Unity College to Hold Green Commencement
Unity College (ME) has announced plans to hold a green commencement again this year. New environmentally-friendly features of the presentation will include e-invitations, composting, 100 percent post-consumer recycled diplomas, a limited number of printed programs, eco-friendly plaques, and caps and gowns made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.
Bowdoin College Student Visualizes Carbon Emissions with Art
A senior at Bowdoin College (ME) has illustrated what one ton of carbon emissions looks like in a new installation in a student lounge. Madelyn Sullivan roped off a cube with 27 foot sides that goes from the ceiling to the floor and across the lounge to show students the size of one ton of carbon emissions. The installation also provides educational information on the amount of CO2 emissions that an average U.S. citizen emits every two weeks and that Bowdoin College emits each year.
College of William & Mary Begins Sustainability Campaign
The College of William and Mary (VA) has launched the "Do One Thing for Sustainability" (DOT) initiative in which students can claim one thing they will do for the environment. This claim can be made on Facebook, on paper, or through a video. The campus art department plans to assemble an installation from all of the paper commitments that will be displayed in the campus library, and videos will be placed on YouTube.
Colorado & Dickinson Colleges Launch Sustainability Virtual Tours
Colorado College and Dickinson College (PA) have each launched sustainability virtual tours. Colorado College created a single location to view its on-campus sustainability initiatives. The Campus Sustainability Virtual Tour guides visitors through numerous locations showcasing what the College has accomplished as stewards of the environment. Examples include the College's composting efforts and the pervious paving project. The online sustainability tour, which took about three months to create, develop, and post, is aimed at multiple audiences: the campus community, alumni, prospective students, and community members. Dickinson College posted four thematic tours, one of which focuses on its sustainability initiatives. The tour covers green buildings, natural landscaping, student leadership, energy and waste, research and education, college farm, and green living. The tour aims to increase involvement and awareness on incorporating sustainability into college life.
Temple U Ambler Wins Environmental Award in Flower Show
A group of Temple University, Ambler (PA) faculty and students have won the American Horticulture Society Environmental Award at the 2010 Philadelphia International Flower Show. The group won the award for an exhibit of horticultural excellence which best demonstrates the bond between horticulture and the environment, and inspires the viewers to beautify homes and community through skillful design and appropriate plant material. Their display, METROmarphosis, demonstrates ways to increase biodiversity, conserve natural resources, and promote local food production. The exhibit also includes a beehive and an “eco-wall,” an artistic representation of the urban landscape and the natural landscape working in harmony by combining industrial materials with plants, bird houses, worm farms, and a variety of “found objects.” Other honors the group took home include "Best in Show” Award in the Academic Educational category, Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of America, and the Philadelphia Unit of the Herb Society of America Award.
U Florida Launches Energy Reduction Campaign
The University of Florida Office of Sustainability has launched its "Chomp Down on Energy" campaign to help reduce energy use throughout campus. The project includes educational resources about energy consumption and the associated cost savings that can be affected through minor behavioral changes, and encourages students, staff, and faculty to be more energy conscious. During this first phase of the campaign, department Green Teams can order light-switch stickers that serve as reminders for individuals to turn off lights to rooms when not in use. The next phases will target IT power management and labs and research areas, aiming to determine what equipment is suitable for end of day shut-down.
U Michigan Team Wins Clean Energy Prize Competition
A team of three University of Michigan graduate students have won the 2009-2010 Clean Energy Prize competition with a plan to harness vibrations to power small electronics. DTE Energy and the University of Michigan sponsored the competition in which teams competed to develop business plans that promise to move a new, clean-energy technology from the laboratory to the market place. The thirty-two teams were comprised of schools from around Michigan, including the University of Michigan, Davenport University, Henry Ford Community College, Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and Oakland University.
Ivy League Institutions Come Together for Local Food Summit
Student representatives from all eight Ivy League institutions recently came together for the first All-Ivy Real Food Summit, organized by the Yale Sustainable Food Project and the Just Food Challenge. The goal of the Summit was for the schools to share what they are doing to incorporate local or organic foods on campus, build a networking group, and ultimately begin to create a more sustainable food system for the Ivy League.
U Central Florida Starts Sustainability Campaign
At the University of Central Florida, a new campaign to educate students about sustainability was launched by the Student Union. The campaign, “Awareness, Availability and Action,” seeks to educate all members of the UCF community about how easy it is to go green; verify that green alternatives are available to the UCF community, from recycling bins to alternative lighting sources and low-flow water fixtures; and bring new initiatives to the University. To set an example, the Student Union has set up a number of recycling bins and installed a green roof and LED lights that will result in an estimated $10,000 in energy and maintenance savings.
Washington U St. Louis Student Competition Provides Parking Plan
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) hosted its first ever Olin Sustainability Case Competition with the goal to raise awareness of and engagement in sustainability among the student body. Students developed plans to address campus parking issues and the winning group suggested providing grad students with more alternative transportation options.
Northern Arizona U Launches New Sustainability Website
Northern Arizona University has launched a new website on its environmental and sustainability activities in education, research, operations, and community engagement. The Environmental Caucus created the website, called Green NAU, as part of its mission to advance the institutional commitment to sustainability and to promote education, research, and collaboration on the environment. The caucus includes students, faculty, staff, and the University’s environmental partners and has about 300 individuals participating on its listserv.
U California Berkeley Launches New Sustainability Website
The University of California, Berkeley Office of Sustainability has launched a redesign of its website. The new site focuses on easy navigation and provides information on current green energy projects, sustainability progress reports, and green certifications.
Duke U Announces Greenhouse Gas Reduction Challenge
In an effort to encourage students, faculty, and staff to take specific actions to help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on campus, Duke University (NC) has announced the Green Devil Challenge. Each month, a new challenge will be issued to encourage individuals to make small changes in their daily lives that will help reduce emissions at Duke. The first challenge, issued by an email from Bill Chameides, dean for the Nicholas School of the Environment and co-chair of Duke’s Campus Sustainability Committee, asks people to begin by making a commitment by signing the Sustainable Duke Pledge or asking a friend or colleague to do so.
Airzona State U Starts Community Garden
Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus has begun developing a community garden for students, faculty, and staff to use this coming spring. There will be eight plots measuring 20-feet by 30-feet that will be rented for $70 each. The fee will help pay for fertilizer, a fence to keep rodents out, and general maintenance. The Garden Committee will host classes and workshops to help beginning gardeners best utilize their plots.
Queen's U Opens Organic Teaching Farm
Queen's University (ON) and Sodexo have partnered on a new project called MyFarm, a 76 acre piece of land that will be used as an educational tool and organic farm. The property, currently owned by Sodexo's corporate executive chef, has been made available for the students to learn where their food comes from and how it is grown. The University hopes to educate the students on the importance of food security and sustainable agriculture.
Dow Chemical Announces Student Sustainability Challenge Winners
The Dow Chemical Company has recognized the inaugural winners of its Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge, an awards competition established to encourage and promote solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems. Graduate student teams from the following international institutions were recognized: Cambridge University (United Kingdom), Peking University (China), and University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). Some of the project highlights included: building a community-based sustainable food system; energy efficient low-income homes in South Africa – an evaluation of international support mechanisms; new generation transportation fuels based on coal, natural gas and biomass; and biotechnological production of xylitol using sugarcane bagasse – an evaluation of operational parameters and economical feasibility. Graduate student teams selected for their research and innovations received $10,000 for use at the students’ discretion. In addition, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation donated $20,000 in financial support directly to each university to offset costs of managing the selection process and travel for students to the recognition event.
St. Aloysius College Initiates Green Campaign
St. Aloysius College (India) has launched a new campus-wide campaign called "Green, Clean, and Plastic Free." The College’s goal is to spread awareness among students about the importance of cleanliness and the harmful effects of non bio-degradable plastics so that its use is minimized. As part of the campaign, paper bags were distributed to students.
U Melbourne Creates Sustainability Website
The University of Melbourne's (Australia) Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) has created a website that acts as a virtual hub to showcase the breadth and depth of research on climate change in the University. The website aims to communicate university research to the outside audience of policy makers and the concerned general public. The University hopes that the website will also contribute to creating more interdisciplinary research projects and cross-faculty collaboration in sustainability, with staff from different research backgrounds and with different skill sets, who are spread across the Parkville campus, finding each other via the web.
U Florida Students Make Soap with Used Vegetable Oil
Two University of Florida students have begun making organic, UF-themed bars of soap to promote sustainable fuel and biodiesel production, after UF's biodiesel plan to was forced to halt its operations last spring. The soap, called Gator Gylss, is made using glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production, and essential oils made from fruit peels collected from campus eateries.
Hawaii Pacific U Students Build Garden
Student organizations at Hawaii Pacific University have transformed a patch of grass into a garden on their Hawaii Loa campus. Led by the Amnesty International Club and the Green Club, students built the garden to show the viability of gardening for food. Students have realized benefits from their projects including the ability to provide produce for the local community, the function of creating a model for a green campus, and social bonding.
Students Attend COP15
Several U.S. and Canadian institution sent student delegations to the United National Climate Change Conference, which was held December 7-18, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hundreds of students blogged and tweeted about their experiences and the Dickinson College (PA) delegation held three conference calls with the AASHE community. Recordings of these conversations are posted on the AASHE website.
U Kansas Partners with ESPN to Green Basketball Game
The University of Kansas Athletics, the city of Lawrence, and television network ESPN have partnered to host a "Green Game" for the KU men's basketball game against Michigan on ESPN, which took place on Saturday, December 19th. The telecast featured two short features about go-green initiatives on the KU campus. The first highlighted the 15 elliptical machines in the Student Recreation and Fitness Center that convert kinetic energy created by individual workouts and feed it back into the building's electrical grid. The second video featured KU's Biodiesel Initiative, which collects used cooking oil from campus dining halls and converts it into biodiesel fuel. Also during the game, KU played a 3-second video featuring student athletes recycling a water bottle and recognized the on-campus winners of the Sustainability Leadership Awards program.
Michigan State U Starts Green Certification Program
Michigan State University has launched a Green Certification Program that recognizes departments, programs, and individuals on campus for their efforts towards sustainability. In order to receive certification, an entity has to show steps they are taking to reduce MSU’s environmental impact through energy efficiency and conservation, waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, and/or purchasing.
Appalachian State U Students Sell Produce on Campus
Students at Appalachian State University (NC) have begun a new program to sell leftover produce from the ASU research farm on campus after the community farmers' market ends for the season. Participants in the campus's Goodnight Family Sustainability Development Program Teaching and Research Farm sell late fall land early winter produce, such as kale, mustard greens, lettuce, turnips, radishes, and celeriac, to students, faculty, and staff on campus. Since the farm has a meat handlers license from the Noth Carolina Department of Agriculture, it is able to sell pork from farm-raised pigs on occasion, processed by a USDA licensed meat processor nearby. Proceeds from the sales help purchase garden tools, seeds, animal feed, and other items to support the farm’s operation.
U Notre Dame Launches Green Dorm Room Initiative
Two architecture graduate students at the University of Notre Dame (IN) who interned in the Office of Sustainability have created an interactive, virtual "Green Dorm Room." The room, created with 3D rendering techniques, is fully outfitted with things a student needs to live more sustainably. Objects in the room include a drying rack for clothes, a reusable water bottle, an Energy Star television and mini-fridge, a smart strip, and organic cotton sheets. Visitor to the site can pan around the room, zoom in and out on the various items, and click on the “green” items to learn more.
Brandeis U Eco-reps Start Green Certified Dorm Room Program
Brandeis University (MA) dorm residents will now have the opportunity to have their dorm room green certified by campus Eco-reps, also known as peer-to-peer sustainability outreach representatives. The Green Rooms program allows students to obtain a certificate if they promote green living through a number of room adaptations, including energy-saving electrical habits like pulling out chargers as well as using cold water and recycling. The initiative was piloted earlier this year by the Brandeis eco-reps, environmental advocates, and Students for Environmental Action. In an effort to increase awareness on campus about sustainability and about the new program, the organizations set up a model “green” room in a campus atrium.
Dow Chemical Announces Student Sustainability Challenge Winners
The Dow Chemical Company has recognized the inaugural winners of its Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge, an awards competition established to encourage and promote solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems. Graduate student teams from the following U.S. institutions were recognized: Northwestern University (IL), Tufts University (MA), and University of Michigan. Some of the project highlights included: building a community-based sustainable food system; energy efficient low-income homes in South Africa – an evaluation of international support mechanisms; new generation transportation fuels based on coal, natural gas and biomass; and biotechnological production of xylitol using sugarcane bagasse – an evaluation of operational parameters and economical feasibility. Graduate student teams selected for their research and innovations received $10,000 for use at the students’ discretion. In addition, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation donated $20,000 in financial support directly to each university to offset costs of managing the selection process and travel for students to the recognition event.
Campuses Participate in Global Day of Climate Action
Several campuses in the U.S. and Canada participated in the International Day of Climate Action on October 24, 2009. The campaign, created by 350.org, is dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis.
Unity College Sustainability Office Launches Blog
The Sustainability Office at Unity College (ME) has launched the Unity College Sustainability Monitor. The new site highlights sustainability activities on campus and tracks resource consumption at the rural liberal arts college. The new blog is a chance for students, faculty, and staff members to research and report out on a variety of campus initiatives.
Campuses Celebrate Campus Sustainability Day
Several campuses participated in the seventh annual Campus Sustainability Day, which took place October 21st. Events included week-long events, scavenger hunts, bike-powered blenders, rooftop garden parties, free bike tune-ups, mini-grants for campus sustainability projects, an Art for the Sky project of a raven embracing the earth, and the Society for College and University Planning's annual webcast.
Portland State U Launches Sustainability Pledge
Portland State University (OR) has launched a Campus Sustainability Pledge. The Pledge, which may be signed by all PSU faculty, staff, and students, provides a framework for the PSU campus community to understand how their actions impact social, economic, and environmental systems. The project seeks to be an educational tool to foster sustainable behavior changes. PSU's pledge committee also chose to include a section focusing on community and social sustainability. The creators want to emphasize the interdependence and equal importance of social, economic, and environmental systems in the creation of a sustainable society.
U New Mexico Launches Eco-Reps Program
The University of New Mexico has launched an Eco-Reps program on campus. Participants in the peer-to-peer sustainability outreach program will be elected student leaders who encourage sustainable living and recycling in the dormitories on campus. The program is a collaborative effort between UNM Recycling, Residence Life and Student Housing, and a service learning class.
U New Mexico Student Stand Sells Local, Organic Fruit
Students at the University of New Mexico have set up a stand on campus to offer students an alternative snack to junk food. The stand sells local, organic fruit and hands out information on the benefits of eating local and organic. The stand is run by the UNM chapter of New Mexico Youth Organized.
U Missouri, Columbia Begins Peer-to-Peer Sustainability Outreach
The University of Missouri, Columbia’s Sustainability Office has announced plans to begin sustainaReps, a new peer-to-peer sustainability outreach program on campus. The sustainaReps will work directly with students to improve communication and environmental efforts toward sustainability within various campus groups. A sustainability fee generates $52,000 annually and is used to fund sustainability projects and initiatives, as well as the sustainaReps program.
U San Diego Opens Campus Garden
The University of San Diego (CA) has created a student garden on campus. The goal of the 50-by-10-foot plot is to help connect students to nature and promote sustainability. The garden will also have an academic component, with classes and professors taking responsibility for plots in the garden.
Central Michigan U Students Plant Three Organic Gardens
Central Michigan University’s Campus Grows student organization has planted three organic vegetable gardens on campus. Campus Grows consists of four students that have led the initiative and spent the summer tending to the gardens. The crops are sold at farmers markets and a coffee house. Some of the food is donated to soup kitchens and food banks as well. Extra plots are sold to students interested in having a personal garden and proceeds go to purchase seed, fencing, and other needs.
U New Hampshire Publishes Book on its Sustainability Program
The University of New Hampshire has published, "The Sustainable Learning Community: One University's Journey to the Future." The new book details how the University of New Hampshire, home to one of the oldest endowed offices of sustainability in the nation, has been integrating sustainability across its curriculum, operations, research, and engagement in the last 10-plus years. The book shares the perspectives of more than 60 authors from UNH and beyond on subjects ranging from curriculum to climate change to compost.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Launches 'Carolina Green' Campaign
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched a new inter-departmental “Carolina Green” campaign to identify and promote university programs that support a healthy and responsible approach to the “green” issues of environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity. Carolina Green offers an online directory of university resources, a range of committees working to improve campus practices, and resources to help individuals and departments have a greener impact on their world.
Grist Releases Campus Sustainability Video
Grist, an online environmental news network, has posted a video on campus sustainability. The video discusses green campus initiatives at the College of the Atlantic (ME).
U California Berkeley Assigns Green Summer Reading
The University of California, Berkeley College of Letters and Science has completed its summer reading project, the On the Same Page program, in which first-year students were asked to read The Omnivore's Dilemma , written by UC Berkeley Professor Michael Pollan. Each year, the program selects a work or works by a leading thinker or artist for incoming students to read and reflect on, and for L&S faculty to teach to in seminars as well as their regular courses.
U Oregon Completes Green Orientation Program
The University of Oregon has completed its first green orientation program, Project Tomato. The program enabled ten first-year students to embark on a four-day trip exploring UO dining services and its connections to local agriculture. The students biked to and camped at local farms, worked with farm staff to harvest about 1,000 pounds of tomatoes, and made pizza sauce to use in the dining hall. Participants also learned about permaculture, agriculture that relies on renewable resources and a self-sustaining eco-system. Project Tomato is managed by the OU Office of Sustainability.
Saint Joseph's College Starts Campus Farm
Saint Joseph's College (ME) has established a small farm adjacent to the school that will be used to grow organic produce to supplement the school’s cafeteria and food pantry. The 35,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly farm, which is strongly supported by the school’s food vendors, is being tended by six student apprentices who are learning how to effectively rotate crops between lands in order to avoid the need for chemicals.
Bates College Assigns Summer Reading on Climate Change
In an effort to encourage arriving first-year students to participate in researching and taking action on carbon emissions and climate change, Bates College (ME) has made climate change the focus of its 2009 summer reading program. The list of books included: With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change by Fred Pearce; Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action by David Spratt and Philip Sutton; and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. As part of the same effort, the institution's annual orientation will feature a presentation by Franke James, an artist known for her environmental activism, and on October 24, Bates students will take part in an international day of action advocating for real progress in curtailing climate change.
Lafayette College Students Take Honors in Green Building Contest
A group of civil engineering graduates at Lafayette College (PA) have won third place, trailing two teams of professional architects, in the U.S. Green Building Council's Natural Talent Design Competition in New York City. The Lafayette team designed a complex that includes a middle school and affordable housing for a 7,500-square-foot lot along Adam Clayton Boulevard in Harlem. The contest provides an applied learning experience in integrated design, sustainability, innovation, and social consciousness.
U Albany Launches 2 Green-Themed Res Halls, Local Food Dining
University at Albany (NY) has opened two new sustainability-themed residence halls and has introduced local food in one of its dining halls. Students living in the sustainability-themed residences will learn about sustainable living, help raise awareness among the student body about the importance of environmental conservation, and model best practices towards sustainability. Prior to the fall semester, students signed contracts agreeing to calculate their carbon footprint; initiate sustainability-themed programming for faculty, staff, and students; and attend meetings of the campus group UAlbany Students for Sustainability. The local food options will include produce, grass-fed beef, and cage-free eggs, which will be prepared and cooked to order.
U California, San Diego Begins Several Green Initiatives
The University of California, San Diego has launched several sustainability initiatives to start the new school year. UCSD has hired seven student “Econauts” to provide peer-to-peer sustainability education. The students will work with the campus residential life staff to educate students and dining customers about ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help UC San Diego meet sustainability goals. The University has also installed bioswales - landscape elements designed to wash water through rocks so that it can be absorbed into the land and minimize the need for irrigation - around new buildings. The bioswales contain native plants. In addition, students moving into the transfer student housing on campus will receive individual electricity bills (to give them an incentive to keep energy consumption low) and a reusable recycling bag in which they can deposit plastic and glass bottles and jars, paper and newspaper, metal containers, and cardboard to take to central recycling locations. UCSD has also instituted a policy to serve only cage-free eggs and fair trade coffee, tea, and sugar in campus dining facilities, and all dining locations will begin regularly featuring farmers' markets where students will have the opportunity to buy locally grown, organic produce directly from local food businesses.
U Colorado Students Plant 20-Acre Organic Farm
Student volunteers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have planted a 20-acre organic farm with more than 30 varieties of vegetables including four types of squash, green beans, pumpkins, Swiss chard, radishes, 10 varieties of tomatoes, seven acres of pinto beans, onions, and cucumbers. The project received a Community Supported Agriculture grant and has grown enough produce to sell extra vegetables at the Boulder Farmers' Market and to a few local restaurants. The 'Beyond Organic Farm' was developed and is run entirely by students.
Vanderbilt U, Coastal Carolina U Hold Green Move-Ins
Vanderbilt University (TN) and Coastal Carolina University (SC) have introduced several new initiatives to make their first-year student move-ins more sustainable. Vanderbilt provided 12 water cooler filling stations, distributed reusable water bottles to first-year students, offered Styrofoam recycling, and printed its housing assignment information on paper with recycled content. CCU launched a recycling drive for cardboard boxes and other recyclable materials.