Nicknamed the "Blue Nuns" for the blue habits they used to wear, the Catholic sisters of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have renovated their motherhouse and campus in Monroe, Michigan, into a showpiece of ecologically sustainable development. The project recently earned national awards from the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Institute of Architects. It features the largest privately funded geothermal field in the country and ranks as one of the nation's largest residential sustainable renovations registered with the U.S. Green Building Council.
"We've always been committed to social justice and advocacy for the abandoned and the poor," said Sister Janet Ryan. "In this century, we've come to understand the earth is abandoned in many ways. We consider sustainability a moral mandate for the 21st century."