Cornell U Students Build Sustainable House in Nicaragua
(U.S.): Sustainable Design students have begun building an affordable and environmentally sustainable model house as part of the Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua project. The house and its landscaping are the product of more than three semesters of research on designing sustainable and affordable housing for low-income Nicaraguan families.
Lindenwood U Students Create Sustainability Alliance Group
(U.S.): Students have founded Sustainability Alliance, a group dedicated to decreasing the school's ecological footprint and advocating for responsible consumption. The group has launched Foam Free Fridays to encourage students to use washable plates and eliminate the use of expanded polystyrene foam containers.
Miami U, Antioch College Create Ohio Agrarian Trade Partnership
(U.S.): Miami University’s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability has partnered with Antioch College to develop cooperative education relationships in a project called the Ohio Agrarian Trade Partnership. The program will provide students from both institutions the opportunity to work with employers in the Ohio food and agricultural industry.
Green Mountain College Students Build Solar Garage
Twenty-one students in the college’s Renewable Energy and Ecological Design course have completed a solar-powered garage that demonstrates an integrative design to optimize the performance of electric vehicles in cold weather climates. The building is a mini power plant that consumes the power it produces while providing a platform for sustainable food production. Inside, the building has a large multifunctional solar wall that provides heat, light and shelving for food production.
U Michigan Starts Online Sustainability Ambassador Certification
The Planet Blue Ambassadors online certification program allows faculty, staff, and students to receive certificationas sustainability leaders on campus by completing five training modules directly connected to the university's sustainability goals in energy, food, waste, water and community. Each module includes an interactive game with suggestions to get involved, as well as information about the university’s goals and progress to date.
Northwestern U Helps Reduce Off-Campus Students Energy, Water Use
The Associated Student Government’s Sustainability Committee has created an initiative to provide free compact fluorescent light bulbs and water-efficient showerheads to all students living off campus. The committee currently has 700 light bulbs and 200 showerheads, and 300 students have signed up to receive the packages.
U Victoria Students Push for Socially Responsible Investing
Common Energy, a student organization, has begun advocating for more engagement between the university’s academic and social mission and the management of the university’s funds. The organization is asking for the adoption of principles of responsible investing and the formation of institutional structures that allow the university to exercise these principles.
U York Student Organization Launches Living Wage Campaign
(U.K.): City Councilors are urging the university to adopt a living wage for all university employees set at £7.20 per hour or higher. A living wage policy has been adopted by the Students’ Union, and a living wage campaign petition created by the university’s Labor Club has already reached over 1,000 signatures.
U New Hampshire Students Advocate to Divest from Fossil Fuels
The Student Environmental Action Coalition has delivered a petition signed by more than 1,000 students to urge the university’s president to divest endowment funding from fossil fuels. The coalition joins a growing movement on college campuses nationwide and through the climate change organization 350.org to demand divestiture of stocks in oil companies.
Northwestern U Students Push Plastic Water Bottle Ban
A student plastic reduction team has launched a campaign to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on campus. The initiative involves petitioning the student body and spreading an educational message about the harmful effects of plastic on the environment. The campaign has garnered the support of several student and environmental groups on campus.
SUNY ESF Launches Eco-Rep Program
The university has launched a new Eco-Representative Program that uses peer-to-peer interaction to raise awareness about sustainability issues among students living in a campus residence hall. The Office of Energy and Sustainability provided a budget of $1,000 for the Eco-Reps to fund the program throughout the academic year.
U Memphis Students Hold Living Wage Teach-In
The Progressive Student Alliance, a campus group dedicated to organizing against racism, sexism and economic oppressions, held a “teach-in” to emphasize the importance of campus workers getting paid a living wage.
Concordia College Hosts 100-Mile Thanksgiving
The college hosted the annual event in partnership with local farmers and several student groups in an effort to raise community awareness about the benefits of choosing local foods.
U Washington Launches New Sustainability Awareness Tool
The Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability office has launched ‘Sustainability Snapshots,” its newest awareness tool. The new website aims to catalog the various sustainability projects and initiatives happening on campus in one location, including facts about the project’s impact.
Davis & Elkins College Students Design, Build Micro-Farm
(U.S.): Students from an Introduction to Sustainability Studies class helped build the Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneur (SAGE) Initiative classroom garden. Participating students will use the garden to grow produce that will be sold to local food suppliers. The aim of the SAGE initiative is to encourage students to replicate the techniques learned in class to be implemented elsewhere.
Green Campus Movement Launches at U Cape Town
(South Africa): The 49M Green Campus Movement has launched a “Youth & the Green Economy” series at the university. The online community will provide information on campus events and competitions, the appointment of campus ambassadors, entry for national awards, and social media initiatives.
Maharishi U Mgmt New Student Group to Focus on Sustainability
(U.S.): Students have organized a local chapter of Net Impact, a global nonprofit that supports a new generation of leaders intent on transforming the world. The chapter is currently working on several sustainability projects including a vermiculture project that will help improve the university's composting system.
Swarthmore College Alumni Join Divestment Movement
(U.S.): About 100 alumni have signed the college’s Alumni Petition for Fossil Fuel Divestment. Started by the Swarthmore Mountain Justice student organization, the petition aims to demonstrate to the administration that a range of Swarthmore community members, not just students, support fossil fuel divestment.
U Leicester Students Participate in Living Wage Campaign
(U.K.): Organized by the university’s Labor Society, students have launched a campaign demanding that all staff be paid the new living wage of £7.45. A Freedom of Information Act request has shown that hundreds of university employees earn wages below the current minimum wage.
U South Carolina Hosts No Impact Week
(U.S.): Over 500 students, faculty, and staff have signed up to participate in a week long challenge to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Participants will take on new challenges throughout the week with the end goal of producing zero trash, using sustainable transportation, and minimizing energy and water consumption. The challenges are based on the ideas in the book ”No Impact Man.”
OneEnergy Renewables Announces 2013 Energy Scholars Class
OneEnergy Renewables, a developer of large-scale clean energy projects, has announced its 2013 OneEnergy Scholars class. The award recipients include six graduate students that demonstrated outstanding leadership and vision in the field of renewable energy from Cornell University, George Washington University, MIT, the University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University.
San Jose State U Launches New Campus Sustainability Website
The university launched a new website to promote and inform students about the sustainability efforts made on campus and ways in which they can reduce their ecological footprints. The website provides links for visitors that highlight campus accomplishments and list current and future projects.
U Vermont Student Group Calls on Trustees to Divest Fossil Fuels
The Student Climate Culture club has launched a campaign encouraging the university to bring an end to investment in fossil fuel companies. The student group has teamed up with Greenpeace, 350.org, and other environmental organizations to make a case for divestment. The group will present its arguments at an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting.
Dartmouth College Students Create Paper to Examine Social Issues
A group of students seeking to raise awareness about overlooked social justice issues created The Dartmouth Radical , a new campus paper. The eight-page publication will run poems, satire pieces and news stories from a progressive perspective. The Council on Student Organizations approved The Radical as an official student group and granted it college funding.
U Maryland Students Help Bring Solar Lighting to Sierra Leone
In a partnership with the Madieu Williams Foundation and the Maryland Sustainable Engineering student group, about 40 university students helped to design and install a 1.5-kilowatt solar array that would provide lighting to an elementary school in Sierra Leone. The team also installed a battery array that can last several days without any power input from the panels.
U Massachusetts Medical School Creates Sustainability Pledge
(U.S.): The university’s Sustainability Committee has asked students, faculty and staff to sign a pledge in an effort to encourage the campus community to think about the environmental impact of everyday decisions. Every month, one person who takes the pledge will be selected to receive a gift.
U Massachusetts Student Farm Partners with Local Supermarket
(U.S.): The university’s Student Farm Enterprise class has partnered with Big Y Foods, a local supermarket, to sell locally grown produce. The partnership will allow students to learn how to manage their own farms and work with a mainstream retail market.
Washington U St. Louis Student Government Passes Plastic Bag Ban
The university’s Student Union Senate has passed a resolution calling for numerous campus businesses to replace plastic bags with paper ones. The resolution, drafted by a campus initiative called Another Step Towards Sustainability, encourages each distributor to eliminate their plastic bag distribution by the 2013 fall semester and replace them with eco-friendly paper bags.
Brown U Debuts Housing to Promote Social Justice
The Office of Residential Life has approved the Social Action Program House, which will foster a community of students passionate about social justice. The 45 house members will develop goals, engage in community service oriented projects and host informational dinners to engage the student body.
Chatham U Students Win Design Competition for City’s Green Hub
Two teams of five interior architecture students have won a competition to turn a City-County building lobby into Green Central, a hub of information about the City of Pittsburgh’s sustainability action-plan projects and resources to help residents develop their own. The winning designs include custom-made recycling bins that evoke the roots of a tree. The mayor’s Green Trust Fund will pay for the project.
New School Design Students Help Build University Center
Four students and alumni have teamed with a construction company to help build the new University Center. Each intern has a focus project including work on the interior LED lighting design, implementation of an eco-friendly wastewater system, and work in the field office. The building will feature an ice storage cooling system that complements the air conditioning system and internal electricity generator to relieve pressure on the public grid.
St. Olaf College Launches 'SustainAbilities' Program
The college's new "SustainAbilities: Practical Steps to a Sustainable Society" program, encompassing all four years of the undergraduate experience, includes sustainability representatives for each residence hall to help students develop skills to design and build a more sustainable society, on campus and off. The newly launched SustainAbilities website offers students live newsfeeds, a blog with local stories, a calendar of events, a resource guide and green room certification guidelines.
U Maryland Student Team Wins Appliance Design Competition
A University of Maryland student team has won the U.S. Department of Energy’s first Max Tech and Beyond Appliance Design Competition. The students simplified the design of a standard wall-mounted air conditioner by separating the systems that remove humidity and provide cooling. After the students tested a fully functional prototype, they found that the design reduced energy use by 30 percent compared with typical wall-mounted air conditioners already on the market.
Maharaja Sayajirao U Holds Green March, Plants 10,000 Trees
(India): Students, faculty and administrators in the university’s Environment Army recently participated in “The Environment March” to raise awareness of the need to conserve trees. The event also kicked off a campaign to plant 10,000 trees on campus, in which members of the campus community will adopt saplings to nurture over the next three years.
U California Merced Student Wins Brower Youth Award
(U.S.): The Earth Island Institute has honored Martin Figueroa with the Brower Youth Award for his leadership in water conservation and energy efficiency. Figueroa coordinated last year's competition to see which residence hall on the UC Merced campus could save the most water. The competition, which used new water-monitoring technology to track progress and identify leaks in campus water lines, resulted in savings of more than 14 percent of the normal water usage.
U Minnesota St. Paul Students Host 'Weed Dating' Event
(U.S.) In addition to bringing together like-minded people who care where their food comes from, the recent Cornercopia Student Organic Farm event was a good opportunity to get some extra weeding done on the campus farm.
U Queensland Student Groups Debut Sustainability Market
(Australia): Organized by the university’s Ipswich chapter of Doctors for the Environment and Towards International Medical Equality, the university’s first Sustainability Market on campus featured information stalls, a clothing exchange, bike accessories, fresh local produce and a community garden booth. Organizers hope the market will become a regular event to promote sustainable products and services that can be accessed in the community.
Pratt Institute Students to Develop Green Roof
Graduate students in the institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development have presented concept proposals for a soon-to-be-built green roof on campus. Realized through $475,167 from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection's Green Infrastructure Grant Program, the roof will be located on a building that houses the campus cafeteria as well as classrooms, and will be planted with native species and monitored to measure stormwater management and energy efficiency benefits.
Oregon IT Students to Install Solar Systems in Tanzanian Villages
Ten students will travel to Tanzania to install solar energy systems for schools and hospitals as part of the Oregon Institute of Technology’s renewable energy engineering degree program. The project was launched in 2010 to provide energy to power lights that allow students to study after dark and medical professionals to perform surgery with adequate illumination.
Portland State U Students Build Prison Garden with Inmates
Students at the university recently worked side-by-side with the inmate gardeners to expand and plant a garden at Oregon’s only women’s prison. The project was part of a "Women’s Prison Gardens" capstone course, which focuses primarily on social justice, corrections and the impact of incarceration on families and communities.
U Kentucky Students Help Produce Biodiesel in Cameroon
Seven chemical and mechanical engineering students recently participated in a project to develop low-cost, environmentally friendly technologies to produce biodiesel for rural villagers in Cameroon, Africa. The students worked with the African Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology to design a process using resources and materials readily available in the area. A 10-day trip to work with the local villagers in implementing and refining the design was the culmination of the year-long project.
Bogor Agricultural U Students Create Sustainability Awareness
(Indonesia): Working toward Indonesia's commitment to reduce its carbon emission by 26 percent by 2020, a group of Bogor Agricultural University students are encouraging more sustainable actions among higher education communities by routinely picking up plastic bags and litter on campus, and distributing free reusable cloth bags.
Maastricht U Student Green Office Wins Int'l Sustainability Award
(Netherlands): The International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) and oikos International have recognized the achievements of the university’s student-led Green Office with a Student Leadership Award that represents sustainability student activism. Students have already successfully implemented several sustainability projects through the Green Office including the first sustainability baseline analysis of the university; business cases for a more energy-efficient computer infrastructure and light system; and several conferences and networking events.
Taibah U Students Build Biological Incubator
(Saudi Arabia): Students of the renewable energy and biotechnology unit have created a model of a biological incubator to produce antibiotics from bacteria using solar energy. The group is currently working on various applications that make use of solar energy and research on manufacturing solar cells locally.
Creighton U Student Spearheads Fair Trade Status
Inspired by the economic plight of a community in the Dominican Republic during a service trip, a senior at the university has successfully campaigned for the university's Fair Trade status. The status commits the university to support Fair Trade through the use of fair trade products where feasible in university-operated/owned outlets, meetings and special events; Fair Trade education and awareness building on campus; and general support of Fair Trade through procurement practices.