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.
Posted Sep 14, 2008
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.
Arizona State U Partners to Establish Campus Sustainability Newsletter
Arizona State University has partnered with Grist.org, an online magazine that covers environmental news, to deliver an e-newsletter containing local, regional, and national sustainability news to the campus. The e-newsletter, which launched in early September, is emailed to all 60,000 ASU faculty, staff, and students bi-weekly. The publication includes news, commentary, and advice about sustainability issues.
Cascadia CC Offers Degree in Env'l Technologies & Sustainable Practices
Cascadia Community College (WA) will offer a new degree this fall in Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the fields of sustainability and renewable energy technology. Students enrolled in the Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices program will have the option to emphasize either business or technology in their coursework. The program will feature hands-on training and internships with local companies.
Concordia U, Ohio U Launch Large-scale Composting System
Concordia University (QC) has launched a large-scale composting system that collects organic waste and composts it on-site. Within 5 years, Concordia plans to be composting 100 tons of organic waste annually. The previous smaller composting systems operated at the university could only handle fruit and vegetable waste, but the new automated thermophilic system is designed to allow for the processing of dairy, meat, and grain products. Ohio University has installed an on-campus in-vessel composter, a unit that will receive up to 50 percent of its energy needs from a rooftop solar array. The University expects to divert up to a 25 percent of its solid waste from the landfill. This includes food waste, biodegradable packaging materials, landscaping waste, and other organic materials. The unit, which is designed to convert waste to soil in 14 days, is expected to be in full operation this fall.
Dominican U Holds Fall Lecture Series on Sustainability
The Dominican University (IL) Siena Center will explore the topics of sustainability and stewardship of the earth from a number of perspectives during a series of lectures throughout the fall. The series, titled “Sustainability and the Christian Tradition,” will consider what stewardship of the earth and care of creation demands of Christians, and how this relates to the larger struggle for social justice in the world.
Eastern Connecticut State U to Open Green Science Building
Eastern Connecticut State University will soon open a new 173,000 square-foot science building. The $46 million building has applied for LEED Sliver certification. The building features day-lighting, a gray water capture system for flushing toilets and a recycling system for rain water.
Eastern U, U Delaware Move to Single Stream Recycling
Eastern University (PA) has signed an agreement with Allied Waste, a local recycling company, to offer single streamed recycling on campus. The new system will allow Eastern to accept paper, cardboard, plastics 1 through 7, paper egg cartons, and aluminum cans. The University has also started an effort to recycle used batteries on campus. Small blue recycling bins for batteries have been placed next to the single stream bins. The University of Delaware has also begun a sing-stream recycling project. The pilot program will allow Facilities to test single-stream before implementing a campus-wide launch, while simultaneously exploring ways to reduce costs and improve performance. Goals of the pilot project include raising the recycle diversion rate at single stream locations to 30 percent; improving faculty, student, staff, and visitor access to recycling receptacles; creating a simple, user-friendly system; and issuing and communicating clear recycling guidelines to the campus community.
Energy Action Coalition Launches Power Vote Campaign
The Energy Action Coalition has launched "Power Vote," a national non-partisan initiative to elevate the issue of the climate crisis this election season. Power Vote aims to unite one million young "climate voters" behind a platform centered on combating global warming pollution, creating millions of new green jobs, and ensuring our nation's energy independence by transitioning to a new clean energy economy. Those participating in the campaign, Power Voters, will mobilize young people for the Green Jobs No
Humboldt State U Open Hydrogen Fueling Station
Humboldt State University (CA) has opened a hydrogen fueling station on campus. The new station will provide enough hydrogen fuel, which HSU makes from electricity and water, to maintain a fleet of four vehicles. The idea for the new installation came from a group of HSU students' submission to the National Hydrogen Association's H2U International Design Competition, which the students went on to win.
Posted Sep 14, 2008
Indiana U Announces Several Green Initiatives
Indiana University has announced several green initiatives that will take place on its campus for the first time this fall as a result of work completed by interns in the IU Sustainability Task Force's Student Sustainability Internship Program. The initiatives include: one dining hall on campus has gone tray-free this year; cardboard recycling was present at all 11 residence halls for student move-in; several gardens have been started at residence halls on campus; one food court on campus has started a composting program in which the organic material will be used in a nearby campus garden; and recycling will take place at IU football games this year.
Indiana U to Hire Sustainability Coordinator
Indiana University has announced plans to hire a full-time interim Director of Campus Sustainability. The IU President approved the new hire in a proposal from the IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President and the University Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. The Director will be supported by a graduate assistant and part-time student employees. In the same proposal, the IU President also approved plans to extend its summer sustainability internship program through the 2008-2009 academic year and transform the Task Force on Campus Sustainability to a Sustainability Advisory Board.
Life U Begins Transformation to a 'Walking Campus'
Life University (GA) has broken ground on a 600-deck parking garage on the campus perimeter in order to create a "walking campus" for all faculty, staff, and students. The University plans to replace the former parking lots with green-space. Additionally, the University has installed 16 bike racks outside the administration building and classrooms and plans to give each new student a bicycle to lessen the amount of gas emissions produced by automobiles on campus. Life is also work with the local Commuter