Friday, November 21, 2014

December 2014: Innovative Approaches to Sustainability at Other Campuses

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

UCLA Creates Nation’s Largest Self-Replenishing Fund For Green Projects 
UCLA is the 46th institution in the nation to join the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which encourages colleges and universities to create their own sustainability-focused revolving funds — pools of money that are continually replenished when loan recipients return some or all of their cost savings each year. Now, the savings from energy efficiency and other projects will fund future projects. UC Santa Cruz has a Green Revolving Loan Fund that’s similar to this, which you can learn more about on our website or by emailing Chrissy at cthomure [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Students’ ‘Feeding Forward’ Fights Hunger, Food Waste
A student at UC Berkeley has created a "Feeding Forward" website, a food-recovery platform that connects organizations that have surplus perishable food with social agencies that feed the hungry. More than 400 donor groups — including Cal Dining, Cal Catering and scores of Bay Area restaurants — are currently registered on the site, along with some 100 recipient nonprofits. More than a half-million pounds of food have been recovered since the platform’s launch spring 2013.

Pomona College Diverts 23 Tons From Landfill and Saves Students Money
Pomona College has a "Clean Swap" that goes through the residence halls collecting items left behind by students after move-out. Last May, the student team collected 23 tons of used appliances, dorm furnishings, books and other items. In the fall, those items were offered for sale at discounted prices to students, raising more than $9,500 for sustainability programs. Operation Clean Sweep began as a pilot project in 2007 and recovered 17 tons of items. Over its eight-year span, the program is estimated to have diverted more than 150 tons of material from landfills, saved students thousands of dollars and helped a number of local charities. UC Santa Cruz has zero-waste move out stations at all of the colleges each spring that include donation bins for unwanted items. We also have a surplus store, which you can learn more about here.

Indiana State University to Host Community Sustainability Contest 
The event kicks off with a poster competition for students in kindergarten through college. Students will be divided into groups based on their ages and will be given a sustainability-related question that they will have to answer using a poster. What a great way to connect college students with the local community through art and sustainability!

Flintstones Meets the Jetsons: Solar Powered Pedal Car at Bridgewater College
At the cost of $6,000 and load capacity of 150 pounds, the ELF (Electric, Light, Fun) vehicle, gifted by alumni, is now used by students as part of the campus' student-operated recycling program. The vehicle requires solar, a corresponding range of 15 miles, and/or human power to operate.

U Illinois Proposes Bike Fee 
A recent referendum proposed a $1 student-initiated bike fee that would be slated for creating better bike infrastructure, safety courses and education. What do you think about this idea? At UC Santa Cruz, all sustainable transportation services provided by TAPS are subsidized by parking fees--which ultimately means that to continue to have free bike shuttles, loop buses, and other programs, people have to keep buying parking permits. Would this be a possible partial funding solution here?

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