U West Florida Students Begin USGBC Chapter
In hopes of creating an environmentally-friendly campus, the new U.S. Green Building Council student club's first project will be construction of an Earthship structure composed of compacted dirt and used tires, which will be used as a seating area outside of the science and engineering building for campus members to create community.
Duke U Arts Festival Centers Around Sustainability
The annual festival's thematic choice this year is sustainability in order to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and expand the boundaries of artistic endeavors on campus. Organizers' intention is for participants to consider how creativity can galvanize sustainable behaviors.
Portland State U Questions Oppression in Sustainability Movement
The university's new Social Sustainability Month theme for 2013-14 is Decolonizing Sustainability: Unsettling the Dominant Paradigm, a focal point that encourages consideration of how the mainstream environmental and sustainability movements may perpetuate historical systems of oppression, colonization and domination.
Wesleyan U Students and Faculty Re-Envision 'The Commons'
As part of the university's College of the Environment year-long academic think tank on critical environmental issues, students and faculty discuss management of common property from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities and performing arts. The think tank will conjoin its scholarly work with the efforts of student sustainability groups like the Long Lane Farm Club, WILDWes and WesFresh.
Students Organize Around Campus Food Day 2013
(U.S.): Campus Food Day was celebrated recently at 350 U.S. colleges and universities. The event mobilized students to unify the food movement and launch efforts to change food policies on campus through events such as lectures, documentary screenings and petitions. Johns Hopkins University, Northeastern University and The University of Massachusetts, Amherst signed onto the Real Food Campus Commitment, pledging to source 20 percent of its food from local, fair, sustainable and humane farms and food businesses. As of Campus Food Day, 22 institutions have signed the Real Food Campus Commitment.
Concordia U Students Learn About Homelessness
In an effort to understand the plight of the homeless demographic, students organized an event in which they built cardboard shanties that they slept in overnight and spent time serving the homeless.
Penn State Students Aid in Stormwater Infrastructure Rebuilding
Students from the university's architecture program, staff and community volunteers worked with the Penn State Cooperative Extension and Public Media to rebuild one of the city's rain gardens and stormwater remediation areas. The project was part of an outreach effort for Penn State Public Media’s documentary "Water Blues, Green Solutions," which aims to encourage public education and awareness of green infrastructure.
U Toronto Launches 'Faces of Sustainability'
The university's sustainability office's new the bi-monthly feature recognizes the individuals who are contributing to campus sustainability, bridging dialogue across campus with varying stakeholders.
New Mexico State U Maps Outdoor Recycling Bins
Attempting to understand how far campus members have to walk to recycle, student researchers in the Spatial Applications and Research Center discovered only 22 percent were located within 25 feet of building, whereas 70 percent of the trashcans were within 25 feet.
Taylor U Begins Sustainability Assistants Program
After a recent trip to the Bahamas, a honors cohort conceptualized and brought to fruition a program where volunteer student representatives educate students in residence halls about environmental issues and act as change agents for sustainable living.
Tufts U Creates 'Sustainability House'
Students helped implement what is now the Sustainability House, an on-campus housing initiative where students who have a common interest in sustainability can live in community together. Students in the community are required to work on research related to sustainability or work with groups that seek to create change on campus.
Falmouth U, U Exeter Cornwall Launches Green Living Project
(U.K.): Student members of the Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union are launching two projects aimed at promoting more sustainable behaviors within the student and staff populations. The projects aim to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce resources being sent to landfills.
National U Singapore, U Melbourne Win Design Competition
(Australia): Open to architecture students from higher education around the world, the Tropical Architecture Design Competition focuses on tropical green architecture and sustainable building design solutions. A collaboration between the two universities, this year’s winning entry was inspired by natural mushrooms and relies heavily on fresh air, daylight and rainwater for energy, and local construction materials such as ramp earth and rice straw walls.
U Illinois Chicago Students Teach Diversity with Gardens
(U.S.): Birthed from two different student cultural groups' desire to promote the importance of environmental and cultural diversity, the new Heritage Garden provides an experiential learning space where students, in collaboration with campus and community members, can engage in hands-on horticultural activities while expanding their knowledge of culturally diversity and environmentally friendly traditions and values.
U Richmond Initiates Dorm Eco-Rep Program
(U.S.): The university's Office of Sustainability has initiated this new program in an effort to increase awareness for on-campus sustainability programs including Eco-Olympics, Campus Conservation Nationals and Recyclemania.
Virginia Tech Wins Tree Farm Design Competition
(U.S.): A faculty and student team were recently awarded first place in the Casey Trees Master Plan Design Competition, a juried program to help Casey Trees fulfill its mission of protecting the tree canopy of Washington, D.C. Runners up were Clemson University, University of Maryland at College Park and a joint submission from Syracuse University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
DePauw U Begins Organic Farm
The new one-acre farm for students, faculty and staff serves as a learning lab while 10-15 percent of the food grown will be donated to the local emergency food pantry.
Franklin Pierce U Launches Sustainability Awareness Campaign
In an effort to help students gain practical experience in the field of sustainability communication, the student-run Pierce Media Group has created Voices: Engaging Communication for Sustainability. This year-long project includes guest speakers, student-created media announcements and a column in the campus newspaper.
St. Olaf Creates New First-Year Dialogue Program
The newly offered fifth topic in the college’s Conversations program, the Environmental Conversations path gives first-year students an opportunity to engage in discussion-based learning with a focus on sustainability. The college recently designated Kittelsby-Hilleboe Hall as housing for those interested in sustainable living and learning.
U Buffalo Students Initiate Permaculture Garden
After attending a permaculture workshop at University of Massachusetts Amherst, the students have drafted a proposal for a garden based on the principles of permaculture containing herbs and other perennial plants.
U Maryland, Ohio State U Wins Design Competition
Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced University of Maryland as the winner of the Max Tech and Beyond design competition for ultra-low-energy use appliances and equipment, and Ohio State University as runner up. UMD developed a heat pump clothes dryer that is almost 59 percent more efficient than a traditional electric dryer, while OSU designed a hybrid air/water conditioner with 73 percent energy cost savings over a conventional system.
Alfred State College Launches Student Engagement Competition
In a new year-long challenge, students in residence halls at the university will earn points by participating in activities and programs related to civic engagement, sustainability, and health and wellness. The highest earning residence hall will be awarded $1,500.
Slippery Rock U Students Help Businesses Go Green
Through the university’s Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, student interns recently conducted energy audits, planned for solar panel installations, and researched tax credits and grants for local businesses using solar energy.
Washington U St. Louis Students Develop Retrofit Plan
Due to aging 1920s and ‘30s-era university owned apartment buildings, an interdisciplinary team of researchers and students have developed a framework to retrofit the buildings to become more environmentally friendly and space efficient.
Wesleyan U Students Use Permaculture on Campus
New this summer, students used decaying wood and mulch to retain water and release nutrients in raised beds across campus, increased edible landscaping, and remade a footpath into stairs and a planted terrace following permaculture principles.
Amrita U Implements New Green Campus Initiative
(India): Encouraging students to contribute to greening efforts, the new campus initiative was announced via video conferencing by the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri. By engaging students, the university hopes to usher in sustainability and promote change.
Cebu Institutions Compete in Green Fashion Show
(Philippines): Aiming to promote reducing, reusing, recycling, rejuvenating communities and renewable energy generation, the recent Green Fashion Revolution featured costumes made of paper, sacks and tarps.
Champlain College Students Fund Apiary
(U.S.): An offshoot of their work in the Peruvian Amazon, the on-campus beekeeping will be the college’s first living, learning laboratory. The project’s long-term financial sustainability made possible by the 2013 Senior Class Gift, the apiary will support the campus ecosystem and enhance curriculum.
Michigan State U Implements Vermicomposting
(U.S.): As part of the university’s Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE), a group of faculty and students are using worms to turn food waste into organic fertilizer. Food from the greenhouse where the fertilizer is used is sold to campus chefs.
Portland State U Students Host ‘EcoSwap’
(U.S.): As part of their capstone course focusing on waste and materials management, students collaborated with area organizations to uncover the types of materials that businesses and residents accumulate. During the pilot event, people were encouraged to take what they wanted while leftover goods were reused or recycled.
U Nebraska-Lincoln Students Start Organic Farm
(U.S.): Located on the university’s East Campus, students from the environmental studies major created the farm using donations from the public and funds raised from an online fundraising campaign. The one-half acre parcel of land was donated by the university’s agronomy and horticulture department.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Student Film Nominated for Emmy
(U.S.): “100 Gallons,” the documentary by students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an interactive and experimental film that explores the human connection with water. The only student-produced entry in its category, the film was named one of five nominees and has been recognized with awards from Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International, the Broadcast Education Association and College Photographer of the Year.
Lake Land College Students Perform Real-time Turbine Repair
Due to a mechanical issue with an on-campus wind turbine, renewable energy students are getting a rare opportunity to apply their wind technology curriculum in a real-world, problem-solving situation. Working alongside professionals, the students will repair portions of the rotor.
North Carolina State U Reveals Sustainable Living Campaign
The university’s expanded Change Your State campaign now challenges students to address human health and environmental issues that also save money and natural resources. Complete with an app and a badge participants can earn, this campaign focuses on food, energy, waste, community, travel, wellness, water and planet.
U Maine Farmington Student Creates Invasive Species App
As invasive aquatic plants become an escalating problem in Maine, people can now use this free app to identify and report them to the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, which helps to protect the state’s lakes. This project is part of a National Science Foundation Grant to protect Maine’s natural resources and spur economic development.