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, sustain.education [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.

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