Friday, April 3, 2015

Innovative Approaches to Sustainability at Other Campuses

Here are a few selections of the innovative approaches to sustainability taking place on other college campuses. Each of these examples was chosen because they represent ideas that UCSC could potentially implement in some form, or in some cases, already has begun to. If you see something here that you want to make a reality at UCSC, contact the Sustainability Office at sustain.education [at] ucsc [dot] edu and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition!

Food

Six Vermont Schools Participate in Food System Tour
As part of an effort to study local and global food systems, students from around the U.S. will visit Green Mountain College, Middlebury College, Sterling College, University of Vermont, Vermont Law School, and Vermont Technical College. The 21-day tour explores urban food systems, the local dairy industry and carbon economy, food system advocacy in the context of genetically-modified food, conservation, and climate change and its impacts on global food system.

Transportation

GMR Institute of Tech Imposes Vehicle Restrictions on Campus (India)
In an effort to curb noise and air pollution at the institution, the university recently banned vehicles on campus every Thursday whereby all faculty, staff and students park their motorized vehicles in assigned locations and reach campus by foot.

USA Today: Campus Bike Reuse Programs
The recently released article points out some universities and colleges that are collecting unwanted bikes, repairing them to working order, and lending them to students who might not otherwise be able to afford a bicycle.

Nashville, TN Walk Bike University Free Public Bike Classes
Walk/Bike Nashville's Walk Bike University (WBU) seeks to grow the number of Nashvillians biking and walking through education, raising awareness, and cultivating bicycle and pedestrian leaders. They host workshops on bicycle skills, bicycle maintenance, pedestrian advocacy, and various other bicycle and pedestrian issues. Classes are fun, informative, and open to the public.Some classes include: Adult Learn to Ride a Bike; Bicycling 123 refresher course; Basic Bike Skills on off-street (parking-lot) skills course; and City Cycling.

Ohio State U Enters Negotiations with Bike Sharing Company 
The recent negotiations, if agreed upon, will bring Zagster, a bicycle-sharing system, to campus with 115 bicycles including tandem, hand cycle, electric assist, heavy duty, and three-wheeled cargo bikes.

Big Idea: $1 To Save Bicycling on Campus
A graduate student studying urban planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign successfully lead a campaign on campus to institute a $1 semesterly fee for bicycle programs and infrastructure. The fee not only passed, but it sailed through a vote with 73% of students in support.

Awareness, Education, and Engagement

California State U Monterey Bay Opens New Sustainable Degree
The new bachelor of science in sustainable hospitality management provides students with local, regional and global perspectives on current and pressing sustainability issues and problems within the hospitality industry. Concentrations exist in sustainable hotel, resort and event management, and sustainable ecotourism management.

Portland State U Launches Graduate Certificate in Public Design
The university's School of Architecture's new certificate in Public Interest Design aims to prepare students in sustainability, community development and architecture to aid underserved populations through sustainable, human-centered design methods via in-classroom studies and hands-on field experience, working directly with communities in need.

U Virginia Begins Employee Sustainability Program
Seeking to reduce its environmental impact by building more efficient spaces, the university's sustainability committee has started its new, self-reporting Green Workplace Program, which uses a checklist of 60 actions that workplaces can implement to improve operations and reduce cost, and includes eight categories: energy, transportation, purchasing, zero waste, community, health, food and bonus credits. If UCSC held sustainability trainings for employees, would you attend? Comment below!

Maharishi U Offers Masters Program in Sustainable Living
During the first year of the program, beginning fall 2015, students will spend half their time in class and half in the community addressing challenges. The second year will be entirely devoted to a major community project, with one option being a 25-month hitch in the Peace Corps.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Announces Campus Climate Dialogues 
Inspired by the rising level of national and local discourse surrounding events and issues of equity and inclusion related to race, intellectual diversity, religion, identity and culture, the university recently began Carolina Conversations, a coordinated effort that gives the campus community an avenue to share thoughts and opinions with the administration. The campaign includes an interactive website, a calendar of all campus events related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and a series of ongoing events to encourage dialogue.

Waste

Fitchburg State U Removes Drinking Straw Option
In an attempt to improve waste reduction, recycling and composting, the university removed the straws, which are hard to spot when conducting post-consumer, dish room garbage separation.

University of Washington Students Hold Trashion Show
The first annual UW "Trashion" Show was hosted by EcoReps to celebrate Earth Day and beckon audience members to reimagine and critically think about "waste."All clothing made through upcycling scavenged materials. Something like this would be a great opportunity for the Theater and Art and Environmental Studies departments to collaborate on something environmentally creative.

Energy

Cambridge U Studies Plant-Powered Bus Shelter (U.K.)
The prototype hub at the university's botanical garden has walls of plants in pockets made of carbon fiber that receive electrons, produced as a byproduct of photosynthesis, that power a light in the shelter.

Climate Change

Stanford U Students Hold Panel on Climate Change Education
Students for a Sustainable Stanford and the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences recently held a panel to raise public awareness of the interdisciplinary importance of global climate change.

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