Category: Green Focus

From the Rooftop Garden to the Community: Using Tools From a NSEE Course to Promote Safe & Healthy Gardening in North Carolina

Community gardens promote health by helping people to eat well, exercise, and make connections to nature and each other. (The Nicholas School rooftop garden is a great example!) But chemical contaminants—such as lead, arsenic, and pesticides—found in soil at some gardens can cause health problems. Are gardeners in North Carolina aware of potential risks from …

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Grassroots Food Policy Initiative Connects Durham Residents

Over 130 people attended a public forum in January hosted by the Durham Farm and Food Network (DFFN), a local food policy council. DFFN is a collaborative grassroots effort that aims to connect diverse residents and organizations to improve the Durham County food system. Refreshments at the public forum were provided by the Durham Co-op …

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The Changing Face of Climate Change

In September, President Obama issued an executive order to promote the use of behavioral science in combating climate change. Although interdisciplinary work around environmental issues is certainly not new, the trend is still on-the-rise. Who wouldn’t admit to a bit of surprise when a room full of climate change scientists includes an economist, a psychologist, …

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Green Focus: Sustainable Seafood

On March 2, 2015, Paul Greenberg, New York Times best-selling author of American Catch and Four Fish, addressed the Nicholas School for the 2015 Ferguson Lecture, discussing “the fight to save our local seafood”. Mr. Greenberg is one of those rare public speakers that can engage his audience on a personal level, invoking a sense …

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GreenFocus: Carpooling to Campus

  As a residential graduate student, I pretty much live in Environment Hall. But when I do have to commute between EH and my apartment in Durham, I’ve been doing so in a pretty cool, eco-friendly way: carpooling. At first, I was skeptical of the idea. How am I going to coordinate getting to campus with …

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GreenFocus: GreenBuilding

If you’ve visited Duke’s Durham campus in the last two years, you’ve probably heard the buzz around Environmental Hall, the LEED platinum-striving new home of the Nicholas School. It’s finally completed, and I’m currently writing to you from the airy, sunlit third floor. The building is gorgeous; there is no doubt. You enter the building …

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GreenFocus: GreenMoving

The DEL office is getting some new digs next month. This move, strangely, has caused me to personally question whether or not I am an ‘environmentalist’.  I recycle, I attempt to compost1, and I try to drive a car with decent gas mileage.  Yet here I stood before a WHOLE filing cabinet of JUNK: old …

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Green Focus: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Office’s Carbon Footprint

Duke’s Office of Sustainability, affectionately known as Sustainable Duke, is on a mission to attain and maintain “leadership in environmental stewardship and sustainability on our campus, in our medical institutions, and in the larger community of which we are a part.” Does this sound like your mission as well?  Read on… One of Sustainable Duke’s …

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Green Catering

One of my favorite parts of my job here at DEL is planning events and meals for our students when they come to campus. It is important to us to “walk the walk” as often as possible, and have sound environmental practices in mind when we make choices.  Several components go into sustainability when it …

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GreenFocus: 5 Ways to Start Going Lesspaper

At the DEL office, we’ve begun a slow-but-steady journey toward reducing our paper use, and though there have been challenges, we’ve found that some minimal changes around the office have had some big payoffs. If you’ve thought about trying to go paperless (or Lesspaper, as we call it around here…) in your office, but haven’t …

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