Sunday, May 31, 2015

Residenace Hall Waste Signage Project

I was standing next to the College Ten dumpster and couldn't figure if I should throw my domino's pizza box in the recycling or landfill dumpster. I threw it into the recycling bin because isn't that what you do with cardboard? Little did I know that you are supposed to recycle clean pizza boxes and throw away the part that has food and grease on it. I went back into my room feeling guilty about calling myself a “sustainable” person because I wasn't sure if it had made the right choice or not near the dumpsters.

As I stared at the wall in the room, I thought it would really nice to have a recycling sign on my wall to guide me through my waste disposal so I don't get confused when I'm taking out the trash from my dorm. I brought up this idea at an Education and Outreach team meeting at the Sustainability Office and we agreed that this was a good educational material for students. We planned to start this pilot project at College Nine to see how efficient dorm signage is and whether or not it aids students when throwing away their trash.


After getting approval from the CHES (Colleges, Housing and Educational Services) sustainability working group, gaining interest and support from the College Nine Senate and Resident Assistants, Rebecca Sale (Education and Outreach Team associate) and I created surveys to gain an understanding of current student behavior when it came to properly disposing waste. After the signs were created, they were placed in every College Nine Residence Hall room. We conducted waste assessments with the Zero Waste Team to measure the percent refuse before and after signage through rough visual estimates.

The waste assessment results clearly demonstrated that the signs were effective because the percent refuse increased from 53% to 65% meaning the waste contamination had decreased. In the future, we hope to extend this project to all colleges with the hope of reaching our 2020 goal of zero waste.


This project means a lot to me because all students who live in the college dorms and apartments will be able to contribute to our campus goal. Regardless of whether or not we have a specific goal, as humans, we will all work together for the welfare of Mother Earth and for each other.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

June 2015 Green Tip: Sustainable Choices to Make in the Check-Out Line

Do you wonder how to make green purchasing decisions? Below are some amazing sustainable products that are perfect for making your dorm, home, and office a greener environment this summer.

LIGHTBULBS: Choose LED over CFL

Top 10 Benefits of LED Lighting:
  1. Long Life - life time expectation of up to 100,000 hours (11 years of continuous operation)
  2. Energy Efficiency - 80-90% Energy Efficiency compared to conventional lightbulbs; this means 80% of the electrical energy is converted into light and the rest is lost and converted into other forms of energy such as heat
  3. Ecologically Friendly - free of toxic chemicals and are 100% recyclable
  4. Durable - resistant to shock, vibrations, and external impacts; excellent for outdoor lighting
  5. Zero UV Emissions - produces little infrared light and close to no UV emissions, so highly suitable for foods and materials that are sensitive to heat
  6. Design Flexibility - can be combined into any shape to produce highly efficient illumination; can be dimmed!
  7. Operational in Extremely Cold or Hot Temperatures
  8. Light Dispersement
  9. Instant Lighting and Frequent Switching
  10. Low-Voltage
Top 10 Problems with Fluorescent Lightbulbs:
  1. Frequent Switching Causes Early Failures
  2. Fluorescent Bulbs Contain Mercury
  3. Fluorescent Lights Give Off Ultraviolet Light
  4. The "Buzz" On the Fluorescent Ballast
  5. Power Quality and Radio Interference
  6. Not as Efficient at High and Low Temperatures
  7. Fluorescent Lamp Shape Cause Retrofit Problems
  8. Most Fluorescents are Not Able to be Dimmed
  9. Contaminants Cause Disposal and Recycling Issues
  10. Light from Fluorescent Bulb is Non-Directional
Did these benefits of LED lighting convince you? LED lighting has even more benefits and advantages, so make sure you go LED and save both the planet - and your money!

REFILLABLE PROPANE CANISTERS

Every year in North America, 40 million disposable one-pound propane cylinders are used, with over four million in California alone. Because of limited, expensive recycling options, the empty cylinders are often disposed of improperly in landfills, dumpsters, household trash, campsites, on the roadside or in recycling containers.

ReFuel Your Fun, a company, has created refillable propane canisters. The new valves on the refillable one-pound cylinders work exactly the same except they can be refilled and reused hundreds of times for up to 12 years. On the other hand, disposables are costly…not only to the environment but to your pocketbook as well.

So, the next time you go camping this summer, remember to bring your refillable propane canister!

SOLAR OVENS

With solar ovens, the sunlight is converted into heat that is retained for cooking. Check out SolarCookers.org for information on why to use a solar oven this summer when your cooking.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New SlugRoute App

Ever wondered where the loop bus is when you really needed it?  The new SlugRoute app was made just for that!  The mobile app tracks all loops with new LEDs signs, labeling if they are for upper campus, out of service, or a regular loop.  The app is available for Androids and will soon be available for iOS systems.  For iPhone users, you can access the app by simply navigating to slugroute.com.

Thanks to Larry Pageler (Director of Transportation & Parking Services), Kevin Abas, Kerry Veenstra, Wade "Simba" Khadder, Emily Wong, and other students from the i-NRG lab, for developing this useful app that helps make sustainable transportation on campus easier!


Wednesday, May 27, 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 susted [at] ucsc [dot] edu and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition! 

Roosevelt U Student Develops Phone App to Encourage Recycling 
As part of a sustainability studies program course, honors student Dusan Koleno created the Google Play app, Recycle Tracker, to enable users at home and office to keep track of what and how much they are recycling with comparisons, including pie and bar charts, that can be viewed by weekly, monthly or annual usage. 

U Washington Divests from Coal Companies 
The university's Board of Regents recently voted to prohibit direct investment of endowment funds in publicly traded companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy generation. 

U Vermont Adds Sustainability Requirement 
Starting with this fall’s freshman class, Class of 2019, sustainable approaches and practices will be built into the university’s curriculum across departments, and woven into co-curricular activities, so there will be several ways for students to fulfill the new requirement.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Extended Deadline: PowerSave Housing Survey - July 11

Attention UCSC undergrads living in an on-campus residential housing unit! PowerSave Campus would like your input on energy use in your building. Please take the short 3 minute survey here and be sure to include your UCSC email address to be entered into a raffle for one $100 and 4 $50 bookstore gift certificates! The information collected in this survey will be used to help prioritize investment in energy conservation projects and programs. The deadline to participate has been extended to July 11th at midnight.

June 2015: Classes, Trainings and Community

Poetry and Music in the Alan Chadwick Garden: June 6
Join CASFS for this annual free poetry reading and music from noon-2pm onJune 6th in the "Up Garden" at UCSC. More details here.

The Homeslice CSA: Registration Now Open
The Pie Ranch in Pescadero is expanding their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to include Santa Cruz and Davenport. As a CSA member, you will receive a weekly delivery of organically grown produce. You can either sign up for half a season for $312 or a full season for $600. The boxes come with vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, wheat flour or berries, dry beans, seasonal fruit and eggs available on request. Register to be a CSA here.


Carbon Fund Crowdfunding Project

Climate change is one of the greatest concerns to our worldwide community. As a university, UC Santa Cruz students, staff, and faculty have advocated for a greener campus. One of the ways we support sustainability is with the Carbon Fund, a granting body that provides funding for a variety of projects that decrease our carbon footprint and conserve resources. Though the fund is primarily funded through student fee measure 44, in recent years this fund has received far more qualified funding requests than we can actually fund, with a gap of $430,000. To begin to close this gap, we are hosting a crowdfunding campaign through UCSC's crowdfund platform to try and raise $10,000!

The Carbon Fund continually works as a granting body to provide funds for projects that will reduce UC Santa Cruz’s carbon footprint. The Carbon Fund Committee is comprised of staff, students, faculty, and community members knowledgeable about sustainable practices and the implementation of carbon reduction strategies.


The Carbon Fund has supported 62 projects since its inaugural funding year in 2010. Each one of the projects has either directly reduced energy consumption or provided invaluable education and outreach to our on- and off-campus communities regarding sustainability efforts. The breadth of project topics is vast. They include funding efforts from campus lighting retrofits, to bike commuter programs, composting, and solar energy.

Each year, both lower- and higher-cost projects are supported. Last year, the micro projects were allocated an average of $2,365.57, while the macro projects were granted an average of $15,076.68.

Five thousand dollars was awarded to the Santa Cruz High Garden Renaissance project this year, supporting the construction of a shed, garden, and compost system at the high school. This project provided an impactful learning experience for UC Santa Cruz students, creating an opportunity to collaborate with youth in the local community, as well as spread invaluable knowledge about environmentally-friendly practices.


As support for a carbon neutral UC Santa Cruz rises, so does the demand for the limited resources of the Carbon Fund. This year, there was a $430,000 discrepancy between requested and awarded funds. That is why we are asking for your help; we would like to raise $10,000 to start to close this gap. Every dollar supports a cleaner environment, student engagement, and brings UC Santa Cruz one step closer to a greener and more sustainable future. Make a donation to the Carbon Fund today by visiting crowdfund.ucsc.edu/carbonfund.

New Wellness Center Rainwater Harvesting

This recently completed project consists of a rainwater catchment system that will serve as the primary water source for toilet use at the UCSC Wellness Center. It is intended to be a small scale pilot project that will give the UCSC community the opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of rainwater harvesting and re-use and provide a working prototype for future rainwater catchment systems. The goal is to learn from this application and be able to apply it to future large-scale systems.


The location was chosen not only for the small-scale applicability but because the site is accessible to most campus users. This project has the potential to provide many educational benefits. Already, UCSC students in the Impact Designs: Engineering & Sustainability through Student Service program, with the help of a local engineering mentor, completed a large portion of the calculations, design, and estimate.

Storm Water Programs Manager Courtney Trask oversaw the project implementation and hopes to increase awareness about water conservation rainwater catchment systems, and sustainability by educating students, faculty, and staff and ultimately reducing municipal water consumption and energy use.

With the use of rainwater harvesting UCSC could reduce the following:
  • use of domestic water 
  • energy used to treat the water to drinking water standards 
  • energy used to pump the water to the treatment plant and then the extra pumping to reach UCSC's elevation 
  • chemicals used to treat domestic water

Friday, May 22, 2015

June 2015 Sustainability Profile: Erin Linney

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Erin Linney, UCSC alumna and former PowerSave Campus member, who now works at ADM Associates, a company that provides energy efficiency evaluations.


Education Background
I graduated from UCSC in 2013 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a BA in Politics.

What's your favorite green tip?
Bill McKibben is a personal hero of mine and I believe the 350.org and other similar divestment movements can have a powerful impact on the future of fossil fuels. I recently attended a workshop hosted by Women in Cleantech & Sustainability called “Kicking Coal out of your portfolio - Sustainable Investment”. I have always viewed the divestment movement as a strategy to apply pressure to universities and businesses to divest. However, I learned that I can do research on which mutual funds, ETFs and stocks reflect my values and will return a profit from a sustainable investing professional. As you graduate and begin your career, I encourage you to sustainability invest your money, because I am convinced our generation can make the change towards a fossil free world.

What does "sustainability" mean to you?
I grew up in an intentional community in the hills of Santa Rosa, called Monan’s Rill. My family’s electricity was mainly supplied by solar panels. We dried our clothes in the sunshine, and grew most of our own food. The community members all shared a common intention-- a society that emphasizes competition, materialism, and self-enhancement encourages isolation and alienation. The community views cooperation and a spirit of mutual support are highly desirable alternatives. I believe sustainability requires an intentional commitment, and sustainable change requires working together, sharing resources, supporting each other.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
As a young girl, I loved tracking the family’s energy usage and learning how solar panels capture the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Our solar panels sparked my interest in implementing sustainable energy solutions, and was the main reason I decided to major in Environmental Studies and begin a career in energy efficiency. Every day I work to improve the energy use in buildings throughout the U.S. I am also passionate about water quality issues, renewable energy policy, and green building. I plan to get a masters in environmental public policy soon, and will continue to find tangible and feasible solutions to the major environmental problems that we face as a society today.

When you were at UCSC, how did sustainability relate to your role?
I worked with the UCSC PowerSave Campus for three years, where I designed and implemented multifaceted behavior change programs and energy efficiency projects. Through my role as Team Manager, I supported student interns in developing leadership skills such as communicating effectively with campus stakeholders, managing project deliverables, and implementing educational outreach campaigns. I also had the opportunity to present at several higher education conferences, where I learned about best practices in sustainability and was inspired to continue working in this field post- graduation.

Did you have a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
I always enjoyed Earth Summit. I loved how every sustainability organization came together to showcase their projects, outreach to students, and brainstorm ways to implement sustainability within the UCSC community. It was inspiring to hear all the creative ideas for future projects outlined in the UCSC Blueprint for Sustainability.

Can you tell us about your work at ADM Associates?
Currently, I work with an energy efficiency program evaluation firm in Fremont. I help manage commercial and residential energy efficiency programs for utilities across the US and suggest innovative solutions to increase energy savings. I analyze energy retrofits using monitoring data and information about the building operations. Each site analysis is unique and requires critical thinking as well as attention to detail to calculate the energy savings. In addition, I synthesize the complex site analyses to communicate the results to a diverse audience. I couldn’t have landed the role I have today without the training and education I received through PowerSave Campus and the Sustainability Office.

June 2015: Contests & Funding

UCSC Residential Housing Survey on Energy: Deadline June 11
PowerSave is supporting the overall campus Climate and Energy Strategy project by collecting data related to energy use in residential housing units. Please take the short 3 minute survey here and be sure to provide your UCSC email address to be entered into a raffle for one $100 and four $50 bookstore gift certificates! The information collected in this survey will be used to help prioritize investment in energy conservation projects and programs. Deadline to participate is July 11th at midnight.

Carbon Fund Crowdfunding: Deadline June 18th
The Carbon Fund is currently featured as one of UCSC’s Crowdfund projects and you can make a donation that will have a tremendous impact on the UCSC campus! Every contribution made will be used to support student projects that reduce our campus’ carbon footprint. Help the Carbon Fund reach their goal of raising $20,000 by donating here.

Sustainability Film & Art Contest: Deadline July 13
Calling all filmmakers and artists! Are you interested in having your short film or artwork displayed at a film festival series this fall? The Sustainability Office invites you to create a sustainability-related short film or poster. The winner(s) of the competition will have their films and posters shown at the Sustainability Film Festival to celebrate the campus’s 50th Anniversary! Learn more here.



Energy Dept. $2.5M for Collegiate Clean Energy Tech: Deadline June 7
The newly announced $2.5 million in funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) aims to support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy. The Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace.

AASHE Sustainability Awards: Deadline June 11
Applications for the Tenth Annual AASHE Sustainability Awards are now being accepted for outstanding ideas and initiatives that are furthering the higher education sustainability transformation. Award winners will receive one complimentary AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo pass, one invitation to a special reception during the 2015 conference, an opportunity to present submissions at the 2015 conference, and featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Deadline to apply is June 11, 2015.

Tools of Change Landmark Designation: Deadline June 12
Tools of Change is now soliciting nominations for its 2015 Landmark behavior change case studies in two topic areas - (1) home / building energy conservation and (2) sustainable transportation. If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective, innovative or impactful approach for changing energy or transportation behaviors, please consider nominating them - or yourself. All nominations must include measured impact results. The Nominations Form must be submitted by June 12, 2015. Designations will be announced by October 2015, and case study webinars will be presented between February and May 2016.

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge: Deadline August 3
The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation announced the opening of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Students are invited to submit commercially viable, nature-inspired solutions to global food system challenges. All participants get access to the Design Challenge Toolbox and supporting resources, including sessions with mentors and biomimicry professionals. The grand prize, to be awarded in 2016, is $100,000. The deadline for submissions is August 3rd.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

June 2015: Internships, Employment & Volunteering

EMPLOYMENT

University of Southern California Seeking Sustainability Coordinator
USC Auxiliary Services is seeking a Sustainability Coordinator to join its USC Housing Team. This individual would be responsible for creating sustainable activities geared towards achieving buy-in and habit transformation, coordinate program services and activities, and assist the Director of Housing in defining goals, performance metrics and long range plans for sustainability, to name a few. Applicant must have a Bachelor's degree, 1 year combined education/experience, and experience with administrative support services. For more information, please click here.

UC Riverside Hiring Energy & Sustainability Manager
This is a full-time position located in Riverside, CA. The Energy & Sustainability Manager works to decrease energy cost, examines mechanical, electrical, water and gas systems to make sure they are functioning at the highest level possible. For more information about position requirements, and to apply, click here.

Conservation Corps Seeking College Students and Recent Graduates
Conservation Corps North Bay currently has three open positions: 1) Community Education and Event Associate (20-30 hours/week, flexible schedule, $11/hour). 2) Community Recycling Crew Staff Driver (M-F, 7:00am-3:30pm, scheduled weekend dates, $13/hour). 3) Natural Resource Crew Seasonal Corpsmember (M-F, 7:00-3:30pm, $10/hour). To see the full descriptions and to apply, click here.

Bike Santa Cruz is Seeking Part-time Bookkeeper/Membership Coordinator
Bike Santa Cruz is looking for an awesome, enthusiastic individual to work 5 hours/week tracking Bike Santa Cruz finances, handling member correspondence, and maintaining their membership database. Please read posting for more information.

Seeking Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center Program Assistant
This individual will open and close the center, troubleshoot computer equipment, greet and receive visitors, assist in tours, assist Volunteer Coordinator, data entry and management, and much more. Please send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to explorationcenter [at] noaa [dot] gov and indicate SEC Program Assistant Job in subject line.

Alliance to Save Energy Seeking Programs Associate
The Alliance to Save Energy is seeking a full-time Program Associate to assist with implementing PowerSave Campus. Applicant must have a Bachelor's degree in environmental studies, energy, education and 1-2 years of work experience is preferred. For more information, click here.

University of Utah Hiring Sustainability Communication and Outreach Coordinator
The Sustainability Office at U of Utah is seeking a Communication and Outreach Coordinator. This individual will support the campus mission by acting as a resource to faculty and staff within the Sustainability Office and coordinating internal and external communications with other public outreach efforts. For more information and to apply, click here.

INTERNSHIPS


Impact Designs Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service is a 9-month upper division service-learning class that fulfills the ENVS (and other majors) senior exit/thesis requirement by allowing entrepreneurial students to work on experimental sustainable designs and keep on the cusp of innovation. The potential projects span a cornucopia of topics, including: energy, water, food, transportation, and waste. IDEASS encourages students of all disciplines to apply. Applications are now being accepted for the 2015-2016 year. To apply, visit the application page here

The Food Systems Working Group has an exciting new cadre of student leaders working across their partnerships with Dining, the Farm, and Garden efforts. Are you looking for an internship to join them? Email ucscfswg [at] gmail [dot] com if you'd like to find out more!

CASFS Farm Seeking Interns for Summer
If you're interested in working on the farm this summer, and supporting ongoing student engagement efforts in agroecology and ecological horticulture please email Damian Parr at dmparr [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more details. 

FSWG Leadership and Recruitment Seeking Interns 
Are you a continuing student who is passionate about food and farming systems? Look no further than an intership with FSWG (Food Systems Working Group). Please email Crystal and Alyssa at ucscfswg [at] gmail [dot] com to find out more. Or, join in during a weekly meeting, which takes place on Fridays from 11am-12pm in Oakes Room 220. 

Summer Bike Advocacy Internships Available
Bike Santa Cruz County is looking for summer interns to help with bicycle advocacy, event planning, and outreach. Bike Santa Cruz County advocates for better bicycling around the county, plans fun bike events, and participates in local planning for bike projects and policies. For more information, contact Amelia Conlen at director [at] bikesantacruzcounty [dot] org.




Writers & Social Media Interns Wanted for Hilltromper
Hilltromper, the one-stop outdoor recreation web resource for Santa Cruz County, is looking for an intern to help run the calendar, write about recreation and the environment and contribute to social media. Tromping strongly encouraged! If interested, please email Traci [at] hilltromper [dot] com.

Coastal Watershed Council Internships Available
The Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) has many great internship opportunities to learn about local watersheds, build your resume, and contribute to cleaner, healthier watersheds in Santa Cruz. They're looking for motivated college and high school students. For more information, call (831) 464-9200 and view a full list of internship opportunities here.


VOLUNTEERING

Want to get your hands dirty and nurture the plants in our campus gardens? Visit the calendar to find out when garden work days are happening here.

Have you ever wondered what goes into making a building energy, water, and waste efficient? How can UCSC support sustainability in building designs and retrofits? Tatiana Gefter (Green Building Campaign Coordinator for the Student Environmental Center), Grant Waldron (Provost's Sustainability Intern for Climate Action), and other students are collaborating to create a Green Building Student Alliance. This group will serve as a student advising resource to campus architects and project managers with a goal of increasing student participation in campus infrastructure design to keep the environment in mind. Email Tatiana at tgefter[at]ucsc[dot]edu for more information and to join!

The UC Global Food Initiative aims to address global issues in the food system. All 10 UCs are working collectively towards this effort to support sustainable agriculture, healthy eating, and food security. UCSC is playing a critical role in this effort with the support of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Join a subcommittee and get involved by contacting ucscfswg [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Get Involved with Integrated Climate & Energy Study
Interested in climate and energy sustainability? Want to get hands-on experience exploring these topics in relation to our campus? Chrissy Thomure, Climate Action Manager in the Sustainability Office, is coordinating an Integrated Climate & Energy Study with key stakeholders and a consultant. The study launches this year, and students are encouraged to participate! Email Chrissy at cthomure [at] ucsc [dot] edu to find out more information.

Volunteer at the Homeless Garden Project Downtown Store
Volunteer in the store, on the register, for merchandising, and providing customer service. New volunteers receive orientation during their first shift. Click here to see the schedule, then contact Jes at jesw [at] homelessgardenproject [dot] org to sign-up. 

Call for Students! Conduct Free Local Business Energy Audits
Interested in greening offices and energy conservation? The Green Impact Campaign is a national student-powered movement working to raise awareness of energy consumption. Become part of the movement today and join Green Impact Campaign, here.

Global Student Embassy Seeking Garden Leader
Global Student Embassy (GSE) Santa Cruz initiates and runs several high school garden projects here in Santa Cruz county. GSE is seeking a Garden Leader who will commit to meeting one to two times/month, plan community workdays, lead after school workdays, and facilitate discussion-based workshops. Contact Wyeth Wunderlich at wyeth [at] globalstudent embassy [dot] org to participate in this awesome program.

Sprout Up Environmental Education Opportunity
Sprout Up Santa Cruz is seeking college student-instructors instructors to deliver free environmental education to 1st and 2nd graders in the Santa Cruz community, cultivating the next generation of passionate caretakers of the earth. Commitment is maximum 3 hours/week for 8 weeks, by UCSC academic quarter. For more information, please contact directorsc[at]sproutup[dot]org, and visit their website at www.SproutUp.org.


The Bike Church Community Repair Shop Seeking Volunteers
Have a knack for cycling, biking and learning to maintain bikes? Interested in learning to divert bike parts from the waste stream? Then this is the opportunity for you! Click here for more information. 

Community Engagement with San Lorenzo River Alliance
Help the San Lorenzo River Alliance have more positive attention on and more positive engagement with the San Lorenzo River by signing up to be a community engagement volunteer. To learn more or volunteer, email Laurie Egan at legan [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org. Also, check out their website here.

Teach K-12 Watershed Conservation Lessons
Coastal Watershed Council presents lessons to K-12 grade students at public schools throughout the county. Volunteer to present lessons on the link between watersheds and our water supply, recycling and composting, water pollution prevention, how to pack a trash free lunch, wise energy use, and many other topics related to climate change and wise resource use. To learn more and sign up, email Stew Jenkins at sjenkins [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org or call him at (831) 464-9200. Learn more here.

Carneros Creek Winter Monitoring
Want to gain field experience in beautiful wetland areas? Volunteer with the Carneros Creek Water Quality Monitoring Program to help monitor seasonal Carneros Creek, a primary freshwater tributary to Elkhorn Slough. You'll be professionally trained to test for field measurements and flow, including how to collect water samples that will be analyzed at a certified lab for bacteria, nutrients, total suspended solids, and pesticides. Contact Debie Chirco-Macdonald at djchirco [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org or (831) 464-9200 to get involved. Learn more here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Carbon Fund Crowdfunding

Hello all,

The Carbon Fund team is proud to announce that we have just launched a crowdfunding project through our university. Our goal is raise $10,000 in five weeks, but we need your help to make that happen! Your generous donations will be used to help fund climate action and sustainability projects led by UCSC students. UC Santa Cruz is a leader in sustainability and known to be one of the “greenest” universities in the nation. Student organizations, such as the Carbon Fund, work towards making our university's vision of becoming a carbon neutral campus a reality. The Carbon Fund provides funding for student, staff, faculty, and community projects that mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus and in the community. In 2010, students passed Measure 44, which allocated $3 per student per quarter to the Carbon Fund. Every year, Measure 44 generates $110,000 to be used for campus sustainability projects that decrease our carbon footprint. Although this is a large amount of money, it is not nearly enough.

In 2014, applicants asked the Carbon Fund for $604,393 in funding for their projects. The Carbon Fund granted $177,002, resulting in a $427,391 funding gap! The Carbon Fund's lack of funds is majorly inhibiting applicants from completing incredible projects that reduce our campus' carbon footprint. We are asking for your help to close this funding gap and support our goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus by 2025! Your donation, whether big or small, will have a tremendous impact on the UCSC campus and global environment. Visit crowdfund.ucsc.edu/carbonfund to donate. We greatly appreciate your gift, and so does our earth, atmosphere, and every other living organism on the planet. Lastly, please feel free to forward this information to your networks and spread the word! Thank you!!!

Cheers, The UCSC Carbon Fund Team

Bike Santa Cruz County Releases 2015 Cycling Report

One of Bike Santa Cruz County’s first projects under our new name was the publication of the 2015 State of Cycling report. The report brings together the work of bike organizations throughout the county in 2014, and showcases the cumulative impacts of biking. Through the report, we hope to show that high rates of participation and economic impacts make bicycling a major force in Santa Cruz County, and make the case for more investment in bicycle infrastructure, programs and events.

Highlights from the report include:

  • According to the most recent census data, the City of Santa Cruz ranked second in California for bike to work trips, ahead of San Francisco, Palo Alto and Berkeley.
  • There were nine organizations that did some kind of cycling education and together they reached more than 5,000 youth and adults in Santa Cruz County.
  • Bike industry in Santa Cruz County was estimated to generate more than $800M and employ more than 1,000 people.
  • Revenue-generating bike events raised nearly $300K and drew more than 13,000 participants.
  • We saw tremendous wins for advocacy and new bike infrastructure, including the first green lane treatments in the County, the first two segments of the Soquel Demonstration Forest Flow Trail completed, and the completion of the Arana Gulch Trail.
Check out the full report here.

Success of the Walk to Class Challenge 2015



Walk to Class Challenge Day 2015 was an immense success with over 1,000 participants pledging to walk! This was a huge success, thank you again to all who participated in and helped organize the event. If students uphold this habit within their 4 years at UCSC, we can possibly avoid using over 2,800 gallons of gasoline. If you are interested in coordinating next years event please contact Laura Gracia at lgracia [at] ucsc [dot] edu


Saturday, May 16, 2015

No prospect of an end: living with an ever changing climate

In March of 2014, the UC Santa Cruz Divisions of Physical & Biological Sciences and Social Sciences hosted their second annual Climate Science & Policy conference. Entitled “No Prospect of an End: Living with an ever changing climate”, the conference brought luminary speakers on climate, energy, finance and policy to the Colleges 9/10 Multipurpose Room for two days of lectures and panels. The title of the conference references a famous quotation by James Hutton, the founder of modern geology, who said with respect to the age of the Earth “we find no vestige of a beginning,–no prospect of an end."
Richard Alley Agriculture When it Gets Boring.PNG
“if we look at the last 100,000 years, there is a lot of weirdness. And then it gets boring, and that is what we are used to.” - Dr. Richard Alley, Penn State University


The same can now be said about our changing climate. We know that different geological epochs have spanned vastly different environmental conditions. As the keynote lecture by Richard Alley, Geologists from Penn State University, highlighted, “if we look at the last 100,000 years, there is a lot of weirdness. And then it gets boring, and that is what we are used to.” This boring climatic era has lead to human civilization and development as we know it. Agriculture, urbanization, even labor specialization were tools of human ingenuity made possible by a degree of stability in our environmental conditions. As humankind further modifies the biosphere while dithering over the proper policy responses, we play a dangerous game of brinkmanship.


climate chess.jpg
The monthly average global Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentration for April 2015 surpassed 400 ppm for the first time since humans began measuring. Emissions in 2014 were stagnant, highlighting the possibility of a “decoupling” of growing fossil fuel combustion from economic growth. However, the trend is far from settled; moreover, “declining emissions” still leave a huge area under the curve, and the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will continue to affect the climate for decades, if not centuries, to come. This climatic lag time, coupled with socio-economic inertia in fossil fueled economic growth, pose a great threat to our ability to stop the warming of the world.
There is no prospect of an end to anthropogenic climate change, but this millennium may well be defined by how effectively we respond and adapt to its causes and effects. At the second day of the Climate Science and Policy Conference, panelists addressed adaption via Coastal Resilience and the Wicked Tradeoffs between Food, Water, Energy, and Biodiversity in California and beyond (videos hyperlinked, and very interesting).  
Of particular note to coastal communities are effects of sea level rise, more intense storm surges, and what to protect versus what to let the sea take (an unwelcome and hard proposition). Across the nation, a patchwork of regulations protect coastal ecosystems in various ways; in North Carolina, the state has outlawed accelerating sea level rise from being considered in coastal development decisions. California’s adaptation to rising seas has tried to find a balance between affluent coastal developments and the long history of environmental protection. As Rob Young, panelist and coastal geologist at Western Carolina, elucidates “This is the crux of the matter: the ecosystems have to move, and they are becoming diminished by efforts to hold them in place.”
As humankind looks to the future, adaptation to climate change must be an integral part of our plan to secure and safeguard a prosperous, just and sustainable world.
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Topsail Island, North Carolina (Source: http://www.findrentals.com/assets/vacations/images/destination-guide-main/topsail-island-rentals.jpg)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2015: Contests & Funding

CSC Request for Proposals Deadline May 8
The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) would like to fund your student organization’s sustainability projects or events in the upcoming year. Proposals adhering to the criteria for student organizations and relevance to the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus are eligible for funding. Here is the Request for Proposal (RFP), which outlines all requirements and mandatory steps to apply for funding from CSC. Please fill out the CSC Proposal Form to RSVP for the mandatory grant trainings.

UCSC Residential Housing Survey on Energy Deadline May 27
PowerSave is supporting the overall campus Climate and Energy Strategy project by collecting data related to energy use in residential housing units. Please take the short 3 minute survey here and be sure to enter your UCSC email address to be entered into a raffle for one $100 and 4 $50 bookstore gift certificates! The information collected in this survey will used to help prioritize investment in energy conservation projects and programs. Deadline to participate in May 27 at midnight.

Sustainability Film & Art Contest Deadline July 13
Calling all filmmakers and artists! Are you interested in having your short film or artwork displayed at a film festival series this fall? The Sustainability Office invites you to create a sustainability-related short film or poster. The winner(s) of the competition will have their films and posters shown at the Sustainability Film Festival to celebrate the campus’s 50th Anniversary! Learn more here.

Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards Deadline May 8
Second Nature invites applications for the 6th Annual Climate Leadership Awards (CLA) which recognizes innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience at signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Committee. Nominations are now being accepted. Nominees will be considered based on their commitment to climate neutrality, sustainability education, and innovative leadership. Applications are due May 8, 2015 For questions please contact gboscio[at]secondnature[dot]org.

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund Deadline May 15
The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund vocational and higher education grants are available for students enrolled in educational programs that will benefit their future careers in organic production or in becoming an organic professional. Applications are due by May 15th.

Brower Youth Awards Deadline May 18
The Earth Island Institute established The Brower Youth Award for Environmental Leadership to recognize the outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection the planet. If you have created, organized or implemented a project or campaign that applies solutions and approaches to relevant environmental challenges, apply before May 18th. To be eligible to apply, you must be 13 to 22 years old.

Energy Dept. $2.5M for Collegiate Clean Energy Tech: Deadline June 7
The newly announced $2.5 million in funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) aims to support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy. The Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace.

AASHE Sustainability Awards Deadline June 11
Applications for the Tenth Annual AASHE Sustainability Awards are now being accepted for outstanding ideas and initiatives that are furthering the higher education sustainability transformation. Award winners will receive one complimentary AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo pass, one invitation to a special reception during the 2015 conference, an opportunity to present submissions at the 2015 conference, and featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Deadline to apply is June 11, 2015.

Tools of Change Landmark Designation: Deadline June 12
Tools of Change is now soliciting nominations for its 2015 Landmark behavior change case studies in two topic areas - (1) home / building energy conservation and (2) sustainable transportation. If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective, innovative or impactful approach for changing energy or transportation behaviors, please consider nominating them - or yourself. All nominations must include measured impact results. The Nominations Form must be submitted by June 12, 2015. Designations will be announced by October 2015, and case study webinars will be presented between February and May 2016.

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge: Deadline August 3
The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation announced the opening of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Students are invited to submit commercially viable, nature-inspired solutions to global food system challenges. All participants get access to the Design Challenge Toolbox and supporting resources, including sessions with mentors and biomimicry professionals. The grand prize, to be awarded in 2016, is $100,000. The deadline for submissions is August 3rd.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Successes of Campus Clean-Up Day!

Amidst Alumni weekend and 50th Anniversary events, students were working hard to maintain the aesthetic beauty and ecosystem health of our unique campus. Almost 100 volunteers from Greek life, the Sustainability Office, the Student Union Assembly, and other student organizations turned up early Sunday morning for the first Annual Campus Cleanup Day. Volunteers broke up into teams all throughout campus to collect over 200 pounds of litter - this was all material that hadn't made it into a nearby trash can or dumpster!

Many of these items weren't even destined for the landfill, but were able to be recycled or composted. Even more shocking - and a credit to the diligence of our participants - were the 3 pounds worth of cigarette butts, amounting to roughly 1.5% of the total litter collected. We hope to make Campus Cleanup Days a recurring event, so if you have a passion for getting wasted and staying trashy, look out for future newsletters to get involved!

May 2015 Green Tip: Sustainable Art

Do you have any old glass bottles or bottle caps? Would you rather repurpose products instead of recycling them? You can turn them into beautiful art pieces! Meesh Montgomery and Jacquelyne Vera, students at UCSC, do just that. With Mother's Day coming up, you can show your mom -and Mother Earth- how much you love her by making sustainable and recycled art.

Meesh makes flower vases, watering devices for their plants, and paper flowers. They use glass bottles, paper, and bottle caps that they find in recycling bins or laying around. They have always had a passion for art and when they started school here, they had a new passion: sustainability. So, they combined the two to make sustainable art.

Meesh says their favorite part of recycled art is how good they feel while making it. They say that, first of all, it relieves a lot of their stress. Second, they feel good being sustainable while doing something they love. They would love to delve more into larger sculptures using recycled materials, but they don't have enough space in their dorm room.

Jacquelyne makes jewelry/charms out of polymer clay and different pattern friendship bracelets. She uses any items she comes across as inspiration. She's currently learning how to make koi ponds and flower gardens in Altoid cans, pies in bottle caps, and terrariums in old light bulbs.


Jacquelyne says her favorite part of making things is how fun it is. She enjoys making things while watching random youtube videos and finds it relaxing. She likes seeing her friends' faces when she gives them the items.

Below are some of her amazing and adorable creations:

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! 

UC Irvine student uses art to inspire climate activism
In art student Kathleen Deck's "Conservation Through Creation” art installation, a section of lawn won’t be watered for a month. The idea is to return an artificial environment to its natural state, and start a discussion about how the changing climate can affect water use and the fragile environment that people have created. Deck is one of 37 UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows. 

University of Illinois announces winners for Green Office Program
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) announced award winners for its 2014-15 Certified Green Office Program on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Twenty-four participating offices collected hardware for making commitments toward and achieving energy and resource reductions during the school year. Here, at UCSC, we also have a Green Office Certification Program.