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.
U North Texas Creates Natural Dye Garden
Color pigments from flower petals, plant leaves, roots and other organic materials are now favored over chemical dyes at the university’s College of Visual Arts and Design. Funded by students, the organic materials will be grown in the new garden.
U Washington Students Employ GIS for Sustainability
Part of an eight-week capstone project, students work with organizational partners to offer GIS-based solutions to sustainability management problems. A structured business case, including workflow plan for design, testing and final implementation, aims to turn an existing situation into a sustainable and resilient one.
Harvard U Students Test Stormwater Purification Solution
Funded by an Office for Sustainability student grant, the Graduate School of Design students have transformed a concrete patio space into a modular system of vegetation and planters that can absorb and purify stormwater. The students are testing the capacity of a small-scale system to reduce the quantity of stormwater runoff from rooftops to help improve water quality.
JCTC Students Initiate Trash Removal Process for Local Watershed
(U.S.): After realizing that no one was measuring the amount of debris traveling to the Atlantic via their local Ohio River, the students established a uniform system and collected data for eight weeks. The group recently presented their findings to JCTC staff and students, as well as a representative from the Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas. As a result, those in attendance are brainstorming ways to raise public awareness of the problem and help remove trash and debris from the river and watershed areas.
Lahore U Mgmt Sciences Students Take Social Responsibility
(Pakistan): More than 160 graduating students recently signed the Graduation Pledge Alliance’s Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."
NY Times: 'Greening of Canadian Campuses'
(Canada): "Sustainability has become more than a fashionable buzzword on Canadian campuses; it has become enshrined both in university policy and in daily student life," says a recent New York Times article. From a Shut Your Sash program, which encourages lab users to close their fume hoods when they were not in use, to campus farmer's markets and student-spearheaded fees for sustainability, several higher education sustainability strategies at McGill University, University of Toronto and University of Victoria are profiled.
U Iowa Student Leaders Focus on Affordability, Workforce Access
Student government leaders recently met with the Iowa governor to discuss college affordability and workforce development for graduates who want to stay in Iowa. The students will travel the state this summer to talk with legislators about extending the tuition freeze another year and ways that the state can help connect graduates from area universities to in-state job opportunities.
2 Cornell U Student Teams Win EPA P3 Award
Soliciting student projects that protect people’s health, the environment, encourage economic growth and use natural resources efficiently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award honored students working on a cookstove fuel/biochar project in Kenya and a water filtration project. Each winning team now qualifies to receive a grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their design.
U Maryland Students Create 'Connect4Climate' Video
"Right here, right now, together" is the slogan for this video by a group of students in the university's "Contemporary Social Problems" class. The video is part of a larger student campaign advocating serious action to fix the climate problem that brought the group to the Connect4Climate event in Washington, D.C. in March.
13 Student Teams Compete in Solar Grand Prix
The student University of Texas at Austin Solar Vehicles Team hosted the recent solar car race, held for the first time at an official Formula 1 track. The endurance race challenges competitors to finish as many laps as they can around the 3.4 mile track during the designated driving hours each day. Students from Iowa State University, Northwestern University, Illinois State University, Western Michigan University, University of Waterloo, Principia College, Missouri Science & Technology, Georgia Tech, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Oregon State University and University of New Mexico were also part of the race.
Cornell U Student Joins Solar Plane Crew
After designing a pilot drinking water system for solar aircraft makers Solar Impulse, senior Sam Daly has been invited to spend his summer as part of the ground crew for the company, which has a plane that is currently flying across America. The company is scheduled to send a plane around the world in 2015.
Central Carolina CC Students Build Tiny House
Built by students in the sustainability technologies program to encourage sustainable and minimalist living and energy-efficient building products and methods, the 450-square-foot "Chatham Cottage" was recently auctioned off. The college is planning to construct another small house next semester with the money raised from the auction.
Oklahoma State U Student Spearheads Tornado Relief Efforts
Entrepreneurship graduate student Jonathon Button is donating a percentage of the sales of bracelets from his website, Life Out of the Box, to the United Way May Tornado Relief Fund. Button moved to Nicaragua a year ago to create his business, which sells products that help fund school supplies for children in need.