Monday, October 31, 2016

Sustainability and Community at Stevenson

by Blake Redding, Coordinator for Residential Education, Stevenson College

For the past four years, Stevenson College community members have worked as team to promote sustainable living, community, beauty, and good food -- by composting! This partnership evolved with the help of the Student Environmental Center who brought together numerous stakeholders in 2013 to discuss mutual goals.


We've ended up with an in-house composting program that takes in food scraps from the Stevenson Coffee House and from residential apartments and residence halls from Stevenson, Cowell, Crown and Merrill, brought to us by the East Waste Reduction crew at Campus Facilities. The food scraps then get mixed with straw, leaves, garden waste, manure, and water and formed into perfect compost piles by the Stevenson Garden crew. Millions of micro-organisms then break down the waste, with the help of the Stevenson Garden crew who turn the piles to provide air for those little creatures.

After a few weeks, the waste is unrecognizable, mellow, and ready to be sifted into a beautiful garden mulch/fertilizer that we refer to as "Black Gold". We take the finished compost and work it into the garden soil with every new planting, helping to regenerate the soil and closing the loop on this sustainable system. Community members also participate by providing their food scraps, by attending garden workdays to turn the compost and work the soil, and by harvesting food and flowers that come from the rich soil. It all starts with the soil.


Come out to the Stevenson Garden on Friday afternoons for the community work-day, or check our bulletin board and Facebook page for additional volunteer opportunities and events.

Free trainings & workshops with PLAN

The Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) cultivates and educates the student-led zero waste movement and informs students about the waste crisis, equipping them with the necessary skills and resources to implement solutions about waste into their campus communities. UC Santa Cruz is a PLAN member school, which gives us free access to resources and support from PLAN.


PLAN will be hosting monthly trainings and workshops to enrich students from across the country in a collaborative, online learning program. Their Campus Coordinators offer expertise on leadership development and best-practices to help with tools we need to reach Zero Waste on campus!

As a member school, the UCSC community is able to participate in the monthly trainings and workshops for free! The Certification trainings are 90 minute sessions, based on skill development and organizing roles for student leaders and they occur every month. The Program-Specific workshops delve into a deeper understanding of a specific Zero Waste program or initiative. Different topics will be showcased each month, so get ready to get hands on about Zero Waste!

For more information, please email the Zero Waste Team Coordinator, Angela Duong.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November 2016: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering

Internships:

Destination Higher Education
The African/Black Student Alliance's Program Destination Higher Education (DHE) is looking for interns. DHE introduces newly admitted students to the African/Black community and student life on the UC Santa Cruz campus. DHE provides personal, social, and academic workshops that focus on the Black Experience at UC Santa Cruz and are presented by African/Black students at UC Santa Cruz. If you interested in interning or if you have any questions, please email Destination Higher Education.

Bayview Elementary DROPS Program
Bayview Elementary School has partnered with students of the UCSC IDEASS program to aid in their water conservation initiative. They are currently seeking students for internship positions collaborating with the city and local professionals, and conducting water/soil testing or infiltration studies. Students from all majors and interests are encouraged to apply.  All internships are offered for academic credit (ENVS 183 or CLEI 150), with the possibility of paid positions for some interns.  For more information, email Tamara Ball.

National Outdoor Leadership School: Deadline November 4
NOLS is seeking a Sustainability Intern to work at their headquarters in Lander, WY from January to May 2017. This paid NOLS sustainability intern will assist the environmental stewardship & sustainability director and sustainability coordinator with a variety of tasks related to sustainability initiatives at NOLS, community outreach, and public policy. Application deadline is November 4th. There are also a number of other internships and job opportunities at NOLS. Visit the NOLS website for more information.




Employment:

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Education Programs Coordinator: Deadline November 23
Based out of San Jose, CA, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is an organization that serves to create a healthy community, environment, and economy through bicycling for people who live, work, or play in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.  The Coalition is hiring an Education Programs Coordinator, who will develop bike to school programs, coordinate with partner organizations, and instruct driver education classes.  Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in a related field and experience with bicycles and education. Visit their website for more information.

Bike Santa Cruz County Seeks Executive Director: Open until filled
Local bicycle advocacy group Bike Santa Cruz County is looking to hire an Executive Director.  Responsibilities include managing and empowering staff, interns, volunteers, and contractors, managing the budget, and generating content for their newsletter. Applicants should be passionate cyclists, have leadership and communication skills, and knowledge in finance and local government.  Visit the website for more information and application details.

Fund for the Public Interest Canvass Director: Deadline November 4
Fund for the Public Interest is a national, non-profit organization that builds the people power for America’s leading environmental and social change organizations. They are hiring for a number of positions, including Canvass Director. Here in Santa Cruz they are working with CALPIRG on a campaign to stop the overuse of antibiotics in factory farms.  Volunteers can make $450-$650 a week while gaining valuable skills and experience. Full-time and part-time positions available, starting immediately.  Visit the Fund's website for full details and to apply. For more information, email Hannah Furbush.

Stillwater Sciences: Various positions
Stillwater Sciences is an environmental consulting firm specializing in science-based, technical approaches to environmental issues. Stillwater is currently seeking curious and energetic scientists at all levels - from Bachelors through Ph.D. - with expertise in terrestrial and aquatic biology, botany, water quality, or geomorphology. Open positions include Junior Geomorphologist or Environmental Engineer, Restoration/Civil Engineer, Senior Scientist / Project Manager, and Environmental Scientist/Project Manager. More information about these positions, the firm, and how to apply is available on their website.   

Volunteering:

UCSC Arboretum Succulent Wreath Volunteering
Help make beautiful and unique succulent wreaths for the Arboretum's November Gift & Wreath Sale!  The group meets Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 12 noon.  Apply to be a wreath-maker at the Arboretum's website and explore other volunteer opportunities.  For more information, email Arboretum Volunteer Program Coordinator Katie Starr Cordes.

Remove Invasive Plants with Land Trust of Santa Cruz County: November 12
Land Trust of Santa Cruz County is a local conservation group that protects, cares for, and connects people to the extraordinary lands that make this area special.  The Trust is in need of volunteers to help remove invasive plants from the Randall Morgan Sandhills Preserve in Scotts Valley (9250 Geyer Rd). The "broom pull" will be November 12 from 9am to noon.  Volunteers should bring sturdy boots, weather-protective clothing, water, and a lunch. More information about the volunteer day is available on the Land Trust's website.

"Put A Price On It" Campaign
In partnership with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL),  this campaign is currently looking for students to help with climate solution efforts on campuses across the country. The goal of the campaign is to put a price on carbon pollution and secure our transition to a 100% clean energy economy. The campaign elevates the importance of carbon pricing through film, social media, and celebrity endorsements, while empowering students to participate in the democratic process and become more skilled in civic engagement. Opportunities for students include joining our Fellowship program (opportunity for paid positions), becoming a Field Representative, and/or joining our National Action Team. Learn more about each opportunity at the Our Climate website, and email Tom if you have any questions. Let's #PutAPriceOnIt!


Volunteer at the Bike Santa Cruz County Annual Dinner: December 4
The Bike Santa Cruz County Annual Dinner & Auction returns this holiday season on Sunday, December 4th from 5:00-8:00pm at the Food Lounge in downtown Santa Cruz. They need help with this fundraising event celebrating their 2016 accomplishments and Santa Cruz County's top bicycle advocates. There will be live music, a silent auction, and catered food. Sign up for volunteer positions here.

November Green Tip: Decolonizing Thanksgiving

Instead of perpetuating the myth of Thanksgiving this November, we are sharing resources and opportunities to help you decolonize your understanding of Thanksgiving. What you learned in school about the pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a meal at the first Thanksgiving is an erasure of the history of genocide and exploitation of indigenous people that has been happening for centuries--and continues to this day. 

As you gather with friends and family over the long weekend later this month, please consider challenging the Thanksgiving myth that is still widely accepted as fact.

1. Unlearn the myth of Thanksgiving: For many indigenous people, Thanksgiving is a painful time, not a cause for celebration. The articles No Thanks: How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide of Native Peoples and Native Americans explain why "Thanksgiving" Holiday is a Celebration of Genocide can provide a perspective that your textbook failed to share.


2. Attend Indigethanx: An Alternative Thanksgiving Celebration, hosted by the American Indian Resource Center, on November 18 from 5:00-7:30pm at the Women's Center (Cardiff House). Indigethanx provides an opportunity to rethink the Thanksgiving holiday and help educate the UCSC community about traditional Native foods. This annual event is free, but RSVP is required here or by emailing the American Indian Resource Center by November 11. 


3. Learn about what's happening at Standing Rock, North Dakota, as indigenous people and allies stand up against the threat of a pipeline going underneath their water source, the Missouri River. Join the conversations on social media with #noDAPL (No Dakota Access Pipeline). Visit IndigenousRising.org for more information.

The People of Color Sustainability Collective and the American Indian Resource Center at UCSC are also inviting UCSC organizations to participate in the planning of a "No Dakota Access Pipeline" event. They are doing this to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and are looking to create a #NODAPL event on campus. They are currently organizing a planning committee to bring campus organizations together to plan an event that will take place at the beginning of Winter Quarter. In the mean time, they are also planning ways to fundraise, spread awareness, and help the movement. If you are interested in participating in the planning committee, please email the People of Color Sustainability Collective by this Friday, November 4 at 5pm.

In the video below from the 2016 Bioneers Conference on October 23, "Kandi Mossett, Tara Houska, and Dallas Goldtooth present an update and call to action on the situation at Standing Rock, North Dakota – where thousands of Indigenous water protectors and allies are defending sacred lands from desecration by the Dakota Access Pipeline in the face of police brutality and arrest." Thanks to Bioneers for sharing this video.


How are you working to decolonize Thanksgiving? Do you have resources, ideas, or events that you want to share? Please post in the comments below or email our newsletter team.

November 2016: Classes, trainings & community

Final Week of UCSC Hydration Games!
Students, keep up the great work conserving water in our UCSC campus residential areas! As we enter the final week of the Colleges, Housing & Educational Services (CHES -Student Sustainability Advisors Hydration Games, make sure to check out the Facebook and Twitter social media pages for water conservation tips. The winner of the UCSC Hydration Games will be announced the week of November 7, and there is a prize, so keep on conserving water, slugs!
Enroll in the Sustainability Studies Minor: Workshop November 7
Are you concerned about Earth’s future? Enrollment is coming! Sign up for Rachel Carson College’s Minor in Sustainability Studies The minor is open to all UCSC students. There will be an informational & declaration workshop on Monday, November 7, 3:30-4:30pm, at the Rachel Carson College Red Room. For more information, visit the Rachel Carson College website.


Art and science will mix when the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History at UCSC holds its fifth open house and fundraiser November 12-13 at the Cowell Ranch Hay Barn. Students and the greater Santa Cruz community are invited from 10am – 5pm on Saturday, November 12 and 10am – 3pm Sunday, November 13. Admission is free. The theme for this year's open house is "Cross-Pollination, the Art and Science of Natural History." The Norris Center has teamed up with renowned local nature illustrator Maryjo Koch and will display her illustrations alongside many of the Norris Center’s extensive collections, including the Randall Morgan Pollinator Collection. Learn more about the Norris Center event here.





The American Indian Resource Center is hosting an Alternative Thanksgiving Celebration on Friday, November 18 from 5:00-7:30 pm at the Women's Center, Cardiff House. Indigethanx provides an opportunity to rethink the thanksgiving holiday and help educate the UCSC community about traditional Native foods. Please RSVP via email on or before Friday, November 11. Share this event on Facebook.

Free Pitch Workshop for Startup Weekend: November 9
Have an idea that you want to pitch at Startup Weekend Santa Cruz: Sustainability & Social Impact on Friday, November 18 (see below)? Want feedback and help strategizing for the weekend? Come to this free workshop hosted by the Startup Weekend Santa Cruz team for feedback and help developing your pitch! Snacks will be provided. The workshop will take place November 9 from 5:45-7:00pm in the Everett Program Office in Social Sciences 2, room 47. Visit the Facebook page for details.

Startup Weekend Santa Cruz: Sustainability & Social Impact: November 18-20
There have been 2000+ Startup Weekend events in 135+ countries around the world, and we are looking forward to hosting one in Santa Cruz. It’s a 54-hour event (similar to a Hackathon) where developers, designers, nonprofit leaders, students, entrepreneurs, engaged citizens, social justice advocates, environmentalists, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts, and many others can come together to pitch ideas, develop them into concrete business ideas, and get feedback from mentors and judges! This event focuses on Sustainable Solutions and Social Impact to encourage cross-pollination of communities within Santa Cruz County. Join folks with different interests, areas of expertise, and passions to share, create, & get feedback on ideas that will change the world for the better. Activities include rapid-fire startup pitches, prototype building, customer development, mentor feedback, and conclude with a Shark Tank-style judging session. Tickets are capped at 100 people, and student discounts are available by emailing the planning team. You can learn more and get tickets on the Startup Weekend Santa Cruz website. Share the event via social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

VOICES: Group for identifying and healing from race-related trauma/stress for students of color
VOICES is a support and discussion group for identifying and healing from race-related trauma/stress for Undergraduate and Graduate Students of Color. They meet Mondays from 5:00 - 6:30pm at the Oakes Mural Room. Topics include: Managing self-care, thriving on a predominantly White campus, fostering empowerment, and navigating invisibility. This group is offered by UCSC Counseling and Psychological Services. Contact Alesha Harris at 831-459-2220 for more information. If you require any disability accommodations please contact CAPS at 831-459-2628.

Free workshops & trainings with Post-Landfill Action Network
The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) cultivates and educates the student-led zero waste movement and informs students about the waste crisis, equipping them with the necessary skills and resources to implement solutions about waste into their campus communities. UC Santa Cruz is a PLAN member school, which gives us free access to resources and support from PLAN, including workshops and trainings focused on student leadership and how to effectively reach zero waste. Learn more about these opportunities on the blog.

Power Shift Convergence: November 11-13

Power Shift Convergence is a collaboration between the Power Shift Network and the California Student Sustainability Coalition. They aim to bring young people together as a movement—building the organizing skills, passion, and strong connections needed for a long-term commitment to the grassroots work that will help us realize a both ethical and clean energy-powered future. We seek to empower, recharge, and uplift the voices of young activists and blooming change-makers. Gathered together, we will unite, redefine, and push forward our movement. Register now for earlybird prices, and find out more information on their Facebook event. UCSC students--email Laurel Levin of Fossil Free UCSC for information about UCSC carpooling and lodging options.

The Université libre de Bruxelles (based out of Belgium) is coordinating the Erasmus Mundus Tropimundo Master program. Tropimundo is the first International Master in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (2 years) that allows students to delve into the interlinked ecosystems under threat by spending an entire semester in the field: tropical rainforests and woodlands, wetlands (both terrestrial and coastal) such as mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs.  Please submit your application to the program website. Application deadline is November 30.

Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program: Deadline February 2
This is a six-week program at Howard University that helps prepare undergraduate students for careers in international affairs. It includes two for-credit academic courses, a professional writing seminar, visits and meetings with foreign affairs professionals in a wide range of government and non-governmental organizations, and professional development activities. It pays for tuition, room, board, and transportation, and provides a stipend. The program will run from mid-June until late July. The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service and those with financial need. Applicants with any undergraduate major are welcome to apply. Additional qualifications and information about how to apply are online here.

Sustainability Office Seeking Students to Serve on Campus Sustainability Plan Committees

In partnership with the EVC’s Office, the Sustainability Office is excited to launch the planning process for the updated Campus Sustainability Plan 2017-22 (CSP). We are seeking undergraduate and graduate students to serve on four CSP Focus Committees (outlined below). 

Undergraduate students can apply through the SUA Student Committee on Committees (SCOC) here and should apply as soon as possible. SCOC will appoint one qualified undergraduate student to serve on each committee. Graduate students interested in serving on these committees should contact the Graduate Student Association: gsainfo[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

You can view previous Campus Sustainability Plans and Annual Sustainability Reports on our website here: http://sustainability.ucsc.edu/governance/plans-reports/index.html 

For this year, we have been developing a comprehensive planning process to ensure the updated plan directly supports the university’s core mission of teaching and research, includes input from across campus, support units and academic divisions, includes representation from students, faculty and staff, reflects existing UCOP policies and campus plans, and challenges UCSC to lead and push the boundaries on sustainability goals. 

The four focus committees for this planning process that are seeking student representatives include the following:

1. Learning & Culture (Academic & Co-curricular Engagement, Social Justice & Inclusivity, Campus & Community Engagement)

2. Materials Management & Food Systems (Zero Waste & Resource Recovery, Procurement, Food Systems)

3. Energy & Climate (Energy Efficiency in existing and new buildings, Renewable Energy, Carbon Neutrality Strategy, Energy Conservation)

4. Natural Environment & Infrastructure (Transportation, Land & Habitat, Watershed & Stormwater, Water Conservation) 

For more information about the time commitment and other questions you might have, please email me or contact Sustainability Director Elida Erickson at ekericks[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Please share this opportunity with other UCSC students!

Monday, October 24, 2016

November 2016 Sustainability Profile: Ivy Young of Santa Cruz Community Compost Co.

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month we are featuring Ivy Young of Santa Cruz Community Compost Co., which employs a number of UCSC alumni and turns Santa Cruz residents' food scraps into rich compost.

big haul.jpg
What does your organization do?
Santa Cruz Community Compost Co. is a bicycle-powered, community oriented, compost collection service. Customers collect their food scraps and other compostables in the bin we provide. Then, we pick it up weekly via cargo bike and deliver it to a local urban farm where we transform it into high quality fertile soil that is either returned to our customers or made available to the host farm.

How many pounds of food scraps does your organization divert from the landfill each year in creating compost? How many miles do your riders bike compost each year?
Since our first haul in June 2014 we have diverted more than 130,000 lbs of waste from the local landfill and we’re hauling around 2000 lbs more every week from around 250 local homes and businesses. Though we don’t track our riders’ miles, we cover ground from Shaffer at Delaware all the way to 42nd Ave and even take a trip up to the UCSC faculty housing once a week.  

How did you decide to use bicycles for transporting the compost?
The idea was originally sparked by a company in Austin, TX, the Compost Pedallers, that operates using a similar model. While bicycle transport does present some challenges, we believe in operating our business in a way that is energy efficient, inspiring and honors our core values. Bicycles are clean, quiet and when people see us out riding it puts a smile on their face.  

What’s one of your favorite memories associated with your organization and composting?  
I’m a single mom and in the first 6 months of operating routes, I often had my then 5 year old son riding on the back of my bike with me as I trekked all over town.  He would keep me company by singing “Keep on the Sunny Side” and he would chant “go mama, go mama, go” whenever I had to go up a hill.  I feel so grateful that he has been able to share in this experience and see what is possible when you work hard for something you believe in.

How did you get involved with composting?
I grew up composting so I’m someone who feels very strange whenever I’m faced with throwing a banana peel in the trash.  Most of my previous knowledge, however, was in the realm of small, backyard piles.  I have had to learn as I go about how to handle such large amounts of organic waste and I still have a lot more to learn.  I have become so excited now about the microbial universe living within a compost pile and the incredibly transformative process that occurs there that the work I’m doing is becoming a sort of philosophy to me.  

What does “sustainability” mean to you?
I don’t think that “sustainable” is just a catch phrase for the green movement.  To sustain something is to find the balance between what is possible and what is plausible. Sustainability is getting out on your tiptoes, reaching out for your most perfect Ideal, but not letting your feet leave the ground because you can’t inspire others when you’re floating in a bubble way out of reach, and it’s our collective efforts that will really make a difference. Sustainability to me is waking up each day, doing the very best you can and believing that your neighbor is doing the same.  

Has this job influenced you to live more sustainably in other ways?  
This work pushes me to my limits sometimes physically, socially and emotionally and while I had always considered my lifestyle to be sustainable because I eat organic, compost, and reuse my plastic bags and twistie ties at the bulk bins, I had never considered whether my inner life, social life or physical existence were truly sustainable. I’ve really tried in the last few years to apply the spirit of sustainable living to more than just how I consume things. Now, I ask myself questions like, “Am I an energy efficient vehicle?” “How does the energy I expend contribute positively to my community?” “Where is my time/energy/spirit being wasted and where is it being transformed into something useful?” I see the transformation that occurs in my piles--rotting detritus that smells somewhat like baby vomit becoming fresh living healthy soil that smells like the rain forest--and it gives me hope that even the most rotten things in life can, with time, be transformed into something beautiful.

Thank you, Ivy Young, for sharing about your work and inspiring us! To learn more about Santa Cruz Compost Co., visit their website.

NOLS Internship Details

NOLS INTERNSHIP

INTERNSHIP TITLE:  NOLS Sustainability Intern

SUPERVISOR TITLE:  NOLS Sustainability Coordinator

INTERNSHIP LOCATION:  NOLS World Headquarters, Lander, Wyoming.

DATES OF INTERNSHIP:  January-May 2017 (start and end dates are flexible)

INTERNSHIP OBJECTIVE:  The NOLS sustainability intern will assist the environmental stewardship & sustainability director and sustainability coordinator with a variety of tasks related to sustainability initiatives at NOLS, community outreach, and public policy.

INTERN QUALIFICATIONS:  High school diploma. Current college students and recent graduates preferred, majoring in a related field. Familiarity with NOLS is a plus. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to have prior experience with sustainability concepts and Microsoft Excel. On the job training will be available as needed.

PROFESSIONAL/EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES:  The sustainability intern will have opportunities to work with other departments and participate in educational activities, including:
  • Participate in a course issue day(s).
  • Develop content for the blog and social media with guidance from the NOLS marketing and creative departments.
  • Coordinate a community event.
  • Attend the NOLS Faculty Summit.
  • Participate in a NOLS seminar, space allowing.
  • College credit may be available.
  • Interns should not expect a paid position at the conclusion of the internship.

TIME COMMITMENT:  20 hours/week

STIPEND:  A bi-weekly (every two weeks) stipend of $125 is provided to help defray expenses incurred during the internship.

RESPONSIBILITIES:  Projects may include the following:
  • (40%) Manage carbon data.
  • (20%) Work with various NOLS campuses to research sustainability opportunities specific to that location (i.e. alternative fuels, farming, renewable energy, etc.).
  • (15%) Organize an Earth Day outreach event.
  • (10%) Create engaging outreach material for NOLS sustainability.
  • (10%) Participate in broader NOLS activities.
  • (5%) Perform administrative tasks as needed.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK:  A criminal background check is required.

E-VERIFY:  NOLS participates in E-Verify.

HOW TO APPLY:  Send cover letter and resume to:
NOLS Sustainability Coordinator - Kara Colovich   

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS:  November 4, 2016

Thank you for your interest in NOLS. Please consider providing some optional, anonymous information by completing this survey.

Kara Colovich
Sustainability Coordinator
NOLS

Friday, October 21, 2016

November 2016: Contests and Funding

Carbon Fund: Deadline November 7
The UCSC Carbon Fund is currently accepting applications for the 2016-17 funding cycle until 11:59 PM on Monday, November 7. This student fee granting body funds student, staff, faculty, and community projects that reduce our carbon footprint, conduct relevant research, or carry out educational programs. Learn more and apply on the website.

Giving Day: Early deadline November 3
Do you have a project that needs funding? On March 8, 2017, the campus will play its second annual Giving Day game. Giving Day is a 24-hour online fundraising drive to support UC Santa Cruz students, faculty, and campus programs. In 2016 UCSC held our first Giving Day and it was a huge success. We raised $339,276 in just 24 hours, benefitting 60 UC Santa Cruz programs. The sooner you sign up, the greater your chances to connect with a donor who might be willing to support your project with matching funds. You’ll also have a chance to win $100 in our early-entry raffle. The deadline for the raffle is November 3rd. Sign up today to play the Giving Day game and get your project funded.

SeedMoney: Deadline November 12
SeedMoney is a Maine-based 501c3 nonprofit that is helping public food gardens around the country to start and thrive by offering them grants, access to crowdfunding and technical assistance with garden planning. Their mission is to help more people, especially disadvantaged populations, to grow and access more of their own healthy food. They do this through crowdgranting, a new way for nonprofit causes to access funds for their work. It combines crowdfunding with challenge grants. In the case of SeedMoney, participating projects use the possibility of securing a challenge grant of $400 from them to motivate local donors in their area to contribute to their project. Find out more on their website and apply by November 12.

Big Ideas: Deadline November 16
Big Ideas, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious social impact contests, is accepting pre-proposals for this year’s competition. Big Ideas provides up to $300,000 directly to students each year for their groundbreaking initiatives. Armed with the training and seed funding provided by Big Ideas, student teams have gone on to secure over $150 million in additional funding for their for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid ventures. Learn more here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Presenting Supplier Sustainability at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference

by Will Watson

Last year I participated in the Provost’s Sustainability Internship (PSI) program. My internship was with Procurement Services and built off of the previous intern’s project. Procurement Services purchases everything for our campus from paper to soap, to million dollar microscopes, to determining what large soda provider gets contracted with our campus.

The companies that provide our campus with goods and services are called suppliers. The intern before me worked to benchmark 10 of UCSC supplier’s operations pertaining to sustainability, such as “Does your company have an Environmental Protection Policy?” or “Does your company occupy any LEED certified buildings?” My project started as an expansion of the previous interns work, but evolved into something entirely new.

My mentor and I started communicating with a local consulting firm, EcoShift Development, about utilizing their cloud based supply chain platform, SupplyShift, for the extension of our project. UC San Diego used SupplyShift for a life science supply chain benchmarking project in 2014. Further, UCSC’s SupplyShift pilot looked at how a cloud based benchmarking platform could connect Procurement Departments, aggregate purchasing power, and influence our suppliers operations. UCSC modified UC San Diego’s scorecard, supplier survey, and aimed to benchmark suppliers from each category: Life Sciences, Information Technology Services, and Maintenance, Repairs, and Operations.

The project targeted 46 suppliers with a 63 percent response rate. This is just the tip of iceberg for UCSC’s supply chain though, which includes over 10,000 annual suppliers. The project results were presented in coordination with UCSD at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, spreading awareness and the potential for benchmarking supply chains.


The project is continuing this year, with a myriad of options and areas to expand. If the waste, carbon footprint, social equity, or other problems associated with purchasing mass quantities of goods for UCSC concerns you or interests you, read project updates on Project Clearinghouse or contact the Sustainability Office at sustain.education[at]ucsc[dot]edu to get involved.