Culinary Institute of America Eliminates Paper Cups
The Culinary Institute of America (NY) has removed paper cups and lids in all of its student and staff dining facilities. The college had been using between 15,000 and 18,000 disposable cups a week in its student dining facilities alone. The CIA is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to use travel mugs or to-go bottles on campus.
U Kansas Architecture Students Design and Build Green Building
A University of Kansas architecture class recently designed and built a green building and transported it to Greensburg, Kansas, a community in western Kansas that was destroyed by a tornado last spring. The graduate students from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning built the structure as seven prefabricated modules that were hauled by truck to the Greensburg building site. The students will assemble the modules themselves, and hope to complete the structure by early May. When the building is complete, it will feature solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heating, thermal massing and other green systems. KU expects the building to achieve LEED certification.
2 Universities Receive 2008 National Transit Award
The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded 10 U.S. transit systems with the Success in Enhancing Ridership Award. Among the winners were the University of New Hampshire-Wildcat Transit and city of Macomb-Go West Transit, which is a partnership between Western Illinois University and the City of Macomb. The awards recognized transit providers who tried fresh approaches to boost their ridership between the years of 2005 and 2006. The two-year period allowed enough time to implement the new strategies and then measure the results. In addition to netting more passengers, the new techniques also had the potential to be successfully implemented by other transit systems. Wildcat Transit was cited for using better traveler information, nicer bus shelters with solar power lighting, and new biodiesel transit buses, which helped increase ridership by 21 percent. Macomb-Go West Transit was recognized for increasing their ridership by 22 percent by revising their fare structure, advertising, and partnering with Western Illinois University.
Eastern Illinois U to Purchase Electric Vehicles
Eastern Illinois University plans to replace about six of its gas-powered minivans with small electric vehicles. These electric vehicles can be recharged within one hour and can travel up to 30-40 miles at a time. The University has already purchased one six-seat electric vehicle for the campus.
Southwestern College, Winfield Creates Student Green Team
Southwestern College, Winfield (KS) is recruiting students for the Green Team, a four-year environmental program that will start in the fall of 2008. The eight or nine students selected will be eligible for up to $3,200 worth of scholarship funds. The Green Team's main responsibility will be to come up with innovative ideas on how to bring renewable energies to campus and to help reduce the campus carbon footprint. Green Team members will be permitted to major in any academic department, but will be required to take environmental and leadership courses. They will also work on projects that take place on campus and in the city of Winfield.
Students Launch Cross-Canada Campus Sustainability Tour
Students across Canada recently joined together to launch the Generations Campaign and cross-Canada tour to send a message to federal policy makers that greater action is needed to combat climate change. The Canadian Federation of Students and the David Suzuki Foundation have teamed up to bring events to universities and colleges across the country. The Generations Campaign will bring keynote speakers to over 30 Canadian campuses this fall to discuss the importance of action in the fight against climate change. The tour will highlight ways in which students across the country are making a difference in their homes, campuses and local communities, and pressure the federal government to take action against climate change.
British Columbia University Presidents Sign Climate Action Statement
University presidents from across British Columbia have signed a Climate Change Statement of Action committing their institutions to a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The statement of action commits each university to initiate a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases by creating a planning body that includes students, staff, researchers, administrators and other partners. Within one year, each institution will have a complete inventory of greenhouse gas emissions on campus and within two years, targets will be set and strategies will be put in place to achieve the targets. All action plans, inventories, and progress reports will be made publicly available. BC’s university presidents will be inviting other post secondary institutions across British Columbia and Canada to join them in signing the Statement of Action.
Funding Cut for U New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program
Last year, the University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies program received a $207,000 grant from the state Legislature; this year, the University offered Sustainability Studies $15,000, an amount that will not be enough to sustain the program. The College of Arts and Sciences is currently looking for alternative funding. Approximately 80 students have enrolled in Sustainability Studies at UNM.
Central Carolina CC Hires Green Building Program Coordinator
Central Carolina Community College (SC) recently hired Laura Lauffer as the College's first Green Building Program Coordinator. Lauffer has been brought on board to recruit highly qualified instructors, expand course offerings and apprenticeships for those who want careers in green construction and renewable energy, promote job creation, and increase the number of seminars on green building offered for consumers and homeowners.
Students from Maryland Universities Design Mobile Teaching Labs
The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently donated four dirty emissions transit buses to Biodiesel University, a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Maryland dedicated to providing hands-on renewable energy experiences and to inspiring students to pursue careers in science and technology. The four buses will be recycled into mobile teaching laboratories and will travel to schools, colleges, and public events in the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. Students from regional colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art, have been designing the mobile labs and their contents since late 2006 as part of a multi-institutional collaboration. The labs will educate visitors on the sustainability issues of food versus fuel, the carbon cycle, unintended economic consequences, pollution, and land and water use. Each lab will include a hands-on feedstock section, where visitors learn about dozens of renewable sources for biodiesel and compare the benefits and tradeoffs of each one.
Drew U to Offer Environmental Studies and Sustainability Major
Drew University (NJ) recently received a $950,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an innovative academic major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. The grant money will support two additional faculty members, new interdisciplinary courses, and a program of student internships and research experiences. Drew faculty members are working now to design the new major, which will incorporate internship experiences and coursework that is interdisciplinary and project-oriented. If approved by the College of Liberal Arts faculty this spring, it will be made available to students in the fall of 2008.
Green Chemistry Bill Introduced into Congress
5 U.S. Senators recently introduced the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008 into Congress. The bi-partisan legislation would leverage federal green chemistry initiatives in an effort to advance research and development at universities and at federal agencies. The Act would create an inter-agency working group lead by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, and in coordination with the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to advance green chemistry research. The bill also provides grant funding for private sector and academic projects for environmentally friendly chemicals.
Emory U Opens Organic Coffee Cart
Emory University (GA) recently opened the Green Bean Coffee Cart outside of the University Center. The cart provides Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea during morning hours throughout the week. Customers who bring their own cup receive a $.20 discount. The cart hopes to offer pastries and cookies within the next few weeks.
U Chicago Holds Energy Reduction Competition
University of Chicago (IL) recently completed a Battle of the Bulbs Competition. Green Campus Initiatives, a student environmental awareness organization, created the February competition to encourage student housing residents to reduce their energy consumption. Breckinridge Residence Hall, the winner of the month-long competition, reduced their overall energy consumption by 24 percent. The entire residence hall system reduced their energy consumption by an average of 2.8 percent per person.
U Chicago Hires Sustainability Project Manager
The University of Chicago (IL) Sustainability Council has hired Eric Heineman to fill the newly created project manager position for the Council. Responsibilities of the position will include increasing communication among campus organizations and units to streamline collaboration on sustainability projects. The Council and University administrators hope to eventually make Heineman’s six-month position a permanent addition to sustainability efforts on campus.
U Maryland to Establish Green Real Estate Development Institute
The University of Maryland's real estate development program, which has a broad-based approach to sustainability, has received a $3 million gift that will help establish the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in UM's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The Institute will be the academic home for the school's two year-old Masters in Real Estate Development, giving the program a solid financial foundation, creating a new track with an even greater focus on sustainable development, expanding its leadership training, and extending the program's public outreach and international presence.
Business Officer Magazine Covers President's Climate Commitment
The National Association of College and University Business Officers' February Business Officer Magazine features an article urging college and university presidents to sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. The article includes ideas on how to fund the commitment, reduce the campus carbon footprint, and convince students, faculty, and staff to participate.
Oregon State U Increases Financial Transparency
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on Oregon State University's new online budget reporting system. This new system allows students, faculty, and staff connected with the University to view budgeted allowances, actual expenditures, and available balances for income, salaries and wages, other payroll expenses, and other expenses for each department. Additionally, campus members can view the invoices of each completed purchase. The name of the employee associated with the transaction is not shown in the database. The data are updated each night.
U Maryland Receives Grant for Endowed Sustainability Professor
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently received a $750,000 challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. This gift will establish the Center’s first endowed chair, a professorship in Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, which will research ecosystem restoration in the face of growth and climate change.
U Arkansas Implements Football and Basketball Recycling Program
The University of Arkansas recently began Recycling with the Razorbacks, a program that places green recycling boxes at all home football and basketball games. During the football season, clean-up crews collected more than 36.5 tons of recyclables and reduced the amount of trash going to the landfill to only 61.5 tons.
Auburn U Partners with City to Produce Biodiesel
Auburn University (AL) recently partnered with the city of Gadsden and Gadsden Waterworks and Sewer Board to convert cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. Auburn University plans to document the cost and the conversion process in order to provide other cities with the information.
Maharishi U Dining Hall Goes 100% Vegetarian, 90% Organic
Maharishi University of Management's (IA) new student center dining hall is serving 100 percent vegetarian and 90 – 95 percent organic food. Campus farms provide the school with fruits and vegetables during the summer, and campus greenhouses offer tomatoes and greens during the winter. The school has spent the past eight or nine years replacing foods grown with herbicides and pesticides with organic food. Most of the remaining food comes from local producers.
St. Lawrence U Science Building Receives LEED Gold
St. Lawrence University's (NY) Johnson Hall of Science was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The building features passive/active solar design, energy and water conserving technologies, efficient lighting strategies, on-site recoverable energy systems, and a planning process that involved students and faculty in collaboration. In addition, the building was designed for "sustainable transition," anticipating the incorporation of 100 percent renewable technology (biofuel and photovoltaic) use in the
York U Pledges to Establish No-Sweatshop Policy After Sit-in
The York University (ON) president recently pledged to create a no-sweatshop purchasing policy for university apparel by April after protesters participated in a 2 day sit-in outside of the president's office. The sit-in was inspired by the 100th anniversary of International Women's day, when 15,000 immigrant women garment workers protested to receive shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.
Green Mountain College Announces Sustainability Website
Green Mountain College (VT) recently published a sustainability website that is linked to the GMC homepage. The website features the college's environmentally focused curriculum, a list of environmental leaders, and the campus's green mission, projects and partnerships, campus initiatives, and awards.
Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship for Environmental Scientists
The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program invites mid-career academic environmental scientists from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to apply for the 2009 fellowships that provide scientific leadership, networking, and outreach training to help move ideas into action and advance science-based decision-making. The Leopold Leadership Fellowship selects up to 20 Fellows annually, supports them to participate in two intensive one-week training sessions, and offers other services and non-financial resources associated with outreach and leadership skill development during the Fellowship year and beyond. Applications are welcome from a broad range of disciplines related to the environment. Applicants must be employed by an academic institution, be midcareer as a tenured or tenure-track professor, and be active in research and teaching. Applications are due April 14, 2008.
Lists of Academic Programs in Ecological and Environmental Economics
AASHE has prepared a series of new resources on sustainability in economics education. The resources include lists of graduate and undergraduate programs in ecological and environmental economics, as well as a list of academic centers focused on ecological and environmental economics. The resources are available only to AASHE members.
How-to Guide for Dorm vs. Dorm Sustainability Competitions
AASHE and the Duke University (NC) Environmental Alliance have created a how-to guide website for dorm vs. dorm sustainability competitions that provides an instructional video, additional event ideas, and planning documents such as a sample competition calendar, a sample budget, and a sample preparation schedule. The guide is modeled off of the Duke University Eco-Olympics, a dorm vs. dorm sustainability competition that includes a suite of events promoting recycling, energy and water conservation, environmental education and other sustainable practices.
U New Hampshire Receives Top Lean and Green Award
The University of New Hampshire has received New Hampshire Magazine's Lean and Green Overall Judges Award, which recognizes the school's extensive sustainable practices. The campus's cogeneration plant and initiatives such as the reuse of purified landfill gas to power the Durham campus and transitioning its public transit system to alternative fuels help to win the award.
Utah State University Unveils Covered Bike Parking
Utah State University recently unveiled a new covered bike parking structure on campus. The ceremony commemorated the Utah State and Aggie Blue Bikes, a 90 bicycle program that provides bike rentals for up to one full semester. The structure, although finished in November, has been out of use until recently because of the weather.
Dalhousie U Implements Trayless Policy
Dalhousie University (NS) recently implemented a policy that eliminates trays from all four of its campus dining halls. The initiative serves to reduce food waste and water and detergent consumption during the cleaning process.
Duke Bans Future Investments With Sudan-Linked Companies
The Duke University (NC) Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution that prohibits Duke from making future direct investment in companies engaged in business with the government of Sudan. The resolution, in protest against that government’s human rights violations in the war-torn region of Darfur, covers the $8.2 billion in endowment and assets of Duke University that is invested by the Duke Management Corporation. The policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the United States government lifts sanctions against Sudan.
Coca-Cola, National Recycling Coalition Bin Grant Program
The Coca-Cola and National Recycling Coalition Recycling Bin Grant Program supports local community recycling programs by providing bins to selected grant recipients for the collection of beverage container recyclables in public settings. Grants will be provided to a limited number of applicants who can demonstrate how their proposals will lead to sustainable recycling opportunities. The grant program is open to government, civic, school, non-profit groups and for-profit companies. Applications are due April 4, 2008.
Mount Vernon Nazarene U Uses Biodiesel
Mount Vernon Nazarene University (OH) recently purchased a machine that converts waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. Since the purchase, MVNU has switched to using 100 percent biodiesel in university maintenance equipment and in a few buses.
Eastern Kentucky U to Reduce Energy Consumption
Eastern Kentucky University recently announced their goal to reduce annual utility costs by 30 percent. EKU plans to reach the goal through energy-efficient lighting, water-conserving technologies and methods, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system retrofits. These and other initiatives will result in an estimated reduction of more than 76 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 120,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and more than 400,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The project is the result of funding provided by an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies.
Breakthrough Generation Fellowships
Breakthrough Generation is recruiting for a Fellowship Program that will select up to ten of the country’s top young organizers and thinkers to develop a vision and strategy for a new youth progressive movement. BG is seeking highly motivated, capable, and innovative young leaders who are willing to challenge accepted political norms. Fellowships include a $5,000 grant to support independent projects that both achieve on-the-ground local green solutions and advance the larger movement for a major national investment in clean energy, attendance at the spring and fall summits, and participation in the summer conference. Applications are due at 5p.m. on March 21, 2008.
List of Academic Programs on Sustainability & Environmental Law
AASHE had prepared a series of new resources on sustainability in legal education. The resources include lists of graduate programs in sustainability and environmental law, as well as a list of academic centers focused on sustainability and environmental law. The resources are available only to AASHE members.
U Maine Presque Isle Forms Green Campus Committee
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has formed the Green Campus Committee, a group that will focus on ways to save energy, raise awareness, and educate the campus community on sustainability issues. The committee hopes to work with students as well.
Brown U Enhances Financial Aid
Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.