Johns Hopkins U Adds Sustainability to Challenge Initiative

The university's Idea Lab, an initiative that seeks collective input to shape the trajectory of the university, now includes the Hopkins Eco-Smart Acorn Grants. This new challenge provides an opportunity to identify and submit ideas that advance the university's mission to encourage responsible actions that prioritize people, natural resources and finances to safeguard the health of future generations. The other two challenges of Idea Lab are community and diversity.

Dalhousie U Releases Bike Safety Video

The university recently debuted a comedic bike safety video with 12 tips for safe cycling. Students and alumni appear in the film, which was co-funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Health.

U British Columbia Bolsters City's Climate Action Potential

Student participants of the 2015 Greenest City Scholars cohort have worked with the city of Vancouver on specific sustainability projects including water and food challenges. The projects target the city's ability to be resilient in the face of climate challenges. Since 2010, the Greenest City Scholars Program has brought together a total of 79 graduate students from the University of British Columbia.

MIT Initiates Crowdsourcing for Climate Mitigation Ideas

The university recently launched a crowdsourcing contest to identify projects that reduce campus emissions and highlight the potential for scaleable, educational solutions as a living laboratory. The challenge is part of a new series of contests launched by the MIT Climate CoLab, a crowdsourcing platform of over 50,000 members. The series seeks high-impact proposals that tackle major climate change challenges.

Penn State Students Help Peers Make Healthy Food Choices

Thanks to a new blog, the RHEAL Deal (Residential Healthy Eating and Living Deal), university student nutrition assistants communicate weekly posts highlighting healthy items in the dining commons. The blog posts include information about the nutrients in the featured food, different ways it can be prepared and where it can be found in the dining commons. Food that meets the healthy qualifications of RHEAL are also marked by a carrot icon on the entrée card.

Penn State Grounds Become Bat Habitat

Biology and engineering students collaborated to research, design and build bat houses that will be placed at two campus locations that were identified as suitable bat habitats.

Morehead State U Obtains Bee Campus Honor

A Bee Campus USA certification now adorns the university after the campus developed a Pollinator Protection Plan for its 1,200-acre landscape that includes locally native and pollinator friendly plants.

U Missouri to House Two Beehives

With planning that began over one year ago, Sustain Mizzou wants to install the beehives to teach students about bee behavior and the importance of bees for food production.

Penn State Building Collects LEED Gold Designation

After a three-year effort, the university's Smeal College is now adorned with the USGBC LEED-EB (Existing Building) Gold certification. Since the building will need to be re-certified every five years to keep its designation, business building will act as a living laboratory for students to conduct research and participate in experiential learning.

Michigan State U Courses Conduct Waste Audits

Two of four of the university's Introduction to Sustainability courses provide students with the opportunity to partner with the university's Recycling Center team to conduct a hands-on waste audit of a campus building. The Recycling Center team will use the data to improve signage and outreach materials.

U California Santa Cruz Organizes Paper Recycle Day

The Records and Information Management, and Policy Coordination Office sponsored a Disposition Day event, offering secure shredding and recycling of confidential and restricted paper documents to university business offices. This year, 10 offices participated and 5,034 pounds of paper were securely recycled.

Portland CC Earns Bee Campus USA Status

The community college recently announced its acquisition of the Bee Campus USA certification. In keeping with certification, the campus implements an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, staff are regularly trained on best IPM practices and chemical use, and the college is expected to use signage in appropriate places that explain the role of pollinators. There are currently plans to develop a Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan.

U South Carolina Students Provide Hydroponics to Campus Dining

Sustainable Carolina students spearheaded a hydroponics business, and as a result, are providing homegrown lettuce to campus dining facilities.

SUNY Oneonta Creates Sustainability Living and Learning Community

Beginning in fall 2016, the college will offer two new living, learning communities for incoming freshman. The Sustainability Living Learning Community will focus on management of environmental and financial resources, and finding harmony with the natural environment. The Social Justice Living Learning Community will enable students to engage diverse perspectives and views, critically examine issues that cause oppression related to race, gender, age and other differences, and form connections to other community members interested in social justice issues.

U California Santa Cruz Hosts Climate Science and Policy Conference

Climate scientists, policymakers and practitioners, including former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, recently participated in a national conference on climate science and climate change. Presented by the divisions of Social Sciences, and Physical and Biological Sciences, the theme of the third annual climate science & policy conference was Earth's Climate Future: Uncharted Territory. Three panels focused on public health, geoengineering and geopolitics.

Portland State U Launches Seed Library

The Student Sustainability Center has launched a new seed library where any university student, staff or faculty member can take free seeds to plant and grow. Participants are invited to harvest seeds from the plants they grow and return some of these next generation seeds to the library for others to borrow and to keep the library going. The 2016 seed inventory includes 270 different seed varieties.

U Central Florida Holds Energy Competition

One of the largest campaigns hosted by the university's Sustainability Initiatives is underway for its ninth year, the Kill-A-Watt Energy Conservation Competition. This competition uses scholarship incentives (up to $750) to encourage university residents to lower their energy consumption over a two-and-a-half month timeline.

Six Universities to Host Climate Leadership Summits

National Campus Leadership Council recently announced the six sites to host a 2016 Climate Leadership Summit as Arizona State University (April 16), Cal Poly Pomona and Claremont McKenna College (April 22-23), Florida International University (April 30), Georgia State University (April 6), and University of Wisconsin-River Falls (April 9). In partnership with Defend Our Future, the regional summits provide a platform to address energy challenges and climate change.

Penn State Approves One-Acre Plot for Student Farm

In the works for nearly two years, the university recently set aside a one-acre plot for the Student Farm Club to grow food and operate a community-supported agriculture program for three years. The farm will operate as a laboratory where students will have the opportunity to study food production and marketing.

North Carolina State U Students Compete in 45-Hour Sustainability Challenge

The university's first Make-a-thon, a 45-hour challenge to create solutions to campus sustainability challenges, brought together 42 students on 11 teams to compete in one of three categories: energy, waste or water. Armed with actual campus utility, waste and recycling data, student teams researched, designed and prototyped sustainability innovations. Some projects may get funded through the university Sustainability Fund.

Inside Higher Ed 'Get Ready for More Protests'

About nine percent of freshmen indicated in a recent annual survey that they have a very good chance of participating in student protests while in college, an increase of 2.9 percentage points from last year's survey, reported Inside Higher Ed. Conducted by the American Freshman Survey, the survey collected responses from more than 141,000 first-year students during their first few weeks of college.

Georgia State U Launches Green Office Certification Program

This new program offers university departments and offices the opportunity to gain recognition for sustainable practices already in place and learn additional sustainable practices. The program is entirely voluntary and requires buy in from the majority staff and faculty in each unit applying. Scoring is tiered and based on level of difficulty to achieve certain tasks in categories including energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, communications, and occupant health and comfort.

Georgia Southern U Opens Campus Community Garden

Opened in summer 2015, the organic garden has six beds for student teams to grow edible plants and vegetables. One member of each team is required to attend a bi-weekly workshop to learn various gardening techniques and skills. The garden was funded by the student sustainability fee.

Emory U Students Launch Interactive Sustainability Map

After three semesters researching and mapping the university’s sustainability network of over 700 staff, faculty and undergraduate and graduate students, the university's Graduate Sustainability Group has launched an interactive Emory Sustainability Ecosystem map. The map affords current and future community members interested in sustainability an avenue to identify a range of existing initiatives to plug into their work. The map is freely available on the Graduate Sustainability Group website through a project that was funded by the Emory Sustainability Incentives Fund.

SUNY Student Assembly Passes Resolution to Adopt STARS Across 64 Campuses

The Sustainability Committee of the State University of New York (SUNY) Student Assembly recently passed the resolution calling for all campuses to "gauge, monitor, and enhance the overall sustainability of its campuses and entities" by using AASHE STARS as the standard. The resolution calls for campuses to maximize each category with the intent of obtaining a Gold rating and potentially allowing campuses to be awarded grant money through Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a New York State clean energy initiative that aims to spur clean energy innovation.

U Georgia Awards $40K to Interdisciplinary Sustainability Projects

Ten interdisciplinary student projects were recently awarded $40,000 to implement project proposals that align with the university's 2020 Strategic Plan to promote stewardship of natural resources and advance sustainability research and education.

Michigan State U Releases Video on 2015 Sustainability Highights

The newly released video mentions the university's commitment to discontinue the use of coal on campus as a fuel source, the acquisition of $170,000 in sustainability research funding, and the on-campus green office certification program had 193 spaces reduce their environmental footprint.

Michigan State U Awards Cash for Student Energy Innovations

The university recently announced the winners of its inaugural Energy Innovation Award and Student Solar Design Competition that dispensed $11,000 in total prize money. The competition tasked interdisciplinary student teams with designing cost-effective, energy-efficient and design-centric solar installations for a campus landscape. Each project was evaluated for creativity, design, application and entrepreneurship with the intent of challenging participants to push the boundaries of clean energy innovation.

U British Columbia Students Compete on Sustainability Solutions

Launched in October 2015, as part of the university’s centennial celebrations, the Sustainability Challenge has fifteen interdisciplinary teams actively developing solutions across four priority areas for campus sustainability: sustainable food, climate action planning, waste management, and well-being and physical activity. Student teams will present their solutions to a panel of judges who will evaluate the projects and award cash prizes to the top three teams.

Montclair State U Earthship Initiative Receives USGBC Recognition

The university's Environmental Club received honorable mention in the innovative sustainability initiative category from the New Jersey chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council for its Earthship project proposal, an off-the-grid structure built from recycled tires that are pounded full of dirt. If completed, the Earthship would be the only one on a university campus.

Boston U Records Members' Contribution to Sustainability

Hoping to inspire the campus community, the university releases videos from individuals and groups across campus that discuss how their actions make the university and world more sustainable.

Harvard U Students Attend Sustainability Leadership Symposium

On November 8, a group of four Harvard Resource Efficiency Program members joined 141 other college students at Connecticut College to learn, discuss and explore best practices. Commons themes that arose throughout the day included diversity and personal definitions of sustainability.

AASHE 10-Year Anniversary Celebrates Campus Sustainability

In this celebratory 10-year anniversary video of the campus sustainability movement, Meghan Fay Zahniser, AASHE's executive director along with Judy Walton, AASHE's founding executive director, Leith Sharp of Harvard University, Debra Rowe of U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainability Development and Fahmida Ahmed at Stanford University share thoughts about their vision for the future.

Concordia College Unveils Solar Air Heated High Tunnel

The new high tunnel plot allows produce and learning to happen beyond the short Minnesota growing season by using solar energy. Heated air is pumped underneath the soil, extending the growing season for months.

Michigan State U Launches Green Event Certification Program

In an effort to reduce waste from on-campus events, the university's sustainability office initiated the new Spartan Green Event Certification that uses an online form to evaluate several areas. Events that adequately meet the criteria receive a certificate and a seal for marketing purposes.

U California Santa Cruz Students Receive Global Food Initiative Fellowships

Four university students that recently received a $4,000 UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) fellowships for the 2015–2016 academic year will be involved in one of the ongoing university GFI projects, which include efforts to address food equity and improve food security for students on UC campuses, and to increase opportunities for experiential learning at the campus’s farm and gardens.

Michigan State U Student Group Increases Campus Sustainability Awareness

The student group Sustainable Spartans actively engage in spreading achievements in campus sustainability and, by way of research, develop practical solutions that can be implemented across campus. Recent projects include a solar-powered picnic table and a festival celebrating the campus' organic farm. Future projects include rain barrels and improving local food options.

Stanford U Forms New Student Working Group

Beginning in fall 2015, the university created the new Student Sustainability Working Group to support the culture of student innovation and collaboration, and ensure a cohesive approach to university sustainability. Each month the group brings students and staff together to share updates, solicit project feedback and brainstorm partnership opportunities.

U Illinois Chicago Internship Raises Monarch Butterflies on Campus

Student interns at the university's UIC Heritage Garden, funded via the university's sustainability fee, recently released the last of the monarch butterflies they raised this summer and fall. The UIC Heritage Garden an ecology and sustainability-focused internship program that creates and maintains gardens on campus. Photo credit: UICheritagegarden.org

U British Columbia Volunteers Promote Zero Waste Goals

Supporting the university's zero waste action plan, volunteers and Sustainability Coordinator Program staff work with Ceremonies and Events to educate attendees about sorting their disposables. At a recent event with 4,000 participants, a desk bin-sized trash bag was remaining after composting and recycling everything else.

rootAbility Earns International Accolades for University Green Office Program

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-Japan (UNESCO-Japan) prize for outstanding projects related to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was recently awarded to rootAbility for its Green Office Model, which began at Maastricht University in 2010 and now has 14 green offices at 14 universities in six countries. rootAbility was awarded $50,000 for the honor.

U Colorado Boulder Athletics Expands Sports Sustainability Programs

Kicking off the 2015 home football season, CU Athletics introduced new programs that encourage recycling, using alternative transportation and reducing water consumption. Bring Your Bottle Back to Life, a partnership with PepsiCo, gives away T-shirts made with 50 percent recycled plastic fibers each time the Colorado Buffaloes score a touchdown.

Michigan State U Announces Student Solar Design Competition

In an effort to address some of the most urgent environmental issues facing our world today, the university is inviting students across the state to design a dynamic solar installation that values both aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency. With $10,000 in total prizes, the competition recognizes students who are advancing sustainability through their commitment to clean energy innovation.

U California Merced Student Proposal Amplifies Student Engagement

Winning the first-ever Chancellor's Advisory Committee's Sustainability Proposal Writing Contest, undergraduate student Andrew John De Los Santos' proposal includes providing information to residence halls during move-in and providing "triple zero" workshops. Triple Zero is the university's pledge to consume zero net energy, produce zero waste and zero net greenhouse gas emissions, all by 2020.

Michigan State U Students Establish Beehive in Campus Neighborhood

The university's Bee Club is combining pollinator research and student learning by engaging Bailey Hall residents with a honeybee hive atop their green roof. The honeybee hive is providing students with a unique opportunity to manage a fully-functional colony and helping to diminish the fear associated with these critical pollinators.

Elmhurst College Expands Campus Garden

Tended by students, faculty, staff and volunteers, the college's Heritage Garden quadrupled in size this year and produces organic food for campus and local food banks. The garden has also become a research laboratory and service learning experience for local community members from a boys and girls home.

U Albany to Host Sustainability Leadership Summit

During the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students Leadership Summit in early August, graduate student leaders from across the nation will convene to discuss the principles of leadership used to advance university sustainability capacity and how the principles can be applied to student governance.

Maharishi U Management Holds Inaugural Deep Sustainability Discussion

Hosted in June 2015, the Colloquy on Deep Sustainability was a closed discussion in order to distill the meaning of the term deep sustainability, how it differs from similar concepts and systems, and what a future with deep sustainability at its core should look like. Topics included philosophy, spirituality, mathematics, ecology, economics, governments and societies.

Maharishi U Management Holds Green Business Symposium

At its third annual Deep Green Business Symposium, the university focused on Global Green Opportunities and Technologies with 16 speakers discussing subjects including community development, optimization of a product’s life cycle, and philosophies of sustainability.

U Southern California Introduces Green Teams

Promoting environmental sustainability within athletics, the Green Teams Program, part of the Office of Sustainability, recently honored three teams, women's sand volleyball, women's rowing and men's club lacrosse, for their consideration of transportation, waste, energy and water impact, and food consumption. The program has four tiers of certification and seeks to highlight best practices.