Macalester C Holds Green Light Bulb Contest
Macalester College (MN) recently held "The Light Bulb Switchout," a competition between freshman and upperclassmen to see who could replace the most four-foot florescent bulbs with higher efficiency bulbs. The 2,200 newly installed light bulbs are estimated to save the College up to $30,000 per year. The first-year students won the competition, switching 1,300 bulbs in one building. The old light bulbs were recycled by a local recycling company.
SustainUS Agents of Change Youth Delegation
The SustainUS Agents of Change program is currently accepting applications to join the youth delegation to the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to take place Mary 5 – 16, 2008. The CSD-16 will be a review session and will address the topics of agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification, and Africa. Selected delegates will have the opportunity to work with government officials, scientists, civil society representatives, and youth from around the world to review progress on issues related to sustainable development. Applicants must be between the age of 18 and 26 as of April 2008. The deadline for applications is February 22, 2008.
Dissertation Proposal Award for Sustainability Business Research
The Center for Business Education at the Aspen Institute is accepting applications for its annual Dissertation Proposal Award. The purpose of this award is to identify innovative research in core business disciplines that considers the interdependence between business decision-making in a wider societal or environmental context. The recipient(s) will receive a cash stipend and will be recognized at an awards breakfast in New York City in the fall of 2008. Applicants must be doctoral students of business, or in a business-related discipline, and be in good standing with their educational institution. The deadline for application submission is Friday, March 28th, 2008.
U British Columbia Chemical Xchg. Program Reduces Lab Waste
The University of British Columbia hosts a Chemical Exchange Database in which scientists on campus can obtain excess research chemicals from other UBC laboratories. Since most chemicals can only be ordered in bulk, the database allows scientists to post both opened and unopened chemicals for others to use at no charge since the University has already paid for them. The database, launched in 2004, processed 300 exchanges (1,500 kilograms in chemicals) last year alone and has helped to save an estimated $74,500 in disposal and purchasing costs. The initiative is the result of an effort made by the Sustainability Office, the Department of Health Safety and Environment, and the Health Research Resource Office.
Stanford U Reduces Computer Energy Consumption
Stanford University's (CA) Information Technology Services Department recently released the Stanford Power Management Tool, a supplement to software that provides security updates for Windows computers called BigFix. The tool is free downloadable mechanism that reduces energy use through hibernation, sleep, and inactivity settings. BigFix offers four different levels of green settings and is available to students, faculty, and staff. The institution predicts that the device could save up to $400,000 of electricity. Users of the download could receive a $15 rebate from Pacific Gas & Electric.
U Calgary to Offer Car Share Program
The University of Calgary recently announced that it will soon implement a car share program on campus. The program is a result of a partnership between UC and the Calgary Alternative Transportation Co-operative, a local car-share company.
Gallaudet U Offers Car Share Program
Gallaudet University (DC) recently started a car share program for its campus. The program, which will be available to community members as well, is a result of a request made by the Green Gallaudet student organization and was implemented by the executive director of business and support services. The car share program will be run by Zipcar.
U Minnesota Morris to Offer Environmental Studies Major
The University of Minnesota, Morris will offer a major in Environmental Studies starting in the fall of 2008. The program will include courses such as Environmental Problems and Policy, Environmental Biology, and an environmentally based English class. The new interdisciplinary major will also include a required internship or research experience with a local or regional agency with which UMM is already associated.
College of the Sequoias to Open Organic Dairy Plant
College of the Sequoias (CA) recently leased a local dairy processing plant in order to provide hands-on experience for students studying organic dairy certification. The plant will allow for up to 30 student positions and will produce 150 organic milk products. Some of these products will be offered in COS campus dining halls. COS expects the plant to be open in early March.
Louisiana State U Expands Bike Share Program
The Louisiana State University Environmental Conservation Organization recently added 20 bikes to the campus bike-share program called Gold Bike, which started in 2007 with a fleet of 8 bicycles. All bikes used in the initiative are second-hand and painted gold to keep the bikes from being stolen.
Georgia Colleges Offer Local Produce
Several institutions from Georgia have recently switched to local produce in their dining halls. Wesleyan College recently signed an agreement to receive southeast regional produce whenever possible. This could result to as much as 85% locally grown fruits and vegetables offered during the summer months. Mercer University, Macon State College, and Central Georgia Technical College offer local produce as well.
Chapter on Campus Energy Use by Millikin U President
The Presidential Perspectives Series recently released its newest chapter, "Campus Energy," written by Douglas E. Zemke, President of Millikin University (IL). In his chapter, Dr. Zemke explains the success and benefits of Millikin’s approach to reducing energy and improving the environment. He also places the University’s actions within the context of its goal for a broader sustainable campus.
Ball State U Awarded for Use of Biofuels on Campus
Ball State University (IN) recently received the Stakeholder Achievement Award for its use of biodiesel and ethanol in campus shuttles, trucks, and cars, which began in 2003. BSU's 78 diesel-powered shuttles and trucks run on soybean-based biodiesel, while 57 flex-fuel cars run on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The award was presented by the Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance.
CSU Chico Cafes Go Green
Two cafes at California State University, Chico are switching to fair trade, organic coffee beans and 100% biodegradable coffee cups. The two coffee shops, Creekside Café and Common Grounds, are also hoping to feature compost trash cans as well.
Mount St. Mary's U Dedicates Green Building
Mount St. Mary's University (MD) recently dedicated Bicentennial Hall, a green residence hall that celebrates the University's 200th year. Completed in January, the building features passive solar energy systems, geothermal heating and cooling, and recycled carpet tiles.
George Washington U Launches Affordability Program
The George Washington University (DC) Board of Trustees recently approved a five-year plan to address affordability and costs for undergraduates. The program includes moderating tuition increases, improving fund-raising efforts for student-aid, providing additional funding for institutional grants to incoming freshman, lowering the average student debt burden upon graduation, and continuing its fixed-tuition guaranteed financial aid program. Under the plan, GWU will provide $118 million in institutional financial assistance for undergraduates in 2008-2009, offer 50% tuition discounts for siblings, and reduce average student debt to $20,000.
U Southern Indiana to Begin Recycling Program
The University of Southern Indiana will implement a recycling program in campus housing. The program will feature six recycling stations and is expected to start in mid February. The program is the result of a grant provided by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
2008 Higher Ed Sustainability Officer Position & Salary Survey
AASHE has released the 2008 Higher Education Sustainability Officer Position and Salary Survey, which provides information about the roles, salaries, and positions of college and university sustainability officers. The survey expands and updates the information captured in the 2005 version.
Greening the Campus Mail System
The National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) recently published an article about greening campus mail systems. Entitled "Green Mail," the article lists ways colleges and universities can reduce costs and environmental impact within the campus mail centers. It offers a detailed case study from the mail center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
19 New Campuses Sign Presidents Climate Commitment
19 new institutions have signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment since the last update in AASHE Bulletin. In doing so, these campuses have committed to develop comprehensive plans for achieving climate neutrality. The new signatories are: James L. Oblinger of North Carolina State University, Geoffrey Gamble of Montana State University, Richard I. Gouse of New England Institute of Technology (RI), Gretchen M. Bataille of University of North Texas, Brian C. Mitchell of Bucknell University (PA), Robert Weisbuch of Drew University (NJ), Michael J. Graham of Xavier University (OH), Charles M. Edmondson of Alfred University (NY), David S. Wolk of Castleton State College (VT), Chui L. Tsang of Santa Monica College (CA), P. George Benson of College of Charleston (SC), Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College (CA), Benjamin B. Dunlap of Wofford College (SC), David J. Ramsay of University of Maryland at Baltimore, Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera of University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, James Collins of Loras College (IA), Sean A. Fanelli of Nassau Community College (NY), Patricia C. Donohue of Mercer County Community College (NJ), and Joseph T. Barwick of Carteret Community College (NC). 492 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.
Green Student U
OTOnetworks recently released Green Student U, an online student sustainability resource that offers a guide to greener living, provides suggestions on how to live green on campus, and keeps students up to date with world-wide environmental news.
Northern Arizona U Pledges Support of Local Renewable Energy
Northern Arizona University, Coconino Community College, and several other large electrical power users in northern Arizona have signed a Power Purchasing Plan Memorandum of Understanding pledging their intent to pay a small premium for renewable energy to support the development of green generation facilities in the region. NAU has pledged to purchase 5 percent of its power from renewable sources. Participants, known as the Northern Arizona Renewable Energy Purchasing Group, include NAU, Coconino Community College, the city of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff Unified School District, Foresight Wind Energy, Hozho International, Nestle Purina Co., Xanterra Parks and Resorts and Arizona Public Service.
Green Labs Recognized by R&D Magazine
R & D Magazine recently published an article highlighting green design as a trend in laboratory designs over the past year. Three quarters of entrants in the 2007 Lab of the Year competition mentioned green design in their applications, indicating that many submitters now believe a project must display at least some sustainable strategies to have a chance at winning an award. The article gave examples from laboratories at Arizona State University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Geneseo, the University of Washington, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
U Texas Arlington Launches Sustainability Website
The University of Texas at Arlington recently launched a new sustainability website. The site has been designed to provide readers with information on the most recent sustainability projects and environmental events on and off campus and features a list of sustainability resources related to the UTA campus.
Ripon College to Give Free Bikes to First Year Students
Ripon College (WI) recently announced that it will give a free bike, helmet, and bike lock to the first 200 incoming freshman who agree to leave their cars at home for the first year. Student must sign an honor code in order to receive the $400 worth of equipment. The program, called the Ripon Velorution Project, was created to address problems such as fuel consumption, pollution, traffic congestion and parking limitations on campus. The project was made possible by college donors, trustees, alumni, a local lock company, and a local bicycle corporation.
Senator Sanders Discusses Campus Sustainability
AASHE recently posted an interview with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders about the campus sustainability related provisions that he introduced into the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In the interview, Sanders talks about how the legislation will offer $1 million and $500,000 grants for renewable energy projects and innovative energy sustainability projects respectively to higher education institutions. The programs has been authorized and is awaiting appropriation.
U Vermont to Form Commission and Office of Sustainability
The University of Vermont recently announced that it will form a Commission on Sustainability and open an Office of Sustainability. The Commission will make strategic recommendations about policies and activities requiring significant operational changes or allocation of financial and other resources within the University. Its first charge will be to create a Climate Neutrality Working Group that will develop a plan within two years for reaching climate neutrality at UVM. The Office of Sustainability will support the Commission's development of an overall environmental sustainability strategy, track performance indicators and best practices, oversee the selection and implementation of the best ideas for reducing environmental impacts, and educate and involved the campus and Vermont community.
Holy Cross Announces Financial Aid Initiative
The College of the Holy Cross (MA) recently announced that, beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, Worcester residents who are admitted to the college and who come from families with incomes below $50,000 will receive four years of free tuition. The new initiative was catalyzed by established alumni-funded scholarship programs that benefit Worcester students.
U Southern California Forms Sustainability Steering Committee
The University of Southern California recently created a 12 member Sustainability Steering Committee. The group is made up of students, faculty, administrators, and staff from all areas of the institution and is charged with maintaining current environmental initiatives and defining economic, social, and environmental opportunities for the campus.
U Maine Farmington Receives 2 LEED Building Certifications
Two recently constructed buildings at the University of Maine at Farmington were awarded LEED certification. The Education Center was awarded LEED Silver and was designed to serve as an ecological teaching tool for UMF students, K-12 students, practicing teachers and the region. Green components of the building include 42 geothermal wells, a high-performance thermal envelope, and window glazing to decrease heat loss in the winter and reduce cool air loss in the summer. Additional green features include the use of construction materials with recycled content, interior materials and furnishings that do not emit indoor pollutants and a sustainable landscape design. The Frances Allen Black Hall, a residence hall on campus, received LEED Certified status. The hall qualified for this distinction based on a number of green features including, developing the building site with the least amount of environmental impact, using over 10 percent recycled construction materials and nearly 35 percent locally available construction materials, and increasing thermal efficiency by approximately 25% by using continuous rigid insulation on the building's exterior.
Inside Higher Ed Begins Getting to Green Blog
Inside Higher Ed recently started a new blog, entitled "Getting to Green," that will to discuss topics related to greening the higher education. The start of the blog coincided with Focus the Nation.
UC Berkeley Hires Director of Sustainability
The University of California, Berkeley recently hired Lisa McNeilly as the campus's first Director of Sustainability. McNeilly is charged with creating and managing a campus Office of Sustainability and supporting the efforts of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the Cal Climate Action Partnership, the Berkeley Environmental Alumni Network, and the Berkeley Green Campus Program. The position will report to the Vice Chancellor for Administration.
Schools Reduce Waste with Trayless Policies
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on how colleges and universities are implementing no-tray policies in dining halls in order to reduce waste and save water. In experiments at Alfred University (NY), students found that a no-tray policy would reduce food and beverage waste by 30-50%. Customers with disabilities or those who need extra assistance are permitted to use trays.
Green Corps Field School for Environmental Organizing
Green Corps is currently accepting applications for the 2008-09 Field School for Environmental Organizing. The program trains college graduates to run environmental campaigns, starting by building a core group of activists and finishing by convincing decision-makers to pass laws, change policies and create reforms to protect our environment. Trainees start working on campaigns from the start of their education. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
San Diego State Students Start Recycling Program
A student group at San Diego State University (CA) recently started a recycling program on campus. Success Enabled Pilots, a leadership and academic organization, volunteered to pick up sorted recycling from bins placed outside residence halls, Greek houses and residences within one mile of campus. Bins have also been placed at a nearby apartment complex to serve as a community collection location. Additionally, the group plans to hand out energy-efficient light bulbs to those who use the service.
AASHE Announces Campus Sustainability Rating System Pilots
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recently announced the launch of its pilot rating system for sustainability in higher education. Over ninety college and universities will test the self-assessment tool, called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System). Over the course of 2008, they will provide feedback to AASHE and inform STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009. The 90-plus participating campuses were selected to represent a wide range of institutional types, sizes, and geography. They include public and private schools, and community colleges and research universities. STARS is designed to help gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, from governance and operations to academics and community engagement; enable meaningful comparisons across institutions as well as benchmarking within institutions; create incentives for continuous improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.