Thursday, September 4, 2014

People Power of Santa Cruz County Launches "I Give 3 Ft" Safety Campaign

California’s new bike-passing law takes effect Tuesday, Sept. 16 and many motorists aren’t aware of the new requirements, so People Power of Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (HSA), and the California Bicycle Coalition are launching a safety campaign urging motorists to pass bicyclists safely by giving at least 3 feet of clearance when passing. On Tuesday, Sept 16, California joins twenty-five other states with similar laws.

People Power and HSA are hosting a press event on September 16th at 10 AM at Santa Cruz City Hall, to encourage widespread education of motorists and cyclists on the new law. The event will feature local elected officials, the Watsonville and Scotts Valley Police Departments, and the Capitola AAA office.
“This bill will be a powerful educational tool in Santa Cruz County,” says People Power Director Amelia Conlen. “People on bikes are often passed dangerously close, especially on our rural roads. The new law gives us the opportunity to talk to drivers and cyclists about how to interact safely.”

“More and more Californians are discovering that bikes are an easy, healthy, and fun way to get around, but it’s unnecessarily dangerous sometimes when a motorist passes too closely,” said Dave Snyder, the executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition, whose organization advocated for the bill to remind motorists that three feet is the minimum clearance necessary for safety. Bicyclists need some “wiggle room,” Snyder said, to safely avoid a pothole or road debris without having to worry about getting hit by a passing car.

At least three cyclists have been killed in automobile collisions in Santa Cruz County in the past year.

AB 1371 was signed into law last September. When it takes effect, violators will face a $35 fine plus fees, or a $220 fine -- $959 with fees -- if a collision occurs. Where a violation results in a collision that injures a bicyclist, the law will be valuable because it establishes a basis for citing the driver for unsafe passing.

People Power is providing free bumper stickers and window clings to motorists who want to put them on their car to remind other motorists of the need to pass safely. Visit the press event to pick one up.

For more information, please contact Amelia Conlen, People Power Director, at (831) 425-0665 or director AT peoplepowersc DOT org

Thursday, May 22, 2014

June 2014: Contests and Funding

Join UCSC's Campus Sustainability Council
The role of the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) is to provide funding to registered UCSC student organizations for programs and events that create, implement, and monitor environmentally sound practices on campus as established through the protocol outlined in the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. These organizations additionally facilitate greater collaboration between students, the administration, staff, faculty, and the community.

2014 Green 4 Green Video Contest
National Office Furniture is now accepting original 3-minute video submissions describing how cash would be used for an environmentally-friendly project. Deadline to submit a video is midnight on June 2nd (today)! Even if you are unable to submit a video, you can vote for your favorite videos between June 2 and July 31.

AASHE Webinar Discusses More Effective Energy and Water Reduction Competitions
Join this webinar to gain a better understanding of how to coordinate campus energy and water reduction competitions. Learn how to facilitate an effective competition on campus to inspire behavioral change and realize tangible decreased energy cost. Presenters will discuss the benefits and challenges of water and energy monitoring, how to establish baselines and ways to engage campus stakeholders. Participants will leave this webinar with the knowledge to define and initiate next steps to structure and gain support for an on campus energy and water reduction competition.

UCSC Mandatory Water Rationing

On May 1st, Chancellor George Blumenthal sent out information about UCSC's mandatory water rationing. Because our state is in a serious drought, I would like to emphasize and forward along the information in the following message.

In February, the Santa Cruz City Council called for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in water usage. However, effective May 1st — the city's water rationing program has become mandatory and the overall reduction goal has climbed to 25 percent.

Throughout the city's water service area, residents are reducing and monitoring their water use in order to comply with this mandate. Faced with a similar reduction of approximately 25 percent, the campus is doing the same. For the past several months, an on-campus working group has met regularly to implement emergency water-reduction strategies and monitor compliance through detailed reporting. Our residential staff members have distributed educational materials about the need to conserve, 5-minute shower timers, and other water-reduction aids.

Our students are at the forefront of many of these water-conservation activities. The Student Environmental Center has launched the "Drop Your Own Drip" campaign, which includes a friendly competition among colleges and residential halls to see who can save the most water.

There are a number of ways you can reduce your own consumption. To assist you, a special campus website has been created that includes water-conservation tips, information about related campus activities, and other resources. 

Longer term, Chancellor George Blumenthal has been charged a new task force with identifying water-management practices and new infrastructure that will support the campus's and UC's water sustainability goals. Members of the Water Conservation Task Force, including co-chairs Brent Haddad, professor of environmental studies and technology management, and Sarah Latham, vice chancellor for business and administrative services, will be helping to support these long-term goals.

However, that work will not address the current water emergency. Meeting that challenge requires an immediate commitment from each and every one of us. Please do your part now to reduce demand on the city's water system. Thank you very much for your help.

June 2014 Green Tip: End of the Year

Hey Slugs!
The end of the school year is finally upon us! When you are moving out of your dorm/house/wherever you lay your head don't forget to do it sustainability. We have compiled a few tips here to make sure you divest as much waste as you can from the landfill.

1. Reuse Boxes
When packing up don't go down to an office supply store and buy new boxes. Many stores will give you their leftover boxes for free! The UCSC Bookstore even puts piles of boxes up front as moving day gets closer. Reuse as much packing material as possible. Once you are back home and safely unpacked, save the boxes for moving back or give them to a friend in need!

2. Sell things you won't need any more
What are you going to do with your couch now that you're going to study abroad next year? What do you do with your microwave now that you're moving into an apartment with friends that already have one? Sell it! Or give it away. Post your items on Craigslist or even on the Free and For Sale UCSC Facebook page and move your goodies on to a new home!

3. Recycle all the school-year paper
Don't throw your pages and pages of Feminist Studies 1 notes in the garbage. Keep your BIO20C away from the landfill. And definitely don't trash all the hand outs you got in Writing 2. If you don't plan on keeping your school-year papers for future reference make sure you put them in the recycling!

UCSC NEW Sustainability Minor!

College Eight is pleased to announce the launch of a minor in Sustainability Studies starting Fall 2014! The minor will incorporate courses offered by College Eight and departments across campus, student-initiated classes through the Education for Sustainable Living Program, and an interdisciplinary capstone.

Launch your career in sustainability by enrolling in:

  • ​​EE80S ​(Required Lower Division Gateway course, offered Fall Quarters Only) 
  • CLEI 55 or CLEI 150A 

For more information about the minor, check out this website.

June 2014: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering

Work for PowerSave Campus
Are you interested in a 2-credit or paid internship at $11.00/hr? PowerSave Campus might be the perfect fit for you! PowerSave Campus is a student-driven energy efficiency education program that promotes careers in the field, generates actual energy savings, increases awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, and encourages academic infusion of sustainability concepts; the PSC team creates project to accomplish these goals every quarter. Along with working on their projects, interns will also be able to represent our PowerSave team at the many awesome campus sustainability events at UCSC. To learn more about our team and what we do, visit the PowerSave Campus website or contact Kristiahn Alvarado at kristiahn [at] gmail [dot] com.

Get Involved with the Student Environmental Center
The Student Environmental Center (SEC) is a student-led organization; their mission being to promote student involvement through research, education, and implementation of environmentally sustainable practices on campus. Interns with the SEC learn about current campus projects and policies, and have the opportunity to participate or take on leadership roles in many topics areas. Interns can work on existing campaigns and support the organization in a plethora of ways. Opportunities available in 2014-2015 include Waste Prevention Campaign Coordinator, Students for Organic Solution Campaign Coordinator, Green Building Campaign Coordinator, and Transportation Campaign Coordinator. Explore the SEC website for other internship opportunities or contact Julie Foster at jrfoster [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Arboretum Volunteer Gardening Opportunities
Do you have an interest in plants, gardening and nature? Then the arboretum is the place for you! They have volunteer hours all throughout the week...plenty of time for you to get involved! For more information visit their website.

Enroll in IDEASS (Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability)
IDEASS is now accepting applications for enrollment next year! This is an upper division program at UCSC where students work in interdisciplinary teams with a professional mentor to create a sustainability project in Santa Cruz. IDEASS students do not need a background in engineering or STEM majors. If you are interested, fill out this application ASAP so project planning can begin! Let's get started and brainstorm some "IDEASS"!

Volunteer for Sea Slugs!
Sea Slugs are a UCSC student-based organization built around environmental activism and community evolvement. We have ties with many local organizations including the Save the Waves Coalition and the Surfrider Foundation. All those interested in environmental stewardship can attend our April 10th meeting. For information about the April meeting, stewardship opportunities, or any other oceanic shenanigans, contact seaslug.ucsc [at] gmail [dot] com or visit their website.

Find or Upload Projects to the Sustainability Project Clearinghouse
Interested in getting involved in a campus sustainability project, but don't know how? Are you looking for partners for your current project? Have you completed a project that you would like others to learn from? Visit the Sustainability Project Clearinghouse, a centralized database of UCSC sustainability projects, today! You can view published projects or upload your own projects and ideas. For training on how to upload a project, please contact Shauna Casey at scasey [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Work for AMBAG!
Are you interested in learning to provide strategic leadership to analyze, plan and implement regional policies for the benefit of cities and counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz? Through the Association of Monterey Bay Governments students will learn policies, procedures and techniques for projects, perform tasks such as computation, programming and GIS data analysis, and assist with research in the GIS department. For more information visit the AMBAG website here.

Sierra Club's Search for Next Generation Leaders
Sierra Club is looking for the next generation of environmental leaders! Today, more young organizers than ever are running savvy campaigns and changing policies at the local, state and national level. This summer, hundreds will take part in our award-winning grassroots leadership training program to learn the skills they need to launch campaigns. These five week long trainings are run by, and for, young movement leaders. Does this sound like someone you know? Nominate a young leader to gain the skills and confidence they need to launch and win real campaigns for sustainability, climate, and justice. For more information contact Tim Harlan-Marks at sierra [at] sierraclub [dot] org.

ZipCar Paid Internship
ZipCar is offering a paid internship to students at UCSC. Some responsibilities will include: communicating and working with campus-wide contacts to grow awareness on campus, location management, vehicle auditing, and writing and executing a marketing plan. To apply, and for more information check out their website for more information. To discover more information about ZipCar, click here.

Apply to Volunteer with Sprout Up!
Sprout Up is a non-profit program that looks for undergraduate volunteers to help bring lessons of environmental science and sustainability to local elementary school classrooms. They are college student founded and operated non-profit that is always seeking new instructors. For more information about potential volunteering opportunities check out their website.

Intern with the WaterLab Research Facility
The WaterLab Research Facility studies wastewater recycling and how to use recycled water to conserve unused water reserves. Though still in progress of becoming a full-fledged research facility, internship opportunities exist and will be expanding as the facility grows. UCSC students can learn more about WaterLab and internships by contacting Eli Weintraub at etweintr [at] ucsc [dot] edu and via the Center for Integrated Water Research website.

Looking for a summer job? Work for Ecology Action!
Ecology Action has five job jobs available for this summer, working to implement a summer water conservation campaign with local water agencies. Ecology Action is hiring a Program Outreach Specialist, Outreach Assistants, Program Specialist in Prerinse Spray Valve Installation, and Program Specialist in Water Advising. For more information about summer work with Ecology Action, visit their website.

Join the City of Cupertino's GreenBiz and Growing Greener Blocks
Cupertino offers a great opportunity for students to get hands-on energy efficiency, water conservation, and materials management experience in a progressive city, thereby bolstering their resume and enabling their application of classroom lessons learned. This unique internship position, working as a “boots on the ground” local government sustainability practitioner, will run through the summer, requiring a 10-12 week commitment of a minimum of 10-20 hours per week, though priority will be given to students that can commit to supporting our team full-time.

2014 Energy and Sustainability Summit

Learn how to employ the latest innovative technologies and practices to create lasting value and learn what you can do on a practical level to prepare for a changing landscape. The 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Energy and Sustainability Summit brings together more than 300 businesses, nonprofit, and public sector leaders to share best practices, lessons learned and practical solutions in applying advanced technologies (such as Information Communication Technologies) and practices (such as Big Data Analysis) to help achieve energy and sustainability goals.

For the agenda, directions, places to stay, and to register, go to this website.