Inside Higher Ed Covers Campus' 'Year of Sustainability'
Inside Higher Ed has published an article on campuses that create a "year of sustainability" to begin discussions of how the institution can address such goals as climate neutrality, sustainability in the curriculum, and teaching students to live sustainably. The article mentions Davidson College (NC), New Mexico State University, Villanova University (PA), and University of Denver (CO).
U Virginia Showcase Dorms Feature Green Products
The University of Virginia Bookstore and Housing Division have outfitted its showcase dorm rooms with environmentally friendly products in an effort to encourage students to do the same. The green products featured include binders, notebooks, and paper towels made from recycled products, green cleaning supplies, and energy efficient computers refrigerators, and microwaves.
New England Professionals Form Sustainability Group
The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region I, which includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, has formed a group called the NASPA Sustainability Knowledge Community. The group is charged with advancing sustainability practices through the education and engagement of members. Members of the Sustainability Knowledge Community will communicate at local, regional, and national NASPA meetings and conferences. They will also attend other sustainability meetings and work to develop better sustainability approaches for the use of technology in student affairs. Stephen Nason, Director of Residence Life and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Unity College (ME), has been named to lead the effort.
Simon Frasier U Students Compare Green Initiatives
A group of nine Simon Frasier University (BC) business sustainability honors students have completed a review and comparison of sustainability initiatives at SFU, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria (BC). The project compared performance, leadership, operations, teaching, research, finance, and community engagement. The group found that that SFU leads in active student sustainability groups, leading sustainability researchers, and energy management, but trails in the number of staff hired to institutionalize sustainability and the number of sustainability-related courses available to students. SFU also falls behind UBC and UVic in composting, paper reduction, LEED certification, and the use of green cleaning products. The group made recommendations to the administration on how SFU can improve its standing.
Philadelphia U Chooses 'Cradle to Cradle' for Reading Program
Philadelphia University (PA) has selected William McDonough’s book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things , as the 2009 First Year Experience Summer Reading Program book. Cradle to Cradle is a manifesto that calls for a radical change in the relationship of human industry to the environment using a model of “lifecycle development.” The model advocates for a regenerative stance and uses manufactured products that have exhausted their primary function as the material to create subsequent products. New students at PU will receive a copy of the book when they attend orientation. Students will discuss the book in orientation with faculty, staff, and upper division students; the University will offer forums to engage additional discussions; and the book will be used in many courses taken by first year students.
Unity College Announces New Sustainability Website
Unity College (ME) has updated its sustainability website. The new content, developed by former interim sustainability coordinator, Aaron Witham, highlights Unity’s sustainability education initiatives, current and past sustainability achievements, and personal sustainability stories from campus community members.
Virginia Tech Selects Sustainability-Themed Book for Reading Prgm
Virginia Tech has chosen Daniel Goleman's Ecological Intelligence for its Common Book Project for the 2009-2010 academic year. The program gives nearly all new and transfer undergraduate students a common academic experience during their first year at the University. VT encourages faculty teaching first year students to integrate the common book into their curriculum in order to foster broader community discussions on important themes or issues. In Ecological Intelligence , Goleman tells of the critical role of the psychological dimension in our decision making, illustrates the inconsistencies in our response to the ecological crisis, and explains why we as shoppers have found it impossible to know the true range of harmful environmental and health consequences of our purchases.
2 Campuses Select Sustainability Books for Summer Reading
Smith College (MA) has chosen Van Jones' The Green Collar Economy as summer reading for all entering students. The book will be discussed in during summer orientation. In related news, Northwestern University (IL) has selected Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How it Can Renew America as its reading book for all new, incoming undergraduate students. The One Book One Northwestern program will provide students with public lectures, the opportunity to engage in online discussions throughout the academic year, and other events related to the topics of energy and sustainability.
Appalachian State U Students Test Green Construction Methods
Students in the Building Science and Appropriate Technology Program at Appalachian State University (NC) have constructed a 500-square-foot model house to test innovative technologies and building practices. The structure is designed to be a self-sufficient and adaptable disaster relief dwelling. The building’s energy-efficient features include use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the building’s exterior walls and roof; solar panels, which will generate energy needs for the occupants, a system to collect rainwater from the roof, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The structure can accommodate up to five occupants.
WSU Reinstates 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' as Common-Reading Book
Washington State University has decided to reinstate the original plan for distribution of its Common Reading book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma , as a result of a private contribution to support the program. Earlier this year, WSU administrators made the decision not to distribute the book, which examines industrial agriculture and the American diet, and not to bring author Michael Pollan to campus, for either budget or political concerns, depending on different points of view. Some people believed that the University, which had already purchased 4,000 copies of the book and has a prominent agriculture college, bowed to pressure from agribusiness interests, but the University affirms that the decision was due to budget difficulties.
U Iowa Opens Student Garden
The University of Iowa Environmental Coalition and the Office of Sustainability have opened a student garden on campus. The 1/3 acre garden will produce "field to market" vegetable crops for the student union. Students from the UI Environmental Coalition will manage the garden and will be responsible for preparing the ground, installing structures, and maintenance.
U North Carolina Begins Eco-Newsletter
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has published its inaugural issue of "Act Today" a chronicle of sustainability at UNC. The new publication, which is published by the UNC Sustainability Office to inform the campus community about academics, research, public service, and operations that promote campus sustainability, is available in print and as an e-newsletter. The first issue focuses on solar energy.
Hartwick College Gives Energy Theme to 2009-10 Academic Year
Hartwick College (NY) has named "Energy" as the theme for its 2009-10 academic year. Over the year, the college community will engage in discussions, events, and lectures that center on the increasing relevance of energy policies, carbon footprints, greenhouse gas inventories, and how the decisions made today about energy production, consumption, and conservation will affect the future. In addition, the campus will explore patterns of energy use and apply lessons learned to enhance energy conservation on campus and in the regional community.
U Denver Plants Campus Garden
Students and community members have planted a community garden on the University of Denver (CO) campus. The garden will include vegetables, herbs, and flowers. All editable food will either be donated to a local homeless shelter or used in a local foods meal at DU.
Yale U Releases Sustainability Video
Yale University (CT) has released a video entitled, "Sustainability at Yale." The video features an introduction by President Richard C. Levin and an overview of the sustainability initiatives taking place on campus.
UMACS Launches Website for Midwest Campus Sustainability Profiles
The Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) has launched a new website with the intention of facilitating greater sharing of information between Midwest colleges and universities. The new site allows users to create a campus sustainability profile for their school, upload information on sustainability projects on their campus, and add events to the UMACS calendar.
Kansas State U Completes Greek Sustainability Competition
Kansas State University has completed its first Ecolympics competition to see which Greek house could save the most water and energy, increase its recycling the most, and bring in the most guest speakers about sustainability. The average Greek house saved 7 percent of its energy in the month of March. One house reduced its energy usage by 24 percent.
U Central Oklahoma Launches Green Initiative
The University of Central Oklahoma has launched Bronze+Blue=Green: UCO Lean and Green, a campaign to reduce energy use and waste on campus. As part of the month-long awareness campaign, the University has installed a power management system on all campus computers that puts monitors and computers to sleep after 15 minutes and 30 minutes of inactivity respectively. The University is also performing an analysis of all all printers, copiers, fax machines, and print machines throughout the campus to search for ways to reduce waste and energy use.
U Colorado Begins Green Pledge Program
The University of Colorado Environmental Center, and the CU administration have partnered to promote sustainability on campus through the Live Green program. Live Green supports environmentally friendly habits through the Live Green Pledge, which members of CU community can sign to indicate an area where they will change their lifestyle to become more sustainable. Live Green is designed to encourage and educate members of the community about changes they can make to their life. After signing the pledge, and indicating three areas where they can live more sustainably, participants receive a monthly newsletter with tips and idea about what they can do in their everyday life. For every person who pledges to live green before Earth Day, the University will donate $5 towards sustainability programs on campus.
Unity College to Hold Green Commencement
Unity College (ME) has announced plans to hold a green commencement ceremony. Officials believe that the ceremony will be the greenest commencement in the US. Diplomas and programs will be printed on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, plates and silverware will be cleaned with environmentally friendly products, and energy efficiency lighting will be generated from 100 percent renewable sources. In addition, graduates will receive a sapling tree as a symbol of their lifelong commitment to the environment and will take a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and champion sustainability efforts. The College will serve local foods and compost waste at the graduate banquet.
U Rhode Island Completes Conservation Campaign
The University of Rhode Island has completed the first semester of its behavior-based energy reduction campaign in the residence halls. The campaign focused on helping students remember to turn of their computers when not in use, turn the heat and/or air conditioning off when leaving a room, and take shorter showers. As a result of the initiative, the number of students who turn off their computers when not in use increased from 18 to 35 percent, the number of students who turn off their heat or air conditioning increased from 45 to 65 percent, and the number of showers students take per week decreased from 8 to 6.8. URI plans to re-run the campaign in the fall of 2009.
Indiana U Res Hall & Greek Students Compete to Reduce Energy
Students at Indiana University have begun a month-long competition to reduce energy use and conserve water on campus. The competition between residence halls and between houses in the Greek community challenges each living community to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of their house's or dorm's average per capita electricity and water consumption over a three-year average. Students are able to track their community's progress on the IU Energy Challenge website.
U Wisconsin-Eau Claire Launches Sustainability Column
The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has launched the Sustainability University column in its student newspaper. The new column is designed to provide ideas, tips, and information on sustainable practices to help individuals make small changes in behavior that have a major and lasting impact on the environment and world. Students are able to send in questions for the editor of the column, which dedicated its first month to introducing the University Center's Green Team and Earth Month awareness events.
Emory U Begins Green Pledge Program
In an effort to encourage faculty, staff, and students to live more sustainably, Emory University (GA) is asking members of the campus community to sign a personal sustainability pledge that commits them to at least three changes in their daily habits or routine. The changes are chosen from a list of suggested options. Participants can then renew their pledge each semester by updating promises as needed.
Auburn U Competes to Reduce Energy, Waste, & Water Consumption
Auburn University (AL) has completed a one month competition between 22 residence halls to reduce energy, waste, and water consumption by the largest percentage compared to the average utility usage for that same building from 2006-2008. The winners of the Sustain-A-Bowl 2009 competition, Sasnett Hall, reduced their energy use by 20 percent and their water use by 25 percent. The calculated savings for February 2009 for all 22 residence halls was $5506 for electricity and $2785 for water. All residence halls increased their recycling and reduced their waste.
Syracuse U Announces 'Irish Today, Green Forever' Program
Syracuse University's (NY) Office of Residence Life, Residence Hall Association, and Sustainability Division has launched the "Irish Today, Green Forever" program, which is designed to increase the sustainable behavior of the on-campus student population by increasing recycling tonnage in the residence halls and decreasing bottled water consumption on campus. As part of "Irish Today, Green Forever," the recycling/landfill rooms in the SU residence halls will have newly painted green doors and new posters and labels about how and what can be recycled to encourage students to take time to separate trash from recyclables and dispose of everything properly. Over the summer, all residence hall recycling/landfill rooms will receive a fresh coat of green paint and newly printed posters and labels. The program was launched on St. Patrick's Day.
Syracuse U Releases Green Library Guide
Syracuse University (NY) Library's Green Initiative Team has created a Green Library Guide to provide information about green initiatives at the library. In addition to highlighting the library's sustainability efforts, the guide includes links to national and international news about library-related green activities.
Vanderbilt U Students Complete Sustainable Living Guide
A group of 16 Vanderbilt University (TN) students have completed "Future Trends: How to Live Sustainably," a 64-page guide that explains what living sustainably means and how to overcome the challenges it presents. After searching for a sustainable living guide without success, Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor John Ayers decided to have his class write the book. The students picked their own topics and wrote 6-8 page papers that served as their first term papers as well as the chapters of the book.
College of Marin Starts Organic Farm
The College of Marin (CA) Indian Valley campus has started an organic farm on its land. The 5.8 acre demonstration farm and garden is part of a new program launched in a collaboration involving the college, Marin Conservation Corps and University of California Cooperative Extension-Marin Master Gardeners.
McMaster U Launches Sustainability Website
McMaster University's (ON) Office of Sustainability has launched a new website. The website features information on environmental issues such as energy, waste, and water, as well as social issues such as health and wellbeing. Users can also find detailed information on campus buildings and Hospitality Services' sustainability initiatives, alternative transit, and campus green space. The website aims to engage web savvy students on a number of levels, with information on sustainable living both on and off campus and links to resources to help students reduce their ecological footprint. It will also serve to connect students with opportunities to further study sustainability issues and promote events.
12,000 Youth Attend Power Shift
12,000 young leaders, a large portion of which were college students, converged on Washington, D.C. last week to participate in Power Shift 09 to demand that the President and Congress pass bold, just climate and energy policy in 2009 that dramatically reduces emissions, creates millions of green job and powers America with 100 percent clean energy. Despite a snow storm that paralyzed much of the city, the event concluded with a day full of hundreds of lobby visits and a rally with more than 3,000 youth on Capitol Hill. The four-day summit included seminars, panels, and workshops; a green career fair; legislative briefings and activist trainings; and a day of action on Monday where hundreds of youth entered the halls of Congress to lobby their representatives in more than 360 scheduled meetings. Three AASHE staff were present at the event and blogged about their experiences
College of William & Mary Announces Sustainability Website & Grants
The College of William & Mary (VA) Committee on Sustainability has launched a new website that includes up-to-date information for new project proposal and student research grants that will be supported by the College's Green Fee. The site also includes background on current campus projects, information on how members of the William & Mary community can volunteer, and deadlines for upcoming proposals. The grants available through the website include 4 summer research grants in amounts up to $5,000.
NMSU Launches Green Challenge, Online Sustainability Guide
Northwest Missouri State University has begun the "Reduce Your Paw Print Challenge," an initiative that challenges students to reduce their environmental footprint on campus. As part of the initiative, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to recycle and to reduce their energy usage on campus. NMSU has also launched an online Sustainability Guide that provides advice on how to save energy, reduce waste, reuse items, and recycle on and off campus.
North Carolina State U Names Sustainability Spring Semester Theme
North Carolina State University has announced that its spring semester theme will focus on sustainability. Called "S.E.E. NC State," the semester will feature events that focus on the three dimensions of sustainability: society, economy, and environment. Events will include e-waste recycling, an environmental movie series, an Energy Fair, a Lake Raleigh clean up, and a concert featuring local and regional bands.
Portland State U Announces EcoWiki
Portland State University (OR) has launched "EcoWiki," a website that aims to help students, faculty, and staff form connections and share news related to sustainability on the PSU campus. Participants can ask questions, network, and brainstorm on the new site.
Calvin College Campus Sustainability Guide
Calvin College (MI) has posted its new Campus Sustainability Guide online. The Guide contains information on how to get involved with campus sustainability issues at Calvin, what the institution has accomplished, and how members of the Calvin community can help the campus reduce its waste, energy usage, and water consumption.
Elon U Launches New Sustainability Website
Elon University (NC) has launched a new sustainability website that provides information on what the University is doing to become more sustainable. The site features a list of course offerings related to sustainability and green design and of student-run organizations focused on the environment.
Dalhousie U Competes with Acadia U & Trent U in Green Challenge
Acadia University (NS) and Dalhousie University (NS) issued a challenge to each other to perform the same number of acts of green as the number of students enrolled at each institution through the One Million Acts of Green program, an initiative that aims to mobilize Canadians to perform one million acts of green collectively. An "act of green" is described as an opportunity to help the environment. This include tasks such as doing laundry in cold water, using a refillable coffee mug, walking to school, recycling electronics, buying a hybrid vehicle, or installing a solar panel. The Acadia and Dalhousie challenge began in January and was supposed to last until April 15, but both Universities reached their goal on the first day of the competition. As a result, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and The Hour , the two entities that created the program, proposed a new challenge between Dalhousie and Trent University (ON), two of the most active groups on the One Million Acts of Green website. Dalhousie is aiming for 55,000 acts and Trent, at about half the size of the Dalhousie, is aiming for 30,000. The first school to reach its goal will be declared the winner.
UC Santa Barbara Starts CSA Program
The University of California, Santa Barbara has begun a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program on campus. Through the program, UCSB faculty, staff, and students are able to pick up a box of fresh organic produce once a week, delivered directly from a nearby organic farm to the campus that morning.
U Michigan, UW La Crosse Launch Sustainability Websites
The University of Michigan has launched a campus sustainability website. Links on the site provide information about on-campus recycling, energy-conservation, green student groups, and sustainability-related research projects and academic offerings. The Graham Institute and the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health co-sponsored the project, which took about a year to complete and involved more than 20 people. The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse has also launched a new sustainability website, which will serve as a clearinghouse for news, events, campus projects, resources, and information relating to sustainability and environmental literacy both on and off campus. The new site features a blog, podcasts, and information on UW-L's Joint Committee on Environmental Sustainability.
Humboldt State Launches Sustainability Website
Humboldt State University (CA) has launched a new sustainability website that details initiatives and policies the University has launched to reduce its ecological footprint. The site also gives users information on sustainability-focused clubs and organizations, profiles members of the HSU and Humboldt County communities, and offers advice for greening your daily life. The website also features regularly updated articles concerning campus news related to sustainability, a calendar of eco-friendly events, and a guide for undergraduates wishing to focus their studies on environmental issues.
74 Campuses Participate in Bon Appetit's Eat Local Challenge
74 campuses recently participated in the Eat Local Challenge, an event when all Bon Appétit customers across the country offer a meal, cooked by Bon Appétit chefs, made with ingredients from within 150 miles of their café. Bon Appétit, a food services company, started the event in 2005 and continues to hold the event annually.
U Arkansas Holds Student Contest for Campus Sustainability Plan
The University of Arkansas has announced a sustainability contest for its campus. The Students First Sustainability Competition offers student teams the opportunity to win up to $15,000 in prizes for submitting the winning plan to make UA more sustainable. Students will form teams to develop practical innovations that will provide the UA campus with financial and energy savings, reduce the negative environmental impacts of campus activities, and develop policies and business plans that will improve UA's energy and environmental performance. The competition will be judged based on students' ability to prescribe energy savings, water savings, recycling improvements, policy improvements and business strategies that will make the campus more sustainable.
UC Boulder, Skidmore Launch Energy Conservation Competitions
The University of Colorado at Boulder's Baker and Libby residence halls have begun a competition to reduce electricity use. The Power Showdown, which began in October and will last three weeks, features a website that shows electricity usage in the two halls in real time, in historical time, and by a per person average. The website also contains a list of ways students can reduce their electricity use in their dorm room. Twenty prizes will be awarded to students in the winning hall that registered for the competition. Similarly, Skidmore College (NY) has launched Skidmore Unplugged, a 3 week energy conservation competition between its eight residence halls. In preparation for the competition, a Communications Design class designed a logo, brochures, a "Skidmore Unplugged" page on Facebook, a ‘Captain Kill-a-Watt’ costume, and a website that reports in real time each residence hall’s consumption of electricity.
Northern Maine CC to Launch Go! Green! Contest
Northern Maine Community College has announced plans to launch "Go! Green!," a contest in which student teams work to develop campus energy efficiency proposals. The winning students will receive full-time student tuition waivers for a semester. Proposals will be judged on cost effectiveness, creativity and originality, sustainability, written presentation, and visual presentation.
Pomona, San Francisco State U Launch Sustainability Websites
Pomona College (CA) has launched a Sustainability Website. The site was created by the Sustainability Coordinator's Office and it is intended to provide information about current sustainability efforts, opportunities to get involved, and how the campus community can reduce its environmental impact. The Pomona Sustainability website also features an "input page," where students, faculty, and staff can provide input or ask questions about the College's sustainability efforts. San Francisco State University
Syracuse U Launches Energy Conservation Competition
Syracuse University's (NY) Office of Residence Life, Residence Hall Association, and Sustainability Division in the Office of Energy and Computing Management have launched the second annual Saving Juice in the 'Cuse contest. The competition between campus residence hall communities runs through the month of November and is designed to increase the sustainable behavior of the on-campus student population through energy reduction and by increasing recycling tonnage in the residences halls.
Maharishi U of Mgmt Holds Energy Conservation Competition
Maharishi University of Management (IA) has inaugurated a campus-wide energy conservation competition, The M.U.M. Energy Challenge. During most of October, MUM students and faculty will complete daily spreadsheets to add up personal energy use, calculate the amount of carbon dioxide produced, and estimate how many pounds of greenhouse gas emissions they can prevent through simple conservation methods. Winning participants will be those with the largest percentage decrease in energy use over the month. The competition and spreadsheets were designed by a MUM student.