Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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 susted@ucsc.edu 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.

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