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.