U New Hampshire Publishes Book on its Sustainability Program
The University of New Hampshire has published, "The Sustainable Learning Community: One University's Journey to the Future." The new book details how the University of New Hampshire, home to one of the oldest endowed offices of sustainability in the nation, has been integrating sustainability across its curriculum, operations, research, and engagement in the last 10-plus years. The book shares the perspectives of more than 60 authors from UNH and beyond on subjects ranging from curriculum to climate change to compost.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Launches 'Carolina Green' Campaign
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched a new inter-departmental “Carolina Green” campaign to identify and promote university programs that support a healthy and responsible approach to the “green” issues of environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity. Carolina Green offers an online directory of university resources, a range of committees working to improve campus practices, and resources to help individuals and departments have a greener impact on their world.
Grist Releases Campus Sustainability Video
Grist, an online environmental news network, has posted a video on campus sustainability. The video discusses green campus initiatives at the College of the Atlantic (ME).
U California Berkeley Assigns Green Summer Reading
The University of California, Berkeley College of Letters and Science has completed its summer reading project, the On the Same Page program, in which first-year students were asked to read The Omnivore's Dilemma , written by UC Berkeley Professor Michael Pollan. Each year, the program selects a work or works by a leading thinker or artist for incoming students to read and reflect on, and for L&S faculty to teach to in seminars as well as their regular courses.
U Oregon Completes Green Orientation Program
The University of Oregon has completed its first green orientation program, Project Tomato. The program enabled ten first-year students to embark on a four-day trip exploring UO dining services and its connections to local agriculture. The students biked to and camped at local farms, worked with farm staff to harvest about 1,000 pounds of tomatoes, and made pizza sauce to use in the dining hall. Participants also learned about permaculture, agriculture that relies on renewable resources and a self-sustaining eco-system. Project Tomato is managed by the OU Office of Sustainability.
Saint Joseph's College Starts Campus Farm
Saint Joseph's College (ME) has established a small farm adjacent to the school that will be used to grow organic produce to supplement the school’s cafeteria and food pantry. The 35,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly farm, which is strongly supported by the school’s food vendors, is being tended by six student apprentices who are learning how to effectively rotate crops between lands in order to avoid the need for chemicals.
Bates College Assigns Summer Reading on Climate Change
In an effort to encourage arriving first-year students to participate in researching and taking action on carbon emissions and climate change, Bates College (ME) has made climate change the focus of its 2009 summer reading program. The list of books included: With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change by Fred Pearce; Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action by David Spratt and Philip Sutton; and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. As part of the same effort, the institution's annual orientation will feature a presentation by Franke James, an artist known for her environmental activism, and on October 24, Bates students will take part in an international day of action advocating for real progress in curtailing climate change.
Lafayette College Students Take Honors in Green Building Contest
A group of civil engineering graduates at Lafayette College (PA) have won third place, trailing two teams of professional architects, in the U.S. Green Building Council's Natural Talent Design Competition in New York City. The Lafayette team designed a complex that includes a middle school and affordable housing for a 7,500-square-foot lot along Adam Clayton Boulevard in Harlem. The contest provides an applied learning experience in integrated design, sustainability, innovation, and social consciousness.
U Albany Launches 2 Green-Themed Res Halls, Local Food Dining
University at Albany (NY) has opened two new sustainability-themed residence halls and has introduced local food in one of its dining halls. Students living in the sustainability-themed residences will learn about sustainable living, help raise awareness among the student body about the importance of environmental conservation, and model best practices towards sustainability. Prior to the fall semester, students signed contracts agreeing to calculate their carbon footprint; initiate sustainability-themed programming for faculty, staff, and students; and attend meetings of the campus group UAlbany Students for Sustainability. The local food options will include produce, grass-fed beef, and cage-free eggs, which will be prepared and cooked to order.
U California, San Diego Begins Several Green Initiatives
The University of California, San Diego has launched several sustainability initiatives to start the new school year. UCSD has hired seven student “Econauts” to provide peer-to-peer sustainability education. The students will work with the campus residential life staff to educate students and dining customers about ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help UC San Diego meet sustainability goals. The University has also installed bioswales - landscape elements designed to wash water through rocks so that it can be absorbed into the land and minimize the need for irrigation - around new buildings. The bioswales contain native plants. In addition, students moving into the transfer student housing on campus will receive individual electricity bills (to give them an incentive to keep energy consumption low) and a reusable recycling bag in which they can deposit plastic and glass bottles and jars, paper and newspaper, metal containers, and cardboard to take to central recycling locations. UCSD has also instituted a policy to serve only cage-free eggs and fair trade coffee, tea, and sugar in campus dining facilities, and all dining locations will begin regularly featuring farmers' markets where students will have the opportunity to buy locally grown, organic produce directly from local food businesses.
U Colorado Students Plant 20-Acre Organic Farm
Student volunteers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have planted a 20-acre organic farm with more than 30 varieties of vegetables including four types of squash, green beans, pumpkins, Swiss chard, radishes, 10 varieties of tomatoes, seven acres of pinto beans, onions, and cucumbers. The project received a Community Supported Agriculture grant and has grown enough produce to sell extra vegetables at the Boulder Farmers' Market and to a few local restaurants. The 'Beyond Organic Farm' was developed and is run entirely by students.
Vanderbilt U, Coastal Carolina U Hold Green Move-Ins
Vanderbilt University (TN) and Coastal Carolina University (SC) have introduced several new initiatives to make their first-year student move-ins more sustainable. Vanderbilt provided 12 water cooler filling stations, distributed reusable water bottles to first-year students, offered Styrofoam recycling, and printed its housing assignment information on paper with recycled content. CCU launched a recycling drive for cardboard boxes and other recyclable materials.
Arizona State U Art Museum Features Sustainability Theme
Arizona State University's Art Museum has announced plans to showcase a series of projects this fall gathered under the title, "Defining Sustainability." All exhibitions or projects range in materials and format, and are installed throughout the Museum to tell stories of environmental, social, and cultural sustainability.
U New Hampshire Football Game Goes Green
University of New Hampshire Athletics has announced a partnership with the UNH University Office of Sustainability to focus on eco-friendly products and choices at the first football game of the season. The 'Go GREEN with the Wildcats'” event will feature volunteers encouraging attendees to recycle and tables offering Wildcat Corporate Partners' green products and services.
Students' Guide to Sustainable Living at Stanford
Students at Stanford University (CA), in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, have created the "Students' Guide to Sustainable Living at Stanford." The guide, which will be presented at the new student orientation events, contains information on greening dorm rooms and apartments, how to conserve water and electricity while doing laundry, how to make study habits more sustainable, eating sustainably on campus, using alternative transportation options, and where and what to recycle.
Smith College Distributes Green Back-to-School Shopping List
Smith College (MA) has distributed an environmental sustainability-focused back-to-school shopping list that was developed by a Smith student. The list encourage students to bring cloth bags, a bicycle, reusable mugs, Tupperware, Energy Star appliances, power strips, and compact fluorescent bulbs. The list also discourages students from bringing a refrigerator, a computer printer, and incandescent bulbs.
Inside Higher Ed Covers Campus' 'Year of Sustainability'
Inside Higher Ed has published an article on campuses that create a "year of sustainability" to begin discussions of how the institution can address such goals as climate neutrality, sustainability in the curriculum, and teaching students to live sustainably. The article mentions Davidson College (NC), New Mexico State University, Villanova University (PA), and University of Denver (CO).
U Virginia Showcase Dorms Feature Green Products
The University of Virginia Bookstore and Housing Division have outfitted its showcase dorm rooms with environmentally friendly products in an effort to encourage students to do the same. The green products featured include binders, notebooks, and paper towels made from recycled products, green cleaning supplies, and energy efficient computers refrigerators, and microwaves.
New England Professionals Form Sustainability Group
The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region I, which includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, has formed a group called the NASPA Sustainability Knowledge Community. The group is charged with advancing sustainability practices through the education and engagement of members. Members of the Sustainability Knowledge Community will communicate at local, regional, and national NASPA meetings and conferences. They will also attend other sustainability meetings and work to develop better sustainability approaches for the use of technology in student affairs. Stephen Nason, Director of Residence Life and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Unity College (ME), has been named to lead the effort.
Simon Frasier U Students Compare Green Initiatives
A group of nine Simon Frasier University (BC) business sustainability honors students have completed a review and comparison of sustainability initiatives at SFU, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria (BC). The project compared performance, leadership, operations, teaching, research, finance, and community engagement. The group found that that SFU leads in active student sustainability groups, leading sustainability researchers, and energy management, but trails in the number of staff hired to institutionalize sustainability and the number of sustainability-related courses available to students. SFU also falls behind UBC and UVic in composting, paper reduction, LEED certification, and the use of green cleaning products. The group made recommendations to the administration on how SFU can improve its standing.
Philadelphia U Chooses 'Cradle to Cradle' for Reading Program
Philadelphia University (PA) has selected William McDonough’s book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things , as the 2009 First Year Experience Summer Reading Program book. Cradle to Cradle is a manifesto that calls for a radical change in the relationship of human industry to the environment using a model of “lifecycle development.” The model advocates for a regenerative stance and uses manufactured products that have exhausted their primary function as the material to create subsequent products. New students at PU will receive a copy of the book when they attend orientation. Students will discuss the book in orientation with faculty, staff, and upper division students; the University will offer forums to engage additional discussions; and the book will be used in many courses taken by first year students.
Unity College Announces New Sustainability Website
Unity College (ME) has updated its sustainability website. The new content, developed by former interim sustainability coordinator, Aaron Witham, highlights Unity’s sustainability education initiatives, current and past sustainability achievements, and personal sustainability stories from campus community members.
Virginia Tech Selects Sustainability-Themed Book for Reading Prgm
Virginia Tech has chosen Daniel Goleman's Ecological Intelligence for its Common Book Project for the 2009-2010 academic year. The program gives nearly all new and transfer undergraduate students a common academic experience during their first year at the University. VT encourages faculty teaching first year students to integrate the common book into their curriculum in order to foster broader community discussions on important themes or issues. In Ecological Intelligence , Goleman tells of the critical role of the psychological dimension in our decision making, illustrates the inconsistencies in our response to the ecological crisis, and explains why we as shoppers have found it impossible to know the true range of harmful environmental and health consequences of our purchases.
2 Campuses Select Sustainability Books for Summer Reading
Smith College (MA) has chosen Van Jones' The Green Collar Economy as summer reading for all entering students. The book will be discussed in during summer orientation. In related news, Northwestern University (IL) has selected Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How it Can Renew America as its reading book for all new, incoming undergraduate students. The One Book One Northwestern program will provide students with public lectures, the opportunity to engage in online discussions throughout the academic year, and other events related to the topics of energy and sustainability.
Appalachian State U Students Test Green Construction Methods
Students in the Building Science and Appropriate Technology Program at Appalachian State University (NC) have constructed a 500-square-foot model house to test innovative technologies and building practices. The structure is designed to be a self-sufficient and adaptable disaster relief dwelling. The building’s energy-efficient features include use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the building’s exterior walls and roof; solar panels, which will generate energy needs for the occupants, a system to collect rainwater from the roof, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The structure can accommodate up to five occupants.
WSU Reinstates 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' as Common-Reading Book
Washington State University has decided to reinstate the original plan for distribution of its Common Reading book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma , as a result of a private contribution to support the program. Earlier this year, WSU administrators made the decision not to distribute the book, which examines industrial agriculture and the American diet, and not to bring author Michael Pollan to campus, for either budget or political concerns, depending on different points of view. Some people believed that the University, which had already purchased 4,000 copies of the book and has a prominent agriculture college, bowed to pressure from agribusiness interests, but the University affirms that the decision was due to budget difficulties.
U Iowa Opens Student Garden
The University of Iowa Environmental Coalition and the Office of Sustainability have opened a student garden on campus. The 1/3 acre garden will produce "field to market" vegetable crops for the student union. Students from the UI Environmental Coalition will manage the garden and will be responsible for preparing the ground, installing structures, and maintenance.
U North Carolina Begins Eco-Newsletter
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has published its inaugural issue of "Act Today" a chronicle of sustainability at UNC. The new publication, which is published by the UNC Sustainability Office to inform the campus community about academics, research, public service, and operations that promote campus sustainability, is available in print and as an e-newsletter. The first issue focuses on solar energy.
Hartwick College Gives Energy Theme to 2009-10 Academic Year
Hartwick College (NY) has named "Energy" as the theme for its 2009-10 academic year. Over the year, the college community will engage in discussions, events, and lectures that center on the increasing relevance of energy policies, carbon footprints, greenhouse gas inventories, and how the decisions made today about energy production, consumption, and conservation will affect the future. In addition, the campus will explore patterns of energy use and apply lessons learned to enhance energy conservation on campus and in the regional community.
U Denver Plants Campus Garden
Students and community members have planted a community garden on the University of Denver (CO) campus. The garden will include vegetables, herbs, and flowers. All editable food will either be donated to a local homeless shelter or used in a local foods meal at DU.
Yale U Releases Sustainability Video
Yale University (CT) has released a video entitled, "Sustainability at Yale." The video features an introduction by President Richard C. Levin and an overview of the sustainability initiatives taking place on campus.
UMACS Launches Website for Midwest Campus Sustainability Profiles
The Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) has launched a new website with the intention of facilitating greater sharing of information between Midwest colleges and universities. The new site allows users to create a campus sustainability profile for their school, upload information on sustainability projects on their campus, and add events to the UMACS calendar.
Kansas State U Completes Greek Sustainability Competition
Kansas State University has completed its first Ecolympics competition to see which Greek house could save the most water and energy, increase its recycling the most, and bring in the most guest speakers about sustainability. The average Greek house saved 7 percent of its energy in the month of March. One house reduced its energy usage by 24 percent.
U Central Oklahoma Launches Green Initiative
The University of Central Oklahoma has launched Bronze+Blue=Green: UCO Lean and Green, a campaign to reduce energy use and waste on campus. As part of the month-long awareness campaign, the University has installed a power management system on all campus computers that puts monitors and computers to sleep after 15 minutes and 30 minutes of inactivity respectively. The University is also performing an analysis of all all printers, copiers, fax machines, and print machines throughout the campus to search for ways to reduce waste and energy use.
U Colorado Begins Green Pledge Program
The University of Colorado Environmental Center, and the CU administration have partnered to promote sustainability on campus through the Live Green program. Live Green supports environmentally friendly habits through the Live Green Pledge, which members of CU community can sign to indicate an area where they will change their lifestyle to become more sustainable. Live Green is designed to encourage and educate members of the community about changes they can make to their life. After signing the pledge, and indicating three areas where they can live more sustainably, participants receive a monthly newsletter with tips and idea about what they can do in their everyday life. For every person who pledges to live green before Earth Day, the University will donate $5 towards sustainability programs on campus.
Unity College to Hold Green Commencement
Unity College (ME) has announced plans to hold a green commencement ceremony. Officials believe that the ceremony will be the greenest commencement in the US. Diplomas and programs will be printed on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, plates and silverware will be cleaned with environmentally friendly products, and energy efficiency lighting will be generated from 100 percent renewable sources. In addition, graduates will receive a sapling tree as a symbol of their lifelong commitment to the environment and will take a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and champion sustainability efforts. The College will serve local foods and compost waste at the graduate banquet.
U Rhode Island Completes Conservation Campaign
The University of Rhode Island has completed the first semester of its behavior-based energy reduction campaign in the residence halls. The campaign focused on helping students remember to turn of their computers when not in use, turn the heat and/or air conditioning off when leaving a room, and take shorter showers. As a result of the initiative, the number of students who turn off their computers when not in use increased from 18 to 35 percent, the number of students who turn off their heat or air conditioning increased from 45 to 65 percent, and the number of showers students take per week decreased from 8 to 6.8. URI plans to re-run the campaign in the fall of 2009.
Indiana U Res Hall & Greek Students Compete to Reduce Energy
Students at Indiana University have begun a month-long competition to reduce energy use and conserve water on campus. The competition between residence halls and between houses in the Greek community challenges each living community to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of their house's or dorm's average per capita electricity and water consumption over a three-year average. Students are able to track their community's progress on the IU Energy Challenge website.
U Wisconsin-Eau Claire Launches Sustainability Column
The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has launched the Sustainability University column in its student newspaper. The new column is designed to provide ideas, tips, and information on sustainable practices to help individuals make small changes in behavior that have a major and lasting impact on the environment and world. Students are able to send in questions for the editor of the column, which dedicated its first month to introducing the University Center's Green Team and Earth Month awareness events.
Emory U Begins Green Pledge Program
In an effort to encourage faculty, staff, and students to live more sustainably, Emory University (GA) is asking members of the campus community to sign a personal sustainability pledge that commits them to at least three changes in their daily habits or routine. The changes are chosen from a list of suggested options. Participants can then renew their pledge each semester by updating promises as needed.
Auburn U Competes to Reduce Energy, Waste, & Water Consumption
Auburn University (AL) has completed a one month competition between 22 residence halls to reduce energy, waste, and water consumption by the largest percentage compared to the average utility usage for that same building from 2006-2008. The winners of the Sustain-A-Bowl 2009 competition, Sasnett Hall, reduced their energy use by 20 percent and their water use by 25 percent. The calculated savings for February 2009 for all 22 residence halls was $5506 for electricity and $2785 for water. All residence halls increased their recycling and reduced their waste.
Syracuse U Announces 'Irish Today, Green Forever' Program
Syracuse University's (NY) Office of Residence Life, Residence Hall Association, and Sustainability Division has launched the "Irish Today, Green Forever" program, which is designed to increase the sustainable behavior of the on-campus student population by increasing recycling tonnage in the residence halls and decreasing bottled water consumption on campus. As part of "Irish Today, Green Forever," the recycling/landfill rooms in the SU residence halls will have newly painted green doors and new posters and labels about how and what can be recycled to encourage students to take time to separate trash from recyclables and dispose of everything properly. Over the summer, all residence hall recycling/landfill rooms will receive a fresh coat of green paint and newly printed posters and labels. The program was launched on St. Patrick's Day.
Syracuse U Releases Green Library Guide
Syracuse University (NY) Library's Green Initiative Team has created a Green Library Guide to provide information about green initiatives at the library. In addition to highlighting the library's sustainability efforts, the guide includes links to national and international news about library-related green activities.
Vanderbilt U Students Complete Sustainable Living Guide
A group of 16 Vanderbilt University (TN) students have completed "Future Trends: How to Live Sustainably," a 64-page guide that explains what living sustainably means and how to overcome the challenges it presents. After searching for a sustainable living guide without success, Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor John Ayers decided to have his class write the book. The students picked their own topics and wrote 6-8 page papers that served as their first term papers as well as the chapters of the book.
College of Marin Starts Organic Farm
The College of Marin (CA) Indian Valley campus has started an organic farm on its land. The 5.8 acre demonstration farm and garden is part of a new program launched in a collaboration involving the college, Marin Conservation Corps and University of California Cooperative Extension-Marin Master Gardeners.
McMaster U Launches Sustainability Website
McMaster University's (ON) Office of Sustainability has launched a new website. The website features information on environmental issues such as energy, waste, and water, as well as social issues such as health and wellbeing. Users can also find detailed information on campus buildings and Hospitality Services' sustainability initiatives, alternative transit, and campus green space. The website aims to engage web savvy students on a number of levels, with information on sustainable living both on and off campus and links to resources to help students reduce their ecological footprint. It will also serve to connect students with opportunities to further study sustainability issues and promote events.
12,000 Youth Attend Power Shift
12,000 young leaders, a large portion of which were college students, converged on Washington, D.C. last week to participate in Power Shift 09 to demand that the President and Congress pass bold, just climate and energy policy in 2009 that dramatically reduces emissions, creates millions of green job and powers America with 100 percent clean energy. Despite a snow storm that paralyzed much of the city, the event concluded with a day full of hundreds of lobby visits and a rally with more than 3,000 youth on Capitol Hill. The four-day summit included seminars, panels, and workshops; a green career fair; legislative briefings and activist trainings; and a day of action on Monday where hundreds of youth entered the halls of Congress to lobby their representatives in more than 360 scheduled meetings. Three AASHE staff were present at the event and blogged about their experiences
College of William & Mary Announces Sustainability Website & Grants
The College of William & Mary (VA) Committee on Sustainability has launched a new website that includes up-to-date information for new project proposal and student research grants that will be supported by the College's Green Fee. The site also includes background on current campus projects, information on how members of the William & Mary community can volunteer, and deadlines for upcoming proposals. The grants available through the website include 4 summer research grants in amounts up to $5,000.
NMSU Launches Green Challenge, Online Sustainability Guide
Northwest Missouri State University has begun the "Reduce Your Paw Print Challenge," an initiative that challenges students to reduce their environmental footprint on campus. As part of the initiative, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to recycle and to reduce their energy usage on campus. NMSU has also launched an online Sustainability Guide that provides advice on how to save energy, reduce waste, reuse items, and recycle on and off campus.