Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2015: Contests & Funding

UCSC Residential Housing Survey on Energy Deadline May 27th
PowerSave is supporting the overall campus Climate and Energy Strategy project by collecting data related to energy use in residential housing units.Please take the short 3 minute survey here and be sure to enter your UCSC email address to be entered into a raffle for cool prizes! The information collected in this survey will used to help prioritize investment in energy conservation projects and programs. Deadline to participate in May 27 at midnight.

CSC Request for Proposals Deadline May 8th
The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) would like to fund your student organization’s sustainability projects or events in the upcoming year. Proposals adhering to the criteria for student organizations and relevance to the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus are eligible for funding. Here is the Request for Proposal (RFP), which outlines all requirements and mandatory steps to apply for funding from CSC. Please fill out the CSC Proposal Form to RSVP for the mandatory grant trainings.

Sustainability Film & Art Contest
Calling all filmmakers and artists! Are you interested in having your short film or artwork displayed at a film festival series this fall? The Sustainability Office invites you to create a sustainability-related short film or poster. The winner(s) of the competition will have their films and posters shown at the Sustainability Film Festival to celebrate the campus’s 50th Anniversary! Learn more here.

Brower Youth Awards Deadline May 18th
The Earth Island Institute established The Brower Youth Award for Environmental Leadership to recognize the outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection the planet. If you have created, organized or implemented a project or campaign that applies solutions and approaches to relevant environmental challenges, apply before May 18th. To be eligible to apply, you must be 13 to 22 years old.

Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards Deadline May 8th
Second Nature invites applications for the 6th Annual Climate Leadership Awards (CLA) which recognizes innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience at signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Committee. Nominations are now being accepted. Nominees will be considered based on their commitment to climate neutrality, sustainability education, and innovative leadership. Applications are due May 8, 2015 For questions please contact gboscio[at]secondnature[dot]org.

AASHE Sustainability Awards Deadline June 11
Applications for the Tenth Annual AASHE Sustainability Awards are now being accepted for outstanding ideas and initiatives that are furthering the higher education sustainability transformation. Award winners will receive one complimentary AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo pass, one invitation to a special reception during the 2015 conference, an opportunity to present submissions at the 2015 conference, and featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Deadline to apply is June 11, 2015.

Submit Environmental Films for International Film Festival
The International Film Festival for Environment, Health and Culture is accepting submissions for films pertaining to environment, health and culture issues. There are five submission categories: international feature film, international short film, documentary feature, documentary short and newcomer. The film festival will be held on May 27.

Energy Dept. $2.5M for Collegiate Clean Energy Tech: Deadline June 7
The newly announced $2.5 million in funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) aims to support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy. The Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace.

Tools of Change Landmark Designation: Deadline June 12
Tools of Change is now soliciting nominations for its 2015 Landmark behavior change case studies in two topic areas - (1) home / building energy conservation and (2) sustainable transportation. If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective, innovative or impactful approach for changing energy or transportation behaviors, please consider nominating them - or yourself. All nominations must include measured impact results. The Nominations Form must be submitted by June 12, 2015. Designations will be announced by October 2015, and case study webinars will be presented between February and May 2016.

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge: Deadline August 3
The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation announced the opening of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Students are invited to submit commercially viable, nature-inspired solutions to global food system challenges. All participants get access to the Design Challenge Toolbox and supporting resources, including sessions with mentors and biomimicry professionals. The grand prize, to be awarded in 2016, is $100,000. The deadline for submissions is August 3rd.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Successes of Campus Clean-Up Day!

Amidst Alumni weekend and 50th Anniversary events, students were working hard to maintain the aesthetic beauty and ecosystem health of our unique campus. Almost 100 volunteers from Greek life, the Sustainability Office, the Student Union Assembly, and other student organizations turned up early Sunday morning for the first Annual Campus Cleanup Day. Volunteers broke up into teams all throughout campus to collect over 200 pounds of litter - this was all material that hadn't made it into a nearby trash can or dumpster! Many of these items weren't even destined for the landfill, but were able to be recycled or composted. Even more shocking - and a credit to the diligence of our participants - were the 3 pounds worth of cigarette butts, amounting to roughly 1.5% of the total litter collected. We hope to make Campus Cleanup Days a recurring event, so if you have a passion for getting wasted and staying trashy, look out for future newsletters to get involved!

May 2015 Green Tip: Sustainable Art

Do you have any old glass bottles or bottle caps laying around? Would you rather repurpose products instead of recycling them? You can turn them into beautiful art pieces! Michelle (Meesh) and Jacquelyne, students at UCSC, do just that. With Mother's Day coming up, you can show your mom -and Mother Earth- how much you love her by making sustainable and recycled art.

Meesh makes flower vases, watering devices for my plants, and paper flowers. She uses glass bottles, paper, and bottle caps that she finds in recycling bins or laying around. She has always had a passion for art and when she started school here, she had a new passion: sustainability. So, she combined the two to make sustainable art.

Meesh says her favorite part of recycled art is how good she feels while making it. She says first of all, it relieves a lot of her stress. Second, she feels good being sustainable while doing something that she loves. She would love to delve more into larger sculptures using recycled materials, but doesn't have enough space in her dorm room.

Jacquelyne makes jewelry/charms out of polymer clay and different pattern friendship bracelets. She uses any items she comes across as inspiration. She's currently learning how to make koi ponds and flower gardens in Altoid cans, pies in bottle caps, and terrariums in old light bulbs.

Jacquelyne says her favorite part of making things is how fun it is. She enjoys making things while watching random youtube videos and finds it relaxing. She likes seeing her friends faces when she gives them the items.

Below are some of her amazing and adorable creations.

Innovative Approaches to Sustainability at Other Campuses

Here are a few selections of the innovative approaches to sustainability taking place on other college campuses. Each of these examples was chosen because they represent ideas that UCSC could potentially implement in some form, or in some cases, already has begun to. If you see something here that you want to make a reality at UCSC, contact the Sustainability Office and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition! 

UC Irvine student uses art to inspire climate activism 
In art student Kathleen Deck's "Conservation Through Creation” art installation, a section of lawn won’t be watered for a month. The idea is to return an artificial environment to its natural state, and start a discussion about how the changing climate can affect water use and the fragile environment that people have created. Deck is one of 37 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows. 

U. of I. announces the winners for their Certified Green Office Program 
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) announced award winners for its 2014-15 Certified Green Office Program on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Twenty-four participating offices collected hardware for making commitments toward and achieving energy and resource reductions during the school year. Here, at UCSC, we also have a Green Office Certification Program.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Tribute to Lacey Raak

Lacey Raak, UCSC's Sustainability Director, has recently accepted a position at Cal State Monterey Bay where she will be creating and implementing a culture of sustainability. Though we are all sad she is leaving, we are also very excited to hear of her soon to be many accomplishments at CSMB.

Before her departure, we asked her a couple questions about her time at UCSC.

When did you become sustainability director, and what were some of the things you did before coming to UCSC? 
My first "real-world" job after completing my undergrad degree was an intern at the US State Department in DC. I worked in the Office of Environmental and Scientific Affairs and reported to the UN Special Representative for Sustainable Development. When I went back to MN I worked at a marketing firm that specialized in organic and natural food products and worked closely with the music industry. I moved to CA for graduate school and went to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey where I received a masters in International Environmental Policy. While in graduate school I worked at the City of Monterey, where I helped develop their first Climate Action Plan and the Bicycle Transportation Plan. After graduation I received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the National Sustainable Development Strategy in Indonesia, I worked at the City again after my return and before coming to UC Santa Cruz. That is a timeline of my work history, but from a more philosophical perspective - before coming to UCSC, I learned, I traveled, I explored. I met people, learned from them and carry what they taught me, with me even though I know I will likely never see them again. I treated the whole world like a classroom, and teachers are everywhere.

What has been your favorite moment working at UCSC in the sustainability office? 
I have so many images pop into my mind for this one - doing qi gong with students at the inter-org retreat, sitting around a table with staff putting together a program or thinking about how to better train and support students, working with people outside our office to integrate sustainability into procurement or to find ways to build more sustainable buildings, exploring a cave, having lunch at PICA with Annie Leonard, every time students would pop into my office to share some news or just say hi, having the Chancellor tell me I was doing a good job.  All the close encounters with animals...seeing a bobcat by the library, seeing a mountain lion early in the morning, having a fox cross the road in from of me, the owl that almost pooped on my head.  I have so many cherished memories to carry with me!

What have you learned here that you would like to take to your next position at CSUMB? 
Not to be cliche, but I will question authority, I will ask questions that challenge the norm. I will let students take the lead and just guide where needed. I will appreciate and value not just getting the job done but connecting with people and will help connect them to the larger picture of sustainability. Those are some of the softer things I will take with me but there are also many lessons related to the progressive projects and actions taken on campus in the field of sustainability that I will take with me and emulate where possible at CSUMB. We are all still on the same team, I'll just be playing on a different field.

What's been your favorite part of being sustainability director at UCSC? 
Supporting something larger than myself and doing so with such great people.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Want to Help Prioritize Energy Conservation on Campus?

Attention UCSC undergrads living in an on-campus residential housing unit! PowerSave Campus would like your input on energy use in your housing unit. Please take the short 3 minute survey here and be sure to enter your UCSC email address to be entered into a raffle for cool prizes! The information collected in this survey will used to help prioritize investment in energy conservation projects and programs. Deadline to participate in May 27 at midnight.

May 2015: Classes, Community and Traning

The Homeslice CSA: Registration Now Open
The Pie Ranch in Pescadero is expanding their Community Supported Agriculture to include Santa Cruz and Davenport. As a CSA member, you will receive a weekly delivery of organically grown produce. You can either sign up for half a season for $312 or a full season for $600. The boxes come with vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, wheat flour or berries, dry beans, seasonal fruit and eggs available on request. Register to be a CSA here.

2nd Annual Transportation Festival: May 8
SEC's Transportation Campaign is hosting the 2nd Annual Transportation Festival on May 8th from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. at the College Eight Upper Lawn. There will be activities, an open mic, a panel, and drawing at this event! This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about sustainable transportation on and off campus.

PICA Garden Workdays: All Spring Quarter
Every Saturday from 10 A.M. - 2 P.M. PICA hosts garden workdays. Free vegetarian lunch will be served. Meet in the A-quad of the village.

Student Garden Market Cart: May 11
The next Student Garden Market Cart will be held Friday, May 15 from 12-1:30 P.M. in front of Science & Engineering library. PICA and other campus gardens will be handing out free produce from their gardens.

Want to Live at PICA next year?
At the Program in Community and Agroecology, students grow organic food, share in community meals and learn sustainable living skills. Through PICA, students from a variety of majors have the opportunity to study agroecology and apply their knowledge to everyday activities within their community. If you are interested in a sustainability-themed housing for the 2015-2016 school year, sign up for the Village and mark "strongly prefer" for involvement in PICA.

Upcoming Common Ground Events
The mission of the Kresge Common Ground Center is to create cultural change for social justice, environmental regeneration, and economic viability. They act as a catalyst and facilitator of systemic change through undergraduate action-education, research, advocacy, and civic engagement. Common Ground is hosting a speaker series this quarter through their Collaborative Learning class and other events this spring. To find out more about the events, click here.