Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tour of Physical Plant

On the morning of Thursday, February 28, the Student Environmental Center hosted a tour to UC Santa Cruz's Physical Plant, which provides services for the school in facilities & infrastructure operations, building maintenance, custodial services, grounds & road services, and refuse & recycling services. It was an opportunity for students to see what happens to campus waste and recycling behind-the-scenes.

Students and staff who attended the tour were first given a presentation about what streams of waste are sorted. The locations where waste is collected include the main campus, the marine campus at Younger Lagoon, as well as campus construction and demolition sites. The waste collected by Physical Plant includes cardboard, mixed paper, office paper, containers, compostable materials, metal scrap, construction and demolition diversions and organics (wood chips, grass, trimmings).

Student Environmental Center Waste Prevention Campaign Coordinator Darya Soofi and Intern Alexandra Corvello present about campus waste to students and staff who attended the tour of Physical Plant.

One thing that we learned during the tour was that 34% of residential waste from campus is from soiled paper, or used paper towels, alone. Stevenson College is the first college at UCSC to remove paper towels from the residential dorms in an effort to reduce this huge contributor to waste. Read more about the project at Stevenson here, and find out about how Cowell College is also making the switch here.

Food scraps and compostable items from the Dining Halls are trucked to a Marina composting site, but sometimes students take compostable containers from cafes on campus and dispose them in trash and recycling bins, where they are unable to be composted. If you take a container with you that says it's compostable, find a compost bin (cafes like Global Village Cafe and the Owl's Nest have them) to dispose it in.


Physical Plant also sorts recycling. UCSC receives money for recycling items by sorting out CRV (California Refund Value) containers from other recyclables and waste. This income helps fund operations and improvements to their recycling program.

Waste that cannot be diverted to recycling or compost is trucked to a landfill in the City of Santa Cruz called Dimeo Lane, where it costs $75 per ton to dump waste. A typical load of waste is 7-10 tons.

After the presentation, we were able to walk around the grounds and see all of the different types of trucks. The most exciting part was being able to see the conveyor belt that is used for sorting out all of the containers from the recycling.


How can you get involved with waste prevention?  Contact Elida Erickson about getting involved with the Zero Waste Team in the Sustainability Office or find out about the Waste Prevention Campaign at the Student Environmental Center by emailing Darya.

April Green Tips

We've got some really important tips for you this 1st Day of April, 2013. Enjoy!
  1. Stop washing dishes and let them pile up. You'll save water, and the growth that appears on the dishes over time will bring some greenery into your kitchen!
  2. Hold your breath all day to avoid releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming.
  3. Turn the water heater down to freezing when a wasteful friend or housemate is taking their hour-long shower.
And in all seriousness, though, unplug, log off, and get outside and enjoy the Spring sunshine! Happy April Fool's Day!

April 2013: Contests & Funding

The Human Face of Sustainability Deadline: May 31
Creative Nonfiction and Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability are looking for remarkable true stories that illuminate and present the human side of environmental, economic, ethical, and/or social challenges related to the state of the planet and our future for the $10,000 Walton Sustainability Solutions Best Creative Nonfiction Essay Award. They welcome personal essays or stories about extraordinary individuals or communities and stories about innovative solutions to sustainability. They seek essays on topics that range from global to local, from “big” (e.g., Resilience after natural disasters; New technology solutions vs. common sense; Energy harvesting) to “small” (e.g., Personal decisions about consumption; Reuse, recycle, up-cycle, bicycle?; Green, clean—what does it mean?; What can we learn from past generations?). Whatever the subject, they want to hear about it in an essay that blends facts and research with narrative—employing scenes, descriptions, etc. For more information click here.

Campus Sustainability Council 
Looking for funds for your sustainability project? The Campus Sustainability Council will be accepting applications this quarter. Deadlines and informational sessions are TBD, but please contact the CSC or visit their website for more information.

Free Spring Quarter Bike Library Rentals Deadline: April 5
Need A Bike? The UCSC Bike Library has a fleet of Kona Dew hybrid bikes available to be checked out for free to students, staff, and faculty. The bikes come with a helmet, lock, cable, and lights. There is a mandatory bike maintenance and safety workshop for recipients of bikes that covers how to take care of the bike, fix a flat tire, how to use bike resources in Santa Cruz such as the bike trailer and bike co-op, and the safest ways to ride. To apply for a bike click here.

The Disorientation Guide Seeking Submissions About LRDP debate 
This quarter, The Disorientation Guide at UCSC will publish GROWTH, a magazine containing a broad array of perspectives on issues relating to the UCSC Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). They are looking for analytical and creative contributions in the form of  articles, poetry, or illustrations/art. If you’re familiar with the ongoing debate that surrounds the LRDP,  then you already know that it is a complex issue, linked to struggles over water use, endangered species, quality of student life, and more.  For more information email the Disorientation Guide or call (707) 318-1760.


Zipcar has a Students with Drive program that allows all student groups to nominate themselves to win free driving credit for their group to use for their groups' needs.  Two years ago, one of our campus service fraternities won about $5,000 in driving credit to go to their service sites.

April 2013: Sustainability Profile - Carley Corrado

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month's profile features Carley Corrado, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics who is working on developing electricity-generating greenhouses that can produce solar energy while simultaneously producing agricultural crops. Read a detailed interview about this project here.

We asked Carley what she thinks about sustainability and how it relates to her work at UCSC.

Name: Carley Corrado
Title: Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics
Education: PhD in Chemistry (UC Santa Cruz), 2006-2011
Favorite Food: Thai food

Favorite Green Tips: Know that you will work toward a more sustainable world and hold that in your intentions. It will come to fruition, no matter what your passion is and what piece of the puzzle you hold.

What does "sustainability" mean to you? Not using this world up, but instead living holistically with it. Or should I say wholistically. Looking at the whole picture, how everything affects everything, and how we can find harmony living within it.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? My current project is in the development of electricity-generating greenhouses that can produce solar energy while simultaneously producing agricultural crops. The electricity will be the second-harvest. Our semi-transparent solar panel windows use concentration of light to enhance the power out of the solar cells, thus reducing the cost per Watt of the system, while absorbing predominantly in the green spectrum (where plants do not absorb) and emitting in the red (giving the plants the red light special which stimulates earlier flowering and more fruiting).

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?

  • Turning things off when not in use
  • Reusing bags
  • Buying in Bulk
  • Believing that this world will become more sustainable and being ready to jump on any opportunity I have to encourage this shift

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC? Attending the University Forum for Sustainability Education and learning the awesome work that the ESLP is undertaking to make this campus more sustainable. The event was so fun, and inspiring!

Get Free Drinks with GVING App at Perk Bars

UCSC Dining has implemented a new 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.

Started in San Francisco by a couple of students, most of the businesses utilizing the appliaction are in that area, but they are adding more and more Santa Cruz locations.

It is a loyalty program and offers a more sustainable way to earn free drinks! No need to print punch cards and no need to carry a card!

Go to gving.com/dowload to get the app. While you're at it, take this Bring Your Own Mug survey created by the Zero Waste Team in the Sustainability Office!

Put a Lid on It: Protecting Wildlife and Rainwater on Campus

Did you know? Every time a dumpster or garbage bin is left open outside, it affects wildlife and the quality of water in our tributaries and streams. Animals such as squirrels, raccoons, and various little critters climb into dumpsters looking for food only to find themselves trapped inside. When waste management comes to take the trash to the dump, they unknowingly take these trapped creatures as well. Noticed only at the dumping site, these animals are often severely injured or injured past the point of survival.

Also, rainwater collects in these dumpsters. The collected rainwater mixes with the garbage in the dumpster and leaks out into our environment in the form of runoff.

Because much of this runoff is only treated through the interaction with vegetation and soil media it is important for us to make sure the runoff is free of contaminants before it is discharged to the environment.

What can you do about it? You can help to preserve wildlife and increase rainwater quality on campus by remembering to Put A Lid On It! Always double check when throwing your waste away that the receptacle is properly closed. And do your part to close those that others have left open. 

Get Involved! Volunteer or intern with Storm Water Management Program. Questions or Comments? Contact UCSC Storm Water Manger at (831) 459 – 4520 or visit cleanwater.ucsc.edu

Enterprise Financial Systems Green Office Certified

Congratulations to the entire office of Enterprise Financial Systems for their successful completion of the Green Office Certification Program! They earned a Sprout rating for their sustainable office practices and have created a commitment plan to continue improving their sustainable behaviors and become a tree!

Here is what Frankie Brouwer, Senior Analyst at EFS, has to say about their certification:

"The EFS office recently went through Green Office Certification process and earned a sprout rating!  Our office is one of the offices in Financial Affairs, the goal is to have all of Financial Affairs certified.  Of course we will not stop with our certification, but will continue to think about ways to practice sustainability in our office.  Some of the ideas include using reusable containers for lunch items, reusing scrap paper and bring our own towels to work instead of using paper towels.  We encourage other offices to adopt these green practices as well."

If you work in an office and would like to see it Green Certified like EFS, check out the website for more information.

April 2013: Classes & Community

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.

Enroll in ESLP for Spring Quarter 
Ready for a new experience? Enroll in the Education for Sustainable Living Program’s (ESLP) class for Spring quarter! The Spring class incorporates both a Monday Night lecture series and student led sections. Some section topics include; restoration, ecopsychology, land and habitat conservation, sustainable urban design, indigenous cultures, and other topics in the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. Sections are small and project based. Creativity, experiential learning, and active discussion is encouraged. Sign up through College 8 for CLEI 61 or 161 for Spring Quarter (2-unit and 5 unit options available).

Registration for Recreation Department Classes & Trips Begins April 9
The UCSC Recreation Department offers a wealth of classes, trainings, outdoor trips, and other kinds of adventures, many of which relate to sustainability, engagement with nature, and food systems. Visit the website to register for classes, beginning April 9 at 9 AM.

Bay Area Seed Interchange Library Hosts Vegetable Breeding Short Course
On Saturday, April 27th, from 11AM-5PM, Bay Area Seed Interchange Library ("BASIL") will be hosting a vegetable breeding short course. The course, taught by organic farmer and plant breeder, Fred Hempel, will be set at Baia Nicchia Farm in Sunol. You can register for the class by emailing BASIL. The cost is $50, with worktrade and student discounts available.

Take the 100 Greywater System Challenge and Help Save Over A Half-million Gallons of Water Annually!
Central Coast Greywater is currently holding a "Greywater System Challenge" to help encourage greywater usage in the Santa Cruz Community. Through this program, they offer greywater system registration, free installation workshops, and trainings for those that are interested in teaching greywater workshops on the organization's behalf. Learn more about their group, and how you can help them reach their goal of 100 installed greywater systems by September on their website.

FoCAN invites you to the 3rd Annual Youth Exchange, April 8th-16th
Join FoCAN for the 3rd Annual Youth Exchange happening April 8th-April 16th. The Youth Exchange will host international youth for a week long dissection of our current food system. Centered around food security and food sovereignty movements at the family and community level, the Youth Exchange will foster an environment with different perspectives and experiences with a focus on gender equity and will be a place to share, reflect, and learn together. The Youth Exchange aims to create an international network of youth and students who want to continue working to promote food sovereignty and security and agricultural food systems.

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

April 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 and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition!

UC Davis Police hand out free bike lights
UC Davis are teaming to hand out bike lights - instead of citations - to students riding their bikes in the dark. Through this, they hope to educate students about bicycle safety law, and promote responsible cycling habits.

Wake Tech Community College Unveils Rooftop Solar Array
More than 1,300 solar panels have been installed on the roof of Wake Tech's Public Safety Education Campus, based in Raleigh, NC. Progress Energy will purchase the energy produced at a fixed price over the next 20 years as part of its SunSense program. The project is expected to generate more than $300,000 over the next two decades for student scholarships through the Wake Tech Foundation.

Knox College Theatre Students Promote Sustainability
Theatre students at Knox College (in Galesburg, IL) have raised an emphasis on reducing waste and promoting sustainability for its latest stage production. All items were reused from past shows, purchased from second hand/vintage shops, or created with the intention of being used again. The students also created a Sustainability Crew which included initiatives like sewing tote bags from old t-shirts, posting student videos promoting sustainability on YouTube, and encouraging others to be more sustainable in their everyday lives.

UC Berkeley Student Government Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels
The Associated Students of the University California (ASUC) Senate has approved a bill ordering the divestment of its funds from fossil fuel companies while encouraging other institutions of higher education to follow suit. The bill binds the ASUC to complete the withdrawal of any of its $3 million in total investments from fossil fuel companies

University of Maryland Greek Community Launches Composting Initiative
Eleven Greek fraternities and sororities at the University of Maryland (College Park, MD) have launched composting initiatives since 2010. Compost collected from each participating house is taken to a compactor at one of the dining halls. The university has seen a significant increase in composting across the campus since the initiatives launched. In 2012, the university composted 566.18 tons, up from 138 tons in 2010.

Research Focuses on "Redhouses" and Solar Electricity

Sure, you've heard of greenhouses, but what about redhouses? We interviewed Carley Corrado this month about her postdoctoral fellowship work in Sue Carter's lab on Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) windows, to be used to construct electricity-generating greenhouses. The greenhouses are very noticeable, being that they glow bright red.

Carley Corrado and Sue Carter 

Carley explains how the "redhouses" work: "The dye absorbs green light (a section of the solar spectrum where plants do not absorb) and emit red light. The red light serves two functions: 1) It is concentrated onto the solar cell, thus increasing the power generated from the cell by 40%; and 2) It increases the amount of red light onto the plant, thus stimulating earlier flowering and fruiting, and other interesting effects. We have built two test greenhouses, one red and one control, so that we may monitor the plant's growth under the altered spectrum of light compared to the control. We are also doing a trial at a greenhouse in Watsonville. The results have been very promising, so we are preparing to do a larger trial at a commercial vegetable growers' greenhouse beginning in April."

According to Corrado, redhouses reduce electricity costs at "a much faster payback time than typical solar panels because of the enhanced power generated from the concentrated light onto the cell as well as the absence of additional structural costs since the panels are built directly into the greenhouse. It also allows solar energy harvesting from land simultaneously being used for crop production, thus allowing for a second harvest."

Why solar? "The coolest thing about solar energy is that once you install it, electricity flows free like the river," Carley said. "The price of solar has dropped dramatically in recent years, making it an investment that will lead to substantial savings over time. It also changes the dynamic of a centralized power producer (perhaps owned by "the 1%") that profits significantly from every single home being connected to a grid, with no other choice but to pay the piper. When a business or home converts to being a power producer, they become free from that constraint. Thus solar is also a step away from concentration of wealth, and toward power to the people.

They are currently conducting experiments with redhouses in Watsonville and on campus. To learn more about their work, please email Carley.

Green Revolving Loan Fund Established

A Green Revolving Loan Fund is being established at UCSC following the completion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sustainability Office and Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services (CHES) for the provision of an interest-free loan for the College 9/10 Bi-level Stairway Lighting Retrofit Project.

This project was used as the pilot project as an initial step in establishing the Green Revolving Loan Fund. It involves the replacement of 244 exist├Čng interior stairwell light fixtures in the six Colleges 9/10 residential halls. Occupancy sensors will control the new light fixtures for maximum energy savings.

As part of the agreement, CHES will use the funds for this project and also agrees to pay 100% the loan back by June 2013, which will allow for these funds to be used to support future carbon reduction projects. For more information, please contact Lacey Raak.

April 2013: Internships, Employment, and Volunteering

Student Artists Needed for Earth Week Display
College Eight is currently seeking UCSC students to perform or display their works at a student art showcase on April 19. The showcase, which will serve as the kickoff to Earth Week, will be a special evening dedicated to student performances and sustainability. They are currently looking for work that addresses issues of sustainability, whether in a social context or in the context of the physical earth. Examples of possible work include (but are not limited to): spoken word, dance, monologue, skit, photography, song, sculpture, and film. Campus performance groups are welcome to participate. For more information check out the website and make a reservation today. If you have any questions regarding the event, please direct them to McKenzie Laird.

Intern with Student Environmental Center
Looking for a sustainability internship on-campus? The Student Environmental Center is looking for interns for spring quarter for their campaigns, which include Transportation, Green Building, Students for Organic Solutions, College 8 Garden, Waste Prevention, Drop Your Own Drip, and Earth Summit/Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. They will be hosting two General Gatherings in April for students to find out about internship opportunities and apply. Join campaign coordinators and other SEC interns on Wednesday, April 3 and April 10 from 5:30-7:30pm in the College 8 Red Room. Members of ESLP (Education for a Sustainable Living Program) and CSC (Campus Sustainability Council) will also be coming to the event to share ways to get involved with their organizations! Vegetarian dinner will be served. For more information, contact secsteering@ucsc.edu or visit their website.

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.

FHN Internship Application Deadline April 12
The Foothill Horizons Naturalist Internship offers its interns a chance to get hands-on experience with a diverse group of children as a teaching naturalist. Interns focus on subjects such as Ecology, Geology, Conservation and much more while teaching lesson plans that they create. The program offers direct one-on-one mentoring, employment from September through May with room and board on-site included. Applications are being accepted right now, and for more information visit their website.

Sierra Club Seeking Film Makers
The Sierra Club is seeking two students or recent graduates who are passionate about sustainability, love being outdoors and want to gain internship experience this summer. They are seeking to fill one position with someone skilled in video production and one position with someone with an interest in being on-camera talent. For more information check out their website.

Recharge! is Seeking Applicants
Each summer, Focus the Nation selects and funds 20 rising clean energy leaders from across the country to spend one week together on Oregon’s iconic Mt. Hood in order to discuss, make connections and collaborate. College students between the ages of 18-28 who have a passion for clean energy are encouraged to apply. Find out more and learn how to apply here.

Join or Contribute to Gaia and Get Published
Interested in getting your sustainability related articles, stories, poems, recipes, artwork, and/or photographs published? Gaia Magazine is the student-run environmental magazine for the campus that publishes annually in the spring. They are looking for submissions from UCSC students for their Spring 2013 issue. If you are interested in contributing to the magazine or joining their team check out their website for more information.

PICA School Gardens Internship
Spring quarter, Mon Weds or Fri 8:30am-1:30pm
Teach exciting and engaging lessons to elementary school students in Watsonville this spring quarter! In this internship, students will gain first-hand experience and learn valuable skills as an environmental educator in a school garden. Each week, they will learn skills in positive group management, supporting English language learners, tips for teaching in a garden setting, and develop lessons for multiple learning styles. They will visit various schools in the Pajaro Valley and teach kids science and nutrition in the garden. To sign up, email Bee Vadakan for an application.

PICA Urban Gardening Internship
Spring quarter, Tues and Thurs 1-4pm
Interested in learning about gardening specific to urban areas? Want to explore topics related to food justice and the role of urban gardens in transforming our food system? In this internship students will: Practice hands-on garden skills, engage with other interns through weekly readings, discussion, and case studies, and work in small groups to research a local urban garden project, interview participants, volunteer, and share experience with the class. To sign up, contact Bee Vadakan.

Farming Institute Immersion Program Accepting Applications
Learn to farm at The Farming Institute! The Farming Institute is a unique, fast track, 11 week farming immersion program taking place on two organic vegetable farms in Eastern Iowa. It is designed to equip emerging farmers of all ages, such as college students, recent graduates or others. The program includes a mixture of hands on and classroom experience. During the program, students will complete a business plan for their future farm and learn about the land, the business of farming and the farming process. For more information or an application visit their website or email Kate Edwards or by phone at 319-333-2980.

Possibilities for Future Graduates with Green Corps
Green Corps is a year-long paid training program that helps turn graduates into environmental professionals. Take part in training with vetted environmental campaign organizers while working on environmental issues all across the country. Green Corps sends organizers to jumpstart campaigns for groups such as Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Food and Water Watch and Environment America. They offer all of the amenities of professional employment including a chance to opt into their health care program, paid sick days and holidays, two weeks paid vacation and a student loan repayment program for those who qualify. The applications for the coming year are closed, but for more information about future prospects contact Jennifer Rubiello at Jennifer@Greencorps.org.

Drive an Electric Vehicle (EV) to Campus?
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 tabuika@ucsc.edu to be added to the list of current electric vehicle users.

Apply for SEE-U, Summer 2013
Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U) is seeking applicants for its summer session. SEE-U is a program that seeks to highlight ecologically impacted areas of the world for undergraduates of all majors. Students travel to their choice of one of four beautiful yet endangered ecosystems, where they live and learn about the particular challenges that area faces. Hosted through Columbia University, students earn 5 science credits while going abroad with other students and learning about environmental concerns on an international level. For more information click here.

Real Food Challenge Program Accepting Applications
Are you about to graduate? The Real Food Challenge Field Organizer Fellowship Program is a unique opportunity for recent college graduates to get first hand experience as part-time organizers and food movement leaders. Through this 14-month program, fellows engage in intensive student organizing projects on a regional and national level while also honing their leadership skills and food systems knowledge through our participatory learning curriculum and engaged fellowship community. The program is now accepting applications. For more information click here.

FoodCorps is Recruiting for 2013-2014
FoodCorps strives to teach schoolchildren about healthy food and gardening while putting fresh, local food in cafeteria's. They are expanding to California next year and need to build a volunteer base. For more information check out their website.

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@ucsc.edu.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monterey Bay Carbon Fund

The UC Santa Cruz Carbon Fund has inspired a carbon fund for the Monterey Bay region. The Monterey Bay Carbon Fund's vision is "to raise money to facilitate the implementation of meaningful greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the Monterey Bay community, while providing educational and employment opportunities for local students and professionals, and creating economic and environmental benefits to the entire region."

Community members wishing to offset their own carbon footprint can purchase offsets through donations to the Monterey Bay Carbon Fund, which funds projects in the region that will reduce carbon emissions.

An example of one project is "to make a solar PV system possible for the Bonny Doon Elementary School in Santa Cruz. The Bonny Doon Elementary site will be the very first beneficiary of the MBCF program, and an overall site evaluation and solar suitability survey are already underway. School officials are excited to participate in the MBCF program and eager to see solar panels on campus buildings." Read more here.

Like the Monterey Bay Carbon Fund, the UC Santa Cruz Carbon Fund "works towards recreating UCSC as an operationally carbon neutral campus while providing faculty with an opportunity for research and students with the tools they need to move towards a more sustainable future." The UCSC Carbon Fund is funded through student fee measure 44. To learn about the history of the UCSC Carbon Fund, click here.

Have you heard of the Climate Action Plan (CAP)?

The CAP is  governing document on the UCSC campus established by the Climate Action Working Group, that provides three goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions/footprint.

Goals:
  1. 2000 levels by the year 2014
  2. 1990 levels by 2020
  3. 80% below 1990 levels by 2050
These levels are the levels of greenhouse gas emissions that our whole campus emits, thats including student, staff and faculty activities. Not only are these goals, but they were put in place because of CA State mandates under AB32 that require big emitters (such as UCSC) to reduce. Failure to do so is not just harming ourselves and our planet - but will also have serious financial repercussions for our campus.

So what can you do to help the UCSC community to reduce GHG emissions?

Remember that little daily actions can go a long way and help our campus meet these goals. Some simple suggestions are:

1) Are you a single-occupancy driver?  Instead take public transportation to reduce emissions, or ride your bike to not use any GHGs. For bike shuttle times click here.
2) Reduce your shower time and make sure you are turning off the water when brushing your teeth.
3) Did you know if you use 5 plastic bags when shopping - you are emitting approx. 2.5 lbs of CO2
It just makes sense to bring a reusable bag.

There are tons of easy things you can do each day to cut back on those carbon emissions - be aware and implement new behavior changes into your daily life and the lives of those around you!

Climate Action Team: Rielle Indya Green & Camille Carrillo

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cowell College to Go Paper Towel-Less

Cowell College is joining its sister college, Stevenson, in eliminating the use of paper towels in the Residence Hall bathrooms for 2013-14.

Stevenson adopted a paper-towel-less program this year (2012-13), following a successful pilot program in a designated residence hall during spring of 2012.

Both colleges plan to provide small hand towels to the residents of the Residence Halls in an effort to reduce the volume of used paper towels that go to the landfill.

This sustainability initiative comes with the collaboration and support of many, including Sue Matthews, Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing and Educational Services (CHES).

To learn more about the history of the project in Stevenson College, please click here. To get involved and learn more about the elimination of paper towels in Cowell College, please email Jim Carter, College Administrative Officer for Cowell and Stevenson Colleges.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Controller's Office Goes Green

The Green Office Certification Team would like to congratulate the members of The Controller's Office for their successful completion of our Certification Program and Sapling rating. Great job! Below is the personal account of Controls and Compliance Manager, Ivan Ditmars, on their Green Office process and the work of the Controller's Office:

"First and foremost on behalf of the Controller’s Office I would like to thank Christian Frederick, Casey Wing, and the rest of the Green Office members. The professionalism presented by the team of students shows they have been trained well in the art of conservation and work ethics. The controller’s Office has many solid conservation best practices in place which earned our team with a certification level of Sapling. The assessment conducted revealed some interesting improvements that we can make around the office, which may be small, but if implemented campus wide would be a great conservation achievement."

The top recommended changes they encouraged the Controller's Office team to make were:
  1. Improve signage on/near recycling bins in office and provide a main recycling bin near the printer. 
  2. Use “smart power strips” for office appliances in order to make it easier to turn off multiple appliances at once
Thanks Ivan, and thank you Controller's Office! Way to improve your sustainable practices and be a model for green offices across campus!

For more information about the Green Office Certification Program, please visit their website or email Casey Wing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Earth Day Santa Cruz 2013


Earth Day Santa Cruz 2013 is an exciting community event offering educational information, activities for kids including an arts and crafts tent, live music and a focus on green businesses. Come and enjoy this fun environmental celebration for the whole family!

The City of Santa Cruz, the County of Santa Cruz, Ecology Action, Save Our Shores, the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz, local non-profits, and concerned citizens are working together to make Earth Day 2013 the premier environmental event for the greater Santa Cruz community.

Event Highlights:
  • Electric Vehicle Showcase
  • Recycled Fashion Show
  • Arts and Crafts Booth
  • Kid Zone Gymnastics for Kids
  • Free Valet Bike Parking Provided by People Power
  • Live Music
  • Green Vendor and Environmental Information Booths
Live Music:

For more information on this event visit: www.ecocruz.org