Connect With Us!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Move-in 2012: Stevenson College

Welcome, freshmen! By now, you should start to be feeling settled and comfortable with your new living situation and are beginning to settle into classes. You probably unpacked all of the things you brought, and maybe you realized that you brought too much. Either way, you're happy to be in your new forest home, and you're starting to get used to the deer.

One thing you likely packed--and if you're a Stevenson College student you definitely have--is a hand towel to use in the restroom. They're small, square, and often found in bathrooms in homes in the "real world," so why wouldn't you use one in your bathroom at school? Probably because there are paper towel dispensers in every restroom, right? Not if you're a Stevenson College student!
Stevenson college freshmen on move-in day with their new reusable hand towels.
How do they survive without paper towels, you ask? Well, like we just mentioned, most homes do not stock their restrooms with paper towels. That costs a lot of money and it's also incredibly wasteful. At UC Santa Cruz, for example, paper towel waste makes up 1/3 of the total campus waste that goes to landfill by volume!

Fortunately, this issue is easily remedied and doesn't require that much of a lifestyle change: Most people use hand towels to dry their hands in the restroom at home anyway, and Stevenson College thinks this makes sense, too. Every Stevenson College student living in the dorms and apartments this year received a Stevenson College hand towel, made by PeopleTowels. We went to the Stevenson College move-in on September 20 to photograph students with their new hand towels and observe cardboard recycling efforts. See the Facebook album here, and if you see people you know, tag them!

Stevenson Sustainability House RAs Chris and Cameron goofing around in the cardboard corral with apartment RA Ale.

Cardboard Cowboy Ale with some Stevenson freshmen outside the Sustainability House.

Thumbs up to recycling, says Cameron, Stevenson Sustainability House RA.

Internship Coordinator Shauna Casey and Sustainability House RA Cameron toss cardboard recycling into the recycling truck. Last year, UCSC staff and students started off the school year by recycling a whopping 38,840 pounds of cardboard (read more here).

RA Ale getting stoked about recycling cardboard.

A Stevenson College freshman with his cardboard recycling after moving into his new dorm.

Freshmen in the Stevenson Sustainability House carry their cardboard recycling out to the cardboard corral.

Stevenson College freshmen with their new hand towels.

Apartment RA Jisu with the cardboard recycling corral in lower quad.

Stevenson College freshmen with their hand towels on move-in day.
More on the hand towel project
So here's the back story: Last year, some students at Stevenson College in Path to a Greener Stevenson began working with students on the Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team to create a pilot project to remove paper towels from the dorms. Our office profiled one of the students behind the project, Aidan Ward, in our May 2012 newsletter, which you can read here. Now, none of the Stevenson dorms have paper towels (except a small stash by the water fountains for emergency spills), and students are expected to use their hand towels. In the coming weeks, we will be interviewing students about how it's going. If this year's pilot project goes well, the eventual goal is to make all of the dorms at UC Santa Cruz paper towel-free!

Need another reason besides the waste issue to make you convinced that hand towels are the way to go? Do you enjoy learning about other cultures and practicing customs from other places? You should totally check out this article about how people in Japan don't use disposable paper products like napkins and towels. They use towels just like the ones Stevenson students received. PeopleTowels was actually created after its founder was inspired by this Japanese custom. You can learn more about it by watching this video:

How was your move-in experience this year? How have you been trying to live a little greener in your dorm, apartment, or house this year?

October 2012: Sustainability Profile

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month's profile features Melissa Ott, the Sustainability Office's Education & Outreach Coordinator this year.
Melissa Ott tabling at OPERS Fall Festival for the Sustainability Office.

  • College: Stevenson College
  • Degree: B.A., English Literature (2014)
  • Favorite Hobby: Blogging about things that inspire me to be the change I wish to see in the world on my green tips and sustainable living blog called Green Gal
  • Favorite Food: Fluffy oven-baked potatoes with non-dairy butter, basil, and garlic salt, served with caramelized carrots and onions. 
  • Favorite Green Tips: Refill your own reusable water bottle with filtered tap water, and stop buying plastic single-used bottles. I get so excited when I hear that someone is implementing this into their life because they will actually notice the difference they're making in the amount of recycling in their bin and the amount of money they're no longer spending. Similarly, I think paper towel waste is another really easy problem to avoid by getting a reusable hand towel that you carry with you. In your kitchen, hide the paper towels and keep those dish rags in sight. 
  • What does "sustainability" mean to you? "Sustainability" in the environmental sense means to conserve resources so that there are enough for others, both those living now and those who will come after us. For me, sustainability means being conscious of the many ways that my lifestyle can be less wasteful and less harmful to other people and other human, plant, and animal communities. Sustainability is a personal commitment that you make to yourself, your fellow human beings, and future generations that you will live in such a way that they, too, can enjoy comfort and sufficient resources. I strongly believe that every single person in the world has the capacity to understand sustainability for their own self and embrace it, and helping people recognize sustainability in their lives and beliefs is my favorite thing to do in my internship.Once you start paying attention, you realize how many simple ways exist for you to begin making a difference, and that is empowering. 
  • How did you become involved with sustainability at UCSC and what is your current role? I was really active with my environmental club in high school, and after freshman year I realized that I missed that kind of work. I was hired as an assistant in the Sustainability Office last year, and being surrounded by such a vibrant sustainability community inspired me to commit to getting even more involved. This year, I'm the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Sustainability Office through the Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP). I work with a team of students to educate the campus about how to lead more sustainable lives and about what is happening in the sustainability community on campus. We also work to encourage students, staff, and faculty to get more involved with the sustainability work happening all over campus. We have a lot of fantastic projects planned for this year, and I'm really excited to get started.
  • How do you practice sustainability in your daily life? I am constantly challenging myself in new ways to be more conscious and use fewer resources. I refuse plastic water bottles and bags at grocery stores, and I bring my reusable water bottle, bag, and coffee mug with me wherever I go (let's say 97% of the time). I don't have a car, and this quarter, I'm trying to walk and bike more than taking the bus. I also use glass containers to carry chips, veggies, and other lunch items. One way that I continue to challenge myself is by participating in Change the World Wednesday Challenges and blogging about my experiences. Writing about my experiences and making commitments to myself publicly on my blog helps keep me on track. The green blog community is also incredibly supportive, creative, and fun, and I learn so much from other bloggers about ways to implement simpler living changes into my life.
  • What is your advice to people who want to behave more sustainably but don't know where to begin or if it would even make a difference? Choose one thing that you can feasibly commit to and stick with it for a week. Reflect on your experience, and tell someone about it. Once you're comfortable with it, take another step forward. In terms of making a difference, the real question is "how am I making a difference?" Every action you take does something, and recognizing the value of and personal relationship to those combined differences you're making (be it personally, in your community, or on a global and ecological scale) is what makes sustainability a commitment that you will stick with. When you understand why you're living more sustainably and find reasons that are of value to you, you will have a lot easier time actually doing it. Certainly, if you were the only person behaving more sustainably, your actions will have little impact on a large scale. But you are not the only person, and it is only by beginning to make those changes that you can be the change you wish to see in the world and inspire someone else to join you.
  • Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC? Tabling at OPERS last Tuesday was probably my favorite series of sustainability moments at UCSC. The Sustainability Tent was so busy and full of energy, and I practically went hoarse talking to students about the work our office does and the opportunities they have for getting involved. So many students participated in our Simply Committed Campaign, and I had a lot of fun working with my new team. I look forward to many more sustainability moments at UCSC in the coming year, and I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I've been able to have so far. 

If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email.

Monday, September 24, 2012

October 2012: 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 it's something that UCSC could potentially implement in some form. 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!

Harvard Sets New Box Fort Record with Move-in Cardboard Boxes & Stores Them for Move-Out
1,081 boxes, more than 100 students, and six hours
Don't throw those move-out boxes away just yet! You can flatten them, stash 'em under your bed, and hang onto them for move-out. You will not be alone: The second weekend in September, students at Harvard built a castle with 1,081 used moving boxes. At break-down time, volunteers from the Environmental Action Committee flattened all the best ones and packed them into bin boxes. Harvard Recycling will store them until May and bring them back for the Move-out Box Sale. So the moving boxes will have been used at least three times, raising over $1,000 for a student charity in the process. Read more and see photos here. At UCSC last year, we recycled 38,840 pounds of cardboard during move-in. That's more than 300 trees! Maybe next year we can have a box fort contest in each college...

RIT Announces Bottled Water Reduction Policy
Departments and campus groups will no longer be allowed to use university funds to purchase single-serving bottles of water. In addition, hydration stations will be installed in all future construction and major renovation projects. Find out about UCSC's own Take Back the Tap, an initiative to end the sale of single use plastic water bottles on campus, on their Facebook page. They are seeking volunteers this year, so if you're interested please send them an email.

U Oregon Joins Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Movement
The university is the latest campus to declare a smoke- and tobacco-free campus, joining a movement that is on the rise in the U.S. with 126 schools that have moved forward with smoke-free policies that apply to all areas of campus this year. Between January 2011 and January 2012, the number of U.S. colleges and universities with total smoking bans rose from 466 to 648, reports the Christian Science Monitor. What do you think about tobacco-free campuses? What would it take to make UCSC tobacco-free? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

UC reaches milestone of 100 LEED certifications!
A new lab on the UCLA campus is more than just a place for cutting-edge research into paraplegia and cancer: It is the 100th green-certified facility in the UC system, a milestone in sustainability that puts it far ahead of other universities around the nation. The UC system is the first American university to have 100 LEED-certified facilities, followed by Harvard, which had 75 as of May 2012. 'We believe strongly in these efforts, and we will continue to lead by example when it comes to sustainability and environmental stewardship,' said Nathan Brostrom, the UC system's executive vice president for business operations, who oversees sustainability efforts." UCSC has 6 LEED-certified buildings, including buildings in Porter College, the Cowell Student Health Center, and Engineering 2.

Green Tip #6: Reusable Mugs

Most of us have them lying around, stashed in a drawer, or stuffed in a box. It's time to get those suckers out and begin filling them with delicious coffee and teas. Yes, I'm talking about reusable mugs, a great way to reduce waste, particularly if you're a caffeine addict who visits Perk Bars and other on-campus cafes a little too often. What college student doesn't drink coffee for at least a quarter of their time here? And staff, we know you drink coffee, too.

The biggest obstacle to using reusable mugs, of course, is forgetting to bring them with you. Get into the habit of returning them to your purse or backpack after they're empty, wash them when you get home if you feel the need, and return them to your purse or backpack immediately. Some people don't like how coffee tastes coming out of a reusable mug, and to that I suggest you try getting a ceramic reusable mug or using a glass mason jar for your drinks. These don't have the metallic or plasticy taste that some other mugs have. Whichever kind you use, never leave the house without it, and you'll be set the next time you're in line in the Stevenson Coffee House.

Oh, what's that? The Stevenson Coffee House now has reusable mugs for folks who plan on sitting for awhile? That's right--if you go into the Stevenson Coffee House and plan on sitting there to enjoy your coffee or tea, you can ask for a "for here" glass mug and you will not have to waste a cup even if you forgot your own mug! Genius! Let's give a round of applause to the Stevenson Coffee House, Path to a Greener Stevenson, and the Zero Waste Team in the Sustainability Office.
Some PTAGS students tabling at the Stevenson Resource Fair. Monica, on the far left, is holding up one of the Stevenson Coffee House reusable mugs.
Obviously this tip follows the same logic as the reusable water bottle logic--you just have to remember to bring it with you wherever you go, and pay attention when you see water spigots around campus or in food places on campus. If you're outside a dining hall, but don't have a meal plan, you could ask a friendly looking student to fill it up for you while you wait. I was once asked to fill up someone's water bottle after I swiped my card, and I was more than happy to help the girl reduce her plastic waste by encouraging her reusable water bottle habit.

If you often have trouble remembering to bring your mug, was this tip helpful? If you are a pro at remembering your mug, what do you do to remember it? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

October 2012: Further Reading

Looking for articles, stories, and videos from beyond the campus? Here's a compilation of news and further reading materials:
Chancellor Blumenthal with Alexandra Villegas after signing the UCSC Real Food Campus Commitment 

October 2012: Contests & Funding

Campus RainWorks Challenge Registration Closes October 5
The U.S. EPA’s Office of Water is pleased to announce the Campus RainWorks Challenge for undergraduate and graduate students. Student teams are invited to create an innovative green infrastructure design for a site on their campus showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment. Winning teams will earn a cash prize, as well as research funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. Find out more here.

Carbon Fund’s New & Improved Application Process
The UC Santa Cruz Carbon Fund is dedicated to reducing UCSC’s greenhouse gas emissions by awarding grants to student, staff, and faculty led GHG reduction projects. This year, the grant application process has been simplified and includes opportunities for applicants to receive feedback and support from the Carbon Fund staff and committee. Make sure to attend the first Carbon Fund workshop in the fall to get details about how to participate! Visit the website and sign up for our mailing list to receive updates about workshop dates and locations, application deadlines, and more!

Measure 43 Speaker Funding Available - Deadline October 10
UCSC undergraduate students are invited to apply for Measure 43 funds to support visiting speakers whose topic is related to food, health and wellness, and who will engage UCSC students. Application deadlines are October 10th, 2012 for Fall or Winter Requests; January 20, 2013 for Winter or Spring Quarter Requests; and April 20, 2013 for Spring Quarter awards. Your request(s) will be reviewed promptly and awarded applicants will be notified one week following each quarter's application deadline. For more information about Measure 43 click here, and click here to apply.

"So Practical, It’s Radical” Video Contest Deadline October 28
The Rainforest Alliance want to know what students are doing on campus that is “So Practical, It’s Radical."  Have you started a recycling program or a community garden?  Have you encouraged your dining halls to source sustainably? Grab your videocameras, iphones, or other filming devices and submit a short video (no more than 2 minutes) about what you’re doing to make your campus more sustainable!  Prizes include a beautiful Renovo bicycle made from lumber that was grown, harvested and milled in the Appalachian region of the US, tickets to the Broadway show Wicked, a Grow Anthology Special Edition Longboard made from Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, Patagonia goodies and Rainforest Alliance gift bags!  Winning videos will also be featured on the Rainforest Alliance website. If you have any questions regarding the contest or would like to help out, please send an e-mail to

Project Green Challenge Video Contest Deadline October 30 
Project Green Challenge is a 30-day eco-lifestyle challenge happening world-wide, and UCSC is participating! Find out more about the challenge here. There is a video contest associated with the challenge to tell the back story of how the challenge is unfolding on our campus. If you are interested in participating in the challenge and you have video-making skills, we would love to get in touch with you. You would shoot and edit the video and deliver it on October 30, and you could work with us to get in contact with students who are participating. The film would need to include interviews, footage of challenges, engagement with the campus, and truly tell the story! If the film is judged “best” by the non-profit who is hosting Project Green Challenge, the filmmaker would get the Adobe Creative Suite and an awesome graphic design and editing package valued at $2500. The winning video will premiere at the Opening Dinner of Green University in San Francisco! If you're interested in documenting this challenge at UC Santa Cruz, please contact Melissa as soon as possible.

Third International E-Waste Design Competition - Deadline November 1
Electronic waste, or "e-waste," generated by computers, TVs, cameras, printers, and cell phones, is a growing global issue. Through the Third International E-Waste Design Competition, participants are asked to explore solutions to both remediate the existing e-waste problem and prevent e-waste generation in the future. Registration is now open! Submit your ideas by November 1 for a chance to win cash prizes. Click here to learn more.

Measure 43 Education & Research Funding Available - Deadline December 15
UCSC undergraduate students are invited to apply for Measure 43 funds to support education and research projects whose topic is related to food, health and wellness, and who will engage UCSC students. The application deadline is December 15, 2012. Awarded applicants will be notified the week of January 14, 2013. For more information about Measure 43 click here, and click here to apply.

Heard about other sustainability related contests or funding opportunities around Santa Cruz or the campus? Post in the comments or send us an email!

October 2012: Classes, Training, & Community

IDEASS Sustainability Program Spaces Still Available - Apply Now!
Are you an innovative, entrepreneurial, and self-motivated student seeking opportunities to put ideas about sustainable design, social change and environmental stewardship to the test? Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service is a new team-based internship program on campus designed to create opportunities for students to work on local (primarily off-campus) sustainability challenges with community partners or industry sponsors. Applications for enrollment in Fall 2012 will be accepted until the program is full. Click here for more information and to apply today. Click here to send an email.

Experiential Leadership Program - Develop Leadership Skills for a Sustainable World & More!
Looking for become a better leader for a more sustainable world? Interested in hands-on learning? The Recreation Department's Experiential Leadership Program curriculum focuses on developing a leadership mindset, gaining skills and tools for building and being a part of strong teams and communities, and growing ourselves as people so that we can best serve and lead others. What is taught is transferable and relevant to working with people in any environment ranging from classrooms, organizations and communities to boardrooms, rivers and mountaintops. If you're interested in joining the program or learning more, please visit one of the following informational sessions: Friday, September 28 from 2-3 PM; Monday, October 1 from 2-3 PM; Monday, October 1 from 4-5 PM. All informational sessions will be held in the OPERS Conference Room, East Field House, which is upstairs above the East Field House main entrance. Visit the website to learn more here and like the program on Facebook here. Contact Miranda for more information.

College 8 is offering a 2-unit pilot course this year looking at developing the Village into a sustainability district. The fall course will give you hands-on work in conducting research in sustainable energy, water, and food production with the Village as the research site! Click here to view the syllabus and course description and contact Bee if you have any questions.

Design Your Own Course or Become a Community Outreach or Graphic Design Intern with ESLP
Interested in experiential education and student empowerment? UCSC's Education for Sustainable Living Program is a student-run organization which offers an accredited student-led course - CLEI 161 & 61- every spring quarter. ESLP is currently seeking students with the desire to design their own courses ranging from environmental to social justice issues. They are also looking for 2-unit or 5-unit interns interested in doing community outreach and graphic design. For more information and ways to get involved visit the or send an email.

Join the Kresge Natural Foods Co-op
The Kresge Community Natural Foods Co-op is a non-profit student-run food store located on the south side of Kresge College. It has been a Kresge College tradition for over twenty years, supporting small farmers, the UCSC Farm Project, and the Kresge Organic Garden. While anyone can buy food at the Food Co-op, members receive a discount. The Co-op operates as a collective and a variety of membership options are available. Special pricing is available on bulk orders. Come in for groceries, lunch, snacks, hot coffee, tea, or just to spend time with your friends. Hours: Weekdays 9 AM - 6 PM To contact the Food Co-op, call 426-1506, or attend the bi-weekly meetings every other Sunday at 11 am in the Student Lounge.

Drop Your Own Drip (DYOD) has found a new home!
The 2012 Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP) 5-unit class project has been adopted by the Student Environmental Center (SEC). That means that there are exciting new ways to earn credit through the the ENVS department and be involved with facilitating the annual campus-wide water-use competition. Interested? Check us DYOD out online here and find out how you can get involved by emailing the new Organizer, Sarah Angulo.

The UCSC Campus Natural Reserve has a new Facebook page!
The Campus Natural Reserve provides outdoor classrooms and living laboratories for students and faculty in the Environmental and Biological Sciences (and beyond!). Students can literally walk outside their classroom and study nature in nature. If you're interested in learning more about the Campus Natural Reserve, like their new Facebook page for updates.

Fall 2012 Environmental Studies Seminar Schedule
The Environmental Studies Seminar is held Mondays in room 221 ISB, from 12:30-1:40pm. Please arrive early (12:15) for coffee, tea, and snacks.

Ithaca College Online Sustainability Leadership Certificate: Session Begins October 11
Offers the chance to credential sustainability work through single seminars or a six-seminar sustainability leadership certificate. All work is completed online. Participants will learn to assess their organization's green policies and practice, communicate sustainability initiatives and evaluate best practices. New online seminars begin 11 times each year. The next session begins October 11. Discounts are available to AASHE members. Upcoming seminars include "How Green is Your Organization: Sustainable Policy and Practice" and "How Green is Your Organization: Sustainable Infrastructure." Most Ithaca sustainability seminars are now GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) approved. Find out more here.

Heard about other sustainability related classes, trainings, or community opportunities around Santa Cruz or the campus? Post in the comments or send us an email

October 2012: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering

Are you interested in gaining professional experience in a fun and engaging environment where you can build connections with fellow students interested in sustainability? The Sustainability Office is currently hiring for the 2012-2013 academic year, and we are looking for talented individuals with a passion for sustainability to join our team. You do not need to be an Environmental Studies or sciences major to work here! Check out our current list of opportunities, including both internships and paid positions! If you have any questions, please contact Shauna Casey.

An IDEASS Sustainability Program project that you can find out more about on the Project Clearinghouse website
Are you a staff, student or faculty member 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 today! The Clearinghouse is a database of sustainability projects designed to help students, staff and faculty get involved in the campus sustainability movement. The database provides a centralized place to learn about campus needs; identify ways to get involved; and serves asa reference for understanding the successes and challenges previous projects have faced. Visit our website to view published projects or create a user account and  upload your own projects and sustainability ideas. If you or your group is interested in receiving a training on how to upload your project to the database, please contact Shauna Casey.

Green Office Certification Program Seeks Student Staff
As a member of our Green Office Certification program you’ll learn how to conduct energy and waste assessments of campus offices, write reports and present recommendations to participating office staff to empower them to improve their environmental performance. As a member of the green office certification team, you’ll attend weekly meetings and work closely with campus staff and other stakeholders to reduce waste and increase conservation in campus offices. Ideal candidates will demonstrate interest in sustainability, initiative, excellent organizational, communication and writing skills. Find out more about the program here, and for a list of available positions, click here. Send your resume and letter of interest to Shauna Casey. Be sure to note the position title you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

Student Job Opening: Zero Waste Team Seeking Program Associate
UCSC has a goal of reaching Zero Waste by the year 2020! As of 2011-12, UCSC successfully diverted 63% of waste from the landfill. There is still a large amount of landfill waste that could be reduced, reused, repaired, recycled or composted instead. With the mission of advancing UCSC’s progress towards its Zero Waste goals, the students on the Zero Waste Team focus on working collaboratively to reduce waste on campus, help develop and implement pilot projects campuswide, work with other student organizations and stakeholders on campus, and serve as a resource to the greater campus community. Contact Sustainability Coordinator Elida Erickson for more info! APPLY TO ER# 6236 here.

UCSC PowerSave Green Campus Program seeks motivated candidates to be For-Credit Interns 
For-credit interns will work with other interns focusing on energy conservation projects in the state-owned housing & dining facilities. Program interns are responsible for the successful implementation of the Alliance to Save Energy's PowerSave Green Campus Program, an education and outreach program that seeks energy savings on the UC Santa Cruz campus, primarily through low-cost technology adoption and no-cost behavior changes. For more information about the PowerSave Green Campus program please visit the website. To apply please send a resume and cover letter to UCSC PowerSave Green Campus.

Student Environmental Center 2 and 5 Unit Internships Available for Fall
The Student Environmental Center (SEC) has 2 and 5 unit internships available for this fall! If you are interested in getting involved with SEC's sustainability efforts, please visit their webpage here. Examples of past internships include Publicity Intern, Transportation Rock the Bike Intern, Food Sourcing Intern, College Eight Garden Intern, and Waste Prevention Intern! SEC will also be hosting a General Gathering on October 3rd in the College Eight Red Room from  6:30 to 8:30 PM with fun activities, free home-cooked dinner, interesting people, and anyone and everyone is welcome to come for the evening!

The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) is accepting new members for the 2012-13 school year!
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. There are spots open for new council members to join the CSC leadership team! They hope to have the council formed by the 4th week of fall quarter. Gain valuable skills in leadership, grant-writing, networking, and much more by participating. For more information and dates of CSC membership orientation meetings, please email or visit the website.

Environmental Education for the Next Generation Seeking Instructors
Environmental Education for the Next Generation (EENG) provides free, youth-led environmental education programs to 1st and 2nd grade classrooms in public schools throughout California. EENG college student-instructors teach children vital concepts in environmental science and sustainability during the earliest stages of their educational development, cultivating the next generation of passionate caretakers of the earth. Through activities, experiments, and discussions, they get kids thinking in new ways about the world that surrounds them, inspiring them to bring the message of environmental stewardship home to their families and friends. In this way, they strive to promote sustainability throughout our many communities, from the youngest members of society up. For more information, please visit

Bike Smart Seeking Cyclists for School Bicycle Rodeo Events
Love cycling? Come share your passion with the youth of Santa Cruz County. Bike Smart, an Ecology Action Bicycle Program, is seeking enthusiastic cyclists of all abilities to assist with their school bicycle rodeo events. The goal is to engage students and empower them to ride by teaching safe cycling techniques (shoulder checks, turn signals, handling skills, and more!) Rodeos last for only two hours. Kira Ticus will email you as rodeos are scheduled and you can sign up as convenient. For more information, please contact Kira Ticus and visit the website.

Capitola Commission on the Environment Seeking Youth Member
The City of Capitola Commission on the Environment (COE) is seeking one youth member, aged 18-30, to represent the youth voice of our community. Meeting once per month, the COE advances sustainable planning, policy, and projects in the Capitola community. The youth representative can expect to gain experience in municipal government planning and policy formation, engage in public service projects, and participate in networking opportunities with local government leaders. Interested individuals must be residents of Santa Cruz County and be able to commit to a minimum of one year term. Please contact Susan Westman, Interim Community Development Director at for more information and to apply.

Get Involved with the Campus Sustainability Plan
Since 2010, working groups of staff and students have been making progress on environmental performance targets for UCSC in eight topic areas: Buildings & Facilities, Energy, Food, Land & Habitat, Procurement & Business Contracts, Transportation, Waste, and Water. Now, it's time for UCSC to create a new Campus Sustainability Plan 2.0 for the years 2013-16! If you'd like to check out the original Campus Sustainability Plan, click here. To get involved in the planning process and help create the next set of environmental performance targets for UCSC, please email Elida Erickson.

Design Your Own Course or Become a Community Outreach or Graphic Design Intern with ESLP
Interested in experiential education and student empowerment? UCSC's Education for Sustainable Living Program is a student-run organization which offers an accredited student-led course - CLEI 161 & 61- every spring quarter. ESLP is currently seeking students with the desire to design their own courses ranging from environmental to social justice issues. They are also looking for 2-unit or 5-unit interns interested in doing community outreach and graphic design. For more information and ways to get involved visit the or send an email.

Help UCSC Take Back the Tap
Take Back the Tap is working hard to eliminate the sale of single use water bottles on the UCSC campus. We are trying to combat the private industry, so everyone has access to water. As well as, reduce waste in order to make our campus a more sustainable institute. If you're interested in getting involved or have any questions please log onto the website for more information, visit the Facebook page, or send an email.

Volunteers Needed for Santa Cruz Open Streets - Sunday, Oct. 7
Santa Cruz Open Streets is a free community event happening Sunday, October 7 from 9 AM - 1 PM on West Cliff Drive. The idea is to create a 2-mile temporary street park for people to bike, walk, and recreate in a safe, fun, festive, and traffic-free environment. Lots of volunteers are needed to bring this exciting new event to the community. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Event Founder/Director Saskia Lucas with your name, phone number, and email address. A mandatory volunteer meeting is on Tuesday, October 2, from 6-7 PM, at Ecology Action. Pizza and snacks will be provided, and they will be providing training as well as giving out volunteer t-shirts. For more information about SCOS, visit the website. Like the Facebook page to receive all the latest event updates!

Call for Volunteers: Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, and it is coming back to San Francisco November 14-16. If you are a full-time student or professional age 25 and under, volunteer and attend for free! For more information visit the website. For questions, click here to send an email.

Volunteer at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Interested in gardening, habitat restoration, tidepooling, maintaining exhibits and helping at events for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History? Volunteer today! Find out more and fill out an application here or email Matt.

Know about other internship, employment, or volunteering opportunities related to sustainability around Santa Cruz or the campus? Post in the comments or send us an email

Sunday, September 23, 2012

October 2012: Clubs, Gardens, & Hikes

Food Systems Learning Journeys for Fall Quarter
Food Systems Working Group (FSWG) will be coordinating and leading six exciting learning journeys this coming fall through our partnership with OPERS and the Recreation Office.  To find out more about the FSWG learning journeys and sign-up, go to the Recreation website for more info. You can begin signing up for recreation activities on October 2.

Arboretum Gardening Days
The Arboretum has gardening many days of the week in different gardens. If you're interested in volunteering in the Arboretum gardens, please click here to learn more.

Arboretum Garden Tours - 1st Saturdays 11 AM
Join a docent-led tour on the first Saturday of the month. The tour is free with your Arboretum admission. Tours start at 11 AM in front of Norrie's Gift Shop. Find out more about what's going on at the Arboretum by clicking here.

Arboretum Community Day - 1st Tuesdays
The first Tuesday of every month, visit the Arboretum for free! Typically, admission to the Arboretum is $5.00 ($2.00 for children, free to Arboretum Associates, UCSC students with valid ID, and volunteers). Find out more about what's going on at the Arboretum by clicking here.

Friends of Community Agroecology Network - Tuesdays 6-8 PM
FoCAN is a student-initiated, student-led community at UCSC that supports CAN's mission of promoting rural livelihoods and sustainable food systems through action education and participatory action research. They meet Tuesdays from 6-8 PM in building A3 of the Village. Find out more about FoCAN here.

Natural History Club - Meeting times TBD
The Natural History Club is all about exploring the natural spaces on and around our beautiful campus. They go on hikes around campus, learning about its natural history. They focus on learning plants, birds, animal tracking, mushrooms, and anything they discover. Overall the club seeks to deepen members' understanding, awareness and connection with nature. Visit the Natural History Club Facebook group for meeting times, locations and more information. Meeting times will be determined once the Fall quarter starts.

Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers' Market - Wednesdays 
Eating locally grown food reduces your carbon footprint and supports the local economy. Purchasing your food through the area’s farmers’ markets ensures that you are getting the freshest, healthiest and tastiest foods while supporting local jobs, increasing local spending and promoting the region’s strong farming tradition. Check out the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers' Market, and learn more, including hours and locations, here.

Student Environmental Center - Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 PM
The purpose of the Student Environmental Center is to promote student involvement through research, education, and implementation of environmentally sustainable practices on campus in collaboration with the university. SEC's General Gatherings take place in the College 8 Red Room. Vegetarian dinner provided. For more information, visit their website or send them an email.

Path to a Greener Stevenson - Tuesdays 9 PM
Path to a Greener Stevenson (PTAGS) meets in the Stevenson House 2 lounge. PTAGS is an environmentally conscious group of staff and students whose aim is to implement change towards sustainability through projects within our community. They see the Stevenson community as an environment to encourage students to turn their innovative thoughts into action. This year, Stevenson residents received reusable hand towels (pictured above) largely thanks to the works of students in PTAGS. For more information including the Fall meeting time, visit the Facebook group or email Blake Redding.

Gardeners' Alliance Gatherings
The Gardeners' Alliance is a group within SEC's Students for Organic campaign that works to  promote the campus gardens and unite the garden-friendly community by creating a space to promote and share information between campus gardeners and the students of UCSC. To see a list of on-campus gardens and find out more, visit the Gardeners' Alliance website here.

Stevenson Garden Work Days - Time TBD
If you would like to volunteer and get involved with the Stevenson Garden, they will be having work days during Fall quarter (dates TBD)! To learn more about the Garden, check out the website, Facebook group, or email Blake Redding.

Kresge Garden Work Days - Check calendar for garden hours
Join fellow gardeners at the Kresge Garden workday and workshop every Sunday! Bring a dish to share for the potluck lunch! To see what the weekly workshop will be, check out the website.

Seymour Center Offers Guided Tours on the Santa Cruz Wharf - Saturday & Sunday, 1 PM & 3 PM
In collaboration with the City of Santa Cruz, UCSC's Seymour Marine Discovery Center is now leading free 30-minute public tours on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf every Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m. The Seymour Center's marine science interpreters are also available between tours to answer questions about the variety of wildlife visible at the wharf. Find out more here.

Are you part of a sustainability club, hiking, or gardening group not listed here? Have you participated in any of the above groups? Tell us about it in the comments or send us an email!

October 2012: Upcoming Events

First FoCAN Meeting of the Year - October 2, 6-8 PM (A3 in the Village)
Friends of Community Agroecology Network (FoCAN) is a student-initiated, student-led community at UCSC that supports CAN’s mission of promoting rural livelihoods and sustainable food systems through action education and participatory action research. They are having their first meeting of the year on October 2nd at the Village, building A3 from 6-8 PM. This will be a crucial meeting welcoming new faces, talking about food systems in regards to the food chain and learning more about CAN. There will be opportunities to get more involved with FoCAN and as always, potluck style dinners! For more information, please contact Catherine.

Student Environmental Center General Gathering - October 3 from 6:30-8:30 PM (College 8 Red Room)
The purpose of the Student Environmental Center (SEC) is to promote student involvement through research, education, and implementation of environmentally sustainable practices on campus in collaboration with the university. SEC will be hosting a General Gathering on October 3 in the College Eight Red Room from 6:30 to 8:30 PM with fun activities, free home-cooked dinner, interesting people, and anyone and everyone is welcome to come for the evening! Find out more about SEC here.

Cover Crops in the Orchard - Sunday, October 7 from 10 AM - 1 PM (Alan Chadwick Garden)
Orin Martin and Matthew Sutton will discuss and demonstrate cover cropping for the home orchard. Learn how to prepare your orchard’s soil for winter rains and boost soil fertility, including best choices for cover crops and planting techniques. $20 for Friends of the Farm & Garden members, $30 for general public, $5 for UCSC students, payable the day of the workshop. For more information, contact 831-459-3240 or

Santa Cruz Open Streets - Sunday, October 7 (West Cliff Drive)
In the new Santa Cruz Open Streets event set for Sunday, October 7th from 9 AM - 1PM, West Cliff Drive will be turned into a giant street park for FREE, public recreation. The road will be temporarily closed to automobiles and open for people to bicycle, jog, skate, dance, and more! This family-friendly event will also feature fun and free activities, info booths with resources for active and sustainable living, live music, free raffles, and food. Road closure from Lighthouse Field to Natural Bridges State Park. For more information visit Like the event on Facebook to get all the latest updates.

Activities include:

  • REI climbing wall
  • Zumba and kickboxing demos by Minorsan Self-Defense and Fitness
  • Bicycle skills and fun obstacle course by Trips for Kids
  • Dog agility course by Pacific Veterinary
  • Cuban salsa music by Flor de CaƱa
  • Watsonville Taiko drumming
  • Penny Ice Cream
  • Low 'n' Slow food truck
  • Free raffles with great prizes

Follow Your Food: From Seed to Seed - Wednesday, October 10, 7-9:30 PM (Oakes 105)
Join Jared Zystro from the Organic Seed Alliance and Elizabeth Henderson from the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) for a talk investigating culture in agriculture, food justice, and our responsibility of stewarding the seeds that sustain us. We will discuss the role that the general public and farmers play in supporting a grassroots movement toward the regeneration and resilience of our food system. A focus will be placed on the importance of cultivating farmer-centric seed systems that develop locally adapted and open pollinated varieties. This event will take place in Oakes Academic Building 105. For more information, please contact Elan or visit the Demeter Seed Project website.

CAN/FoCAN Fundraiser - October 11, noon to 10 PM (Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery)
There will be a fundraiser for Community Agroecology Network at the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery October 11, from noon to 10 PM. Come hang out around 6 PM, enjoy good company, and support CAN in furthering their mission of sustaining rural livelihoods and environments in Latin America. For more information about Friends of Community Agroecology Network click here or contact Catherine.

Seed Exchange and Culture Swap - Saturday, October 13, 12-3 PM (UCSC Farm Gatehouse)
The UC Santa Cruz Demeter Seed Library invites students, staff, faculty, community members, and farmers from California’s central coast to participate in the ancient tradition of sharing heirloom and open pollinated vegetable and flower seeds. Join the seed project and gain access to its collection of locally adapted seeds for free. We will have workshops on seed saving, making kombucha, as well as free access to seeds and scobys. For more information, please contact Elan or visit the Demeter Seed Project website.

PICA's First Garden Workday - Saturday October 13, 10 AM - 2 PM (Sustainable Living Center at the Village)
The Program in Community Agroecology (PICA) is an experiential living/learning program located at the Village in the Lower Quarry that focuses on agriculture and community sustainability. Join them at the Sustainable Living Center/A-quad of the Village for their first garden workday of the school year. Come harvest, turn beds, and enjoy a delicious lunch!

Fall Plant Sale at the Arboretum - Saturday, October 13, 12-4 PM
Looking for some plants for your home or garden? Don't miss the fall plant sale at the Arboretum, hosted by the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and the California Native Plant Society, Santa Cruz County Chapter. 10 AM - 12 noon for Arboretum and CNPS members, and 12-4 PM for the public. For more information, please visit the website.

41st Annual Environmental Education Conference - October 9-13 (Oakland, CA)
Hosted by the North American Association for Environmental Education, this conference will gather more than 1,000 environmental education professionals for workshops, field experiences and a research symposium. Keynotes include "The Story of Stuff" author Annie Leonard, "Social Marketing to Protect the Environment" author and professor Wesley Schultz, and urban and environmental policy and planning professor Julian Agyeman, who will co-present "Environmental Education for the Future: Integrating Equity, Inclusion and Diversity." For more information, please visit the website.

AASHE 2012 Conference - October 14-17 (Los Angeles) - Registration ends October 8
AASHE 2012: Investing in the Future will feature campus tours, a Student Summit with keynote speaker Billy Parish, and workshops including "Campus Recycling & Zero Waste" and "Communicating Sustainability to Create Change." New this year, the conference will feature advanced sessions and an advanced track. The final conference schedule is now available here. Registration for AASHE 2012 Ends October 8. Visit the website to sign up.

Greenbuild International Conference and Expo - November 14-16 (San Francisco)
Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, and it is coming back to San Francisco November 14-16. If you are a full-time student or professional age 25 and under, volunteer and attend for free! For more information visit the website. For questions, click here to send an email.

Hosting a sustainability related event in Santa Cruz or know about one happening in October? Post in the comments or send us an email!