more than a month.