U Florida Passes Green Fee for Renewable Energy

The University of Florida Board of Trustees has approved a student-proposed green fee that will charge students $.50 per credit hour and will be used to support renewable energy projects. The fee, which will not go into effect until approved by the Board of Governors, would generate approximately $645,000 in revenue each year to fun such projects as solar panels and building energy upgrades. In a spring referendum, 78 percent of students voted in favor of the fee.

U Illinois at Chicago Receives $750K Grant to Green Brownfield

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Environmental Science and Policy has received a five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify best management practices for redeveloping brownfields, gauge the benefits, and get the information to the public and policymakers. Through the grant, researchers at UIC will team up with two outside technical advisers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to define what it means to turn a brownfield into a new green development and the value of doing so.

Westminster College Offers Free Public Transit Pass

Westminster College (UT) has begun offering a free UTA Premium Transit Pass to all students, faculty, and staff who will commit to using alternative transportation at least four days per month. The pass works for both bus and TRAX train services.

3 Campus Laundry Facilities Go Carbon Neutral

Keene State College (NH), Salisbury University (MD), and Stonehill College (MA) are all participating in Mac-Gray Campus Solutions' new "Lighten the Load" program to operate carbon neutral laundry rooms. Mac-Gray Campus Solutions, a contract operator of card- and coin-operated laundry facilities in college and university residence halls, has announced a partnership with Carbonfund.org aimed at making its college and university accounts carbon neutral. The "Lighten the Load' program is offered to all of Ma

Appalachian State U Begins Tailgate Recycling Initiative

Appalachian State University (NC) has begun a new initiative to recycle at every home football game. The Recycling at the Rock initiative will provide tailgaters with green bags to use for recycling and black bags to use for trash. ASU expects to save $60 per ton of recyclables that are recycled.

Brigham Young U Announces Several Green Initiatives

Brigham Young University (UT) has begun a program to recycle plastics. Receptacles have been placed throughout campus. BYU has also announced that the Blue Line Deli, which will open this fall, will use biodegradable plates, utensils, and napkins for all of its meals. The dinnerware will be composted in the campus' compost piles and eventually will be used for campus landscaping. In addition, Brigham Young has purchased all Energy Star-rated appliances for its new cafeteria.

Brunswick Community College to Produce Biodiesel from Algae

Brunswick Community College (NC) has announced plans to begin a project to grow enough algae to produce approximately 75 pounds of oil each month. The oil will then be converted into biodiesel to power campus tractors and utility vehicles. The project is being funded by a grant that will also fund six student lab positions.

Business Week Article Features Green Business School Buildings

Business Week has published an article on the increasing number of green buildings at business schools across the U.S. The article mentions the University of Illinois' new $60 million business school building, green features at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management's (AZ) initiative to recycle the Thunderbird Veterans & Alumni Tower which was closed in 2006. The article also mentions upcoming green business school initiatives at New York University and Harvard Business School (MA).

Coastal Carolina U Names Sustainability Coordinator

Coastal Carolina University (SC) has named alumna Marissa Mitzner as the campus' first sustainability coordinator. Mitzner, who graduated from the University in May, will be responsible for helping to tranform Coastal Carolina University into a more environmentally-friendly university. Mitzner also manages the EcoReps program of student workers and is developing a plan for making Coastal Carolina University more bike-friendly.

Colorado State U to be Carbon Neutral by 2020

Colorado State University has announced the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020 without the use of carbon credits. The University plans to reach its goal by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and alternative energy sources. The University has already begun a carbon footprint assessment and plans to spend the next three years placing an emphasis on conservation.

CSU Stanislaus Science Building Receives LEED Silver

California State University, Stanislaus' Nora and Hashem Naraghi Hall of Science has received LEED Silver certification. The 115,000-square-foot building includes laboratories, classrooms, faculty and department offices, and a roof-top observatory. The structure features program controls for heating, air conditioning, venting, and air purification systems as well as programmable light-dimming switches; recycled materials and wood products from environmentally-endorsed lumber harvesting practices; and drought-resistant landscaping and a watering system with conservation features.

DOE Awards 6 Higher Ed Biofuels Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected six advanced biofuels projects in which it plans to invest up to $4.4 million, subject to annual appropriations. These awards to U.S. institutions of higher education will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The institutions selected include the University of Toledo (OH); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Montana State University; University of Georgia; University of Maine; and Georgia Tech Research Corp. By engaging these partners, the DOE is working to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has a requirement of producing at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. renewable fuels by 2022.

Drury U Habitat for Humanity House Earns LEED Platinum

A Habitat for Humanity house designed and built by students at Drury University (MO) has received LEED Platinum certification. The house features solar panels that heat water and the radiant floor, native landscaping, rain gardens, and pervious paved surfaces.

Earth Island Institute Awards Brower Youth Awards

The Earth Island Institute has awarded its 2008 Brower Youth Awards to six young environmental leaders. Marisol Becerra, Jessie-Ruth Corkins, Timothy Den Herder-Thomas, Kari Fulton, Phebe Meyers, and Ivan Stiefel were selected from 122 applicants for projects such as battling industrial polluters, stopping mountaintop coal mining, and restoring a migratory bird corridor in Costa Rica. The winners each received a $3,000 cash prize, will be honored at a formal awards ceremony in San Francisco, and will participate in skills-building and mentoring workshops geared toward furthering their leadership development.

Emory U Named 'Conservationist of the Year'

Emory University (GA) has been named the "2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year" by the Georgia Conservancy. The annual award is considered the highest honor bestowed by the conservancy and is given in recognition of Emory's efforts to incorporate sustainability as a way to restore the global ecosystem, promote healthy living, and reduce the University's impact on the surrounding environment.

Florida Gulf Coast U Launches Carpooling Website

Florida Gulf Coast University has launched a new carpooling website for students and staff to share rides. The goal of the website is to reduce traffic and pollution. The website allows participants to calculate their annual greenhouse gas emissions per pound.

Harvard U to Install Wind Turbines on Campus

Harvard University (MA) has announced plans to install small-scale wind turbines on top of the Holyoke Center, one of the University's administrative and student buildings. The system is not expected to generate much energy - the project's main purpose is to serve as a symbol of Harvard's commitment to sustainability.

Inside Higher Ed Compares Campus Sustainability Rating Systems

Inside Higher Ed has published a review of the various campus sustainability ranking and rating systems. The article compares reports, articles, and assessments by the National Wildlife Federation, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, The Princeton Review, Kaplan, Forbes , Sierra , and AASHE.

Kiwi Magazine Releases 2008 Green College Report

Kiwi Magazine has released its "2008 Green College Report," which profiles 75 colleges and universities committed to sustainability. The report is intended to help high school students and parents choose a green higher education institution.

North Carolina State U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center

North Carolina State University has announced that it will host the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems. The center will be supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. The new center will develop technology that transforms the nation's centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid"

Santa Clara U Dedicates Green Business School

Santa Clara University (CA) has dedicated Lucas Hall, a recently completed green business building on campus. The 86,000 square-foot, $49 million structure features dual-switched and motion-sensitive lights; energy-optimized heating and air conditioning; and recycled and recyclable chairs. Lucas Hall was designed with LEED guidelines in mind.

Skidmore College Launches Eco-Reps Program

Skidmore College (NY) has launched a student Eco-Rep program, a peer leadership program designed to help increase environmental awareness among Skidmore students and to continue fostering environmentalism on campus. Skidmore has hired 10 paid student Eco-Rep positions that each work four hours a week in a residence hall. Five Eco-Reps will also serve as mentors to five first-year students as a service-learning project for a First-Year Experience seminar. The Eco-Reps will help the students learn about Skidmore's campus sustainability program, and also how to plan and implement sustainability initiatives and activities. To help them prepare for their new assignment, the Eco-Reps participated in a full day of training to gear up for the upcoming year of sustainability education. Training included learning about current Sustainable Skidmore initiatives, participating in peer leadership activities, setting goals, and brainstorming initiatives for the year.

Smith College Eliminates Disposable Cups, Distributes Reusable Cups

Smith College (MA) has distributed reusable metal water bottles to students this year after announcing that disposable cups will no longer be available in the dining halls. The College has also eliminated paper bags at a campus store and made reusable canvas bags available for purchase.

South Dakota School of Mines to Host Bioenergy Research Center

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the National Science Foundation have partnered to create The Center for Bioenergy Research and Development. The School of Mines will be the host institution for the center, which will be a consortium of universities, industrial partners, and governmental agencies. Members of the consortium include South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, State University of New York Stony Brook, and the University of Hawaii. Each university pledges, as part of the membership agreement, to bring five industry or governmental partners on-board, which yields an industry commitment of more than 30 members.

Stanford U Holds Groundbreaking for Green Business School

The Stanford University (CA) Graduate School of Business has formally broken ground on its new business school campus. The 360,000-square-foot Knight Management Center campus, which will comprise eight buildings around three quadrangles, will reduce overall water usage by at least 30 percent; exceed current energy efficiency standards by at least 40 percent; recycle or salvage 50 to 75 percent of non-hazardous construction debris; and use rainwater or re-circulated gray water to reduce potable water use for building sewage conveyance by 80 percent. Stanford plans to seek LEED Platinum certification for the new school.

Stevens Institute of Technology to Expand Solar Array

The Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) has signed an agreement to expand the current 130 kW solar power system on campus. 3rd Rock Technologies will install, own, and operate the new array and will sell the power generated by the panels back to Stevens at a fixed price. Stevens expects the solar panels to make up 11 percent of its energy needs by the beginning of 2009.

SUNY ESF Converts Butter Sculpture to Biodiesel

The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has converted a 900 pound butter sculpture from the New York State Fair into approximately 96 gallons of biodiesel. The biodiesel will be used to fuel a SUNY ESF vehicle.

Syracuse U Receives Grants for Green Projects

Syracuse University (NY) has received funds to convert waste oil from SU dining halls into biodiesel. The funds come from a $3 million, five-year grant awarded to SU in 2006. The "green energy" cooperative, created to convert the used oil, will consist of faculty support, student scientists from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and business students from SU. The cooperative's initial goal will be to create 2,500 gallons of biodiesel per year. Profits earned from selling the biodie

U Alaska Fairbanks, U Minnesota Go Trayless

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks has eliminated trays from its dining hall in an effort to reduce food waste. UAF implemented the initiative after a successful week-long pilot program last semester resulted in eliminating 50 percent of the dining hall's food waste. The University of Minnesota has also stopped using trays in its dining halls. The UM initiative is also the result of a successful pilot program that saved an average of 1.5 ounces of food waste per person and 1,700 gallons of water.

U Arizona Student Government Hires Sustainability Coordinator

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona has hired Lesley Ash as Sustainability Director. ASUA's Sustainability Director will be responsible for developing projects and initiatives that work to reduce waste at the University. Ash's first priorities will be to develop a composting system at UA's student unions and markets and to develop a sustainability committee within ASUA that will involve student clubs and organizations.

UC Berkeley Receives $2M for Chair of Sustainable Chemistry

The University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry has received $2 million in donations to establish the Dow Chair of Sustainable Chemistry. The chair will research chemistry for environmental causes. The money, donated by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation, will also fund sustainability projects among several graduate students chosen by the chair.

UC Irvine Breaks Ground on Green Student Housing

The University of California, Irvine has broken ground on its new $221 million green student housing project. The structure, which will include 1,763 new undergraduate and graduate beds, has been designed to optimize energy and water efficiencies; reduce light pollution, waste water and construction waste, and utilize regional materials. The building has been designed to meet LEED Gold certification and will open in the fall of 2010.

U Connecticut Reduces Plastic Bag Usage on Campus

The University of Connecticut has started the Co-op Cares Bag Program, which is intended to reduce the use of plastic bags and promote environmentalism. For each customer who declines a bag, the Co-op will donate 5 cents – the average cost of a plastic bag – toward one of four charities, including the UConn Foundation’s Green Campus Fund. Customers are given a wooden token to put in collection bins for the charity of their choice.

UConn Partners to Protect Local Ecosystem

The University of Connecticut has joined a planning group that will discuss ways to maintain and improve the Natchaug Basin, a 114,000-acre tract of land and water that contains a diversity of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. It is the largest public surface drinking water supply watershed in Connecticut. More than half of Uconn’s Storrs campus sits within the basin, and water from the basin’s three main rivers – the Fenton, Natchaug, and Mount Hope – supports the water needs of the University and 22,000 residents of Mansfield and Willimantic. The planning committee will be working to identify key factors that promote the integrity of the streams, wetlands, forest, and fish in the conservation area; identify and rank the primary threats affecting the overall condition of the forest and freshwater systems; define strategies to address the threats and restoration needs; and create an action plan specific to each strategy, together with a timeline for completion.

U Hawaii Hilo to Open Green Student Center

The University of Hawaii at Hilo will open its new Student Life Center in October. The structure, which has been built with the goal to achieve a LEED Gold rating, features skylights and dormers that allow for natural lighting, bicycle racks that will accommodate up to 20 bikes at once, and landscaping that will utilize native or adapted species which require no irrigation. Additionally, the project has reused 17 tons of scrap drywall.

U Michigan to Cut Utility Costs 10% Though Conservation

The University of Michigan has announced plans to cut utility costs by 10 percent over the next three years at its Ann Arbor campuses by reaching out to faculty, staff, and students in an energy-conservation program called Planet Blue. Planet Blue's goal is to reduce costs by combining energy-saving technologies and building upgrades with behavioral changes from building occupants. The three-year education and outreach campaign will target 90 large buildings.

U Missouri Begins Composting Program

A University of Missouri graduate student has started a composting program that serves to reduce the amount of food waste by 2,000 pounds per week and fertilize two community gardens on campus. As part of the program, Adam Saunders, the student who starting the composting program, and his class of students and volunteers collect the food scraps twice per day from a campus dining hall and tote them on a bicycle trailer to a community garden where they are mixed with manure and, eventually, turned into compost. Saunders hopes to expand the program to include more dining halls in the future.

U New Hampshire Opens Green Dairy Bar

The University of New Hampshire has opened a green Dairy Bar on campus. The Dairy Bar uses locally produced ingredients, 100 percent organic cotton employee uniforms, and compostable plastic cups and menus. All of the biodegradable material from the Dairy Bar is taken to the campus' Kingman Farm for composting.

U New Mexico Expands U-Pass to Include Faculty and Staff

The University of New Mexico Parking and Transportation Services has expanded the free local bus pass program to include UNM faculty and staff. The program was implemented after last year's pilot program that offered free bus passes to students was a success.

U North Texas to Launch Campaign to Promote Sustainability

The University of North Texas will soon launch "We Mean Green," a university-wide public awareness campaign to discuss and promote sustainability events and opportunities and generate a sense of responsibility and excitement about reducing, reusing, and recycling. The campaign will also promote UNT's new eco-friendly filtered water system. Free reusable water bottles will be provided across campus to replace disposable, plastic ones.

U Notre Dame Commits to Energy Renovations

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has committed to heating, air conditioning, and/or lighting renovations in 24 older campus buildings during the 2008/2009 academic year. The planned renovations include installing occupancy sensors so that heating, cooling, and lighting only run when buildings are occupied; enhancing ventilation control so that the amount of outside air brought in matches the occupancy level of the building; and putting in more efficient fluorescent bulbs. Notre Dame expects the renovations, which are expected to cost about $4 million, to reduce the University’s carbon emissions by over 4,000 metric tons per year. In related news, ND's Howard Hall has installed compact fluorescent light bulbs in every dorm room.

U Notre Dame Launches Game Day Recycling Season

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has launched 'Game Day Recycling,' a new program designed to make recycling easier for the ND tailgating crowd. As part of the program, students pass out recycling bag in each of the tailgating lots at every game; additional bags are made available at recycling stations placed on lampposts; and recycling bins are available across campus and in the stadium. Additionally, all recyclables go in the same bin. The new program was launched after a successful pilot program during last year's football season.

U Oklahoma Commits to Power 100% of its Campus with Wind

The University of Oklahoma, Norman has signed a wind power agreement with Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company to purchase 100 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2013. OU is currently supporting the development of a new commercial-scale wind farm to be constructed by OG&E in Oklahoma. It will be named the “OU Spirit” wind farm. To further support OU’s commitment, OG&E will establish internships and scholarships for OU students whose studies are focused on renewable energy as well as support campus events focusing on renewable energy. OU also plans to expand its use of vehicles powered by compressed natural gas and will open a new CNG refueling station at the new campus motor pool. The Transportation Operations Center is set to open in November. It will also make the fueling station available to the city of Norman for its vehicles.

U South Carolina Launches Campus Farmer's Market

The University of South Carolina has partnered with the S.C. Department of Agriculture to launch a monthly farmer's market on its campus. The Healthy Carolina Farmer's Market is intended for students, faculty, and staff, but is also open to the public. The market features fresh, local produce and natural products by South Carolina farmers. In addition, university staff will offer nutrition information, recipes for seasonal produce and other materials to encourage healthy living.

U Tennessee Knoxville Aims to Reduce Energy Use by 10%

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has launched "Switch Your Thinking," a campaign designed to reduce campus energy consumption by 10 percent this year, a move that would save the University more than $1 million from its campus energy budget. The campaign asks faculty, staff and students to take four steps to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the campus. The four steps include turning off lights when not in the office for more than one hour; turning off computers when not in the office for more

U Vermont Bans Kimberly-Clark Products

The University of Vermont has banned all Kimberly-Clark products from its campus due to concerns about the sourcing of paper fiber from the North American Boreal forest. UVM has stopped purchasing all products made by K-C, the parent company of Kleenex and Scott brands. 11 other universities and colleges have taken similar actions due to concerns about K-C's environmental practices.

U Victoria Building Receives LEED Gold

The University of Victoria Engineering/Computer Science (ESC) Building has received LEED Gold certification. The 8,975 square-meter, $25-million ECS building features a dual plumbing system that uses recycled water from the nearby outdoor aquatic research facility, a partial green roof planted with natural grasses, natural landscaping to promote storm water retention, and extensive use of recycled materials. Additionally, the building uses a heat recovery system from re-circulated waste water, has showers for cyclists and pedestrians, bike parking and bike lockers, and low-flow toilets and faucets. The building opened in October 2006.

Virginia Commonwealth U Hires Director of Sustainability

Virginia Commonwealth University has placed Jacek Ghosh in the newly created position of Director of Sustainability to spearhead the development and implementation of a plan that will guide the University toward climate neutrality. Ghosh previously was a visiting community scholar in VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He also developed a business plan for the establishment of a Sustainable Community Design Center to complement a proposed new graduate program in Sustainable Community Design.

AASHE 2008 Conference Passes 1000 Registrants

The AASHE 2008 Conference, Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond, has passed 1000 registrants. With 2 months left before the November conference, over 200 faculty, 164 students, 140 administrators, 199 Sustainability Officers, 124 staff, and 121 upper management staff have committed to attend. The departments represented at the conference will include the President's Office, the Provost's Office, Facilities, Campus Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction, Business Schools, Transportation, Dining and Food Services, and Sustainability. The AASHE 2006 Conference had 700 attendees.

Acadia U Grows Produce for Dining Hall

A group of 50 Acadia University (NS) students along with members of the community have started an organic garden on campus. The 1,400 square meter, university owned plot yielded produce for the University's cafeteria over the summer. The students, who are members of the Acadia Environmental Society, are also holding public meetings and workshops with local farmers and agriculture experts to share tips on developing sustainable agriculture systems. The University also provided the students and volunteers with equipment to be used at the Acadia Community Sustainable Farm.