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Archive for February, 2011

Volunteer to help host the Spring Convergence

February 24th, 2011 @ 8:54 am by Brenda Dawson

Editor’s note: Want to get involved with sustainability activities here on campus? Hannah Oakes, a third-year student majoring in environmental policy analysis and planning, is also a coordinator for the 2011 CSSC Spring Convergence coming very soon to UC Davis. She suggests one way you can help out:

cssc-icon-160w.jpgBeginning April 29, UC Davis will be hosting the biannual California Student Sustainability Coalition Spring Convergence with the theme “Sense of Place.”

The CSSC Convergence invites students from all over the state to come together and share sustainability successes, best practices and resources which they can bring back to their campus. Keynote speakers will present in the morning followed by an engaging student run panel inviting your questions. The day will be filled with invigorating workshops, local vegan meals, vibrant art and opportunities for discovery. Join us for an evening under the stars including dinner and live music by local bands at Putah Creek Lodge.

Come, meet people from all over California who share your goals — and learn new things about the UC Davis campus. The Spring Convergence is an experience in which you can learn, share and grow as a student and a person.

If you can’t wait until April 29, then please sign up to be a volunteer for the planning process and/or to help out during the convergence.

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What good ever came from nothing?

February 22nd, 2011 @ 12:13 pm by Brenda Dawson

Editor’s note: Students living on campus have little more than a week left to compete in the “Go Zero Waste Challenge” competition between residence halls (though they can continue to help UC Davis compete nationally in Recyclemania until April 2).

Today’s guest blogger Elye Mann, a sustainability assistant for Student Housing and a fourth-year environmental engineering major, shares highlights from the challenge and how students can still help give their residence a boost in the competition:

The “Go Zero Waste Challenge” aims to highlight the value of limiting waste production from students’ everyday activities. Throughout February, the three residence hall areas (Segundo, Tercero and Cuarto) are competing with each other to reduce their waste.

What does zero waste mean? The principle is simple; divert as much as possible from a landfill by reusing (e.g. cardboard packaging), recycling (e.g. plastics, cans), or reutilizing (e.g. compost). UC Davis currently has the goal of 75 percent waste diversion by 2012 and zero waste by 2020.

clarabelle-trophy-260w.jpgEach residence hall area is competing in two categories for a chance at three awards.  The Recycling Champion will prove themselves by achieving the highest diversion rate. The Participation Champion will be the residence hall area with the most participation in special recycling and sustainability programs. Each time residents are involved in one of these events, they receive participation points for their area. They also get raffle tickets that make them eligible for a prize drawing for one of three $50 Downtown Davis gift cards. (These are redeemable at more than 200 downtown businesses!)

The residence hall area that does the best in participation and recycling is named the Overall Champion. They also receive the Clarabelle Trophy and a special dessert at their dining commons.

Here’s how to earn participation points:

  • The Go Zero Waste T-shirt Design Competition gives residents a chance to be creative and show their love for zero waste (not to mention earn a $100 gift card).
  • Residents can work with their Resident Advisors to create a sustainability program for their community.
  • Take a photo with the Blue Bottle and post it to the Positive Impact wall on Facebook. The resident with the most “likes” for their photo wins a $100 gift card.
  • Complete the Go Zero Waste Survey to help improve the recycling program.
  • Join the Bucket Program, which allows residents to collect their compost and bring it to their dining commons instead of wastefully throwing those food scraps away.
  • Finally, participate in the recycling event in the dining commons this week.

(Population differences will be accounted for and each residence area is weighted accordingly so there are no unfair advantages.)

Currently, Tercero leads both categories but there’s still plenty of time and plenty of participation points to give out. Besides, when UC Davis goes zero waste, everyone wins. Get out there and be a zero hero!

Caption: The coveted Clarabelle Trophy will go to the residence hall area named Overall Champion, for both recycling and participation.

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Plan it green…

February 11th, 2011 @ 11:19 am by Camille Kirk

It’s probably not a stretch to say that several hundred meetings, workshops, colloquia, events, conferences, and other formal and Plan Green blog post ZW eventinformal gatherings take place every day at UC Davis. Those gatherings often involve food and drink, print materials, decorations, and transportation. What an amazing number of opportunities to practice the sustainability that we teach here at UC Davis! From waste reduction to thoughtful food and product purchasing to sustainable transportation, there are many ways to hold a pleasant and sustainable event that furthers our campus goals.

Next Wednesday, Feb. 16, a special event will be held on campus: Plan Green. The brainchild of Conference and Event Services, Plan Green is now in its third year of teaching people responsible for organizing meetings or events how to bring sustainable practices into their gatherings.  Lina Layiktez, Director of Conference and Event Services, told me, “Since we are one of the central event organizing departments on the campus, we took it upon ourselves to help led the charge towards greener events on our campus. We hope to continue to grow Plan Green in the years to come.”

Plan Green has incorporated the popular (and tasty!) lunchtime catering vendor showcase, where approved caterers present samples of some of their menu choices to campus event planners. All approved caterers provide zero waste options for their services, such as reusable or compostable dishware and utensils.

A special bonus at this year’s Plan Green is that the Federal EPA is presenting two awards to UC Davis for efforts in waste reduction: the first, which will be accepted by Athletics, is for our national Game Day Challenge win at our (almost) zero waste stadium; the second, which will be accepted by Fleet Services, is for our program to remove and replace lead weights from vehicle tires.

You can still register for Plan Green, which will be held from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Memorial Union Room II. The showcase will be held from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM in Freeborn Hall. We hope to see you there!

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Take a class on sustainability this spring!

February 9th, 2011 @ 10:35 am by Camille Kirk

Editor’s note: For today’s students, their future will likely require them to understand sustainability concepts and be environmentally literate in their work, personal and civic lives.

Guest blogger Will Klein, a 4th year double major in Nature and Culture and Environmental Science and Management, and member of the Campus Center for the Environment, writes below about some of the classes on sustainability and environmental topics that UC Davis students can take this spring quarter.

I don’t know about you, but I was caught by surprise to learn that spring quarter registration began this week!

We here at the Campus Center for the Environment always get upset when we don’t learn about a super cool class related to sustainability until it’s too late. To try to solve this problem, we created a Class Finder tool! This tool allows you to search classes related to sustainability by all sorts of attributes. Looking to fulfill a GE requirement? Looking for a two-unit seminar? Looking for a class in Plant Sciences? It allows you to narrow your search by all of those factors!Classes_FTN_Feb_2011

If there is one class to be sure to take, it’s the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP), a collaborative effort to challenge current paradigms in order to create a more sustainable future. This class is run by students (with some advice from faculty), and brings renowned educators, authors, environmentalists, and progressive thinkers to provide inspiring weekly lectures.

For two additional units, students can join ESLP Action Research Teams (ART) to take the ideas learned in the classroom and apply them to the UC Davis campus. My first introduction to activism came through one of these ART teams my freshmen year, when we built bike trailers and discussed ways to improve campus transportation.

ESLP is only held in the spring quarter, so be sure not to miss out! For more information, check out the CCE ESLP page, or email eslp11@ucdavis.edu. Also, save Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on your calendars!

A few other highlights from courses being offered this upcoming quarter:

Also, be sure to visit the UC Davis sustainability website to check out other lists of environmental classes from various disciplines around campus.

What are some of your favorite classes related to sustainability? Leave them in the comments box!

Caption: Students discuss climate change during Focus the Nation’s “Focus the Classroom” program, January 31, 2008.

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February: Don’t waste a good month

February 2nd, 2011 @ 9:04 am by Camille Kirk

Wall calendar smallThis February, we are focused on avoiding the landfill. Let us explain.

We had the honor of being invited to theme the 2010-11 UC Davis wall calendar around the Sustainable 2nd Century, so we decided to profile aspects of campus sustainability and ways to take action that people might not know about already. Each month focuses on one aspect, and there is so much going on at UC Davis that we could not fit it all on the calendar, so we built a companion web page.

Designer Lisa Wells in University Communications did a great job of making a beautiful calendar. If you don’t already have a copy hanging on your wall, you can still get one from the UC Davis Bookstore for only 80 cents! I called to confirm that they have a few folded ones left and some flat ones, too.

Long story short, the calendar focus for February is on waste avoidance and reduction.

February’s tips include:

We hope to see you at the Plan Green conference and look forward to hearing about how you reduce waste at work and home!

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