Monday, February 22, 2016

2016 Carbon Fund Grant Awardees

The UCSC Carbon Fund has recently announced their 2016 grant awardees. Funded by a student fee measure, the Carbon Fund allocates approximately $150,000 in grants to sustainability projects each year. They provide funding, support, and participation in student, staff, faculty, and community projects that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conduct relevant research, or carry out educational programs. This year the Carbon Fund awarded grants to 24 projects, which is 15 more projects compared to when the Carbon Fund was established in 2010. The three projects that were awarded the largest grants this year are the Green Labs Retrofit Fund, Porter Stormwater to Toilet project, and Calabasas Elementary Rainwater Catchment System project.
The UCSC Sustainability Office student-led program, Green Labs, has been awarded a $17,000 grant this year to start an equipment retrofit fund. Labs account for over half of the energy use on campus, which is partly due to their outdated and inefficient equipment.This fund will provide Green certified labs with a funding source for energy-efficient equipment lab equipment, such as freezers, centrifuges, and incubators. It is estimated that this project will save 4.76 tons of carbon emission a year. To learn more about Green Labs, please visit their website.
The Porter Stormwater to Toilet project has also been awarded a $17,000 grant this year. This project proposes to use rainwater capture for toilet flushing in the Porter residence halls. This project will reduce Porter residence hall potable water usage by nearly 25% annually, as well as contribute to our campus's green infrastructure. It is also estimated that the project will save 15.7 tons of CO2 annually. This project is not only a turning point for UCSC, but for the entire UC system as well. To learn more about this project, please contact Courtney Trask at trask[at]ucsc[dot]edu.


The third largest project to receive funding from the Carbon Fund this year is the Calabasas Elementary School Rainwater Catchment System project, which received $12,000 this year. A group of Colleges Nine and Ten students have been working with Calabasas Elementary in Watsonville to cultivate a 1.5-acre community farm on the school's campus.The creation of a community farm will provide these families with a space to grow their own food, as well as help mitigate climate change in their community by sequestering carbon. This grant will be used to help finish the project by installing a rainwater catchment system on the farm. To learn more, please contact Dr. Flora Lu at floralu[at]ucsc[dot]edu.
To learn about all 24 of the projects that received Carbon Fund grants this year, please visit the website here.

The next Carbon Fund grant cycle will begin in fall 2016. For more information about the Carbon Fund, please contact carbon[at]ucsc[dot]edu.
By: Amanda Roletti, Carbon Fund Outreach Coordinator

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