Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 2018 Sustainability Profile: Traci Ferdolage

Traci Ferdolage

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month we had the privilege to interview Traci Ferdolage, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Physical Planning, Development & Operations (PPDO) –– hired in September 2017. Her position forms connections between other departments to uphold the campus mission, keep construction projects on track, and make sure our buildings operate well and stay clean. PPDO is comprised of Real Estate, Physical & Environmental Planning, Design & Construction, Engineering, Physical Plant, and Capital Project Business Operations. Together, these PPDO units work closely with Capital Planning, Sustainability Office, Colleges, Housing & Educational Services, TAPS, and all academic divisions...just to name a few!

The following interview was conducted by first-year student and Sustainability Office Assistant Diana Sarabia, and Sustainability Office Manager & Events Coordinator Genoa Faber on June 4, 2018.

What does sustainability mean to you?
"It's being associated with three pillars: environmental, social and economic justice. It's about finding a balance...ultimately, as you go through trying to implement sustainability, you have to have some consideration of how to go about doing it to benefit the greater good. The best end result isn't just about mother earth, the best end result is also about how we set up students to be successful when they walk out of here.”

What sustainable practices do you live by in your daily life?
“I am the light switcher-offer in my house; however, I try to do a variety of things in my daily life…it's about the way we use energy and recycle. I also try really hard to make good choices with my purchases. So it's not just about a sustainable product. We eat mostly organic at home – I feel very fortunate that I'm able to do that – but we also grow things in our garden, and it's also about buying things that will last me a long time. It's about trying to find a balance based on my life.

When It comes to food justice issues, I like to travel and...really have a local experience. And I think it helps me to be a better citizen through that understanding…it's super important to expose yourself to see and experience other cultures, see how people live in different areas of the world, what their place is on the earth and bringing this understanding.”

What is your long-term vision for sustainability at UCSC?
“My mid-term vision is that the Campus Sustainability Plan is implemented. And I don't say fully implemented because over the next few years we will continue to modify it to the right size to best suit main achievement in the long term. My vision is that we, UCSC, will be the leader in sustainability for higher education. And I think UC Santa Cruz also has a long history that is steeped in sustainability and has a lot to be proud of, like down at the farm.I also see a tremendous amount of work to do, if we actually want to consider ourselves to be one of the preeminent sustainability leaders. And what I mean by that is overall, across the spectrum, whether it be environmental, social or economic issues… in my opinion, there are various major shifts we have to do in order to get there. In terms of how we reinvest utility savings, that needs to be a massive shift. There are a lot of things that I think that we can just go out and do, “snap!”, like bottle fillers on drinking fountains. But when you're talking about something like food waste and composting/recycling, and what is standing in the way of progress is a large capital project...we should be questioning ourselves on how we can make some progress right NOW.

I think that sometimes our current thinking stands in our way when the solution doesn't match up to the resources we have available. If solving the problem is our priority but the resources don't align with what we've identified as a solution, nothing is going to get done. And so the biggest barrier is to ensure that solutions consider resources available or identify a pathway toward attaining the resources needed in a timely manner. Because once you've got that, then you've got energy, and when you've got energy, you've got possibilities, you've got creativity, and you’ve got initiative to be able to find ways to do things.”

Do you think UC campuses should collaborate with each other to become more sustainable? How can your department connect with other UC’s and create change?
“Absolutely, I think that each UC campus is unique. I think that we all work really hard and do amazing work. When you learn from your colleagues about how they are solving problems on their campus, you may get four or five ways people are solving food waste and recycling. And then we think, "how do we UC Santa Cruz it"? Sustainability is beyond the UC. We also need to expose ourselves to the way people are tackling the problems that we face and figure out our own solution from the innovation that others are already achieving….The UC has a broad spread across the state. [When] lobbying for policy changes across the system mandates a much larger voice on campuses, we can wield our influence as a system.”

What are your thoughts on environmental justice?
“I think we have a very special place at UCSC, and we need to continue being good stewards recognizing the role the environment plays in our culture as an institution. How we hold ourselves translates into what we value. I think that it's fairly obvious how it does, but it's also very easy to forget and take it for granted. So we need to continue to update current practices regarding building, construction, transportation, infrastructure as well as adopt solutions that take into account this 'specialness' of where we are.  There is absolutely no doubt that we have the need to better support our students with things like housing and appropriate academic facilities. We have a lot of work to do in those areas but need to balance that with the community we are trying to create.”

What is your role in UCSC Student Housing West project? What are your thoughts on the role that project plays in campus sustainability?
“My role is to actually serve as the owner's representative through the project and through the development team and the other various stakeholders involved. We have a high demand for student housing. We have an obligation, a social justice obligation, to try to provide affordable and student-appropriate housing, to restore the lounges, to provide you with better places to live. Before we started this project, the demand was a little over 3,000 beds. The demand [has grown to over 4,000 since then], so this issue is not going away.Developing a project of this size will also provide opportunities to advance our sustainability vision for the campus.  As an example, this project has the ability to advance our long record of success in water conservation through installation of a wastewater treatment facility. This will take all the waste and greywater from the site and recycle it put back into the site for things like toilet flushing, irrigation and such. With this new wastewater treatment facility, it is estimated the project will use 50 to 60  percent less water per student than current housing facilities.”

Is there a message you would like UCSC students to know?
“I want to know what [students] need. I want to get to know students better. I want to understand where you're coming from and what your experience is like because your experience is very different than my experience walking through campus, and I know that. But ultimately we're all only here for a distinct purpose, and that's to support you in your goals with regards to your education and to help you grow personally...I want you to be involved and help us provide a campus environment that contributes to your success. If I understand your needs and thoughts, the better I'm going to be at my job...and come up with solutions for the long haul, not just short term.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Arboretum & Botanic Garden Board Recruitment

The Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden is seeking prospective board members with an active interest in immersing in the gardens and engaging with its constituents to explore the motivations and interests of visitors, members, volunteers, and contributors.  The board will play a critical role in program development. Related activities and engagements include docent work, event planning, membership development, fund and friend raising.

Applications will be accepted through June 15, 2018. Additional information available at arboretum.ucsc.edu/support/associates/aa-board

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

June 2018: Tips for a smooth move out

·       Stop purchasing items that you use infrequently. Common items in the trash during move out include partially used condiments, cereal, pasta and other packaged food.
·       Pack up and move early. Pack items that you don’t use every day and move them early (like Mother’s Day or Memorial Day Weekend). Moving items early means the rest of your stuff has a better chance of fitting into your car in June.
·       Participate in Slug Garage Sale weekend June 2nd and 3rd, 2018. Hold a garage or yard sale with the rest of the off campus slugs! Sign up for and promote your sale online at: Cityofsantacruz.com/garagesales

·       Swap items with your friends. Hold a swap party with friends and trade or give away the clothing, books or household items that you no longer need or want.
·       Swap items online. Visit web sites like Craigslist and Freecycle to swap or sell items locally.
·       Donate what you can. Local non-profit organizations re distribute used items and non-perishable food to the community.
·       Take the rest home. It is illegal to leave Items on the street and can create an environmental hazard. Please take your belongings with you when you move.

·       Recycle early. Recycle carts overflow during move out, so clear out extra papers and accumulated bottles and cans early or visit a local recycling drop off center for additional recycling. For a current list of acceptable items visit www.cityofsantacruz.com/recycleright
·       Recycle special and household hazardous waste responsibly. To recycle household chemicals likebathroom cleaners, nail polish, aerosol cans (not empty), bleach, disinfectants and a whole list of other items go to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Dimeo Lane. Open Saturdays 7:30AM-3:30PM. For more information call 831-454-2606

·       Unusable or broken household items go in the trash. If you have broken household items, perishable foods, bathroom items that are not fit to donate or are non-recyclable and will not fit in the trash can, take them to the Resource Recovery Facility at 605 Dimeo Lane. (3 miles north of town) or call Customer Service for an extra trash pickup for a fee- 420-5520
·       Unusable large bulky items collection. Sign up will open on 5/22/18 for the bulky item collection day-Saturday 6/23/18.Bulky item (Sofa, dressers, mattresses, etc) pick up is available to USCS students for a small fee.

Monday, May 21, 2018

June 2018: Green Tips

Go for an energy upgrade

For most of us, going off the grid may not be in the budget (unless you got a huge tax refund that is). But if you’re looking for mucho savings on your electric bill, here are three super-easy changes you can make.
Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your home’s temp. Replace incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs or LEDs. Americans spend 20 percent of their electricity budget on lighting alone. Energy-efficient lighting can save the average household more than 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity, 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide and (get ready for this one) up to $110 per year in electricity costs.
It sounds simple enough, but when you consider the huge difference it makes, you’ll wonder why you still have naked windows. While the sunlight is refreshing in the summer, using light colored blinds and drapes – which reflect light instead of absorbing it – can save you up to $210 per year on heating and cooling costs.

If the initial cost of a programmable thermostat (about $115) deters you, keep in mind that it can reduce your energy usage by more than 15 percent in the summer and up to 25 percent in the winter.
For those of you that need hard numbers, that’s up to $250 in heating and cooling costs every year you use it and $2,500 over the course of 10 years.
Shade your windows.

Wash your dirty car

While you may think you’re doing your car (and your wallet) a favor by hand-washing it at home, it’s actually the opposite.
According to the International Car Wash Association, automatic car washes use less than half the water used when washing your car at home. The average home wash uses 80-140 gallons of water while the commercial average is 45 gallons.
Commercial car washes often reuse water and send the runoff to treatment centers instead of nearby lakes and streams. They also use high-pressure nozzles that require less water usage.
But if you’re dead-set on washing your car at home with the kids, here’s how to keep the impact to a minimum:
  • Park on gravel or grass so soapy water soaks into the ground, becomes filtered and recharges groundwater.
  • Avoid soaps with labels that say “harmful, danger or poison.”
  • Turn off the hose when you’re not using the water. During a 15-minute car wash, you could use 150 gallons of water if there isn’t an automatic shut-off nozzle.


Make your own cleaning productsFive basic ingredients serve as the buildings blocks for many safe, home cleaning needs: baking soda, borax, soap, washing soda, and white vinegar or lemon juice. Check out some of these resources to make your own cleaning products for laundry, dishes, glass cleaning and more:
Dispose of cleaning products at a hazardous waste collection center. It is illegal to dump toxic chemical down the sink or in the storm drain. 
Learn more about the harms of chemical cleaning agents and how to dispose of them.


Don’t buy new textbooks. Either buy used books (excellent website: BetterWorldBooks.org also supports charity), or reuse other people’s textbooks and let them use yours for free! This service is available on sites like Bookins.com, PaperBackSwap.com, or SwapTree.com. You could also rent books through some of your favorite book purchasing sites (like Chegg or Amazon). Not only can you stay green by doing this, but you can also save a lot of money.
Go green with school supplies. Buy recycled products. Always purchase 100% recycled content paper; the higher the % of post-consumer content the better.
Shop second-hand stores. A place like Los Angeles is home to tons of excellent thrift, consignment, and vintage stores that can offer anyone great options for second-hand clothing and accessories. Buying pre-loved items decrease your environmental footprint in a BIG way because it saves huge amounts of resources used in producing new items, and it saves you a lot of money!

June 2018: Internships, Employment and Volunteering

Nonprofit Internship
The City Forest environmental interns will gain experience in the nonprofit sector. Interns will gain valuable training in urban forestry skills and community outreach. University credits may be available, check with the university for more details and requirements. Responsibilities and tasks will vary depending on the applicant’s interests, availability, experience, and the program’s needs. To find more information, please click here. Contact: cml@ucsc.edu

Social Media Internship
This internship is for Regeneration: Pajaro Valley Climate Action. Role of Intern: Increase social media presence and media coverage; grow the list of e-news subscribers and followers. Depending on the candidate, may assist with website development. To find more information, please click here. Contact: nancy@regenerationpajarovalley.org

Sustainable Community Apprenticeship
The apprenticeship is a 3-month full immersion experience in a land-based intentional community working side-by-side with Stewards of the Windward community gaining practical, hands-on skills with the tools needed to build a life in concert with the natural world. Apprenticeships are tailored to fit the desires and needs of Apprentices, Windward Stewards, and, if appropriate, academic advisors.
Sustainable systems are multi-faceted & diverse so Apprentices should be prepared to learn and participate in wide-ranging projects and tasks while also choosing an area of focus for an in-depth learning experience. Areas of focus are co-created during the application process. To find more information, please click here. Contact: windward@gorge.net

Warming Center Program is a coldest/wettest nights’ homeless emergency shelter. We only open when weather forecasts drop below an activation threshold. We’re seeking someone who will work with the director during the cold-weather shelter season.  The intern will help with temperature-forecast program activation and volunteer coordination as well as other supportive administrative duties. To find more information, please click here. Contact: compassionman@hotmail.com

The Food and Beverage Coordinator intern will report directly to the Operations Manager. This person, along with other Veggielution staff, members of the Board of Directors, and event advisors serve as a key member of the fEAST San Jose Planning Committee. Veggielution’s fEAST San Jose is an annual fundraising dinner, which will be held this year on Sunday, June 10th. The purpose of the dinner is to celebrate another year of success, raise funds for Community Engagement, Environmental Education, and Volunteer Training programs and, thank our many donors who have supported us over the past year. To find more information, please click here. Contact: rosac@veggielution.org

Educational Marketing Internship for Sunbank Solar Water Heaters
Sunbank Solar is a manufacturer of solar water heaters and, while small, is at the forefront of developing new products in the solar thermal space – including a solar hot tub and a new solar thermal controller. Sunbank is focused on changing the paradigm of an oft-overlooked consumer of energy: water heating. People replace their water heaters when there is an emergency leak. Our job is to change this to educate the consumer about this technology and therefore get more solar water heaters installed around the country. Our UCSC intern will work directly with the CEO and help with our educational marketing campaigns. These campaigns will use a multimedia strategy to overcome the challenges that face the adoption of solar thermal technology. We are looking for someone who can assist with campaigns in progress and who can think creatively to help us start new initiatives. To find more information, please click here. Contact: james@thesunbank.com

Kresge Common Ground Center Jobs (5 paid student staff positions) - Apply by June 10th, 2018
ER #8911 - Kresge Common Ground Student Coordinator (2 positions) 
ER #7525 - Kresge Common Ground Student Treasurer 
ER #8475 - Kresge Common Ground Student World Cafe Coordinator
ER #8476 - Kresge Common Ground Student Right Livelihood Coordinator
Click here to apply and use the ER codes to find more information! Contact: commonground@ucsc.edu

Commencement Sustainability Assistant (HIRING ASAP for Graduation Weekend!)
Need a little extra money before summer?  Want to watch your friend's graduate? Want a housing extension through Commencement? The Sustainability Office is HIRING ASAP for Commencement Sustainability Assistants, ER #8528. This role is for graduation weekend only - Saturday, June 16 & Sunday, June 17. Pay is $12/hour.  Mandatory one-hour paid training with food the week of June 11th. To apply, click here.

Student Sustainability Advisor (HIRING ASAP for Academic Year 2018-19)
SSAs offer sustainability-focused educational opportunities for their residential communities and work to forward UC Santa Cruz's sustainability goals through cross-campus collaboration. SSAs work 10-12 hours of work per week.  On-campus residency for 2018-19 IS REQUIRED & the position is compensated through a $1,500 quarterly rent credit. To apply, submit an application for ER #7056 and e-mail your resume and cover letter to Kristen Lee, at KLee122@ucsc.edu.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

June 2018: Classes, Trainings, and Community

Farm & Garden Market Cart
Visit the Market Cart located at the corner of Bay and High Street, for wonderful, fresh organic produce and beautiful flower bouquets grown at the UCSC Farm & Alan Chadwick Garden! The Market Cart is open every Friday from noon to 6pm. Buy fresh, buy local and support the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, a training program for organic farmers and gardeners. This garden cart will be held every Friday from June 1st, 2018 through October 26th, 2018. Click here for more information.

Grow Your Own!
Come to this local DIY training. Learn how to select, grow, and arrange annual flowers and perennials from your garden and yard to create beautiful bouquets. This event takes place on July 15th, 2018 and is located at the Alan Chadwick Garden. Admission is $5 for UCSC students. Click here for more information.

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning
Learn summer pruning techniques from Matthew Sutton, owner of Orchard Keepers and Orin Martin, manager of UCSC's Chadwick Garden, at this demonstration workshop. This workshop takes place from 9:30am-12:30pm on Saturday, July 28th at the UCSC Farm. The cost of admission is $5 for UCSC students. Click here for more information.

Making Medicines from the Garden
This class will teach gardeners how to make and use many different herbal preparations for common ailments, including teas, oils, compresses, soaks, steams, baths, tinctures, and liniments. Get ready to be coated in herbs during this fun and empowering class. The class takes place at the Cowell Ranch Hay Barn, adjacent to the UCSC Farm. The cost of admission is $5 for UCSC students. Click here for more information.

Apprentice Orientation Tour
Learn about the 6-month Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture organic farm and garden training program on this hour-long walking tour of the UCS Farm. This tour is specially designed for people who may be interested in applying for the Apprenticeship program. This event takes place on July 12th, 2018 at 1:00pm. Click here for more information.

Sustainability 2018 - A Community Convening
While much of the world's attention when it comes to climate change has focused on governmental action, changing consumer behavior is equally important in making an impact on how we use our world's resources. In this interactive panel discussion, we will examine people and organizations that are affecting behavior change in ways that benefit our environment. Join this multidisciplinary discussion about what drives consumers to activate. You can expect our experts to explore innovations that drive adoption of sustainable practices as well as eco-conscious movement building within diverse communities. This event on Thursday, July 26th from 6:00-9:00pm in San Francisco. Click here for more information.

Green Future Hackathon
Calling all business people, tech experts, designers, data scientists, thinkers, and doers who are committed to environmental sustainability! Come join this event where motivated teams of professionals will seek to use technology to help businesses tackle some of the most pressing sustainability challenges of our time. This event is on June 9th-10th in San Francisco. Click here to register or for more information.

Sow & Grow Fall Feast
An intimate dinner in the fields featuring Live Earth Farm's impeccable organic produce picked and prepared fresh. Come enjoy live music, local beverages, and real food! 100% of ticket sales and auction purchases will support Farm Discovery's farm-based nutrition and food systems education programs, nurturing diversity, personal, environmental, economic, and community health. This event takes place on Saturday, September 22nd from 4:00-8:00pm in Watsonville. Click here for more information.

June 2018: Contests and Funding

ACWA began its scholarship program in 1961 to encourage talented and innovative students to join the effort to ensure California's water quality and to implement sound water management policies. This year, ACWA continues its academic scholarship by offering a number of scholarships, including the Clair A. Hill Scholarship. Eligible students must be California residents attending California colleges or universities full-time as a junior or senior during the year the scholarship is awarded. For more information, click here.

The California Farm Bureau Scholarship Foundation 
The California Farm Bureau Scholarship Foundation was organized to give aid to students with a desire to pursue a career in the agricultural industry. the scholarships are awarded annually based upon academic achievement, career goals, extracurricular activities, determination, leadership skills, and a commitment to study agriculture. You must be a Farm Bureau member. Applications are accepted each year between January 1st and March 1st. Click here for more information.

Global Youth Video Competition
Are you 18-30 and taking part in activities to fight climate change? Send a 3-minute video for a chance to be a youth reporter at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland in December. Click here for more information.

Beginning on October 1, 2018, Project Green Challenge (PGC) seeks to inform, inspire and mobilize high school, college, and grad school students globally. This powerful and diverse call to action features 30 days of environmentally–themed challenges. PGC aims to touch lives, shift mindsets, and equip students with knowledge, resources, and mentorship to lead change on campuses and communities worldwide. Each day throughout the month of October, a uniquely themed challenge will be delivered to registered PGC participants by email at 6 am Pacific Time. Each challenge will be live for 24 hours inviting participants to complete actions and upload deliverables to acquire points and prizes. Deliverables include photos, videos, and text uploaded on the PGC site, as well as across TG social platforms; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Twenty incredible prize packages will be awarded daily based on outstanding content. For more information, click here.

Tunza Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competiton
Samsung Engineering jointly with UN Environment invites youth all over the world to raise awareness on the theme of the World Environment Day. Each year the theme is on an area of environmental awareness and action. This program would like to provide youth a chance to show their love and affection for our shared natural world by writing an essay on the value of nature. It also aims to collect inspiring and creative ideas on how we can rediscover the value of nature from the young people by requiring them to think about the importance of the nature and its value for connecting people to our mother nature. Deadline: September 2nd, 2018. Click here for more information.