Wednesday, April 23, 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!

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.

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