Net Impact's Small Steps, Big Wins Announces Winners
For the third year, students around the world proved that a big difference can start with a small step. Over the course of the 2014-15 academic year, almost 5,000 students across 71 campuses completed 113,000 small actions, ranging from recycling and taking public transit to volunteering in their communities.
U Washington Awards Environmental Grants to Students
The university's Campus Sustainability Fund awarded 13 projects a total of more than $270,000 recently. The project included outreach on the harmful effects of single-use water bottles, an expansion of a native plant nursery, a wood salvage program on campus, and starting work toward creating a sustainable shellfish aquaculture farm.
Northwestern U Awards Second Largest Office Green Certification
The university's Green Office Certification program brought together the Alumni Relations and Development department, employing 252 people, to increase awareness and participation in sustainable behavior. The department is in the process of creating a bike-share program and expanding the availability of reusable silverware and flatware for the office.
The Atlantic Frames Student Activism Renaissance
After citing many occurrences of student unrest at universities and colleges across the country and world, the recent article in The Atlantic highlights the social activism in topics ranging from sex and racism to university governance and student rights.
U Maryland Small Footprint Pledge Tallies Over 3,500 Pledges in First Year
In less than a year, the cumulative impact of the pledge, which asks university students, faculty, staff and visitors to change one aspect of their daily routine to lessen their environmental footprint, includes 23,367 pounds of diverted waste, over 5 million gallons of water saved, and 274,136 pounds of carbon dioxide saved.
Michigan State U Celebrates Campus Sustainability
On April 22, university members celebrated the 45th anniversary of Earth Day at its 2015 Be Spartan Green Gala by dispensing Be Spartan Green Outstanding Awards to staff, students, faculty and campus partners who have demonstrated their support of sustainability on campus.
U South Carolina Integrates Hydroponics Into Community Farm
Completely assembled and operated by students, the soil-less growing system for their community farm and garden, based on permaculture practices, is expected to produce nearly $20,000 in annual revenue within 12 months. The farm produces sorghum, milkweed, mushrooms, heirloom seeds, and over 72 heads of lettuce per week.
Schools Save $290,000 in Campus Conservation Nationals
345,000 students and staff at 125 schools competed in the fifth year of Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) to reduce energy and water use. Schools reduced by a total of 1.9 million-kilowatt hours and 394,000 gallons of water.
Indiana U Bloomington Focuses on Reducing Paper Use
After quantifying the resource input for the university's paper consumption on campus, the university will be hosting a paperless challenge in the fall that awards points to departments, groups and buildings for specific actions and implementation of innovative ideas to reduce paper use.
MIT Announces Earth Day 2015 Grant Recipients
Eleven projects and events were chosen to receive Earth Day 2015 grants for promoting campus sustainability and they include furniture rehabilitation, water learning laboratory, waste initiatives, and an environmental film festival.
U California Santa Cruz Hosts 14th Annual Earth Summit
The first woman of color to hold the Chancellor's Undergraduate Intern for the Student Environmental Movement prompted the annual summit to bring more focus on environmental justice by bringing awareness to the connection between climate change, exploitation, racism and anti-immigration.
U Illinois Chicago Team Wins EPA Environmental Challenge
In the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Rainworks Challenge, a team of urban planning, civil engineering and environmental sciences students submitted a planning process that demonstrates an incremental, scalable and adaptive approach to implementing green infrastructure in a highly urbanized context, using the east side of the campus as a model.
U Maryland Team Wins EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a University of Maryland team as a winner of its third annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a design competition created to engage college and university students in reinventing water infrastructure. Student teams across the country proposed innovative green infrastructure designs to reduce stormwater pollution and develop sustainable communities.
U California Irvine Student Uses Art to Inspire Climate Activism
In art student Kathleen Deck's "Conservation Through Creation” art installation, a section of lawn won’t be watered for a month. The idea is to return an artificial environment to its natural state, and start a discussion about how the changing climate can affect water use and the fragile environment that people have created. Deck is one of 37 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows.
Indiana U Participates in Campus Kitchen Project
In January 2014, students and staff at IUPUI participated in the Campus Kitchen Project's first-ever video competition and won $5,000 to start a food recovery and redistribution operation. Since then, they've coordinated with dining services, created partnerships with other community organizations, and recruited excited volunteers.
U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Honors Certified Green Office Program Winners
On Earth Day, April 22, 2015, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) announced award winners for its 2014-15 Certified Green Office Program on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Twenty-four participating offices collected hardware for making commitments toward and achieving energy and resource reductions during the school year.
Emory U Program Creates Local Food Accessibility
The university's new Emory Local Roots program launched in 2014 is a student-run initiative that elevates the university community's awareness of the benefits of consuming locally produced foods and making such products easily available to students. Beginning fall semester, students will be able to purchase a range of local produce on campus.
Rice U Prepares for Seventh Year of Farm to Fork Dinner
The upcoming spring 2015’s Farm to Fork Dinner has an expected attendance of over 80 students and discussion leaders now in its seventh year. The university’s Real Food Revolution, an organization which seeks to increase awareness in regards to local foods, is hosting the dinner on April 25.
Central Carolina CC New Farm Manager Driven by Sustainability Goals
As a certified permaculture designer, James Fry has a passion for deliberate ecological design, which integrates human needs with natural systems and cycles. He uses permaculture planning for long-term productivity and functionality with relatively little human intervention, helping reduce dependence on purchased products and making basic human needs more readily available.
Arizona State University Students “Ditch the Dumpster” on Earth Day
Ditch the Dumpster targets diversion and donations to local non-profits. Students can clean out their residence halls and deliver most items to Big Brothers Big Sisters collection boxes. Larger, unwanted items are brought to locations across all four university campuses.
Maharishi U Management Students Recycle Abandoned Bikes
Over 50 abandoned bikes were recently gathered up by students, with plans to fix them and make them available to students for a very low cost. Leading the repair initiative is work/study student Flo Bannout. If no one reported a missing bike, then Ms. Bannout began fixing it for eventual redistribution to students who need bikes.
Manhattan College Students Find Green Solutions for Earth Day
Students enrolled in the college's newly launched Environmental Science program will take a new approach to their studies by learning how to convert discarded eggshells into biodiesel fuel, among other eco-friendly skills, with a series of events for Earth Day.
Emory U Enhances Student Experience Through Water Reclamation Facility
The university's water reclamation plant is the newest facility being used to enhance student learning and the student experience as interdisciplinary interest surges around the center, allowing faculty members to integrate its resources into undergraduate and graduate classes and research.
Furman U Celebrates STARS Rating With Gold Star Cake
On confirmation of an AASHE STARS gold rating, Furman celebrated with a dessert event on March 24th. Part of Earth Week programming, student assessment fellows offered remarks and presented a gold, star-shaped cake to President Elizabeth Davis. The event was was part of a campus-wide campaign to thank data contributors and educate campus about STARS-related successes and opportunities.
Rochester Institute of Tech Reduces Waste & Helps Hungry
The university's new program is an effort to alleviate student hunger and food insecurity and maximize sustainably efforts on campus. RIT FoodShare is about sharing what we have with those around us, building community, and enhancing sustainability. It aims to make the most of our pooled resources so that nothing goes to waste and students do not go hungry.
U California Santa Barbara Goes Lights Out
Spurred on by the slogan "Gauchos Do It in the Dark," the residents of eight dorms at the Santa Barbara campus cut their electricity use by nearly 8 percent during a Feb. 16-March 8 competition, inching ahead of other University of California undergraduate campuses.
U Northern Iowa Hosts Regional Sustainability Conference
The University of Northern Iowa is hosting its second regional sustainability conference, "Environmental Equity and Resilience in the Cedar Valley and Beyond." This conference focuses on actions needed to envision a sustainable world and the transformation needed to create it. The conference includes a keynote speaker and a variety of breakout sessions focusing on food issues, policy concerns, natural energy, and resources and health topics.
U Kentucky Engages Students Through Sustainability Internship
A new partnership with the university's Office of Sustainability now allows up to six students in any academic program to participate in a year-long, 10-hour per week internship in the areas of energy, waste, transportation, food, urban forests, and water systems.
Indiana U Students Call for More Sustainability Awareness
(U.S.): The university's Residence Hall Association recently passed a unanimous resolution that proposes a sustainability section be added to the A-Z Guide to Furnished Apartment and Residence Hall that will contain information pertaining to the university sustainability office, energy and water use, and recycling.
Six Vermont Schools Participate in Food System Tour
(U.S.): As part of an effort to study local and global food systems, students from around the U.S. will visit Green Mountain College, Middlebury College, Sterling College, University of Vermont, Vermont Law School, and Vermont Technical College. The 21-day tour explores urban food systems, the local dairy industry and carbon economy, food system advocacy in the context of genetically-modified food, conservation, and climate change and its impacts on global food system.
Trent U Plows Student Operated Farm
(Canada): Spearheaded by the university's Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Society, the student-run, 3-acre plot will provide a variety of organic vegetables for use in cafeterias across campus.
U Alberta Bolsters Participation in Earth Hour
(Canada): The university is hosting an online platform that 13 schools participating in the 2015 Earth Hour will use to gauge the school with the highest percentage per capita of participation.
MIT Holds Campus Sustainability Brainstorm Event
The aim of the inaugural Sustainability Connect was to convene campus stakeholders to discuss a transition toward the university as a living laboratory for exploring, testing and quantifying ways to make more efficient use of energy, water, buildings and equipment, and then to disseminate information about the most successful practices to have a global impact.
Texas Tech U Hosts Regional Sustainability Summit
The recently held inaugural summit, convening stakeholders from over 20 schools, helped create a statewide network among higher education institutions to collaborate on ideas about how to create environmental preservation, economic development, and social equity.
U South Carolina Panhellenic Takes Green Living Strides
One of the university's EcoReps programs, the Green House Certification, was awarded to a Greek house for their implementation of sustainable living practices and is based off of the university's similar certification for dorm rooms. Greek life also initiated Green Greeks, a weekly meeting where attendees learn and discuss one topic within sustainability for representatives to take back to their chapter.
Stanford U to Begin Educational Farm
The new, six-acre farm, opening spring 2015, will be a working farm dedicated to teaching, researching and learning about small-scale agriculture.
Texas A&M U Kingsville Initiates EcoRep Program
The new learning experience developed by students for freshman students focuses on energy, water conservation and waste minimization as principal ways to promote improved campus sustainability.
Texas Christian U Students Increase Campus Sustainability Efforts
At a recent Student Government Association meeting, representatives passed a resolution to create an ad hoc committee to advance student sustainability efforts on campus that includes eliminating paper meeting agendas, offer a paper bag option at campus shopping locations, introduce biodegradable food containers, and create a sustainability education program.
U Arizona Publishes Student Sustainability Report
(U.S.): The recently released polling report illustrates important aspects of students and their engagement in sustainability through four main themes: sustainability issues of concern, preferred ways to learn about sustainability, student support for university sustainability initiatives, and students’ sustainability-focused behavior. The university polled a representative sample of the entire student body to gauge behaviors and perceptions as they relate to sustainability.
U California Santa Cruz Expands Campus Farm
(U.S.): The new site adds approximately three more acres of growing space to the campus' farm for growing food, offering students a place for hands-on farming experiences, and adds additional research acreage for those interested in studying organic production practices.
U Maryland Students Take Action for Clean Water
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay is a main priority of university students in the Maryland Public Interest Research Group as they raise awareness of the Clean Water Act to other students by holding a photo petition.
Colorado Mountain College Holds Art Exhibit
In an effort to raise awareness for sustainability, the inaugural college-wide art exhibit showcased work that was either created with sustainable materials or with content reflecting the theme of sustainability.
MacEwan U Students to Promote Carbon Footprint Awareness
Student members plan to launch the Carbon Cloud Initiative by walking around with eight balloons that visually represents the amount of carbon emissions an average Canadian generates per minute. Students will deliver a one-minute presentation to the students in their classes about the balloons.
Rice U Eco Rep Program Expands Sustainable Living Awareness
The university Eco Rep Green Dorm Initiative now includes education about environmentally sustainable living through a contest designed to increase interactivity. This year's focus on energy and water, well-being, and waste asks participates to engage with the theme through daily tasks.
California Schools Host Multicampus Food Summit
With a central theme of food justice the inaugural California Higher Education Food Summit convened roughly 150 students, faculty and staff from University of California, California State University and community college campuses to address environmental social and economic pressures that create barriers to food access, security and justice.
Five Universities Win Award for Social Entrepreneurship
Brown University, Duke University, University of British Columbia, University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland recently won the 2015 Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Award based on their ability to demonstrate how students, faculty and community members transform the ways in which colleges and universities prepare students as changemakers while positively impacting the community.