St. Olaf Creates New First-Year Dialogue Program
The newly offered fifth topic in the college’s Conversations program, the Environmental Conversations path gives first-year students an opportunity to engage in discussion-based learning with a focus on sustainability. The college recently designated Kittelsby-Hilleboe Hall as housing for those interested in sustainable living and learning.
U Buffalo Students Initiate Permaculture Garden
After attending a permaculture workshop at University of Massachusetts Amherst, the students have drafted a proposal for a garden based on the principles of permaculture containing herbs and other perennial plants.
U Maryland, Ohio State U Wins Design Competition
Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced University of Maryland as the winner of the Max Tech and Beyond design competition for ultra-low-energy use appliances and equipment, and Ohio State University as runner up. UMD developed a heat pump clothes dryer that is almost 59 percent more efficient than a traditional electric dryer, while OSU designed a hybrid air/water conditioner with 73 percent energy cost savings over a conventional system.
Alfred State College Launches Student Engagement Competition
In a new year-long challenge, students in residence halls at the university will earn points by participating in activities and programs related to civic engagement, sustainability, and health and wellness. The highest earning residence hall will be awarded $1,500.
Slippery Rock U Students Help Businesses Go Green
Through the university’s Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, student interns recently conducted energy audits, planned for solar panel installations, and researched tax credits and grants for local businesses using solar energy.
Washington U St. Louis Students Develop Retrofit Plan
Due to aging 1920s and ‘30s-era university owned apartment buildings, an interdisciplinary team of researchers and students have developed a framework to retrofit the buildings to become more environmentally friendly and space efficient.
Wesleyan U Students Use Permaculture on Campus
New this summer, students used decaying wood and mulch to retain water and release nutrients in raised beds across campus, increased edible landscaping, and remade a footpath into stairs and a planted terrace following permaculture principles.
Amrita U Implements New Green Campus Initiative
(India): Encouraging students to contribute to greening efforts, the new campus initiative was announced via video conferencing by the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri. By engaging students, the university hopes to usher in sustainability and promote change.
Cebu Institutions Compete in Green Fashion Show
(Philippines): Aiming to promote reducing, reusing, recycling, rejuvenating communities and renewable energy generation, the recent Green Fashion Revolution featured costumes made of paper, sacks and tarps.
Champlain College Students Fund Apiary
(U.S.): An offshoot of their work in the Peruvian Amazon, the on-campus beekeeping will be the college’s first living, learning laboratory. The project’s long-term financial sustainability made possible by the 2013 Senior Class Gift, the apiary will support the campus ecosystem and enhance curriculum.
Michigan State U Implements Vermicomposting
(U.S.): As part of the university’s Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE), a group of faculty and students are using worms to turn food waste into organic fertilizer. Food from the greenhouse where the fertilizer is used is sold to campus chefs.
Portland State U Students Host ‘EcoSwap’
(U.S.): As part of their capstone course focusing on waste and materials management, students collaborated with area organizations to uncover the types of materials that businesses and residents accumulate. During the pilot event, people were encouraged to take what they wanted while leftover goods were reused or recycled.
U Nebraska-Lincoln Students Start Organic Farm
(U.S.): Located on the university’s East Campus, students from the environmental studies major created the farm using donations from the public and funds raised from an online fundraising campaign. The one-half acre parcel of land was donated by the university’s agronomy and horticulture department.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Student Film Nominated for Emmy
(U.S.): “100 Gallons,” the documentary by students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an interactive and experimental film that explores the human connection with water. The only student-produced entry in its category, the film was named one of five nominees and has been recognized with awards from Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International, the Broadcast Education Association and College Photographer of the Year.
Lake Land College Students Perform Real-time Turbine Repair
Due to a mechanical issue with an on-campus wind turbine, renewable energy students are getting a rare opportunity to apply their wind technology curriculum in a real-world, problem-solving situation. Working alongside professionals, the students will repair portions of the rotor.
North Carolina State U Reveals Sustainable Living Campaign
The university’s expanded Change Your State campaign now challenges students to address human health and environmental issues that also save money and natural resources. Complete with an app and a badge participants can earn, this campaign focuses on food, energy, waste, community, travel, wellness, water and planet.
U Maine Farmington Student Creates Invasive Species App
As invasive aquatic plants become an escalating problem in Maine, people can now use this free app to identify and report them to the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, which helps to protect the state’s lakes. This project is part of a National Science Foundation Grant to protect Maine’s natural resources and spur economic development.
U North Texas Creates Natural Dye Garden
Color pigments from flower petals, plant leaves, roots and other organic materials are now favored over chemical dyes at the university’s College of Visual Arts and Design. Funded by students, the organic materials will be grown in the new garden.
U Washington Students Employ GIS for Sustainability
Part of an eight-week capstone project, students work with organizational partners to offer GIS-based solutions to sustainability management problems. A structured business case, including workflow plan for design, testing and final implementation, aims to turn an existing situation into a sustainable and resilient one.
Harvard U Students Test Stormwater Purification Solution
Funded by an Office for Sustainability student grant, the Graduate School of Design students have transformed a concrete patio space into a modular system of vegetation and planters that can absorb and purify stormwater. The students are testing the capacity of a small-scale system to reduce the quantity of stormwater runoff from rooftops to help improve water quality.
JCTC Students Initiate Trash Removal Process for Local Watershed
(U.S.): After realizing that no one was measuring the amount of debris traveling to the Atlantic via their local Ohio River, the students established a uniform system and collected data for eight weeks. The group recently presented their findings to JCTC staff and students, as well as a representative from the Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas. As a result, those in attendance are brainstorming ways to raise public awareness of the problem and help remove trash and debris from the river and watershed areas.
Lahore U Mgmt Sciences Students Take Social Responsibility
(Pakistan): More than 160 graduating students recently signed the Graduation Pledge Alliance’s Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."
NY Times: 'Greening of Canadian Campuses'
(Canada): "Sustainability has become more than a fashionable buzzword on Canadian campuses; it has become enshrined both in university policy and in daily student life," says a recent New York Times article. From a Shut Your Sash program, which encourages lab users to close their fume hoods when they were not in use, to campus farmer's markets and student-spearheaded fees for sustainability, several higher education sustainability strategies at McGill University, University of Toronto and University of Victoria are profiled.
U Iowa Student Leaders Focus on Affordability, Workforce Access
Student government leaders recently met with the Iowa governor to discuss college affordability and workforce development for graduates who want to stay in Iowa. The students will travel the state this summer to talk with legislators about extending the tuition freeze another year and ways that the state can help connect graduates from area universities to in-state job opportunities.
2 Cornell U Student Teams Win EPA P3 Award
Soliciting student projects that protect people’s health, the environment, encourage economic growth and use natural resources efficiently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award honored students working on a cookstove fuel/biochar project in Kenya and a water filtration project. Each winning team now qualifies to receive a grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their design.
U Maryland Students Create 'Connect4Climate' Video
"Right here, right now, together" is the slogan for this video by a group of students in the university's "Contemporary Social Problems" class. The video is part of a larger student campaign advocating serious action to fix the climate problem that brought the group to the Connect4Climate event in Washington, D.C. in March.
13 Student Teams Compete in Solar Grand Prix
The student University of Texas at Austin Solar Vehicles Team hosted the recent solar car race, held for the first time at an official Formula 1 track. The endurance race challenges competitors to finish as many laps as they can around the 3.4 mile track during the designated driving hours each day. Students from Iowa State University, Northwestern University, Illinois State University, Western Michigan University, University of Waterloo, Principia College, Missouri Science & Technology, Georgia Tech, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Oregon State University and University of New Mexico were also part of the race.
Cornell U Student Joins Solar Plane Crew
After designing a pilot drinking water system for solar aircraft makers Solar Impulse, senior Sam Daly has been invited to spend his summer as part of the ground crew for the company, which has a plane that is currently flying across America. The company is scheduled to send a plane around the world in 2015.
Central Carolina CC Students Build Tiny House
Built by students in the sustainability technologies program to encourage sustainable and minimalist living and energy-efficient building products and methods, the 450-square-foot "Chatham Cottage" was recently auctioned off. The college is planning to construct another small house next semester with the money raised from the auction.
Oklahoma State U Student Spearheads Tornado Relief Efforts
Entrepreneurship graduate student Jonathon Button is donating a percentage of the sales of bracelets from his website, Life Out of the Box, to the United Way May Tornado Relief Fund. Button moved to Nicaragua a year ago to create his business, which sells products that help fund school supplies for children in need.
Western Washington U Brings Local Food to Campus
After a successful pilot period, the university's Viking Supported Agriculture Program is now available to all students, faculty and staff on campus. The joint collaboration between the university's Office of Sustainability, Students for Sustainable Foods and Growing Washington will offer locally grown produce on a weekly basis to subscribers.
Middlebury Students Collect 1,150 Signatures for 'Real Food'
Middlebury College student group EatReal, which promotes conscientious consumption among the student body, recently collected 1,150 student signatures in support of allocating more of the college’s total budget to Dining Services to increase the purchasing of local foods as part of Real Food Week ’13. The campaign aimed to raise awareness about local food issues through food-related events and educational experiences.
Maharishi U Mgmt Student Debuts Restorative Agriculture Project
Sustainable Living student Jacob Krieger has launched Greener Pastures, a senior project aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of restorative agriculture, which allows soil to retain its natural fertility so that tillage and chemicals aren't necessary, on up to 2,000 acres of local pasture and hay fields by December 2014.
RISD Students Stage Nation's First Fossil Fuel Divestment Sit-in
Eleven students at the Rhode Island School of Design recently staged a sit-in at the President's office to demand that he and the Board of Trustees Chair personally endorse divestment from the coal, gas and oil industries. This is the latest action in a growing fossil fuel divestment advocacy movement that includes students at more than 300 colleges and universities.
SUNY-ESF Students Start Campus Bike Share Program
After conducting a campus parking analysis that found that alternative forms of transportation were needed, two senior environmental study students have developed a program that will enable students to borrow bikes for a small deposit. The program will start at the beginning of the fall semester.
U Florida Students Create Kiosk to Promote Campus Sustainability
Architecture and building construction students have built a mobile kiosk for the university's Office of Sustainability to help promote its educational mission across campus. Designed to be pulled behind a bicycle, the kiosk is constructed with reused materials and features two 250-watt solar panels that power cell-phone charging stations and LED lights. Counters also fold down to provide areas for brochures, games and informal conversations.
Portland State U, Chinook Book Launch Sustainable Living App
(U.S.): The university and Celilo Group Media’s Chinook Book have launched a mobile app that is available for free to students, faculty and staff. The app includes money-saving coupons for sustainable products and services that students love as well as student resources for green campus living.
Wake Tech CC Debuts App to Reward Sustainable Behavior
(U.S.): The college has launched a new partnership with JouleBug, a free mobile app that gives users incentives and rewards for making sustainable choices. A custom JouleBug badge guides users toward actions connected to the college’s Climate Action Plan, like carpooling or taking public transportation, recycling on campus, and saving energy by shutting down computer equipment. Users can share activities and achievements with friends on Facebook and Twitter. The college hopes to use JouleBug to run student competitions and offer rewards.
Long Island U Uses Blender Bike to Make Smoothies and Raise Money
A graduate assistant has partnered with Dining Services to convert a bicycle into a food blender in an effort to raise awareness about energy conservation. The blender bike will be used to create smoothies made from local and organic ingredients that will be sold to the campus community with the intention of showcasing how sustainability can be fun and profitable. The money raised will go toward future sustainability initiatives.
N Carolina Central U Organizes Farmers’ Market College Day
The university’s Green Team organized a College Day at the Durham Farmers’ Market to promote healthy eating, local farming and supporting local businesses. Students using public transportation received a five-dollar coupon for the market, and farmers offered a 10 percent discount to students with a college ID. In collaboration with the farmers market, the Green Team has also organized a student internship program where students next fall will work alongside farmers and the market manager to learn about sustainable agriculture, marketing and local economic development.
North Carolina State U Creates Steward Program
The Steward program will attempt to consider the challenges facing the environment more holistically, and integrate economic and social aspects into their advocacy. As ambassadors for environmental advocates, the Stewards hope to collaborate with other environmental groups by holding workshops, presentations and campus events.
Portland State U Teams with Wells Fargo on Cleantech Challenge
The university has partnered with Wells Fargo to present a new competition for students and faculty with innovative ideas on how to improve the way communities operate in a resource-constrained environment. The PSU-Wells Fargo Cleantech Challenge will offer $50,000 in cash to help innovation teams bring their ideas to market.