Maharishi U Dining Hall Goes 100% Vegetarian, 90% Organic
Maharishi University of Management's (IA) new student center dining hall is serving 100 percent vegetarian and 90 – 95 percent organic food. Campus farms provide the school with fruits and vegetables during the summer, and campus greenhouses offer tomatoes and greens during the winter. The school has spent the past eight or nine years replacing foods grown with herbicides and pesticides with organic food. Most of the remaining food comes from local producers.
Unity College President's Blog: Env. Studies for the Real World
The President of Unity College, Mitchell Thomashow, recently started a new blog entitled, "Environmental Studies for the Real World." In the blog, Thomashow's goal is to use his voice as the President of Unity College to comment on how climate change, loss of biodiversity, and sustainability must be at the forefront of higher education.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. to Host Pollution Prevention Institute
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has been chosen to host New York State's Pollution Prevention Institute, a research and development center that will design and test green manufacturing methods and provide technical support to businesses for pollution prevention measures. RIT’s primary mission will be to promote cost effective pollution prevention techniques so that large and small business can reduce energy costs, hazardous substances, and wastes. The Institute will assist industry in reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the use of toxic chemicals, cutting waste generation, decreasing exposure risks to workers, and promoting more efficient use of raw materials and energy. A key part of RIT’s proposal to host the Institute is the creation of 16 research and development technological laboratories across the State, through partnerships with Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Wesleyan U & U Vermont Students Renounce Kimberly-Clark Products
Wesleyan University (CT) and the University of Vermont students have taken steps towards banning Kimberly-Clark products, particularly Kleenex, due to the lack of recycled fibers in the company's goods. A WU campus grocery store has discontinued the selling of Kleenex after two students sent a message condemning the lack of recycled fibers in Kimberly-Clark's paper products, in the facial tissue in particular. The ban will remain in effect until the company increases the recycled content in its goods. The UVM student group, UVM Forest Crimes Unit, is also boycotting Kimberly-Clark products for the same reasons. The group is collecting signatures for a campus-wide ban on the company's products and is meeting with the director of custodial services to consider alternative tissue products.
U Oregon Offers Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law
The University of Oregon School of Law will offer a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law for students wanting to develop a specialty in the field. The new concentration focuses on emerging sustainability businesses and the regulation of energy and the environment. To earn a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law, students must satisfactorily complete a business law curriculum, selected courses addressing environmental and sustainability issues, and an appropriate paper, clinic, externship, business plan, or similar project approved by a faculty committee.
Lake Land College Receives 2 Renewable Energy Grants
Lake Land College (IL) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to help determine what type of wind turbine would fit the needs of the college. The college also plans to install solar hot water heaters, natural lighting via skylights with reflective lenses, and prairie grasses into the landscaping. The projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2008. The College also recently received a $45,000 grant that enabled it to complete the installation of a geothermal system in the Student Fitness Center, which is now heated and cooled entirely with geothermal energy. The geothermal grant was provided by GeoAlliance as part of a $1 million program to further the proliferation of geothermal technology. The wind turbine grant was provided by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Princeton U Helps Fund Town Bus Service
Princeton University (NJ) has agreed to cover the costs of the new community jitney bus service until Princeton Borough receives its permanent vehicle and funding from New Jersey Transit at the end of the year. The jitney bus service will be free to riders and will run Monday through Friday during peak commuting hours. The service also has a direct connection with the newly modified University shuttle routes.
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Podcast
AASHE has posted a podcast on STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The podcast gives an introduction to the rating system and the categories therein. The discussion also covers the process campuses will use to complete an assessment and receive an overall sustainability rating.
Brown U Enhances Financial Aid
Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.
Campus Sustainability Whitepaper Series: 10% off for AASHE Members
PaperClip Communications is offering a 10 percent discount to AASHE members on their recently released Campus Sustainability Whitepaper Series. The series is comprised of 6 whitepapers: Greening Your Events: How to Plan and Implement Sustainable Campus Events ; Sustainable Campus Food Service Programs: From Little Changes to Large Initiatives That Change the Environmental Balance ; Going Green in Residence Life: Putting Your Operation in Line with Sustainable Practices ; Sustainable Campus Practices: Green Campus Facilities, Purchasing and Business Practices ; Sustainable Student Initiatives: What's Working on Our Campuses ; and Hosting a Campus Sustainability Day: 40 Campus Examples, How-to Tips & Resources . The whitepapers offer ideas, strategies, and best practices for moving toward sustainability.
Become an AASHE 2008 Supporting Institution
In an effort to encourage strong student participation at its 2008 conference, AASHE is inviting colleges and universities to become Supporting Institutions. Supporting Institutions offer to cover the cost of participation in the conference for at least one of their students, and provide $250 to support the conference. In exchange, they will be recognized in the conference website, printed program, signage and other publicity materials.
Stanford Helps Create the Center for Ocean Solutions
Stanford University (CA), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have joined together to create the Center for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore oceans. Although based in California, the center will confront problems that affect oceans worldwide, including climate change and overfishing. Made possible by a $25 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Center for Ocean Solutions will be managed by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.
3 Michigan Universities to Fund Energy Projects
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, the state's three largest research universities, will invest $900,000 to encourage their faculty to work collaboratively on novel renewable energy research that could help shape energy policy. The energy initiative is an attempt to usher inventions from labs to the marketplace and attract fresh jobs to the state. Faculty from the three universities will have until April 14, 2008 to submit their proposals for research in materials, nanomaterials, clean energy sources, transmission and storage that is environmentally safe, cost-effective, and secure, and energy policy. Funding to the winning proposal or proposals should begin in June.
Cape Cod CC Awarded Wind Turbine Grant
Cape Cod Community College (MA) has received a $2.4 million grant to install a 600 kW wind turbine. The grant will also allow CCCC to pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour for turbine-generated electricity that will be paid to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the grant provider. The savings CCCC sees will be shared with MTC’s Low Income Energy Assistance Network. The LEAN program works with other energy programs and provides benefits to low-income populations in the area including on-site housing improvements for energy efficiency.
Coca-Cola, National Recycling Coalition Bin Grant Program
The Coca-Cola and National Recycling Coalition Recycling Bin Grant Program supports local community recycling programs by providing bins to selected grant recipients for the collection of beverage container recyclables in public settings. Grants will be provided to a limited number of applicants who can demonstrate how their proposals will lead to sustainable recycling opportunities. The grant program is open to government, civic, school, non-profit groups and for-profit companies. Applications are due April 4, 2008.
Breakthrough Generation Fellowships
Breakthrough Generation is recruiting for a Fellowship Program that will select up to ten of the country’s top young organizers and thinkers to develop a vision and strategy for a new youth progressive movement. BG is seeking highly motivated, capable, and innovative young leaders who are willing to challenge accepted political norms. Fellowships include a $5,000 grant to support independent projects that both achieve on-the-ground local green solutions and advance the larger movement for a major national investment in clean energy, attendance at the spring and fall summits, and participation in the summer conference. Applications are due at 5p.m. on March 21, 2008.
List of Academic Programs on Sustainability & Environmental Law
AASHE had prepared a series of new resources on sustainability in legal education. The resources include lists of graduate programs in sustainability and environmental law, as well as a list of academic centers focused on sustainability and environmental law. The resources are available only to AASHE members.
Mount Vernon Nazarene U Uses Biodiesel
Mount Vernon Nazarene University (OH) recently purchased a machine that converts waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. Since the purchase, MVNU has switched to using 100 percent biodiesel in university maintenance equipment and in a few buses.
Eastern Kentucky U to Reduce Energy Consumption
Eastern Kentucky University recently announced their goal to reduce annual utility costs by 30 percent. EKU plans to reach the goal through energy-efficient lighting, water-conserving technologies and methods, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system retrofits. These and other initiatives will result in an estimated reduction of more than 76 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 120,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and more than 400,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The project is the result of funding provided by an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies.
U Maine Presque Isle Forms Green Campus Committee
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has formed the Green Campus Committee, a group that will focus on ways to save energy, raise awareness, and educate the campus community on sustainability issues. The committee hopes to work with students as well.
Michigan State U, U Iowa Partner in Chicago Climate Xchge
Michigan State University and the University of Iowa have agreed to a partnership involving the transaction of carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange program. MSU has agreed to purchase 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide credits from UI in order to meet the requirements of 2007, its first membership compliance year. Next year, MSU hopes to increase the use of alternative fuels so that purchasing additional credits will be less of a necessity. In 2007, UI accumulated excess credits by burning oat hulls, a byproduct of Quaker Oats, instead of coal.
Stanford U Dedicates Green Building
Stanford University (CA) recently dedicated the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building. Known as Y2E2, the new green building is said to be LEED Platinum-equivalent and uses 56 percent less energy than a typical building of its size. Y2E2 offers natural lighting, features natural ventilation for cooling, and uses 90 percent less potable water for fixtures than an equivalent building. Stanford plans to build 3 more buildings with the same goal of 50 percent reduction in energy use for each.
U Buffalo Releases Climate Action Report
The University at Buffalo Green Office recently released the UB Green Climate Action Report, a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set of recommendations for how the University can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and move towards climate neutrality. UB found that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on campus are building energy use and transportation. The report recommends that the campus increase renewable energy purchases, maximize energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, advocate for a better mass transit system, and increase carpooling.
Washington U St. Louis Eliminates Student Loans
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has announced that it will eliminate need-based loans as part of its undergraduate financial aid awards to students from low- and middle-income families. Beginning in fall 2008, both entering freshmen and returning full-time undergraduate day-school students with parental incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to take out need-based loans and will instead receive grants from the University that will not have to be repaid. Families with parental income somewhat higher than $60,000 also may receive additional student loan relief based on demonstrated need and their financial circumstances. The additional grant aid will be funded by the increase in spending from scholarship and unrestricted endowments in the university's four schools with undergraduate programs, as well as from unrestricted university resources.
Princeton Announces Sustainability Plan and GHG Commitment
Princeton University (NJ) has released a Sustainability Plan that includes a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 through on-campus activities rather than purchasing off-campus offsets. The plan also mandates that all new construction and renovations be LEED Silver equivalent and commits to providing financial support for commuter use of public transportation, enhancing the campus shuttle system and ride share programs, creating better walking and biking paths, developing telecommuting policy, and replacing retired campus fleet vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles. The plan also includes goals on resource conservation, research, education, and civic engagement.
U Minnesota Morris to Install 2 Wind Turbines & a Steam Turbine
The University of Minnesota, Morris has received three Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a special type of tax credit bond providing the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. Authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, the bonds will allow UMM to construct two more wind turbines and to add a steam turbine that will convert steam from the biomass facility, which is currently under construction, into electricity. One of the wind turbines will be located on-campus, while the other will be located in western Minnesota and is to be shared with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Combined with a previously constructed wind turbine, the new campus turbine will allow UMM to be powered almost exclusively with wind.