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Friday, April 25, 2014

Climate Control Without Climate Change

ENVS PhD candidate Peter Brewitt researches the ways people restore and remake their environments. He reviews the sustainable air conditioning systems that have been installed in different areas around the world and ponders the question of why can't we have more or these sustainable innovations everywhere?

"In the 1940s, an engineer named Bob Tamblyn began to think about the enormous supply of frigid water in Lake Ontario, sitting there like an heirloom in the basement. Deep in the lake, the temperature is thirty-nine degrees. Water that cold is dense, so it stays there, hundreds of feet below the surface. Can’t we, he wondered, use this to cool us down? We can..." Find out how here!

UCSC's Leaping Toward Real Food Goal

UCSC is proud to announce another move toward reaching our REAL FOOD goal of 40% by 2020! UCSC is now partnering with Sea to Table to bring fresh sustainable seafood direct from the fishermen! Traceable, delicious, wild-caught fish straight from the dock to our campus kitchens! Another move toward reaching our REAL FOOD goal of 40% by 2020!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UCSC Rated Top Green College in Princeton Review

For the fifth year in a row, UC Santa Cruz has scored 99 points—the most possible—in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition. Every year, the Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges profiles 330 institutions of higher education in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

The guide cites UCSC for waste diversion, student activism, and sustainability research. The campus diverts 64 percent of its waste from landfills, putting it well on its way to meet the UC system goal to produce zero waste by 2020. The campus Sustainability Office has a database of project ideas submitted by students, faculty, and staff to improve sustainable practices. Students can also apply for grants to pursue initiatives that reduce carbon emissions on campus.

Interested in learning more? Check out this article!

May Bike Month Events

What better time to dust off your bike, tune it up, and go for a ride than May, which is National Bike Month!

Bicycling is not only fun, it's also a zero-emissions method of transportation, it's great exercise, and you can save a lot of money on gas and maintenance by transitioning your commute or daily trips from car to bicycle.

From our bay views to our hills to our thriving bicycle community, Santa Cruz is one of the best places to be during National Bike Month and Bike Week (May 2-9). There are more than 15 bicycle events happening in town and on-campus in May alone! Here's the complete list--notice how many events are happening at UCSC!

Bike Night First Friday at the MAH - May 2 at 5pm - 9pm 
Museum of Art and History, 705 Front Street. 
Ecology Action Bike Week kick-off party in collaboration with People Power of Santa Cruz County. Join us for an evening of live music, local artists, craft vendors, friends, family, a group ride and so much more at the Museum of Arts & History. Visit the Bike to Work website for details.

Stevenson Bike & Food Justice Fest - May 3 at 12pm - 4pm
Stevenson Main Quad, UC Santa Cruz. 
Join us for a bike & food justice fest featuring free bike maintenance, bicycle education and history, bike-generated strawberry smoothies with education about strawberry production, music, bike part art, a food justice & transportation board game, and more! At 2pm, there will be a speaker panel discussion about the intersections of transportation and food justice in the Stevenson Fireside Lounge. Email Melissa at mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu for details.

Slug Bike Party Ride Around Campus – May 3 at 3:30pm 
Meet in Stevenson Main Quad, UC Santa Cruz. 
During the Bike & Food Justice Festival, a group will be heading off on bikes to explore easy and secret routes around campus while also touring some of the campus gardens. Bring a bicycle in good working condition, a helmet, and comfortable shoes. Bike party! Email Melissa at mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu for details.

Capitola Open Streets - May 4 at 11am - 4pm 
Santa Cruz Open Streets fosters individual and community health through creative use of public space. Capitola Village’s first Open Streets event will close the road to car traffic and fill the street with people walking, biking and playing. There will be music, local organizations, and fun activities! For more details, visit the website.

Cycle & Dine - May 5 
Cyclists will receive between a 15-25% discount on their meal at participating restaurants! Upon arrival at any of these restaurants make sure to show your helmet to your server or at the cash register before ordering. Each restaurant will be providing varying discounts within the noted range. Participating restaurants include: Charlie Hong Kong, Chocolate, Harbor Cafe and Midtown Cafe. Other restaurants to be confirmed shortly; visit the website.

Bike Week World Cafe - May 5 at 5pm - 7pm 
Kresge Piazzetta, outside Kresge Seminar Room at Porter-Kresge Rd, UC Santa Cruz. 
The World Cafe is a weekly potluck of both food and ideas that takes place in Kresge College. The theme for this week is bicycles to celebrate the beginning of Bike Week in Santa Cruz! Join us for conversations about the revolutionary role of bicycles to empower and free people in our community, enjoy some bike generated smoothies and music, and learn some basic bike maintenance. For more information, contact Melissa at

Staff of Life Market Breakfast - May 6 at 7am - 10am 
1266 Soquel Avenue. 
Free pastries, juice, and coffee for cyclists! Join us for a fun event in the seated patio area for yummy food, delicious beverages, free bike goodies and more! Learn more here.

UCSC Bike Helmet Giveaway - May 6 at 1:30pm - 4pm
Base of UCSC campus, corner of Bay & High. 
In celebration of Bike Week, Transportation and Parking Services is hosting the Bicycle Safety Campaign! TAPS will be surveying cyclists and handing out 200 free helmets to members of the UCSC community on first come first serve basis. Proof of UCSC affiliation required. Invite your friends if you care about them staying safe on the road! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Julie.

Free Basic Bicycle Maintenance - May 7 at 12pm - 4pm 
Downtown Farmers’ Market, Cedar Street & Lincoln Street. 
Spokesman Bicycle mechanics will have a tent set up at the Farmers Market to provide FREE basic bike maintenance. Get your bike tuned up and ready for Bike to Work Day!

Riding for Transportation - May 7 at 6pm - 7:30pm
Epicenter Cycling, 1730 Mission Street. 
Epicenter Cycling will be hosting this free workshop which will include everything you need to know about commuting by bike. Epicenter will demystify the rules of the road and will be discussing equipment options, riding at night, biking with kids, locking up, and much more. The workshop will also feature a panel discussion including Andrea from Epicenter, Amelia Conlen (Director at People Power of Santa Cruz County), and local longtime commuters Gary and Rebbie, followed by a Q&A. Snacks will be provided + great deals for workshop attendees on Epicenter commuter gear!

Bike to Work/School Day! - May 8, 2014 at 6:30am - 9:30am 
Have you ever wished someone would celebrate your bike commute with free food? Well that’s what Bike to Work Day is all about! There will be 15 public breakfast sites for people who bike to work/school this day. For more information, visit the website.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Fundraiser for Bike to Work Day - May 8 at noon - 10pm 
402 Ingalls Street #27. 
$1 per pint will go to support Ecology Action's Bike to Work/School Program. Drink up!

Bike Party: The (Bike) Empire Strikes Back! - May 9 at 7pm - 9pm 
Meet at Bike Church, 703 Pacific Avenue. 
Bike Party is a fun, social ride every 2nd Friday of the month. The goal is to create a safe and cooperative roadway environment for all users. Bring your Star Wars inspired costumes, light sabers and polish those storm trooper boots or just come as you are! Prizes for best individual and group costumes.

Edge of Eden Music Festival (Free Bike Valet) - May 10 at 2pm - 10pm 
Take your bike to this music festival at the UCSC East Field and receive free bike parking! Parking is limited for the event anyway, and you won’t have to worry about your bike while you enjoy the show. Learn more here.

Free Bike Commuting Workshop at UCSC - May 14 at 12:30pm – 1:30pm 
Science and Engineering Library Room 332, UC Santa Cruz. 
Come to a free one-hour workshop for UCSC bike commuters of all skill levels hosted by People Power of Santa Cruz County. We’ll cover best practices for commuting to campus, including gears, laws, and routes. Free helmets and front bike lights!

Smooth Cycling at UCSC - May 14 at 2pm - 3:30pm
College 9/10 Community Room, UC Santa Cruz.
Come to this Smooth Cycling presentation by Ecology Action to learn how to safely cycle in Santa Cruz! Learn about the best roads and trails, find out the best way to avoid collisions, how to avoid theft, and more! Free bike lights! Additionally, a representative from the East San Jose Bicycle Cooperative will be available to help provide free mechanical support to anyone looking to tune up their bike.

Endless Summer Bike Ride - May 18, 2014 at 11am to 3pm
Soak in the sun, practice your cycling skills and explore little-known routes around Santa Cruz on this easy 8-10 mile bike ride. $6 cost includes a picnic lunch at Twin Lakes Beach. Bring a helmet and bike in good working condition. Register online here.

Free Bike Commuting Workshop - May 19, June 16, and July 21 at 6pm - 7pm 
People Power of Santa Cruz County Office, 703 Pacific Avenue. 
Biking to work is a great way to save money, stay fit and reduce your carbon footprint. Learn rules of the road, basic skills and maintenance, what gear to bring and how to make the most of your bike commute at these monthly workshops every third Monday of the month until July. People of all bike skill levels are welcome, from beginners to seasoned commuters. Register for a workshop here.

May 2014 Green Tip: Sustainable Studying

It's hard to believe the school year is coming to an end. Seniors are graduating and moving on to bigger and better things. Freshman are excited about... well, not being Freshman. Summer plans are in the making and it's all just so day dream inducing. Whether your headed to Costa Rica, a cross country roadtrip, your parents air conditioned house, or your bed for an indefinite amount of time I think it's safe to say we are all ready for a break from school.

But we all are not quite in the clear just yet. Unfortunately, we still have to finish these finals and pesky research papers.  Here are a few tips to help make sure that you are get your last quarter of studying done with sustainability in mind.

1. Reuse your study materials
Before going down to the bookstore to buy a new pack of flash cards try checking out your cards from last quarter. You might be able to just cross of the word on the front and scribble off a sentence of text on the back!

2. Resist the caffeine
Energy drinks are so bad for you and picking up a red bull or a cup of coffee every time you need an energy boost can build up to a lot of waste. A lot of the time when you feel like you need a pick-me-up your body is just dehydrated or overworked. When you begin to feel the craving for energy, take a break, walk outside, drink some water and then head back to work again. If you still feel like you're in a slump, make sure to use a reusable mug for your coffee or tea.

3. Electronics over paper
Pull up your class study guide on your tablet or computer rather than printing out a copy. This goes for all your study materials. This way you can easily sort through your work and organize everything neatly in the right order and you will reduce your paper waste.

Free Bike Commuting Workshop - May 14th

Free Bike Commuting Workshop at UCSC
May 14 12:30pm – 1:30pm 
Science and Engineering Library Room 332, UC Santa Cruz

Come to a free one-hour workshop for UCSC bike commuters of all skill levels hosted by People Power of Santa Cruz County. We’ll cover best practices for commuting to campus, including gears, laws, and routes.

Tips for Off-Campus Move Out

Do you live off-campus? Are you moving out in June? Want to keep your unwanted items out of the landfill and the bay? Learn how at the website. The first 100 students who schedule a free pick-up during June will receive a certificate for a large pizza from Woodstock’s. 

GoSolar Workshop - open to UCSC employees!

GoSolar Santa Cruz 
Residential Solar Workshop 
Open to all UCSC Employees!

Friday, May 2 12:30 – 1:30 pm 
Kerr Hall Room 159 
RSVP to Tiffany Wise-West 
 twise-west [at] cityofsantacruz [dot] com 

 * Space is limited *

Join your colleagues for an hour-long workshop to learn how you can Go Solar in a matter of 5 Easy Steps! This workshop is free and open to all UCSC faculty, staff and student homeowners regardless of where you live!!

Did you know a solar PV system can…
  • reduce your monthly energy bill? 
  • potentially add value to your home?
  • increase protection from future energy price fluctuations?
  • reduce your greenhouse gas emissions?
In this workshop, you will learn…
  • How to understand your energy usage 
  • If your home is solar friendly 
  • How to reduce costs and finance your solar PV project 
  • What to expect and ask of your solar contractor

Bring a recent PG&E Bill and please register your account at and bring your Username and password to access your account data during the workshop.

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!

EPA Honors UCI for Zero Waste and Food Recovery Achievements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently acknowledged the university for its zero waste and food recovery efforts. The zero waste program diverts 83 percent of the campus’ total waste materials from landfills by recycling, reusing and composting. The university has increased its food waste diversion from 90 tons in 2010 to 500 tons in 2012, when it joined the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. The advances in university recycling programs include: Commingled bins in 170 classrooms have increased recycling from 0 percent to 75 percent in the first year of use; Hydration stations around campus that promote refillable water bottle use have reduced the use of disposable plastic bottles by 14 tons; More than 509,000 reusable bottles have been filled.Nearly 90 percent of campus events with more than 2,000 attendees are classified as zero-waste, thanks to the purchase of specialized bins. This year UC Santa Cruz has the Chancellors Sustainability Challenge but we have a lot of work to do to catch up to UC Irvine. We can do it! Take the pledge today.

U Maryland Uses Moss to Clean Pool

In an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals used to clean the university's pool, sphagnum moss aids in the cleaning process by stabilizing the pH, which makes the chlorine more effective. They had the swim team, which spent five to six hours a day in the pool — they really liked it, they also had water polo. … They said they could breathe easier. Each pool has its own surge tank, which holds water that is displaced when more swimmers climb in. A pump keeps water flowing through the tank, allowing the moss to filter the water. We should do this for our pool at OPERS.

UCSC 2014 Waste Assessment

In continuing efforts to be a leading institution in sustainable practices, Chancellor Blumenthal initiated the Chancellor's Sustainability Challenge this year to students, staff, and faculty to reduce campus waste, in hopes of reaching the official UC-wide goal of Zero Waste by 2020. Part of realizing that goal is tracking all material flowing from campus, including the material we produce, the categories of these materials, and whether or not each material type is being disposed of appropriately. To accomplish this the Sustainability Office and Ground Services partnered to conduct a campus-wide assessment.

The assessment was conducted at the university’s 2300 Delaware location, headed and organized by students and staff from the Sustainability Office and Ground Services. This committee planned and coordinated the manual sorting of 10,463 pounds of material, from 50 randomly selected university dumpsters, over the course of two days. The material was delivered to the site in loads from campus kitchens, lab/office areas, and housing, and analyzed separately by location. With the help of temporarily hired workers, the dumpster contents was sorted into categories, including clean recyclable paper, mixed recycle containers, food scraps, soiled paper towels, other compostables, cardboard, plastic bags, styrofoam, and unsalvageable waste. Each category was weighed, and their percentage in the overall material composition calculated.

We were amazed at the amounts of compostable and recyclable materials that were ending up in the dumpster, all of whose contents are regularly transported to the landfill. With a majority of the items in the dumpster being recyclable or compostable, we predict that reaching Zero Waste by 2020 could be feasible! Our intentions now are to use this information to educate and outreach to university members, as well as reassess campus facilities, so that we can properly redirect the campus’s material stream. If you are interested in more detailed information regarding the campus-wide waste assessment, the official results will be shared by the Chancellor at the Sustainability Spring Fest event to be held at the Stevenson Event Center on May 22nd.

If you have not already, help our campus reach its Zero Waste Goal by 2020 and 
It only takes a couple minutes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PowerSave Campus Wins CIWEA Employer of the Year Award

The Alliance to Save Energy’s (Alliance) PowerSave Campus program was presented with the California Internship & Work Experience Association (CIWEA) Employer of the Year Award today at the 2014 Professional Development Conference in Long Beach, California.

PowerSave Campus is a student-driven energy efficiency education program that employs over 100 interns each year on 16 college campuses. Students in the program collaborate with faculty, staff and administrators to work on campus projects ranging from energy audits and energy saving competitions to green career fairs.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Alliance, Renee Lafrenz, Senior Program Manager of the PowerSave Campus program noted, “We are honored to be recognized by the CIWEA for the PowerSave Campus program and thank all of our industry and utility partners who help sustain the program throughout the state of California. PowerSave Campus fosters a commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency that transcends graduation; we’re proud to say that 83% of PowerSave Campus intern graduates work in the “green” job sector and 98% of alumni support sustainability in some form.”

The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy and national security.

Saving Water Every Day - Institutional-Scale Compost Toilets

Seminar date and time: Monday, May 19th, 12:15-1:40pm at the Kresge Seminar Room #159

Mention “composting toilet”, and most people will think of something suitable for a summer cabin or a rural residence off the grid---a kind of classy outhouse---surely not something suitable for installation in an urban environment. As one person has remarked, flush toilets are the accepted social standard. The idea of collecting human excrement in a basement composting bin does not exactly square with the modern paradigm of gracious living.

There is, however, more to the story. At this event, Peter Scott, a retired professor of physics a UC Santa Cruz, describes six composting toilet installations of varying types, currently installed for public use in locations in the United States, including three in California. He considers only those for institutional, industrial, municipal and commercial venues, i.e., those for which maintenance can be assured. In his descriptions, he includes comments by administrators, architects and users. As we shall see, every one of these six installations is positively viewed. He also includes answers to frequently asked questions, including discussions of costs and possible legal barriers.

This event is hosted by the Kresge Common Ground Center.

Alumni Sustainability Achievements

UCSC Alumni Photographers Focus on Environment for Exhibition
Beginning April 9th, Three Lives in Photography will be a new exhibition on campus at the Sesnon Gallery. Three UC Santa Cruz alumni, Robert Dawson, Joel Leivick, and David Pace, will present their work as artists, environmentalists, and educators at the show, which will run through May 10th. The opening reception will be on Wednesday, April 9, at 5 p.m., followed by an artists’ lecture at 7 p.m. The work in Three Lives in Photography--curated by Sesnon director Shelby Graham--uses traditional format photography to reveal the severe impact of industry on the contemporary landscape.

If you are interested in knowing more about the artists, check out this article.

UCSC alumnus Hoyt Peckham awarded Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation
UC Santa Cruz alumnus Hoyt Peckham has been awarded a 2014 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to expand on his work with coastal communities in Mexico to support sustainable fishing practices.

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation awards recipients $150,000 for a three-year project to address conservation challenges facing our oceans. Peckham developed SmartFish, a nonprofit social enterprise that enables small-scale fishermen to produce high quality, sustainably-caught seafood by using ocean-friendly practices, such as hand lines and other gear that reduce bycatch. Pew's award will allow him to expand this program, first developed in southern Baja California, throughout northwest Mexico and to determine its international feasibility.

Read on at this article.

Food Systems Working Group Co-Chair Story: Crystal Owings

Hello, my name is Crystal Owings and I’m the Sustainability Intern for UCSC Dining and one of the current co-chairs for the Food Systems Working Group. I am a third year majoring in Environmental Studies and Latin American Latino Studies and I absolutely love food and baseball. If anyone would of told me senior year of high school that I would be involved in a student organization that focused on food system issues, I wouldn’t believe it at all.

For one, both of my parents met working at McDonalds therefore I was definitely a Mickey Dees baby, a cheeseburger princess. My kindergarten classmates envied me when we had a field trip to the McDonalds where my mother worked. I would go on trips with my dad, who was at the time was a truck driver, and would regularly eat microwaved burritos or chili at Wendy’s. During my high school years with a few time consuming extracurriculars, I would dine at a fast food chain at least every two days and eat a cheeseburger without any second thoughts.

When I saw the plethora of fresh produce at the farmer’s markets in Santa Cruz along with the lack of fast food joints, I couldn’t help but question why the access to healthy food here in the Cruz varied so greatly from my hometown near the Port of Los Angeles. I then began to question almost everything about food: what are the ingredients, where was the food made, is this healthy for me? It was in freshmen year when I felt motivated to find such answers and learn more about our food system through experience, which is when I joined the Food Systems Working Group as the “real food” calculator intern.

Fast forward two years later, I still feel that addressing and even talking about food issues in general can be sensitive and a very difficult task at times. Food access is an issue that I hold close to me since I grew up in a low-income area with endless fast food options and a lifestyle that supported such eating habits. Discussing the importance of buying socially, ecologically, and environmentally just food is difficult since not everyone can buy local or organic food and this may cause many of my peers, and even my family to feel uncomfortable. From my experiences, many people are well aware of at least the health issues associated with our current food system. The question for me now is how do we ensure that families have access to the resources available in order to support healthier eating habits and combat the diet related diseases that impact many families with little access to real food- food that nourishes the consumer, community, earth, and producers. Having a dad with diabetes, a sister who was once at risk, and a mother and many tias that currently work in a food system that is designed to exploit many, the food system issues that oppress consumers hits home, very deeply.

I hope to inspire others, no matter their background, to take back their food system and their right to food that is truly good for them. I am very grateful for the experiences I’ve gained working with FSWG and feel that I must continue to take action whether it’s working for a food justice based organization after graduation or applying to law school to ultimately help protect consumers and food system workers in the courts or with policy making. Food is something we all do everyday and for many can be a way of sharing identity and culture with friends and loved ones – we must continue to fight for a just food system that positively impacts consumers, communities, producers, and the environment.

This story is reproduced from the April FSWG e-newsletter. 

May 2014: Contests and Funding

Apply for the Community Service Project Grant
The Community Service Project (CSP) grant allocates money to students interested in implementing a student initiated, off-campus project that addresses a relevant community need after an appli
cation process. Students can be awarded up to $1,000.

Join Campus Sustainability Council
The role of the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) is to provide funding to registered UCSC student organizations for programs and events that create, implement, and monitor environmentally sound practices on campus as established through the protocol outlined in the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. These organizations additionally facilitate greater collaboration between students, the administration, staff, faculty, and the community. If you are interested in joining the CSC, fill out this form or contact them directly at csc [at] ucsc [dot] edu

UCSC Sustainability Spring Fest

May 22nd, 11:45am-3:00pm
Stevenson Event Center

Mark your calendars! On May 22nd, we will be celebrating the sustainability projects that occurred this year by students, staff, and faculty in a poster symposium and an awards ceremony. If you are interested in attending this year's Spring Fest, please RSVP on the google calendar event. If you cannot find the event on your google calendar, please contact Darlene Khalafi at dkhalafi [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Interested in Volunteering? Contact Darlene Khalafi at dkhalafi [at] ucsc [dot] edu. Volunteers will be needed at the event and can also help with outreaching to organizations about the event. There will also be an opportunity for volunteers to help create the decorations for the event - this day will be determined once we have a list of volunteers. If you are interested, please email Darlene.

Awards Ceremony: At this year's event we will be hosting an awards ceremony to recognize some of the outstanding projects of the year. If you are interested in voting for these projects, vote here! Other than cutting the cake, the Chancellor will also be presenting the winner of the Chancellor's Sustainability Challenge Impact Award. Lastly, for those of you that will have a poster at the event representing your projects, there will be a "Best Poster" Award that all attendees will vote for at the event, so make your posters beautiful and engaging!

If you have any general questions about the event, email Melina Meseroll at mmeserol [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Sanctuary Celebration - May 17th

Saturday, May 17, 2014 
11:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Santa Cruz Wharf Commons 

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of our nation's most spectacular marine protected areas, will be celebrated at the Santa Cruz Wharf with free live music, crafts, educational talks and demonstrations and short eco-tours of the Wharf. Experience the unique marine sanctuary as you stroll the wharf and join the fun! Learn all about the things that have drawn locals and visitors to the Wharf for a century: fishing, history, sports, birding, sea lions, whale watching and more, including recent efforts to make the wharf sustainable. Interactive, educational and fun activities will be presented by groups like the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, the Sanctuary Exploration Center, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Institute, Save our Shores, UCSC, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and more.

  • Guided EcoTours by the Seymour Marine Discovery Center 
  • Bird spotting by UCSC bird experts 
  • Participatory art for kids 
  • Interactive historical and scientific exhibits 
  • Native plant pop-up parklet to relax on the Bay Boatbuilding and fish cleaning demonstrations 
  • Storytelling by Geoffrey Dunn 
  • Free solar consultations by the City – bring your PG&E bill! 
  • Food vendors featuring seafood caught in the Bay 
  • Representatives on hand to share Rail Trail and Wharf Master Plan progress
We encourage the use of alternative transportation such as the free downtown trolley and our free bike valet to get to the event!

Download Mobile Ranger's Free Wharf app at the iTunes store an event guide with detailed information on activity times and locations! Sponsored by the City of Santa Cruz, Bay Photo, Sandbar Solar and Electric, Lighthouse Bank, ZNA Communications, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the UCSC Sustainability Office and Student Volunteer Center. Co-sponsored by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, KCBA TV and KPIG 107.5 FM. Visit Cost: FREE!

Monday, April 21, 2014

May 2014 Sustainability Profile: Julie Foster

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Julie Foster, a second year Stevenson College affiliated student who has been making a great effort to help UCSC become a bike-friendly university.

Julie and Rizzo

Position Titles: Bike Library Coordinator, Bike Friendly Campus Initiatives Intern, and Student Environmental Center Personnel Organizer and Blueprint Intern

Favorite Green Tips: Do it yourself! I think the best green tip is to not be so reliant on modern technology, consumption, and buying new things. Try skipping the bus or car and transporting yourself with human power like walking, skateboarding, or bike riding. And try reducing your waste by taking old trash and remodeling it with a DIY ideas (I'm a big fan of pinterest projects).

What does "sustainability" mean to you? I like to think being sustainable is doing what you can to minimize your impact on Earth. It is keeping the Earth healthy and doing your part to ensure the human relationship with nature has that component of giving back to the world rather than just taking what we can without considering the consequences.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? Throughout this year I have been really active with the sustainability community on campus through my involvement with the Student Environmental Center and my work on the Bike Library. However, I think the most important role I play that relates to sustainability on campus is simply my role as a student. As much as I can do myself by working on projects, my impact will never be as great as the impact all campus affiliates can make together. You do not have to be actively involved with the environmental community to participate in the projects and resources all the amazing sustainability orgs on campus create. Sometimes the little things can have the largest effect.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life? I ride my bike! As much as possible I try to choose my bicycle and forego automobile transportation. This reduces my carbon footprint, plus it can be so much fun!

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC? As a huge bike fan and the coordinator I might be a little biased, but I really love the Bike Library Program. This project started as an Education for Sustainable Living Program course, then it became a Student Environmental Center campaign, and now it lives with TAPS. It is fascinating to track how much it has grown through all these organizations and how well it has brought people together. The mission is to get people on bikes who would otherwise not be able to have bikes to promote sustainable transportation and self sufficiency. Like the Bike Library on Facebook to stay updated on cool bike stuff!

May 2014: Classes, Training, & Community

Spring Plant Sale
Come on down to the Spring Plant Sale on Saturday May 3 from 10 am-3 pm and May 4, from 1 pm- 2pm. The sale is taking place in the Barn Theater on the corner of Bay and High street. Choose from a vast array of organically gown vegetables, annual flowers, and perennials. For a comprehensive list of all of the plants that will be for sale, click here. Admission is free and for any questions, check out the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems' website.

CASFS Plant Sale & Demeter Seed Library's Grab'N Swap
Join campus gardeners, backyard green-thumbs, and others at the UCSC CASFS Plant Sale on May 3rd & 4th from 10am-3pm on 5/3 and 10am-2pm on 5/4. The sale will be taking place at the base of campus beside the Barn Theater. Demeter Seed Project is also going to be on hand from 10am-2pm daily offering organic, heirloom seasonal seeds! For more information, visit CASFS's website

AG Against Hunger Volunteering Opportunity
Come volunteer for an incredible opportunity to alleviate hunger in our local area, providing low income people with fruits and vegetables. Volunteers are led into farmer's fields to harvest surplus crops and clean the produce. Volunteers will be asked to sign a waiver before they begin as well as duties in data creation and report administration. For more information on how to get involved in this cause AG Against Hunger's website.

Slug Bike Party Around Campus
Get on your bike and ride! Come to the Stevenson Main Quad on May 3rd at 3:30 pm! This mini-event, taking place during the Bike & Food Justice Festival, will have a group heading off on bikes to explore easy and secret routes around campus while also touring some beautiful campus gardens. Bring a bike, helmet and comfy shoes! For more information, contact Melissa Ott, mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu or check out the event page here. Let's ride!

Annual Strawberry N' Justice Festival at the CASFS
On Thursday, May 15th from 4-6:30 PM, come on down to the CASFS farm! The incredible annual strawberry and justice festival that weaves in organic berries into the heart of food and labor issues representative of challenges in the Central Coast. Through interactive tabling, live music and cultural performances, tours, and justice themed activities this free public event is not to be missed! If your organization would like to table, or for more general information, please click here. For more info email FSWG at 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

May 2014: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering

Arboretum Volunteer Gardening Opportunities
Do you have an interest in gardening? The Arboretum has volunteer gardening hours throughout the week. Visit their website for details and cultivate your green thumb!

Find/Upload Projects to Sustainability Project Clearinghouse
Are you 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] ucsc [dot] edu.

Volunteer for the Sustainability Spring Festival
Interested in helping to celebrate the many sustainability accomplishments of our campus? Volunteer to help plan the Sustainability 2014 Spring Festival Celebration! Contact Darlene Khalafi at dkhalafi [at] ucsc [dot] edu or visit this website for more information. Volunteers are needed the day of the event May 22nd from 11am-4pm as well as the week before the event to help create decorations and much more!

Bikes & Food Justice Festival
Do you like bikes, food and justice? Join us for the Stevenson Bike & Food Justice Fest from 12pm-4pm in the Stevenson Fireside Lounge. Join us for a bike & food justice festival featuring free bike maintenance, bike education and history, and bike-generated strawberry smoothies with education about strawberry production, music, bike part art and food justice. The Bikes & Food Justice Festival is looking for volunteers to work in one hour shifts. For more information, contact Melissa Ott, mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu or check out the event page here.

Sierra Club's Search for Next Generation Leaders 
Sierra Club is looking for the next generation of environmental leaders! Today, more than ever, young savvy organizers are running campaigns and changing the policies at the local, state and national level. This summer, hundreds will take part in the Sierra Club's award-winning grassroots leadership training program to learn the skills necessary to launch such campaigns. These five week-long trainings are ran by, and intended for young movement leaders. Does this sound like someone you know? Nominate a young leader to gain the skills and confidence they need to launch and win real campaigns for real issues: sustainability, climate and justice by clicking here!

ZipCar Paid Internship
ZipCar is offering a paid internships to students at UCSC! Some responsibilities include: communicating and working with campus-wide contacts to cultivate awareness on campus, location management, vehicle auditing, and writing and executing a marketing plan. To apply, and for more information, check out ZipCar's 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. Sprout Up was founded by college students is a non-profit operation, so they are always seeking new instructors. For more information about potential volunteering opportunities, 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 become a full-fledged research facility; internship opportunities exist and will continue growing as the facility expands. UCSC students can learn more about the WaterLab and internships by contact Eli Weintraub
at etweint [at] ucsc [dot] edu and via the Center for Integrated Water Research. 

Intern at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Come on down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Thursday May 8th, for Information Sessions at 10:00 am-1:30pm (presented every 30 minutes), and Interview Screenings beginning at 10:30 am-2:00pm to get all the information needed to volunteer! The mission of the aquarium is to inspire conservation and care for our oceans and everyone who interns there plays a critical role. Bring your passion and energy to a rewarding workplace and apply for an internship that best suits those skills! For for information please visit their website or email intern [at] mbayaq [dot] org.

Volunteer for Sea Slugs
The Sea Slugs are a UCSC student-based organization built around environmental activism and community involvement. Sea Slugs have ties with many local organizations including the Save the Waves Coalition and the Surfrider Foundation. All those interested in environmental stewardship should visit their website or contact them at seaslug.ucsc [at] gmail [dot] com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Walk to Class Challenge

Walk to Class Challenge Day will take place on the UC Santa Cruz campus on Tuesday, April 22nd to promote walking as a viable and sustainable transportation mode for cross-campus travel, to reduce UCSC’s carbon footprint and to improve individual health.

The idea for the Walk to Class Challenge Day came from students in the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus and is a student led-effort to promote walking as a healthy and environmentally sustainable way to get around our beautiful campus.  The Campus Sustainability Plan calls for 75% of cross-campus travel to be made by human-powered modes and to engage students in choosing more sustainable modes of transportation.  By participating in this Challenge, you are taking a step in the right direction to help achieve these goals!

Complete a quick pre-survey to be eligible to participate. Then, upon completion of the Challenge Day, all participants will take a brief post-event survey and be eligible to win a $50 VISA gift card.

Questions? Interested in volunteering?
Contact Jessica Pearson at

Friday, April 4, 2014

Free Sustainable Living Mobile App!

Chinook Book has created a free sustainable living mobile app for use by UC Santa Cruz students, staff and faculty. This app provides sustainability resources and coupons from local merchants who practice sustainability and puts them right at your fingertips. This way, you can support businesses that give back all the while saving money.

With deals from Saturn Cafe, Hula's Island Grill, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Charlie Hong Kong, Cafe Gratitude, Spokesman Bikes, New Lead, Synergy Clothing, Gabriella Cafe, Well Within Spa and many more, who could resist? Each merchant participating has a positive community impact and meets Chinook Book's sustainability standards and criteria.

This app is free and ready for download now! Check out this awesome video for the how-to of the Chinook Book app!

April 22nd - Walk to Class Challenge Day!

Walk to Class Challenge Day will take place on the UC Santa Cruz campus on Tuesday, April 22nd to promote walking as a viable and sustainable transportation mode for cross-campus travel, to reduce UCSC’s carbon footprint and to improve individual health.

The Campus Sustainability Plan and Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus both contain visions and goals for a more sustainable campus. The transportation section of the CSP calls for 75% of cross-campus travel to be made by human-powered modes and to engage students in choosing more sustainable modes of transportation. The Blueprint calls for the creation of a Walk to Class Challenge Day.

Every student is welcome and encouraged to participate in the Walk to Class movement!

Registration begins Tuesday, April 1st. Students can sign up at

All participants will take a quick survey upon registration and the first 100 students to sign up will receive an event T-shirt and pedometer! Upon completion of the Challenge Day, all participants will take a brief post-event survey and be eligible to win a $50 VISA gift card.

Challenge yourself and challenge your friends to participate and try walking to class on this day -- Earth Day!

Interested in participating or volunteering? Contact Jessica Pearson at jrpearso [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more info.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Contests and Funding for April 2014

15th Annual Brower Youth Awards Application Period
Hosted by the Earth Island Institute, North American college students are encouraged to apply for the award based on their demonstrated excellence in environmental leadership, and the creativity, impact, replicability and relevance of the project. Applications will be accepted until May 12.

Call for Abstracts: Book Project on Policy and Agriculture
The new book project out of the Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University will explore the themes of and intersections among policy, food and farming, and culture in the contemporary American South. Stemming from an interest in alternative, sustainable food systems and the resurgence of the local and craft food movement, the book's focus on the South is due to its distinctive food nuances related to food policy and practice. Deadline for abstracts is April 4.

April 22nd - Walk to Class Challenge Day!
Challenge yourself! Walk to class! Walk to Class Challenge Day – April 22, 2014. Help reach campus sustainability goals and promote healthy choices. Sign up by April 22nd here. Challenge yourself to walk while on campus rather than use transit. First 140 participants to sign up get a free T-shirt, Pedometer, and KIND bar! Interested in participating or volunteering? Contact Jessica Pearson at jrpearso [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more info.

Campus Sustainability Funding Opportunity
The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) would like to fund your student organization’s sustainability projects or events in the upcoming year. The spring 2014 funding round funding is available for fall 2014 (or summer upon request) through spring 2015. Proposals adhering to the criteria for student organizations and relevance to the Blueprint For Sustainable Campus are eligible for funding. Please fill out the RSVP HERE for ONE of the following MANDATORY grant training sessions:

  • Monday, 4/14/14 at 1:00 PM
  • Monday, 4/14/14 at 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday, 4/15/14 at 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, 4/16/14 at 11:00 AM
  • Thursday, 4/17/14 at 3:00 PM. 
All workshops will be held in the Esselen Nation Conference Room at the Bay Tree Bookstore, and should last around one hour.

April 2014 Green Tips: Sustainable Spring

Hey Slugs! It's Spring time and there is no better time to get sustainable! Here are a few ideas on how you can get extra sustainable this spring.

1. Start a garden or get involved in one

Spring is the perfect time to start a garden. Start planting tomatoes, zucchinis and strawberries and enjoy the fruits of your labor all summer! If you don't have access to a plot to grow a personal garden there are plenty of places to get involved in gardening on campus. Check out the Chadwick Garden, the Kresge Garden, the College Eight Garden, and more!

2. Thrift your new Spring wardrobe

When the sun starts shining a little brighter and the need for cozy sweaters and sweats becomes less and less we all start digging through our closets to find something more appropriate for the warmer weather. What we find leaves us unsatisfied. "How on Earth did I fit into this dress last year", "How did anyone let me out of the house wearing this bro tank?" When you start asking yourself these types of questions don't head down to Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters. Definitely don't start ordering online (all that packaging is so wasteful!). But hit up one of the local thrift stores. Crossroads, the Salvation Army, and Goodwill are all easily accessible in Downtown Santa Cruz.

3. Take advantage of the weather

Gorgeous Spring weather means there are no longer excuses for driving or busing around campus. Pull out your bike, dust it off, ride it on into the bike co-op on campus, catch your breath and realize the lack of exercise you got this winter, get a tune up, and ride that baby to all your classes! If biking isn't an option for you, hop on your own two feet and enjoy the fresh air and the redwoods on your way to class.

4. Spring Cleaning

By the time Spring comes around all the junk can really pile up around your dorm or house. Now is the perfect time to reorganize and get clean. Make sure you recycle everything you can. Any papers you don't need from last quarter or the pile of red bull cans in the corner that are STILL sitting there from finals can all be put in recycling. Before you get rid of anything check and make sure one of your hall mates or housemates can't use it. One person's trash could be someone else's treasure!

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!

New Compost Program, Targets Pizza Boxes

North Carolina State U Begins Pizza Box Composting. The university's Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling implemented the Pizza Box Composting Project, which seeks to decrease compostable waste on campus and encourage students to pay more attention to the importance of composting. These boxes, plus additional boxes from other campus organizations and personal purchases, will be turned into nutrient-rich soil through composting. So many students here on our campus order tons of pizza and it would be great if we had a pizza box composting system at UCSC too.

Stanford Farm Implements Water Conservation Techniques in Face of Drought

The Stanford Community Farm, a one-acre field located on the outskirts of campus, has implemented moisture-trapping gardening techniques in order to mitigate water usage, in response to the ongoing shortage of rainfall throughout California. They set up drip-watering systems that he estimated as being 80- to 90-percent more efficient due to plants having more time to absorb a more limited amount of water. The farm has also incorporated the use of three kinds of cover crops—oats, rye and bell beans—that have unique root systems conducive to allowing air and water to seep deeply into the soil. Without the cover crops, the soil would become compressed, which would eventually lead to erosion and a loss of valuable nutrients to wind and rain. If our CASFS isn't already using similar techniques, the farm should try this to conserve water.

U New Mexico Establishes Student Food Pantry

Imagine being a student who doesn't have enough money to buy healthy food. This is not as uncommon as many may think. If students don't eat properly, they cannot concentrate and do well in school. Recognizing that, the UNM Dean of Students Office, the Division of Student Affairs and a Food Bank are partnering to bring a mobile food bank to UNM students once a month. What would it take to have this at UCSC? This would be beneficial to students here.