Monday, April 30, 2012

May 2012 Sustainability Profile: The Paper Towel Debate

Did you know that paper towel waste makes up 40% of the trash that UC Santa Cruz produces--by weight? Even if you didn’t know that, anyone who’s ever used a restroom stocked with paper towels knows how quickly those trash cans fill up with half-dry paper towels, which are often barely used to their maximum absorbency before another paper towel is pulled from the dispenser. We hardly think about it in our day-to-day lives, especially since many people use cloth hand towels at home. In the dorms at UCSC, however, paper towels are in every bathroom, and they are a huge contributor to campus waste.

Five years ago as a freshman in Stevenson College, Aidan Ward noticed the wastefulness of the dorm paper towel dispensers. Since then, he’s been working on getting the disposable towels removed and encouraging fellow students to bring their own cloth hand towels to the restroom. After years of various tactics, and now with the support of Path to A Greener Stevenson (PTAGS) and the Sustainability Office’s Zero Waste Team, paper towels have been removed from dorm restrooms in Stevenson’s Sustainability House (Casa Segunda) in the first phase of a pilot program aimed at removing all paper towels from residential dormitory restrooms on campus.

Sound like a shocking proposal? In fact, the paper towel debate is a hot topic among UC housing managers from across the state. On April 17, during the UC Housing System Facilities Summit at the University Center on the UCSC campus, a system-wide meeting of housing managers focused on sustainability initiatives. When Chris Attias, UCSC Director of Housing Services & Facilities, began discussing waste reduction and paper towels during his presentation on UCSC housing and sustainability topics, hands went up around the room with details about various UC campuses’ experiences with the paper towel waste issue.

Sanitation Concerns
The first question that arises in discussions about paper towels is why they’re there in the first place, and the answer is sanitation. A number of years ago, paper towels were installed in the UCSC dorm bathrooms to decrease the likelihood of people getting sick. Paper towels can help with sanitation because they get the germs off of your hands completely after washing, and both the paper towel and your germs end up in the trash. There’s also, of course, a convenience factor, but the main concern regarding their removal in the dorms for is sanitation.

A paper towel dispenser in a Stevenson Casa Cuarta restroom. You can see how full the trash bin next to it is with used paper towels. "These Come From Trees" signs are posted on many of the paper towel dispensers in dorm restrooms, but paper towel waste remains a huge contributor to overall campus waste.
Sanitation concerns are certainly not an unknown obstacle to Ward’s campaign to remove the paper towels. As a freshman, and again last year, Ward purchased used hand towels at thrift stores and hung them in bathrooms throughout the Stevenson dorms in hopes that students would use them instead of paper. He asked other RAs in Stevenson to tell their residents to wash the hand towel whenever they did laundry so that it would be washed regularly. Unfortunately, there was no way of knowing when the towel had last been washed, and there was a concern among students and staff that the towels weren’t being cleaned or were being contaminated with germs. So the towels were removed.

Why Not Compost?
One of the next questions that comes up regarding paper towel waste is, Why not compost them? As we just learned, paper towel waste is 40% of the waste stream by weight, which seems enormous since paper towels weigh so little. “It adds up,” remarked Silas Snyder, Safety, Training and Conservation Coordinator for UCSC Housing and Dining, after sharing this statistic during the UC housing managers meeting. The paper towels are compostable, but because of the large amount of them being thrown away, they will not break down. For compost to work, there has to be enough carbon-rich, wet material to break down the drier materials. On a small scale, this is possible to achieve, but there are just too many paper towels in the waste stream for this to work in the dorms.

Hand Dryers
What about hand dryers? This is one solution that Ward discussed with PTAGS, but the cost, noise, and energy-use were concerns that just didn’t make sense when paper towels could just be removed instead. At other campuses, hand dryers were actually piloted in one dorm bathroom, but because they’re noisy and so close to students’ living quarters, students in the pilot dorm were reluctant to use the dryer and requested that the paper towels be put back. A Sustainability Director at UC Davis actually researched the data on electric dryers versus paper towels, and found that if the paper towels were composted, they would have a smaller net carbon footprint. Additionally, dryers require maintenance, which adds to their overall cost.

Simplest Solution
The simplest solution seems to be to remove the paper towels. One of the UC housing managers mentioned that they simply do not have paper towels in their dorm bathrooms. Another housing manager from UC Davis said that they have lockers and cubbies in their restrooms, like the cubbies in UCSC dorms. Students can leave their personal toiletries and hand towels in these cubbies so they don’t have to remember to bring them with them. Even if students don’t have their cloth hand towel with them, as long as they wash their hands well, letting them air dry is another great solution. 

The Pilot Program
With the help of PTAGS, Ward submitted an official proposal for a pilot program, which was well-received by Sue Matthews, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing and Educational Services, who expressed her concerns but has approved the initial phase to gather results on waste reduction and student and staff response. Changes such as this can cause pushback from custodial staff who stock and clean the dorm restrooms, but fortunately, Ward has been in communication with the Sustainability House custodian regarding the change and the steps required to measure the paper towel waste. So far the process has not generated any negative responses.


Two weeks ago, signs went up in the Sustainability House restrooms that read: 
A sign in one of the Sustainability House restrooms where paper towels have been removed as part of a pilot program to reduce paper towel waste and encourage students to think and behave more sustainably.

Paper towels are no longer being stocked in the Casa Segunda restroom dispensers, but a small stack is there in case of emergencies. PTAGS purchased a few hand towels for students who didn’t already have one, but other than that, students are expected to bring their own hand towel to the restroom or do without. Later in the quarter, PTAGS will conduct a survey for students to see how they feel about the change. Zero Waste Team member David Boyle has been active in working with PTAGS to obtain data from the waste generated from the Stevenson dorms, and he will continue to work on this project for the rest of the quarter. If all goes well with the pilot program, PTAGS plans to expand the project to all of the Stevenson dorms and, eventually, to the entire campus.

Hopefully the pilot program will be a success in Casa Seguna. It's fitting that the program begin in this house, since it's Stevenson's Sustainability house, "a house where events and community involvement tends toward creating a more sustainable college,” Ward remarked. He lives in this house as an RA, so he will be able to experience the paper towel removal project first-hand. “It’s all about encouraging students to adopt sustainable behaviors. Hopefully they’ll stick.”

Aidan Ward standing with a new sign in a Sustainability House dorm restroom. Only one stack of paper towels are being set out each week by custodial staff to encourage students to bring their own hand towels. The paper towels are there for emergency spills.


With the paper towel removal project and its future expansion possibilities to all of UCSC, sustainable behaviors such as using cloth hand towels in place of paper towels in the restroom will become a day-to-day reality for students in the dorms--and hopefully these sustainable behaviors will follow these students throughout their lives.

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Aidan Ward will be graduating this year with a bachelor’s degree in health science. His plans after UCSC include “playing music as much as possible” and attending medical school. We wish him the best of luck in his future, and we thank him for the great foundational work he’s done in making Stevenson, and UCSC, a more sustainable community.

This Sustainability Profile was written by Melissa Ott, Internship Coordinator Assistant and Newsletter Editor for the Campus Sustainability Office. 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 email Melissa.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Green Tip #3: Pledge to Take Back the Tap & Stop Buying Bottled Water

Still not convinced that buying bottled water contributes to environmental issues, including your own health? Here are some reasons to stop buying single use water bottles from the Food and Water Watch website (click here for details on each of these):
  • Bottled water is not safer than tap water.
  • Increasingly, bottled water comes from the tap.
  • Bottled water creates mountains of garbage and causes other major environmental problems.
  • Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water.
  • Bottled water companies mislead communities into giving away their public water in exchange for dangerous jobs.

Buy a reusable water bottle and take advantage of all the free, clean tap water on our campus. Speaking of taking back the tap and doing away with plastic bottled water, UCSC's Take Back the Tap has some news to share!
 
Everyone welcome OPERS Facilities Center as the newest bottle-water free facility on campus! Next time you're there, stop by the new spigot on the water fountain, and thank the OPERS staff behind the desk and supervisor Todd Hammond for taking bottled water off their shelves.
 

You may have seen the other new water spigots around campus (like this one in Stevenson). Thanks to the Carbon Fund and Take Back the Tap, filling your bottle at water fountains is easier than ever! Find these new stations:
  • McHenry Library 2nd and 4th floors
  • Science & Engineering Library main floor
  • Social Sciences 2
  • Student Union building in Quarry Plaza
  • Outside of Stevenson 150
  • More will be installed in June!
Take Back the Tap UCSC is an initiative to end the sale and distribution of bottled water on our campus.  If you're interested in getting involved, please email Take Back the Tap. Check out their Facebook page for further updates!
 
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Click  here to see past Green Tips!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

May 2012: Contests & Funding

CSC Grants: Deadline May 11th
The Campus Sustainability Council is now accepting grant proposals for 2012-2013 sustainability projects. If you work within on of the student organization on campus and want to implement your own project relating to the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus, this is the place to get funding! Make sure to attend one of the required trainings, dates provided on the website, and to turn in your application by May 11th! For more information please email CSC.

Call for Submissions: Student Sustainability Film Festival
The Media Institute for Social Change invites submissions for its third annual Student Sustainability Film Festival. Students can submit short films about what their campus or community is doing to make it more sustainable for a chance to receive cash prizes and be shown at various campus and conference screenings. Entries are due by May 17, 2012. For more information please visit the website.

Call for Entries: Green Living Project Student Film Competition - Deadline May 25
Green Living Project invites submissions for its Student Film Project. The competition encourages students to submit films of five minutes or less that share a unique, creative and compelling story about a local or global sustainability-related project. Sample sustainability topics include wildlife conservation, sustainable food, resource conservation, community development, renewable energy, sustainability-related education and sustainable travel and tourism. The submission deadline is May 25, 2012. Winners will be screened at Green Living Project's Washington D.C. Film Premiere in June. For more information please visit the website!

Drop Your Own Drip
Drop Your Own Drip is a campus campaign working to create educational monthly water-use statements for on-campus apartment residents that encourage conservation. Water conservation is further incentivized for residents through a campus-wide water-use reduction competition and challenge for each resident to use no more than the target-level of daily water-use of 60 gallons per person. The competition will reward the college residents from one of the ten main apartment complexes on campus who successfully reduce water-use per capita the most between the months of February to April 2012. Water statements were successfully sent out for February and March, and the final weeks of the conservation competition are upon us! The final round of statements will be sent out May 14-18 and that's when we will know the winner! If you live in the on-campus apartments, do your part and reduce your water consumption at home! With any questions, please email Drop Your Own Drip . GET A GRIP & DROP YOUR OWN DRIP!

Accepting Applications: AASHE 2012 Awards Program
AASHE invites applications for its 2012 sustainability awards. AASHE will present four Campus Sustainability Case Study Awards, one Student Sustainability Leadership Award, two Student Research on Campus Sustainability Awards and one Faculty Leadership Award. All winners will be announced at the AASHE 2012 conference and will be featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Applications will be accepted through July 2. Please visit the website for more information.

Carbon Fund's Winter Projects
Do you have a creative greenhouse gas reduction idea? Let the Carbon Fund help it grow! The Carbon fund will be accepting applications next year, but now is the time to prepare your project idea. This past winter quarter the UCSC Carbon Fund granted over $26,000 to three staff and student run greenhouse gas reduction projects, including the installation of solar tubes at Natural Bridges Green School, a lighting retrofit at Watsonville High School (WHS), and a “greenovation” of the study lounge at Porter College. For a complete list of projects and information on how to get involved, visit the website or email the Carbon Fund.

Food Justice Communities on the Move Video Challenge

San Jose State University has been working on a food justice campaign in east San Jose, which encourages families teaching their children how to eat, increases access to CalFresh SNAP benefits, and teaches families how to use these benefits at farmers' markets, emphasizes eating culturally relevant and familiar foods in healthy ways. They have partnered with local farms like Veggielution, Second Harvest Food Bank, various faith and cultural groups, and more. They have leaders from the university, but and from the local community who reach out to their peers on these issues. If their video wins, the group gets $1000 and two representatives get to go to the White House. This is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign against childhood obesity. These are our neighbors both geographically and allies in food justice. You can vote daily with Facebook. Voting closes on May 11. Vote now!

May 2012: Clubs, Gardens & Hikes

Volunteer in the Arboretum Eucalyptus Grove: Mondays 9 AM
Help out the Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz as a volunteer in the Eucalyptus Grove. The group meets on Mondays from 9am until noon in the Eucalyptus Grove, opposite Western Drive. Parking is available in the Grove for these Monday morning work parties. Please bring hat, gloves, water, and layers of clothing. Tools will be provided. For more information, click here .

Natives First Gardeners at the Arboretum: Tuesdays 9 AM
This weeding group was formed to help with the Entrance Native Garden at the Arboretum on Tuesday mornings at 9 AM. Enjoy a friendly group, and get involved in beautifying this ongoing project while enjoying the beauty of the California Native collection. Bring gloves, water, and sun protection. For more information, click 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. FoCAN meets weekly at the Sustainable Living Center in the Village, building A. Through communal meals, discussions, and activities, these weekly meetings create a community that fosters dialogue and experiential learning about the global food system and sustainability. Find out more here.

Natural History Club: Wednesdays at 4 PM
The Natural History Club is all bout 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.

Student Environmental Center: Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 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: Thursdays 8-9 PM
Path to a Greener Stevenson (PTAGS) meets in the Stevenson House 2 lounge. They are currently working on expanding the Stevenson Garden, piloting a paper towel reduction campaign in the Stevenson sustainability themed dorm, and collaborating with the Stevenson Coffee House to increase its sustainability efforts. For more information, visit the Facebook group or email Blake Redding.


Guided Nature Walks with Campus Natural Reserves Steward: Every Other Friday 
Our campus does not end at the buildings, so come explore the variety of vivacious ecosystems and what inhabits them! Guided Nature Walks will leave from College 8 Red Room on May 11 and May 25 from 2-4 PM. Please check out the flyer for details. For more information, please contact Alex Jones, the Campus Natural Steward.

Farm Fridays
Each week, one dining hall features a dish incorporating ingredients from the UCSC Farm and other local organic farms in the region. The food is delicious, and it feels great to be eating the most local food possible! For more information, contact Candy Berlin or view the Farm Fridays schedule here.

PICA Saturday Garden Play Days
PICA's Garden Workdays continue to be held every Saturday in May from 10am-2pm at the PICA Gardens. Volunteers need no registration (just show up!) and everyone is provided with a free meal from the garden at the end. For more information, please contact Bethany Hecht.

Kresge Garden Work Days: Sundays 10 AM - 2 PM  
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.

New Committee: Social Media Think Tank
Do you have an interest in becoming more savvy with utilizing social media to engage the public for your organization? Do you have any experience with administrating Facebook pages and want to share or learn more about the "science" of social media? Do you use Facebook a lot and want to help us figure out how to better engage our audiences? Founded by two members of on-campus sustainability organizations, this think tank seeks to bring together the ideas and experiences of anyone and everyone on the UCSC campus who has an interest in using social media for marketing or who has had experience with successful social media outreach. All are welcome to attend. Meeting times, locations and topics will be posted on the Facebook group. For more information, or if you would like to join the discussion, please contact Melissa Ott.

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. Email Dominique for information about timing and locations. To see a list of on-campus gardens, visit the Gardeners' Alliance website here.

May 2012: Classes, Training & Community

Live at PICA Next Year!
Interested in living in the PICA community? If you enjoy living sustainably, gardening, sharing home-cooked meals, and living in a friendly educational community, PICA (Program in Community and Agroecology) might just be the place for you! Details on how to sign up for the Village's amazing themed housing can be found here. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Bethany Hecht.

Summer Writing Workshops
This summer, UCSC Environmental Studies lecturer and research associate Sarah Rabkin will be offering a five-day writing retreat in the northern Sierra Nevada and two workshops at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, on the Oregon coast. For more information, please click here.

AASHE Rio +20 Webinar - Increasing Collaboration to Build a Sustainable Future: May 10
Co-produced by AASHE, this webinar is the first in the Security and Sustainability Forum's "Run up to Rio +20" webinar series. AASHE's Executive Director Paul Rowland will host a panel of academic and industry thought leaders in a discussion about existing sustainability initiatives and collaborative efforts, and how they can be augmented to help meet the goals being established at the United Nations Rio +20 Summit. The webinar will take place 1:15 p.m. Eastern, May 10.

CURC Recycling Webinar - Campus and Community Outreach: May 10
Recycling Education and Awareness: Tools, Tips and Ideas for Campus and Community Outreach," hosted by the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) and co-sponsored by AASHE, will cover tools and communications strategies specific to college campuses. Participants will learn how to increase program visibility through national events including Recyclemania; maximize reach through collaborations with campus-based and community organizations; and effectively utilize social media and other free communications tools. This webinar will take place 1:00 p.m. Eastern, May 10.

Workshop for Integrating Sustainability into Education: Registration Deadline May 15
This three-day workshop, to be held June 4-6, in San Diego, CA, and allows academic faculty to explore how they can meaningfully integrate sustainability, which is broadly defined, into their classrooms. Presentations on sustainable agriculture, sustainable communities, and biomimicry; a visit to the San Diego Zoo; a presentation on sustainability initiatives at Balboa Park; a Kumeyaay exhibit and presentation at the Museum of Man; and an optional excursion to the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, with tour and canoeing/kayaking afterwards. Limited to 40 participants, register now!

IDEASS Now Accepting Applications: Deadline May 25
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? A new interdisciplinary program: Impact Designs, Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) is now accepting applications for class enrollment for the 2012-2013 academic year. Juniors and Seniors from all majors are encouraged to apply. Click here for details!

Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy: Apply by June 1
Graduate and senior-level undergraduate students are invited to apply for this University of Illinois at Chicago interdisciplinary program that explores a broad spectrum of sustainability and energy related topics including policy, economics, health, science, engineering, environment, urban planning, business and entrepreneurship. Themed "Election 2012: Energy, Economics and Environment," the August 2012 institute will use the presidential election as the point of departure for a critical analysis of national energy and sustainability issues. For fullest consideration, applications should be submitted by June 1.

Webinar: Creating a Bike-Friendly Campus Culture: June 6
Best for those institutions that are still in the foundational stages of developing a campus-wide alternative transportation strategy, this Academic Impressions webinar will take a step-by-step approach to creating a bike-friendly culture on any campus using Duke University (NC) as an example. Supported by AASHE, this event will start with basic initiatives including bike racks, bike storage rooms and bike maps, and move into deeper investments like developing effective town/gown relationships. It will take place at 4 PM online. Click here for more information and to register.

IDEASS Program Now Accepting Applications: Deadline Extended to June 20 - Apply Today!

Are you interested in...
  • Learning how to build and install a rainwater catchment system?
  • Sequestering energy for the grid from algae?
  • Creating a digital media platform to change Boardwalk consumer habits?
  • Installing an electric vehicle charging station on the Wharf?
  • Filming and editing a documentary about local sustainability initiatives?
  • Working with local businesses to reduce their carbon footprint?
Or maybe you have your own idea for a sustainable design project with potential to make a real community impact, but you aren’t sure how to make it a reality? If you answered yes to any of these questions and want to learn what it takes to work as a sustainability change agent, then you should apply to IDEASS!



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. 

Apply Now by Clicking Here! Applications to be considered for enrollment in Fall 2012 are due Wednesday, June 20!

IDEASS offers a unique college experience. Students spend minimal time in the classroom, putting the majority of their effort into realizing project deliverables in the field. This is an opportunity for undergraduates approaching graduation to transition into the emerging green-technology workforce. Multiple IDEASS students graduating in 2012 are entertaining or have already accepted job offers resulting from their achievements working on an IDEASS project.
Santa Cruz Wharf Wind Turbine Project

Visit the Project Clearinghouse and search for IDEASS to view examples of completed and active IDEASS projects. Click here to read a student testimonial about an IDEASS project taking place in Porter College!

To find out more about IDEASS, please visit the website or contact IDEASS with any questions or concerns. IDEASS needs your talent, so apply today!

May 2012: Internships, Employment & Volunteering

Exciting Jobs and Internships - Apply NOW for 2012-13 Academic Year Positions!
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 Spring 2012 and the 2012-2013 academic year, and we are looking for talented individuals with a passion for sustainability to join our team. You certainly do not have 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.

Take Back the Tap's New Water Spigots and More Businesses On Board
Everyone welcome OPERS Facilities Center as the newest bottle-water free facility on campus! When you're heading to the basketball court or the pool, stop by the spigot installed by the Take Back the Tap team on the water fountain, and thank the OPERS staff behind the desk and supervisor Todd Hammond for taking bottled water off their shelves. You may have also seen the new water spigots around campus (above, at McHenry Library). Thanks to the Carbon Fund and Take Back the Tap, filling your bottle at water fountains is easier than ever! Take Back the Tap UCSC is an initiative to end the sale and distribution of bottled water on our campus.  If you're interested in getting involved, please email Take Back the Tap. Check out their Facebook page here.

Spring 2012 Gaia Magazine Coming Soon + Opportunities to Get Involved!
The Spring 2012 issue of Gaia Magazine is coming soon! Interested in getting involved in putting together this environmentally focused magazine next year? Want to contribute your work? Keep your eyes peeled around campus in the next few weeks – the Spring 2012 issue of Gaia Magazine will be appearing at your local libraries, college cafes, mailrooms, and more. Look for the beautiful fern on the cover, and enjoy the contents! When you’ve finished reading, keep Gaia sustainable by passing your copy on to someone else. If you like what you see, and will be a student at UCSC next year, consider joining the Gaia Team, submitting to next year’s issue, or just helping the team spread the word about Gaia to the campus community. Email the team for more information, and visit their Facebook page or website!

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.

Environmental Education for the Next Generation Seeking Teachers
Environmental Education for the Next Generation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to spread environmental literacy and an ethic of sustainability throughout our community, from the youngest members of our society up. Their Environmental Science & Sustainability Program links teams of college student instructors with 1st and 2nd grade classes for weekly lessons exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world. For more information about all the EENG has to offer, please visit their website or send them 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.

Opportunities with Pick Up America
Pick Up America is looking for people to travel with them this year! They are seeking young, energetic leaders who are ready to hit the road, pick up litter, and organize for a more sustainable America. An ideal candidate would be self-motivated, know how to be a team player, and be eager to educate, strategize, network, and inspire resource stewardship and zero-waste in America. Visit their website to find all the details about the available positions.  

Green Corps Now Accepting Applications
Green Corps is looking for college graduates who are ready to take on the biggest environmental challenges of our day. In Green Corps' year-long paid program, you'll get hands-on experience fighting to solve urgent environmental problems - global warming, deforestation, water pollution and many others - with groups such as Sierra Club and Food and Water Watch. When you graduate from Green Corps, they help you find a career with one of the nation's leading environmental and social change groups. For more information, visit the Green Corps website.

Student Conservation Association Internships
The SCA is one of the biggest partners for national parks and forests. Each year, they send thousands of youth across the country to get conservation experience in awesome places. Living expenses, housing, and round trip travel provided. Internships run from 3-12 months and are available in all 50 states. Visit their website for more information and to apply.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May 2012: Upcoming Events

U.S. Green Building Council Monthly Speaker Event: May 2
Interested in sustainable development, green building, or LEED certification? Check out U.S. Green Building Council's May guest speakers, Brett McFadden and Rick Mullikin, who will be talking about "School Modernization: Utilizing General Obligation Bonds to Incorporate Green School Features." It will take place at Bolsa Knolls Middle School in Salinas from 5:30 - 8 PM. First four students admitted are free! For more information, click here.

UCSC Farm & Garden Spring Plant Sale: May 5-6
It’s time to stock up your garden and brighten your landscape with plants from the UCSC Farm & Garden’s Spring Plant Sale, featuring organically grown herb and flower starts, vegetables, and beautiful perennials. It will take place in the Barn Theater parking lot at the base of the UCSC campus on Saturday (5/5) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Sunday (5/6) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, please contact Martha or visit the website.

Bike to Work Week: May 4th-12th
Santa Cruz will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bike to Work Week this year with an amazing schedule of events! Visit the Bike to Work website for the list of daily events  and more information. If you are interested in volunteering, send an email. Check out the Bike to Work commercial below!



Culinary Herb Workshop at the UCSC Farm: May 12
Join Emily Jane Freed, Regional Production Manager of Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, to enter into the world of perennial and annual herbs and culinary flowers. Come learn which herbs grow best in the Central Coast climate and the best times of year to plant both perennial and annual herbs. You’ll be surprised to learn that most of the flowers growing in your backyard are edible! Herb and flower samples provided, along with herb starts to take home and plant in your own garden. Meet at the Louise Cain Gatehouse, UCSC Farm at 10 AM. No pre-registration necessary. For pricing and details, please visit the website. $5 for UCSC students, payable the day of the workshop. For more information, contact Martha.

Strawberry Justice Festival: May 17
The Strawberry Justice Festival, a free event celebrating delectable strawberries, will take place Thursday, May 17 at the UCSC Farm, from 4 - 7 PM. The event will include live music from Wooster, panel discussions on strawberry production in the Central Coast, an art zone, World Cafe, and interactions with tabling student/community organizations... and of course, strawberries! For more information, contact the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Garden Cruz 3-Day Organic Gardening Course: May 18-20

This spring, immerse yourself in the nuts and bolts of what you need to know to create and maintain a healthy, productive organic garden in a new 3-day “Garden Cruz” community course at UC Santa Cruz's Alan Chadwick Garden (click the image above for more information). Classes will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. UCSC students will receive a discount. For details, including cost and how to register, please visit the website. For questions, please email Martha.

End of the Year Celebration: May 31
We are honored to invite you to our 4th Annual End of the Year Sustainability Celebration and Planning Session! Join students, staff, faculty and administrators from throughout the campus community to celebrate successes in campus sustainability and to share input on planning for our future. The event will take place Thursday, May 31 from 1 PM - 5 PM in the Stevenson Event Center. The planning session for the Campus Sustainability Plan will be from 1-3 PM, and the project poster symposium and award session will be from 3-5 PM. The event will also include delicious organic food and live music. Read more about the event here. We hope to see you there!

California Higher Education Sustainability Conference: June 18-21 - Registration Now Open!
Taking place June 18-21, 2012 at UC Davis, this conference highlights cutting-edge research, as well as case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships. This unique event is jointly organized by independent/private colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California creating the opportunity for dialogue across institutions. For more information, click here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

End of the Year Celebration: May 31, 2012

You are invited to the 4th Annual End of the Year Sustainability Celebration and Planning Session, which will be held at the Stevenson Event Center on Thursday, May 31st, from 1 PM - 5 PM. Join students, staff, faculty and administrators from throughout the campus community to reflect on our accomplishments of the year and plan for the future.

Highlights of the event include:
  • a sustainability project poster symposium, showcasing collaborative projects from students and staff
  • networking between students, staff, faculty, and administrators to lead toward future collaboration
  • a recognition and appreciation ceremony for campus sustainability leaders
  • a planning activity to recap progress made on the current Campus Sustainability Plan and vision goals for 2016
  • delicious organic food and live music
The agenda for the event is
  • 1:00 - 1:30 PM: Arrival, Snacks, and Opening Remarks
  • 1:30 - 3:00 PM: Campus Sustainability Planning Activity
  • 3:00 - 3:30 PM: Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards
  • 3:30 - 5:00 PM: Project Poster Symposium, Snacks, Music, and Celebration
Thank you for your time and all your hard work for our campus and our world. If you have questions, please contact Gabi Kirk, Events Coordinator. We hope to see you there!