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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Green Tip: Winter Holidays

Multicultural Winter Holiday Celebration Tree (
Winter has arrived! For many people, December is a time of holiday and celebration. To find out more about cultural and religious holidays that are celebrated during wintertime, check out with Jenn Savedge's article Mulitcultural Winter Holiday Celebration.

Looking to reduce your holiday season carbon footprint? Let's start with the basics, many of which apply to our lives regardless of how we celebrate this time of year. Here are some general tips to keep your holiday season low carbon:
1. Buy local! Make an effort to get your holiday foods at health food stores and farmer's markets
2. Carpool! When you're whole family is coming together from different areas, think about the best way to minimize the amount of car trips taken. 
3. Buy environmentally friendly presents or even better, up-cycle and make homemade presents! 
4. Recycle, reduce and reuse gift wrap! If you avoid tearing your gift wrap, you can save money and resources by reusing it.
5. Don't buy a holiday tree this year! There are plenty of other ways to decorate your home.
Want to find more green holiday tips? Check out the article that these tips were drawn from. 

If you celebrate Yule, Christmas, or a holiday that includes bringing nature into your home, here's a tip. Many people believe that buying a plastic tree instead of buying a freshly-cut tree is environmentally beneficial because one more tree can stay in the ground, but it's actually the opposite! Check out this NY Times article, How Green is Your Artificial Christmas Tree? The author breaks down why plastic trees are no good from an environmental standpoint--and this can extend to other kinds of natural objects that we bring into our homes during the holidays.

Want to know what to do with your holiday trees once January rolls through? Here is a useful article about eco-friendly tree disposal that walks you through the steps to recycle your tree. At a more local level, the city of Santa Cruz has programs to facilitate the ethical disposal of your holiday trees! Learn about the options they offer on their website
Opt for vegan or vegetarian holiday meals to spare
UCSC's beloved 
Hank the Turkey and his friends.

When brainstorming ways to make your holiday season more sustainable, meat consumption is another big consideration. If your holiday celebrations this season include meats like turkey and ham, consider challenging that tradition by either replacing the meat with vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives or purchase from a sustainable meat vendor like the ones below:

Fowler Family Farm is a small 35 acre farm in Grass Valley, California. They currently offer grass fed & finished beef, lamb and goat, as well as pasture raised pork, chicken, turkey, goose,and eggs.

el Salchichero is a sustainable butchers is dedicated to pasture raised animals at 402 Ingalls Street, Suite 5 in Santa Cruz. They also have a presence at the Scotts Valley (Saturdays), Live Oak (Sundays) and Downtown (Wednesday) Farmer's Markets.

Eat Wild Products Directory has a wide range of Sustainable CA Farms and Ranches

Deisel Turkey Ranch is a family-owned farm based in Sonora, CA that sells Organic, Non-GMO and Pasture Raised Turkeys. The Shopper's Corner, New Leaf, Whole Foods and Staff of Life all carry Deisel Turkey Ranch products.

How do you celebrate holiday seasons sustainably? Post in the comments below!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

December 2016: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering


Zero Waste Team: Deadline January 9
The Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team is looking for two dedicated for-credit interns that are interested in gaining professional experience and are passionate about waste reduction on the UCSC campus.  The first position is the   UC Office of the President (UCOP) Zero Waste Outreach Intern who will assist in the planning and rollout of the UCOP Zero Waste Communications Campaign.  The second position is the Campus Clean Up Intern who will assist in the facilitation of College Campus Clean Ups and the 3rd Annual campus-wide Campus Clean Up.  Full details available on the flyer.  For questions, or to apply (brief cover letter and resume required) email Angela Duong at antrduon[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program: Deadline February 12
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (2-year program, UCSC) is launching recruitment for its 2017 class of Scholars. Their goal is to recruit 20 freshman/sophomore students from underrepresented groups across disciplines with the highest potential to make sustained contributions as conservation innovators and leaders.  The scholarship covers all program expenses and provides each Scholar with a $4000 stipend during each of their two summers.  For more information, or to apply, please visit the Doris Duke scholarship's website.  For questions, email Justin Cummings at jacummin[at]ucsc[dot]edu. The deadline to apply is February 12, 2017.

Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
CASFS is offering on-campus, lower division farm and garden internships.  5-unit applicants are preferred, but 2-unit applicants may also be accepted.  At least 80% of internship will consist of outdoor fieldwork.  Internship applicants need to be prepared and enthused to work outdoors in occasionally uncomfortable weather conditions. Internships will remain available until positions are filled, and the quarter's enrollment period allows.  Read the internship flyer here.  Email Damien Parr at dmparr[at]ucsc[dot]edu to apply.


Green Labs Team: Deadline January 20
The Sustainability Office's Green Labs Team is looking to hire an Associate.  The Green Labs Team seeks to improve energy efficiency, increase green purchasing, and promote waste reduction practices.  Responsibilities will include organizing and consolidating data / files in Google drive, photographing walk-throughs, and writing articles for the Sustainability Office Newsletter.  Qualified applicants should have experience working in a lab, excellent writing and organizational skills, and a command of Google Apps.  Full details available on the UCSC Employee Request site for ER8321.  Applications will be accepted through January 20, or until the position is filled.  For questions, or to apply (cover letter and resume required) email Waleed Salemi at wsalemi[at]ucsc[dot]edu and Sarina Sylavong at ssylavong[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Community Environmental Council
The Community Environmental Council the northern division of a 4-county partnership spearheaded by the LA Cleantech Incubator.  LACI helps grow green businesses by offering office space, mentoring, and access to capital. This partnership is looking for a regional director who will build, connect and support the clean energy entrepreneur ecosystem throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura.  Qualified applicants should have experience in green energy business.  Complete information is available on LACI's website. Apply for the regional director position here.

Active Transportation Manager at University of Utah: Deadline December 16th
The University of Utah Sustainability Office is looking for an Active Transportation Manager to support and grow initiatives in sustainable transportation. Well-qualified candidates will have strong expertise in active transportation, community engagement, communications skills (both written and oral), and an interest in working across disciplines to improve mobility on campus and in the community. Full details can be found on University of Utah's posting.  The deadline to apply is December 16th, 2016.


SunWork Renewable Energy Projects
SunWork is a non-profit that installs rooftop PV systems on small-energy-footprint homes with the help of volunteers. SunWork is offering training sessions that cover the basics of solar, electricity, construction, and safety issues. Completion of this three-hour training qualifies volunteers to participate in SunWork's solar installations. Training sessions will be held on December 10th from 9am - Noon in San Jose, and December 17th from 2pm - 5pm in Berkeley. Santa Cruz training sessions are to-be-announced. Register for SunWork's training sessions at their volunteer training page For more information, email info[at]sunwork[dot]org.

Camper Park Wins Hydration Games

Following 20 days of intense water conservation competition between campus residents, the winner of the Fall 2016 Hydration Games has been announced.  With an incredible water-use reduction of 39 gallons per person, residents of the Camper Park stepped up to claim the Colleges, Housing, & Educational Services Student Sustainability Adviser Hydration Games Trophy.  Second place was a tie between Cowell College and Family Student Housing, each conserving 34 gallons per person.  The Village came in third with 32 gallons per person.

Congratulations to our campus' Student Sustainability Advisers, who coordinated the competition and whose education and outreach efforts continue to inspire water conservation.  And congratulations to all who make an effort to save water.  You are all winners in the Earth's eyes!

UCSC Student Sustainability Advisors with the Hydration Games trophy and CHES - SSA Award Plaque. Photo Credit: UC Santa Cruz SSA.

 See how your residential area scored on the SSA's leaderboard!

Area-------------------Water reduction (gallons) per person
Camper Park---------------------------39
Family Student Housing-------------34
Cowell College-------------------------34
The Village------------------------------32
Redwood Grove------------------------21
Porter College--------------------------20
Merrill College--------------------------17
Graduate Student Housing---------14
Crown College-------------------------10
Stevenson College-------------------- 7
Kresge College-------------------------5
College Nine----------------------------4
College Ten-----------------------------2
Rachel Carson College------------ 0.5
Oakes College------------------------+11

Source: UC Santa Cruz SSA Facebook Page

December 2016 Sustainability Profile: Jacqueline Puliatti

Name: Jax Puliatti

College, Major, Year: Porter, Environmental Studies, Class of 2017

Position Title(s):  
Sustainability Office Graphic Artist

What does “sustainability” mean to you? 
"Sustainability" to me is a mindset. No matter what I am doing, my impact on the earth is on my mind. Sustainability is applicable and should be applied to every aspect of our lives. I think of sustainability in this broader sense, as a mindset more than a discipline or subject area.

Why did you get involved with sustainability? 
I grew up in an environmentally conscious family. My mother is an environmental entrepreneur and an important mentor of mine. She taught me that sustainability is a way of life. Because of her, I have been involved in sustainability since my youth. It was only natural for me to attend UCSC within the Environmental Studies Department and work for the Campus Sustainability Office.

How has sustainability related to your role(s) at UCSC? 
Well, the Campus Sustainability Office (SO) is highly related guessed it...sustainability! My role is focused on outreach and design. I work on spreading the word about SO programs, as well as other sustainability events happening in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area, through my design work, social media and good old emailing.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life? 
As I stated before, sustainability for me is a mindset. Therefore, it is on the forefront of my mind each day. Every action I take has an impact so I ride my bike, I carry a Tupperware around at all times, I use a glass water bottle, I don't buy paper towels, I buy local organic food whenever possible, I purposefully spread tips to friends, I keep an ear open for new green tips, I do personal research on the environmental movement on at local and global levels, the list goes on.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC or somewhere else?  
My favorite sustainability moment to date came to me at Startup Weekend Santa Cruz which happened from November 18-20 of this year. I pitched an idea for a startup and of the over 80 participants, 7 people joined my team. Within 54 hours, we created a startup that works to track individual's carbon emissions from transportation and facilitate use of carbon offsets to instantaneously offset carbon use. But we didn't start with that idea. First we developed my idea: a sustainable and socially equitable business guide to Santa Cruz. By midday Saturday, we had realized the apps limitations and pivoted to new ideas countless times until we decided on Conifr, an idea which we were all enthusiastic about. So half-way into the weekend, we scraped everything and started anew. The efforts and energy that came over the next 24 hours were incredible. Having spent quality time with our team, learning about each other and respecting ideas and opinions, we created an environment of trust that facilitated equal contribution towards our startup. We entered the presentation stage of the event with optimism that came from a collectively light-hearted yet determined mindset. We didn't care if we won, we didn't even consider it a possibility. We were proud of our perseverance and community-building. We sat there, all in a row and were utterly shocked to hear the facilitators announce Conifr as the winner of Startup Weekend Santa Cruz! My team and I have decided to see this startup through, in two cities across the world from each other, Santa Cruz and Brisbane. The half of our team that lives in Santa Cruz will be presenting at Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup and we will continue to work with our teammates from Australia as they enter the sustainability markets down under! This weekend was life-changing for me. We are making waves so keep your eyes out for future sustainability moments with this motivated team of individuals!

Are there sustainability practices you’ve picked up specific to your background or culture? 
It is rather hard to pinpoint sustainability practices in regards to my specific cultural background. If you'll allow, I would draw on my experience living in a foreign country and learning from the rich culture of Ghana. I spent last school year studying abroad in Ghana. As part of the California program, we traveled all over the country, visiting and learning about organizations that are making great strides towards social and sustainable well-being. The Ghana Permaculture Institute was the place that inspired me the most. They are working to eradicate poverty through permaculture. They hold workshops and host people from all over the world, spreading their knowledge about permaculture practices and empowering farmers to rise up out of poverty in a sustainable way. They generate their own renewable energy through solar panels and compost stomaches, they have a mushroom cultivation program and one of their main crops, moringa, is a superfood native to Ghana that has been bringing farmers out of poverty across West Africa. I want to spread the word about the Ghana Permaculture Institute and the incredible strides they've taken. We often hear about the disease, poverty and corruption on the African continent. While those issues exist, there are so many amazing, inspirational, innovative people, programs and organizations that are thriving despite neocolonial disadvantages. It has become clear to me that part of my mission in life is to raise those people up, to support people those who have not had the advantages that I have been given, and who, despite this, are straight killin' the sustainability game. I look to the Ghana Permaculture Institute for inspiration and as a reminder that beauty, goodness and power can grow out of global disadvantage.

What is your favorite green tip?   
My favorite green tip would probably have to be to travel on bicycles! I love riding my bike, I travel practically everywhere in Santa Cruz with my Bianchi. It is an obvious one but if I see cycling as the ultimate sustainable transportation medium. There are so many aspects of sustainability that entail compromise and choosing the lesser of two evils. With cycling, there is no evil: you're getting a solid work-out, your endorphins are kicking in, you're getting where you need to go and it is guilt-free.

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email.

Monday, November 21, 2016

December 2016: Contests and Funding

“I am a UC Entrepreneur” Campaign: Deadline December 31
UC students, faculty, staff, postdocs, and alumni are invited to submit a 30-second video sharing what makes them an entrepreneur to: . Everyone who submits a video will receive a "UC Entrepreneur" T-shirt. In addition, one eligible student from each campus will be selected at random to attend a special lunch with UC President Janet Napolitano. Learn more here.

Submit to Chinquapin's 39th Publication: Deadline January 31
Chinquapin is UCSC's longest-running student-run literary magazine, annually publishing student submissions of poetry, fiction, prose, photography and visual art. We offer students a space to learn about editing, graphic design and publishing. Email the Chinquapin team for more information at or visit their website for application instructions.

Campus Sustainability Council Winter Funding: Deadline February 17
The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) at UCSC is soliciting proposals for Winter 2017 sustainable project grants. Applications are due on Friday, February 17, 2017 before 4 PM, and all applicants must attend mandatory training workshops outlined here. For more information, feel free to contact Campus Sustainability Council by email or visit the website:

Beardsley-Kuper Field Camp Scholarship Fund: Deadline February 1
Grants from the AEG Foundation Beardsley-Kuper Geology Field Camp Scholarship Fund are intended to support geology field camp costs with applied environmental and engineering geology that will be useful to the student's future profession as an engineering or environmental geologist. Learn more and apply online here.