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Monday, November 25, 2013

Individual Building Styrofoam Collection Now Available

Does your building produce styrofoam waste? Physical Plant is now willing to start collecting styrofoam in individual buildings! To identify a collection location for pick up, talk to your building manager and contact Bill Alderson at walderso [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Sustainable Transportation Class this Winter

Transportation projects at UC Santa Cruz are really rolling this year, with a number of new projects taking shape in addition to the continuation of past programs. With all of the exciting work happening regarding how we get from place to place, students are seeking ways to collaborate, network, and stay better connected so that projects can support one another and have collectively greater impacts in the UCSC and Santa Cruz communities.

New Sustainable Transportation Course 
To bring together the many student projects related to transportation on and off-campus for this increased communication, a hands-on class with an internship component titled "People Power: Engaging Sustainable Transportation Solutions" is being offered through the Common Ground Center in Kresge College that will meet weekly for discussion, sharing of project ideas, and updates. The occasional walk or bike ride across campus will be part of opportunities to reflect on barriers and opportunities to encourage more students to use these methods while getting around campus instead of busing or driving. Community and campus leaders working on transportation initiatives, including representatives from People Power of Santa Cruz County, Ecology Action, Transportation and Parking Services, Fleet Services, health organizations that promote walking, and public transportation groups like Santa Cruz Metro will be invited to speak and answer questions in the class throughout the quarter.

Two undergraduate students, Alex Hoffman (third year Physics) and Melissa Ott (fourth year Literature), will be designing and facilitating the class with the guidance of David Shaw, co-founder of the Common Ground Center and Kresge College faculty member. The 2-unit class has 20 spots open for any students who are interested in sustainable transportation solutions, as well as students who are already working on projects related to transportation on or off-campus. Students who are not currently part of a project will be matched up with a project of their choice from a list of ideas, including some generated by People Power of Santa Cruz County and one of its programs Green Ways to School. People Power is a bike advocacy organization in the Santa Cruz community, and Green Ways to School is a program with a mission to get more youth on bicycles for getting to school and around town.

The course will also have time set aside each week for ideas sharing and brainstorming together, which is open to the public and to students who aren't able to commit to enrolling in the class. Each week's class will have a theme for discussion, including diverse topics like social justice, feminism, accessibility, environmental sustainability, community building, and place making.

All students are invited to apply for this hands-on class. Because of the limited number of spaces, there is an application that can be submitted here. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and it is recommended that you submit your application by December 30. The class will be held Friday mornings from 8 AM - 10:40 AM, complete with breakfast potlucks and Community Agroecology Network coffee to get the innovative thought wheels turning at the start of the day.

Campus Transportation Projects 
Here's a snapshot of some of the transportation projects taking place on and off-campus by UCSC students. The hope is that these students will participate in the class in order to create more community and connection among the various programs:

Find Out More
If you are interested in learning more, know about transportation resources or programs not mentioned here, or want to get involved in the class in any way, please email Melissa Ott at mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu. To apply, please submit your application here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Bottle Filling Station at Porter

If you've visited the lobby above the Porter Dining Hall recently, you may have noticed a new drinking fountain that is designed to fill up water bottles. As part of campus-wide efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles, Dining installed the new water filler in the lobby in addition to one located downstairs by the soda machine. Now you can easily refill your water bottle in the lobby, as well as in the Porter Slug Cafe and downstairs in the dining hall.

In past years, a student-led initiative called Take Back the Tap, installed a number of water bottle filling stations around campus. They continue to work on projects to reduce our campus's dependency on plastic water bottles. To learn more, visit their Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Financial Affairs - A Year in Waste

In response to the Chancellor’s Sustainability Challenge to reduce waste in 2013-14, the Financial Affairs Green Team kicked off this effort by presenting “A Year in Waste.“ This event was promoted to build awareness of waste generated by Financial Affairs and to encourage more sustainable and ecologically friendly practices. “A Year in Waste” was held October 23 to a standing room-only group of employees and included a skit by the Financial Affairs Actors Pool, a raffle of donated “green items," a debut of the Dimeo Lane Video (featuring a guest appearance by Chancellor Blumenthal), food, and an informative presentation and call to action by Director of Sustainability, Lacey Raak.

The Dimeo Lane Video shown at this event was created in an attempt to better understand what happens to the waste Financial Affairs generates and to explore avenues for diverting waste from the landfill wherever possible. As part of this endeavor, the Dimeo Lane project team donned hard hats to tour the landfill and interviewed the management about waste diversion opportunities for UCSC. This video offered an opportunity to share what was learned from this project and to create greater awareness within Financial Affairs about trash management and sustainability.

Another “Year in Waste” project, the Financial Affairs Waste Reduction Initiative, is currently underway. Collaborators on this four-week pilot waste stream project included Waste and Recycling, Grounds Services, Custodial, Financial Affairs, and 2300 Delaware Facilities Managements. During this pilot program, a baseline measurement of waste was collected. Six waste streams were identified: white paper, mixed paper, compost, garbage, cardboard and containers. The data recovered in this pilot program will be used to compare against future waste measurements to be taken at year end. In addition, this information can be extrapolated to other similar environments to help identify resource and infrastructure needs to achieve zero waste.

The Financial Affairs Green Team looks forward to continued efforts in environmental leadership, collaboration, education and meeting the Chancellor’s Challenge by reducing waste, improving sustainability practices and implementing environmental solutions.

Monday, November 18, 2013

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

U Maryland Uses Houseplants to Aid Indoor Air Quality
Helping staff and faculty members achieve silver status for its green office program, students from the University of Maryland's Institute of Applied Agriculture assist in the production of potting and maintaining plants for distribution. The program is even used as a teaching opportunity and they have a plant science class where students pot the plants and grow until distribution day. We also have Green Office Certification Program that works to empower our campus offices to implement sustainable practices in their everyday operations, but what if we too had a class that grew plants to distribute to offices?

U Maryland Celebrates 'Park(ing) Day'
Students from the University of Maryland's chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Arboretum and Botanical Garden recently converted two parking spaces into a public park in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of green spaces in urban areas. In celebration of the international environmental movement “PARK(ing) Day,” this university’s chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden converted two parking spaces in front of Cole Field House into a public park. Re-imagine East Remote Parking lot with a celebration of different uses for that space!

Griffith U Creates Climate Change App
A university in Australia has newly released Coastal Ecosystems Response to Climate Change Synthesis Report app, which provides critical information for anticipating how climate change may impact on coastal Australia, will help the public navigate through science and make decisions about the growing climate change threat. With our proximity to the coast here at UCSC, it would be useful to have an app like this here to warn us of future climate change issues.

Western Washington U Students Pilot Rentable Mug Program
Each time a student enjoys a latte, tea or other hot beverage on campus, they are confronted with a choice: to use a single-use disposable cup or a reusable mug. In an effort to reduce waste and money spent on handling that waste, students from a Campus Sustainability Planning Studio class at Western Washington University initiated Project MUG this fall using grant funding from the university's green fee. Project MUG enables students to rent a reusable mug for beverages. Here, UCSC Dining has implemented a system that utilizes a FREE mobile phone application to track drink purchases with reusable mugs at Perk Coffee Bars. It is called GVING and it's really simple to use.

December 2013 Sustainability Profile: Chancellor George Blumenthal

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, who has been making great sustainable decisions both in his own life and for our campus. We’d like to thank him for all that he has done to support our sustainability vision and goals.

Chancellor George Blumenthal

We asked the Chancellor what he thinks about sustainability and how it relates to his work at UCSC. 

Academic Background:

  • Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Ph.D. in Physics at the University of California, San Diego
  • In 2011, he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Astrophysics and leadership in higher education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

What does "sustainability" mean to you? Sustainability, to me, is a collaboration between everyone to preserve our planet so that our children and our children's children can enjoy the land that we were so blessed to live and learn on.

Favorite Green Tip: Don't print. I never print...well, almost never. There are only a couple situations where I find printing necessary - boarding passes and for speeches. But aside from those occasional prints, I do a good job of never printing. When I became Chancellor, I set the standard for avoiding printing and now people know not to bring printed materials to meetings with me.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? What is one cool thing you've done to make UCSC a more sustainable place?
Being the head Banana Slug, I support student initiatives and sustainability as a deeply held value at UCSC. Years ago, a group of students came together with the idea of making UCSC a more sustainable campus; they passed student fee measures that now fund student internships and jobs, allowing sustainability actions to flourish throughout campus. I try to take the students’ actions on our campus and use that to help initiate action at a system-wide level, by raising the issue at University of California Office of the President meetings and among my colleagues on other campuses.

I also initiated the development of the Chancellor's Sustainability Challenge; this Challenge is an opportunity to make significant progress towards reaching our sustainability goals, by collaborating around one sustainability topic. The Challenge for this year is to reduce campus waste so that we can achieve our Zero Waste Goal by 2020 (Pledge here!).

I am also a role model to students, staff, and faculty here at UCSC. I have made many changes to my everyday life like never printing and using a reusable water bottle and mug in order to model living a sustainability life.

How do you practice sustainability in your own life?
I recycle; I don't print unless absolutely necessary and when I do print, I print double sided; and I use a reusable water bottle and travel mug.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
There are actually two moments that I can think of. The first one was when I was given this mug, the mug I use everyday. A group on campus, passionate about sustainability, gave it to me and I have used it so much that the label has worn off! My second favorite moment was over the summer when I had a photo shoot with a group of students. We were taking photos that will be used in support of the Chancellor's Sustainability Challenge and the Zero Waste Goal by 2020. I was so impressed by the students that I met at the photo shoot because they were, themselves, sustainable. Most of them brought their own reusable water bottles to the shoot and, after speaking to a lot of them, I knew that they were all there because they were passionate about sustainability.

A lot of people involved in sustainability have brought up the question of how to have challenging conversations with friends, family members, and roommates that may not be as aware or interested in sustainability. How do you deal with those challenging conversations?
Leading by example is one way to begin that conversation. For example, Allison Galloway, the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, gave me a reusable hand towel, which made me think about not using the paper towels in the Kerr Hall restrooms. Portraying a good example, like she does, is a great way to get people thinking.

It is also important to think about the different ways people take sustainable action. For instance, my wife does not follow my example; she loves to print hard copies of papers because she takes in more information that way. However, she does many other sustainable things like composting and recycling. Keeping the different actions and priorities of others in mind is important when trying to have that challenging conversation with people. It is also good to ask questions that raise awareness and, more importantly, include others in the decisions being made; that way, you are including them in the change and not forcing change.

In addition, as a leader it is often important for me to get out of the way - to allow for an environment that promotes creativity, collaboration and innovation to flourish. Often sustainability challenges are challenging enough without having unnecessary bureaucratic barriers - so I try to remove myself as a barrier by allowing students, staff and faculty to do what they do best. In the case of sustainability, what they do best is benefiting our campus, our community and our world.

December 2013: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering

Winter Quarter Internships with the Common Ground Center
The Common Ground Center is currently seeking 2- and 5-unit interns for winter quarter! They are seeking students with skills and/or interest in videography, social media, newsletter and press release writing, and event planning and hosting support. If you are interested in getting involved with the Center in any of these or in other ways, please email them at commonground [at] ucsc [dot] edu. The Center also has a number of courses that provide internship opportunities as part of the class (read more about classes here).

Opportunity for Students Interested in Sustainable Transportation
The Student Environmental Center's Transportation Campaign is seeking a coordinator and 2- or 5- unit interns for winter and spring quarters. The Campaign promotes sustainable transportation at UCSC, including walking, biking, busing, etc. They collaborate with the Bike Library to rent bikes to students each quarter, manage the "Rock the Bike" bike generators, and the possibility of future projects is as expansive as your imagination can explore! For more information, please contact Melissa Ott at mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu or visit the website.

Stevenson Garden Internships
Do you have a passion for gardening and farming? Are you looking for a hands-on rewarding internship? Stevenson Garden is accepting applications for prospective interns for next quarter. For details about the internships offered, please email bredding [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Arboretum Volunteer Gardening Opportunities
Have an interest in gardening, but don't have time for a gardening internship? The Arboretum has volunteer gardening hours throughout the week. Visit their website for details.

Green Labs Certification Program Seeks New Labs
In the coming weeks, the Green Labs program is outreaching to laboratories on campus that may be interested in becoming a certified Green Lab. The Green Labs committee is asking any representatives from labs that would like to learn more about the certification process to contact them at greenlabs [at] ucsc [dot] edu. The certification process has become more efficient and is a highly rewarding undertaking for laboratories interested in being recognized for their commitment to sustainability. Learn more about the program here.

Environmental Studies Internship Office
Internships are a great way to dip your toes in the water of a field that interests you. Apply beginning winter quarter for internships with the Environmental Studies Internships Office. Email the office at ckrohn [at] ucsc [dot] edu to find an internship that's right for you! Any majors are welcome to get an Environmental Studies Internship. They placed students in more than 400 internships this past year, so there is probably one waiting for you!

Implement Student-Led Sustainable Projects with IDEASS
Do you want professional experience or an opportunity to fulfill senior exit credit through an innovative sustainable design project? Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) is looking for a few more passionate and hardworking student leaders to join project teams that are already working to implement projects related to waste reduction, water systems, renewable energy, life cycle analysis, urban planning and more!  Winter admissions to IDEASS requires a winter - spring (2 quarter) commitment. Students can expect to work in interdisciplinary teams with a professional mentor. For more information, or to apply email ideass [at] ucsc [dot] edu and check out the IDEASS website.

Recycling Specialist Position in Livermore, CA
The City of Livermore, California, is seeking a full-time Recycling Specialist who can assist in the development, monitoring, and implementation of the City’s recycling and waste diversion program; research, gather, and interpret data; conduct program outreach; perform inter-disciplinary policy related research; prepare written and verbal reports; represent the City to citizens’ advisory committees or governmental agencies; and more! Learn more and apply online here.

Gaia Environmental Magazine Looking for Interns and Volunteers
Interested in putting together UCSC's environmentally focused magazine next year? The UCSC Environmental Media Project (EMP) offers many quarterly internship and volunteer opportunities. Volunteers help with fundraising, outreach, and the creation of Gaia magazine. Interns take on positions like photographer, editor, and graphic designer for 2 units. For more information about applying, email the team at environmentalmediaproject [at] gmail [dot] com and check out their Facebook page and website.

Volunteer with Take Back the Tap
Water is the life-source and scarcity is our reality. Take Back the Tap (TBtT) is an educational campaign with the goal of removing all single use plastic water bottles from UCSC as a way to combat the commodification of water! Like their Facebook page and learn how you can get involved by emailing takebackthetapucsc [at] gmail [dot] com.

Bike Smart! Youth Bicycle Safety Program Volunteering Opportunity
Bike Smart! encourages youth to bicycle for fun, transportation and health through hands-on bicycle education at local schools. Bike Smart’s bicycle skills "rodeos" (obstacle courses) inspire and empower kids to hop on a bike and leave mom and dad's car at home. Youth of all ages learn essential bicycling knowledge and skills, such as helmet fit, traffic laws, being visible and riding predictably. If you're interested in volunteering with this program for the quarter, please contact Elise at eehrheart [at] ecoact [dot] org.

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

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

Participate in a Field Study with California State University Monterey Bay Wildlands Program
The Wildlands Studies Program offers a series of environmental and cultural ecology field studies this winter/spring. You can choose among six wildlife, wildland and cultural ecology field studies searching for solutions to environmental and cultural challenges. Each program grants 12 upper division transferable units credit. Field studies take place in wildland locations throughout Hawaii, Peru, Thailand, Chile, New Zealand and Costa Rica. All of their programs are described at their website, or their catalog can be sent in the mail. If you have questions about any of their programs, please feel free to email them at wildlands [at] wildlandsstudies [dot] com.

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

December 2013: Contests & Funding

Free Winter Quarter Bike Library Rentals: Deadline January 15
Need a bike? The UCSC Bike Library has a fleet of Kona Dew hybrid bikes available to be rented for the whole quarter for free by students, staff, and faculty. The bikes come with a helmet, lock, cable, and lights. Bike Library recipients must attend a one-day bike safety class that covers bike traffic safety, maintenance, and reviews challenging roadway situations in Santa Cruz and how to best approach them. The class will be offered January 18 and 19, and it is open to any UCSC affiliate, even if they are not getting a Bike Library bike. To RSVP for the class, please email taps [at] ucsc [dot] edu. Bike Library applications for winter quarter are due January 15. Visit the website for details, and to apply for a bike click here.

Call for Papers: 'Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons' Conference
Seattle University's Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability invites papers and proposals for talks, workshops and panel presentations for its inaugural conference “Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons” to be held Aug. 7-9, 2014. Topic areas are environmental justice and sustainability from all fields of discourse, including but not limited to environmental studies, theology, business, philosophy, engineering, education, law, the arts, international development, anthropology, religious studies, geography and the natural sciences. Submissions are due by Jan. 27, 2014.

Call for Papers: BioCycle West Coast Conference
Abstracts are now being accepted for the 14th annual Renewable Energy from Organic Recycling (REFOR14 WEST) conference in the areas of renewable energy, and food recovery and recycling tracks. Deadline for abstract submission is December 31.

Call for Proposals: Solar Decathlon 2015
The U.S. Department of Energy is now taking proposals for collegiate entrants in its 2015 student competition. Up to 20 teams will be selected to begin a two-year project to build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence. Proposals are due Dec. 20, 2013.

Call for Proposals: 2014 Agricultural Innovation Prize
Launched by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the 2014 Agricultural Innovation Prize encourages student teams to develop innovative plans to address social and agricultural challenges within food systems, improving the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s population. The competition is open to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students across all academic disciplines and runs through spring 2014, when teams will compete for the chance to win $215,000 in prize money, with a grand prize of $100,000.

Call for Submissions: Real Food Media Film Contest
Real Food Media Project is seeking 30-second to four minute short films from students about U.S. food, farming and sustainability. Cash prizes will be given to the best 10 films and the audience choice winner, including a $5,000 grand prize and a chance for a screening at the Food and Farm Film Festival in San Francisco in April 2014. Deadline for submissions is February 3, 2014.

Call for Submissions: Innovative, Sustainable Projects
The Campus Consciousness Challenge, hosted by REVERB Inc., is accepting U.S. undergraduate proposals that aim to have a direct or indirect positive effect on the environment. The winner will receive $10,000 for development of the proposal. Entries are due by noon Eastern on Feb. 17, 2014.

Earthzine Seeks Student Juror for Science Competition
The online scientific journal seeks a university or college student as a juror to assist in scoring entries for NASA 2013 Earth Science Technology Showcase, an online presentation of technology developments for the earth science community.

Call for Submissions: Green Living Project Student Film Competition
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. Winning films will be screened at GLP Films' events throughout the year, and winners also receive gear and prizes up to $1,000 in value. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 17, 2014.

December 2013 Green Tips: Gift Giving

'Tis the season for green presents! Now, I don't want to seem like your typical drug store or supermarket, blasting "Frosty the Snowman" and selling ornaments right as the pumpkins roll out the door, but it's never too early to start thinking about making this season's gift-giving sustainable.

Tip Number One - Shop Local
Shopping local is a great way to make your gift giving more sustainable. When you buy a locally made gift you are supporting the local economy and avoiding the commercialism of the holidays that stores like Target and Walmart provide. If you are heading downtown to buy a friend or family member a gift try checking out a local candy shop, bookstore, or gallery for unique sustainable gifts.

Tip Number Two - Reusable Wrapping
Newspaper, old gift bags, a cardboard box you found in the garage; these are all excellent choices for wrapping up your gifts this year. Why not use up all those paper bags you got before you started remembering to bring your reusable shopping bags to the store? It's cheap, fun, and better for the environment. And who knows? Maybe the person you give the gift to will even reuse your wrapping for something else!

Tip Number Three - A Gift that Will Last
Now I'm not saying you need to buy everyone a reusable water bottle this year (even though that would be wonderful) but think before you buy! Ask yourself a few questions before you make a purchase:
  1. Is this something the person you are buying for will actually use and want?
  2. Is there a more sustainable version of this product? (Store bought cookies vs Homemade)
  3. How likely is it that this gift will end up in the trash before summer begins?
Tip Number Four - Create a Memory Instead
Honestly most "things" you can buy are not going to last forever. Why not create a memory with or for someone instead. Buy a spa day or a sea kayaking adventure! Buy a giftcard to a new restaurant you guys have been wanting to try. These things last forever in our hearts and make for an environmentally friendly gift.

December 2013: Classes, Training, and Community

CAN Announces the XV International Agroecology Shortcourse Nicaragua
The Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and the Social Development Organization of Nicaragua (ASDENIC), along with an interdisciplinary coordinating committee, announce the XV International Agroecology Shortcourse which will be held in the Parque de las Ciencias Estelimar, located near the city of EstelĂ­ in the north of Nicaragua from July 6-18, 2014. The main topic of the course is Agroecology and Social Transformation: transdisciplinarity, health, and human development. Applications are due April 15th, 2014. See the announcement and event poster for full information.

Demeter Seed Library
At Demeter Seed Library, it is the time of year to plant peas, fava beans, artichokes, radishes, garlic and lettuce! They will be hosting office hours at Oakes 307 on Wednesdays from 2pm-3pm so you can come by to pick up seeds, and talk to them about backyard gardening and sustainable agriculture. They would love to assist any of you in starting a garden so that you can have access to fresh produce and your own seeds! So go connect with them!

Maui Wowie: Alternative Spring Break to Hawaii
Step into spring break to engage and explore the island food system of Maui from production, research, and education to alternative market sites. Bridging service learning on island agriculture-education sites with hands-on tours of coffee farms and native gardens, participants will be immersed in a land rich with historical struggles and ripe with culture and community efforts to foster sustainability. Learn more here.

Common Ground Center Courses: Winter 2014
This Winter, Common Ground Center is pleased to offer four courses through Kresge College. Permaculture and Whole Systems Design (Kresge 161) is a new course that focuses on concepts, principles, and practices of permaculture and whole systems design. Transformative Action (Kresge 62) is a course on personal and societal transformation. Starting with the self, students examine past experiences, personal growth, passions, and the desire to make a difference in the world and participate in a civic engagement project for four hours per week. Tools for World Changers (Kresge 64) is a 2-unit course for developing life skills that benefit you in college and beyond through studying the most commonly used and effective methods for personal productivity, project management, interpersonal communication, event hosting, and regenerative community design. 2 and 5 unit internships are also available. A fourth course offering is a 2-unit internship with People Power of Santa Cruz County paired with a weekly class focused on transportation and its relationship to social justice, sustainability, and community. Email commonground [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more information, or check out their newsletter. 

Waste Awareness
Where does your dining hall weigh in this quarter? Check out the results from recent Waste Awareness events conducted by Dining, Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team, and volunteers from the Student Environmental Center.
  • College 8/Oakes: 2.1oz per person
  • Cowell/Stevenson: 2.0oz per person
  • Crown/Merrill: 1.6oz per person
Thank you students we are getting better at wasting less food! One plate at a time! Look out for the final two Waste Awareness Events of the quarter at Colleges 9 &10 and Porter/Kresge! If you'd like to get involved with food waste efforts and become a Waste Warrior on campus email Crystal Owings, Dining's Sustainability Intern, at cowings [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Winter People Power Bike Ride through OPERS
If you like riding bikes for fun or for commute, want to find new routes, and enjoy making friends while riding along, be on the lookout for a bike ride opportunity through the Recreation guide this winter! The winter Rec guide will be posted here December 15 and registration begins on January 9 at 9 AM.

Seymour Center Behind-the-Scenes Tours
Learn more about exciting marine research behind the scenes and experience the spectacular surroundings of the Seymour Center at one of the tours offered each week, including Marine Mammal Research Tours, Younger Lagoon Reserve Tours, and Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf Tours. For details, please visit the website.

TAPS seeks to connect with Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers
Interested in learning more about electric vehicle charging developments planned for UCSC? Want to know of potential electrical shutdowns at Core West? Transportation and Parking Services is wanting to be in better touch with our electric vehicle user community at UCSC – please send an email to Teresa at tabuika [at] ucsc [dot] edu to be added to the list of current electric vehicle users. Learn more about UCSC's current EV accomodations on the TAPS website.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crowdfunding for the Provost's Sustainability Internship (PSI)

The Provost's Sustainability Internship (PSI) is fundraising to help develop and expand the opportunities students and staff have to get involved in sustainability.

Sustainability and the Grateful Dead Library were identified as pilot projects to test a new UCSC crowdfunding program. PSI was specifically identified as an opportunity for fundraising because the program serves the broader sustainability efforts on campus, it supports the campus sustainability plan, and contributes to a transformative student experience by partnering students with staff to complete projects related to sustainability.

Our goal is to raise $3,000 in one month. (Grateful Dead Library exceeded its goal of $10,000 in one month earlier this Fall) $3,000 will fund 2 PSI positions for a year. These funds will directly support students and staff, it will allow the program to diversify its funding stream creating space for new opportunities to grow and encourage participation by departments that have not participated in PSI in the past.

There are two ways you can support this effort.

  • First, please considering donating, at whatever level you are comfortable. One of the amazing things about crowdfunding is watching small donation of $10 or $25 add up! 
  • Second, we encourage you to share this opportunity with your networks, whether is is through sending an email, posting on Facebook, or talking to friend and/or colleagues. The broader the spread of outreach the greater the opportunity for success. These funds will directly support students and staff making tangible and positive contributions to sustainability on campus, as well as encourage participation by departments that have not participated in PSI in the past but who would benefit from the organizational and financial support the program provides. If this effort is successful, we anticipate future fundraising efforts for other sustainability opportunities and we look forward to working with many of you to develop what those opportunities might be!
Thank you for supporting campus sustainability!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UCSC Students Biking the Coast to Raise Funds, Awareness for Clean Drinking Water

On December 13, with fall quarter behind them and finals all finished, two UC Santa Cruz students will be hopping onto their bicycles to embark on a 300-mile journey from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara in the name of clean drinking water for all people.

Christopher Otte (Porter, Proposed Global Economics) and Randy Miller (Kresge, Proposed Literature) will be riding their bikes along Highway 1 for nearly 300 miles to raise money and awareness for clean drinking water projects. They are seeking sponsorship for the trip from friends, family, and the Santa Cruz community, either as a flat donation or an amount per mile they ride. All funds generated will be donated to Viva con Agua, a charitable organization based in Germany that campaigns for clean drinking water worldwide. They have already raised over $200 as of November 30!

Christopher Otte (left) and Randy Miller (right), pictured here with another friend, will be biking the coast to raise money for clean water projects.

This ride is part of a new on-campus organization called the Love Foundation, whose mission is to sponsor events that are fun and appealing with the ultimate aim of fundraising for clean water projects. A current clean water project that the organization is working to fund through Viva con Agua is in India. Find out more about the Love Foundation on their Facebook page.

Christopher and Randy invite you to join them if you are up for the fun challenge. Because the ultimate purpose is to raise money, anyone joining them needs to be willing to make some phone calls to find sponsors. People joining also need to be competent cyclists that can successfully ride 40-60 miles per day so the group can stay more or less together.

For more information about the project, to inquire about joining the ride, or to donate funds to their cause, please email Christopher Otte at ctotte [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Recently Green Certified Payroll Office Writes Song

Congratulations to the Payroll office for their completion of the Green Office Certification Program! They earned a "Sapling" rating for their sustainable practices and created a commitment plan as a guide to help them improve their behavior and become a "Tree."

They also wrote an incredible song about their experiences and overall feelings about sustainability on campus. Check it out!

To the tune of "Yakko's Universe" from The Animaniacs.

Everybody works in a cubie or an office
or a lab on location for what it's worth.
And we all report to a division which is part of a department
that works at a University known as UCSC.
And UCSC is a college full of oceanographers and lit majors
and students silently analyzing data deep in space.
And working at UCSC are the students and employees
striving to insure the living planet is keeping pace.

It's a great big University
and we’ve all heard the call:
Zero Waste by 2020,
“We can do it!” says George Blumenthal.
You might think it won’t mean much
but shut your lights off on the way to lunch.
It's a big University and we’re Green!
Going Green is super easy; it can start with a towel
that you bring from home to dry your cups and hands.
And as you are leaving work, flip off all the lights in sight,
don’t forget about your computers and the monitor screens, too!
Across the entire campus, we’re opening up the blinds
and finding carpool buddies for our daily drives
and there’s a bunch of folks riding bikes up Bay Avenue
in a beautifully Go Green parade!

Take a look around the campus, you will find recycle bins
of blue and green and brown to put your recycling in.
Stop buying bottled water and compost your banana peel!
We can make our goal a little at a time.
‘Cause education starts with action, and we all can do it:
UCSC – full of students, faculty and staff
doing our part to be sure the universe extends to a place that never ends.
Going Green is not a passing trend!

It's a great big University
and we’ve all heard the call:
Zero Waste by 2020,
“We can do it!” says George Blumenthal.
You might think it won’t mean much
but shut your lights off on the way to lunch.
It's a big University and we’re Green!

The Green Office Certification Team has loved working with you Payroll! Thank you for your enthusiasm.

To learn more about the Green Office Certification Team and to have your office green certified next, visit the website.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Styrofoam Collection Program

In 2012, the Sustainability Office, Grounds, and Environmental Health & Safety collaborated to set up a quarterly Styrofoam Collection Program for labs and all other departments who may have high influxes of Styrofoam. We have diverted 75-100 yards of Styrofoam since this collection program began. That's almost one football field of Styrofoam! 

If you or your lab have a Styrofoam waste stream, store your waste until the following 2013-14 collection dates:

  • Winter Quarter:  January 7 from 11-2 PM
  • Spring Quarter:  March 4 from 11-2 PM
During the above dates and times, a roll-off bin will be located at the Physical Science Building loading dock with volunteers ready to assist with drop-offs. 

The Sustainability Office hopes that all labs will participate in the collection and recycling of our large Styrofoam waste stream. For any questions, please contact Green Labs Associate, Caitlin Jetter at cjetter [at] ucsc [dot] edu.