Thursday, May 28, 2015

New SlugRoute App

Ever wondered where the loop is when you really needed it?  The new SlugRoute app, developed by the campus' Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), was made just for that!  The mobile app tracks all loops with new LEDs signs, labeling if they are for upper campus, out of service or a regular loop.  The app is available for Androids and will soon be available for iOS systems.  For iPhone users, you can access the app by simply navigating to

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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 susted [at] ucsc [dot] edu and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition! 

Roosevelt U Student Develops Phone App to Encourage Recycling 
As part of a sustainability studies program course, honors student Dusan Koleno created the Google Play app, Recycle Tracker, to enable users at home and office to keep track of what and how much they are recycling with comparisons, including pie and bar charts, that can be viewed by weekly, monthly or annual usage. 

U Washington Divests from Coal Companies 
The university's Board of Regents recently voted to prohibit direct investment of endowment funds in publicly traded companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy generation. 

U Vermont Adds Sustainability Requirement 
Starting with this fall’s freshman class, Class of 2019, sustainable approaches and practices will be built into the university’s curriculum across departments, and woven into co-curricular activities, so there will be several ways for students to fulfill the new requirement.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Extended Deadline: PowerSave Housing Survey

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 include your UCSC email address to be entered into a raffle for one $100 and 4 $50 bookstore gift certificates! The information collected in this survey will be used to help prioritize investment in energy conservation projects and programs. The deadline to participate has been extended to July 11th at midnight.

June 2015: Classes, Trainings and Community

Poetry and Music in the Alan Chadwick Garden: June 6
Join CASFS for this annual free poetry reading and music from noon-2pm onJune 6th in the "Up Garden" at UCSC. More details here.

The Homeslice CSA: Registration Now Open
The Pie Ranch in Pescadero is expanding their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 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.

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

Carbon Fund Crowdfunding Project

Climate change is one of the greatest concerns to our worldwide community. As a university, UC Santa Cruz students, staff, and faculty have advocated for a greener campus. One way students do this is through a student fee measure, which funds the Carbon Fund.

The Carbon Fund continually works as a granting body to provide funds for projects that will reduce UC Santa Cruz’s carbon footprint. The Carbon Fund Committee is comprised of staff, students, faculty, and community members knowledgeable about sustainable practices and the implementation of carbon reduction strategies.

The Carbon Fund has supported 62 projects since its birth in 2010. Each one of the projects has either directly reduced energy consumption or provided invaluable education and outreach to our on- and off-campus communities regarding sustainability efforts. The breadth of project topics is vast. They include funding efforts from campus lighting retrofits, to bike commuter programs, composting, and solar energy.

Each year, both lower- and higher-cost projects are supported. Last year, the micro projects were allocated an average of $2,365.57, while the macro projects were granted an average of $15,076.68.

$5,000 was awarded to the Santa Cruz High Garden Renaissance project this year, supporting the construction of a shed, garden, and compost system at the high school. This project provided an impactful learning experience for UC Santa Cruz students, creating an opportunity to collaborate with youth in the local community, as well as spread invaluable knowledge about environmentally-friendly practices.

As support for a carbon neutral UC Santa Cruz rises, so does the demand for the limited resources of the Carbon Fund. This year, there was a $430,000 discrepancy between requested and awarded funds. That is why we are asking for your help; we would like to raise $10,000 to start to close this gap. Every dollar supports a cleaner environment, student engagement, and brings UC Santa Cruz one step closer to a greener and more sustainable future. Make a donation to the Carbon Fund today!

New Wellness Center Rainwater Harvesting

A newly completed project consists of a rainwater catchment system that will serve as the primary water source for toilet use at the Wellness Center. It is intended to be a small scale pilot project that will give the UCSC community the opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of rainwater harvesting and re-use and provide a working prototype for future rainwater catchment systems. The goal is to learn from this application and be able to apply it to future large-scale applications.

The location was chosen not only for the small-scale applicability but because the site is accessible to all on Campus. This project has the potential to provide many educational benefits. Already, the UCSC IDEASS students, with the help of a local engineering mentor, completed a large portion of the calculations, design, and estimate.

Storm Water Programs Manager Courtney Trask oversaw the project implementation and hopes to increase awareness about water conservation rainwater catchment systems, and sustainability by educating students, faculty and staff and ultimately reducing municipal water consumption and energy use.

With the use of rainwater harvesting UCSC could reduce the following:
  • use of domestic water 
  • energy used to treat the water to drinking water standards 
  • energy used to pump the water to the treatment plant and then the extra pumping to reach UCSC's elevation 
  • chemicals used to treat domestic water

Friday, May 22, 2015

June 2015 Sustainability Profile: Erin Linney

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Erin Linney, UCSC alumna and former PowerSave Campus member, who now works at ADM Associates.

Education Background
I graduated from UCSC in 2013 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a BA in Politics.

What's your favorite green tip? Bill McKibben is a personal hero of mine and I believe the and other similar divestment movements can have a powerful impact on the future of fossil fuels. I recently attended a workshop hosted by Women in Cleantech & Sustainability called “Kicking Coal out of your portfolio - Sustainable Investment”. I have always viewed the divestment movement as a strategy to apply pressure to universities and businesses to divest. However, I learned that I can do research on which mutual funds, ETFs and stocks reflect my values and will return a profit from a sustainable investing professional. As you graduate and begin your career, I encourage you to sustainability invest your money, because I am convinced our generation can make the change towards a fossil free world.

What does "sustainability" mean to you?
I grew up in an intentional community in the hills of Santa Rosa, called Monan’s Rill. My family’s electricity was mainly supply by solar panels, we dried our clothes in the sunshine, and grew most of our own food. The community members all shared a common intention-- a society that emphasizes competition, materialism, and self-enhancement encourages isolation and alienation. The community views cooperation and a spirit of mutual support are highly desirable alternatives. I believe sustainability requires an intentional commitment, and sustainable change requires working together, sharing resources, supporting each other.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
As a young girl, I loved tracking the family’s energy usage and learning how solar panels capture the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Our solar panels sparked my interest in implementing sustainable energy solutions, and was the main reason I decided to major in Environmental Studies and begin a career in energy efficiency. Every day I work to improve the energy use in buildings throughout the U.S. I am also passionate about water quality issues, renewable energy policy, and green building. I plan to get a masters in environmental public policy soon, and will continue to find tangible and feasible solutions to the major environmental problems that we face as a society today.

When you were at UCSC, how did sustainability relate to your role?
I worked with the UCSC PowerSave Campus for three years, where I designed and implemented multifaceted behavior change programs and energy efficiency projects. Through my role as Team Manager, I supported student interns in developing leadership skills such as communicating effectively with campus stakeholders, managing project deliverables, and implementing educational outreach campaigns. I also had the opportunity to present at several higher education conferences, where I learned about best practices in sustainability and was inspired to continue working in this field post- graduation.

Did you have a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
I always enjoyed Earth Summit. I loved how every sustainability organization came together to showcase their projects, outreach to students, and brainstorm ways to implement sustainability within the UCSC community. It was inspiring to hear all the creative ideas for future projects outlined in the UCSC Blueprint for Sustainability.

Can you tell us about your work at ADM Associates?
Currently, I work with an energy efficiency program evaluation firm in Fremont. I help manage commercial and residential energy efficiency programs for utilities in across the US and suggest innovative solutions to increase energy savings. I analyze energy retrofits using monitoring data and information about the building operations. Each site analysis is unique and requires critical thinking as well as attention to detail to calculate the energy savings. In addition, I synthesize the complex site analyses to communicate the results to a diverse audience. I couldn’t have landed the role I have today without the training and education I received through PowerSave Campus and the Sustainability Office.