Rollins College Bans Straws
Plastic straws have now been removed from all food services on campus. Paper and pasta straws will be available upon request and cups now have lids with openings to drink from directly.
California State U East Bay Approves First Climate Action Plan
In early May 2018, the campus completed one of Second Nature's Carbon Commitment milestones by approving its first Climate Action Plan. The plan, which includes immediate, near-, medium- and long- action steps, indicates the university has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.
APPA Selects Five 2018 Sustainability Innovation Award Recipients
Central Michigan University, James Madison University, Simon Fraser University, San Jose State University, and University of Calgary were recipients of this year's Sustainability Innovation Award given by APPA. This award is designed to recognize and advance sustainability in educational facilities.
Call for Contributions: Environmental Education for Sustainability
The journal Sustainability is curating a special issue titled Environmental Education for Sustainability that intends to document and promote scholarly research and projects that show how environmental education can help the implementation of sustainability efforts. Emphasis will be given to both formal and non-formal education, as well as to innovative teaching methods, inclusive approaches and transformative processes that may lead to a better interaction between environmental education and sustainable development. The deadline for manuscripts is April 10.
U Texas Austin Grounds Goes Nearly 100% Organic
The university's 431 acres are now organic thanks to ongoing effort to discontinue the use of chemicals to fertilize and control weeds. The university grounds team makes and uses 250 gallons of compost tea each week to enrich the soil and make plants healthier, which nearly eliminates the use of chemicals and reduces water use for irrigation. The tea is made from compost, coffee grounds, molasses and seaweed. Some limited chemical treatments are used to manage invasive plants and fire ants.
Project Green Challenge 2018
Taking place Oct. 1-31, Project Green Challenge 2018 invites college students to participate in 30 days of sustainability-themed challenges. Each day of the challenge, 20 prize packages will be awarded to participants. Up to 16 finalists will be flown to San Francisco to attend a four-day eco-summit in late November.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Wins International Freezer Challenge
Earning first place in the 2018 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, the university had 45 labs from 17 buildings participate in the program. Researchers earned points for tasks such as eliminating fridge and freezer usage, cleaning lab spaces and moving samples to warmer storage. Combined efforts to conserve energy resulted in a 720 kilowatt-hours per day reduction of energy use.
Culver Academies Installs Solar Array
The 24-kilowatt solar-electric system recently installed on campus will be used for educational purposes. Since data for each panel will be available and the panels can be tilted individually, the school aims to determine the best angle for different times of the year in order to maximize the system's efficiency.
Ithaca College to Pilot Peer Program That Addresses Hunger
Students will soon have the option to anonymously donate their allotted guest passes on their college meal plan to fellow students facing food insecurity. The initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with Swipe Out Hunger, an organization that partners with higher education institutions to address student hunger. The program will begin with a yearlong trial phase, during which the college's Student Financial Services will collect data, including the number of passes donated and the number used, in order to assess its effectiveness.
Call for Applications: Turning the Page on Campus Paper Use
AASHE invites applications from institutions to join a cohort of 10 to 12 AASHE members that will receive in-depth training, guidance and tools to implement a behavior-based paper saving program on their campus. This new cohort will focus specifically on campaigns to reduce the number of personal desktop printers, which is a particularly high impact strategy for reducing costs and paper use. Representatives of these institutions will participate in an in-person training at the 2018 AASHE Conference and Expo. Participants will receive ongoing support to refine, implement and evaluate their campaigns. Applications are due by Sept. 7.
AASHE 2018 Workshop: To Rise, We Need Critical Conversations About ‘Unsustainable’ Race, Class & Gender Privilege
This half-day, post-conference workshop is designed to help participants dive more deeply into the complicated and often fraught conversation about race, class and gender privilege in the service of developing more collaborative campus sustainability efforts. In addition to setting a shared understanding of how systems of oppression work and their impacts on climate change, environmental issues and sustainability work, this session identifies the unconscious and unintentional ways race, class and gender privilege thwart collective sustainability work on campuses. Participants will learn ways to interrupt and dismantle these privileged dynamics and connect this social justice work to campus sustainability efforts. This workshop will be presented by Heather Hackman of Hackman Consulting Group.
AASHE 2018 Student Summit Registration Ends Soon
The Student Summit on Oct. 2 at the 2018 AASHE Conference & Expo is a platform for student sustainability leaders to network with hundreds of other like-minded students from around the globe. Attendees will learn change-maker strategies for their campuses and communities and have the opportunity to connect with professional organizations and activist networks that can amplify their efforts and provide ongoing support. Garrett Blad, currently executive coordinator of SustainUS, is the keynote speaker. The last day to register online for the Student Summit is Sept. 17.
New York U School of Medicine Goes Tuition Free
In an effort to address the rising costs of medical education, the school is offering full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in its MD degree program regardless of need or merit. The yearly tuition costs covered by the scholarship are $55,018.
U Western Australia Tests Driverless Electric Bus
(Australia) The autonomous driving bus travels at 5 kilometers per hour (3.1 miles per hour) and can carry up to 14 passengers. Students and faculty will evaluate the accuracy and reliability of autonomous driving and the effects the vehicle has on other traffic, such as cyclists and pedestrians.
U Louisiana Lafayette Adopts Sustainability Strategic Plan
The 21-point plan enumerates goals through 2021 that seek to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions and overall energy and water consumption. It is the institution's first comprehensive statement of environmental objectives.
U Hawaiʻi Mānoa Launches 2 MW Solar Installation
The installation includes a large photovoltaic canopy on the top deck of the university's main parking structure as well as several rooftop systems. The university is buying the electricity under a power purchase agreement that is expected to save between $2 million to $8 million over its lifetime, depending on future energy costs.
Danville Area CC Sustainability Land Learning Lab Receives Grant
The $20,000 gift from the Arconic Foundation includes funds to improve the honey bee project with new bees and hives, bee suits, and honey harvest equipment. Another portion of the funds will provide tools to aid in production and curriculum such as a solar powered remote weather station and agricultural drone. Finally, the grant provides funds for equipment to improve working conditions at the lab – a utility vehicle and gas generator.
U South Carolina Health Center Earns LEED Gold
The Center for Health and Well-Being's sustainability features include a central automation system for the HVAC equipment, occupancy sensors for lights, recycled content materials, and water efficient fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens.
U California Irvine Starts Recycling 80M Gallons of Water
The university recently celebrated the conversion of its Central Plant, which has been retrofitted to use recycled water for cooling campus buildings. The use of treated recycled water in cooling 65 buildings will save more than 80 million gallons of drinking water annually. This will help the university achieve its goal to reduce per capita drinkable water use by 50 percent by 2025.
Election Imperatives: Ten Recommendations to Increase College Student Voting
This report offers 10 recommendations to increase student voting and to improve campus conditions for political learning, discourse and agency during the election season and beyond. Released by Tufts University's Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, Election Imperatives is a collaborative, practitioner-focused document drawn from research on college student voting and the campus climates of highly politically engaged institution.
NWEI Campus EcoChallenge
The Campus EcoChallenge led by Northwest Earth Institute is a campus engagement tool that encourages behavior change toward sustainable action. With nine categories to choose from, including a "create your own", the dashboard allows participants to track their progress and connect with other participants. Registration begins Aug. 15.