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Vanpooling: It’s SO 2013!

December 17th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm by Camille Kirk

The following guest post comes from Leslie Mancebo, the Transportation Demand & Marketing Coordinator at UC Davis Transportation & Parking Services:

In my position here at TAPS, I regularly talk to UC Davis commuters about transitioning to a more sustainable commute. One anecdote that I frequently hear from commuters traveling from outside of Davis is that they are interested in changing their commute, but they live in an area that isn’t well served by public transit. While UC Davis is well served by a number of regional transit agencies, the bus and train simply cannot meet the needs of each individual commuter. A lesser-known alternative, with much more flexibility, is the vanpool. Vanpooling is one of the most cost-effective, flexible and convenient commuting alternatives to driving alone to work. People who vanpool to work enjoy many benefits, including the following:

Saves Money – Vanpooling is much less expensive than driving alone to work each day. A vanpooler saves money on gas, parking, personal vehicle maintenance and many vanpool members are able to lower their insurance rates by reducing their daily commute.

Saves Time – Vanpools can use regional HOV lanes, which can cut commute times dramatically. When you let someone else drive you to and from work, you can use the free time to work, sleep, read, or daydream! Plus, TAPS offers dedicated vanpool parking spaces, so you can save time spent searching for parking and walking long distances to your office.

Reduces Commute Stress – Imagine arriving at work refreshed and ready to begin your day, free from commuting stress! Vanpoolers enjoy a leisurely commute, allowing time to relax between work and home. Traffic isn’t so bad when you can put in your iPod and take a nap.

Saves the Environment – The average UC Davis staff commuter generates over 2 tons of CO2 emissions into the environment each year. Each single occupancy vehicle on the road also contributes to traffic congestion that further decreases the regional air quality.

Flexible and Convenient – Vanpools can operate where and when they are needed, regardless of the availability of transit service. Some vans decrease vehicle size during academic breaks so that vanpool riders aren’t paying extra for empty seats on the van. After-work errands can still be accomplished by meeting your vanpool at a conveniently located Park and Ride lot. Additional benefits provided by TAPS allow vanpoolers to drive to campus and park for free on days that the vanpool is not a convenient option and access to the Emergency Ride Home Program ensures that vanpoolers will not be stranded on campus without a car if there is an emergency at home.

Currently, there are vanpools running to UC Davis from Newcastle, Roseville and El Cerrito. In an effort to make vanpool a viable option for more of you, TAPS will host three information sessions in January focused on commuters from the following areas:

San Francisco Bay Area: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Folsom and El Dorado County: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Elk Grove: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All information sessions will be held in the Garrison Room on the 2nd floor of the Memorial Union from Noon-1:00pm. Please feel free to bring your lunch. For more information please contact Leslie Mancebo at (530) 752-6453 or goclub@ucdavis.edu.

 

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Free Bicycle Safety Course Available Now

August 29th, 2012 @ 3:09 pm by Camille Kirk

The following guest post comes from Leslie Mancebo, the Transportation Demand & Marketing Coordinator at UC Davis Transportation & Parking Services:

BEEP!

Two bicyclists on the path between campus and Russell Boulevard in Davis. Notice the rider wearing a helmet; that's smart, safe biking!

Many of us who travel regularly around campus have witnessed a bike accident, unsafe bicycling behavior or have been in an accident ourselves and many of us avoid the busier bike paths on campus during the first couple weeks of fall quarter each year. This year, TAPS is making an effort to improve the culture of bike safety at UC Davis by providing a free, online bike safety course.

Since last year’s launch of the Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program (BEEP), nearly 90% of those who have been issued bicycle citations have successfully completed the online bike safety course.  Those who have been issued a $200+ citation have plenty of motivation to take the course, but a lesser known fact is that anyone can take the online course, any time, for free.  TAPS is gearing up to heavily promote the bike safety course to new students this fall and we would like to invite you to refresh your bike safety knowledge as well.

The course is set up in two parts: an informational video followed by an “open note” quiz. The video is about 18 minutes long and though it was filmed in the early 1990’s, the clothes and hairstyles are just about the only thing out of date as the lessons are still important today (navigating a round-about). The video focuses on teaching how to avoid accidents and how to prevent injury if an accident is unavoidable. The quiz presents multiple choice and true/false questions about bicycle laws and safe cycling techniques. I found the quiz to be of moderate difficulty and especially insightful because you receive feedback explaining each answer.  The entire course takes about 35-45 minutes to complete and I found it to be worth every minute.

To access the BEEP bike safety video, you may visit http://bikesafety.ucdavis.edu. You can log in using your Kerberos ID or by creating a username and password (for those not affiliated with the University). You may skip the section of the log in process that asks for your citation information if you are taking the course for educational purposes.

 

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Super Cool!

August 14th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm by Camille Kirk

#1 Cool School UC DavisToday, Sierra magazine released their 2012 Cool Schools results, and UC Davis ranked #1! So, we are the Coolest School. Officially.

Wow! That’s fun! This is a nice honor in our field.

We are really proud of our campus for achieving this ranking. Thank you to everyone—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends—who’ve made decisions and taken actions that helped our campus to get to this point.

This year, the sixth time Sierra has run this survey, they changed their methodology to use the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. STARS asks many questions about dozens of sustainability metrics; it’s an extensive survey and probably the most comprehensive one we’ve ever completed. Participating in Cool Schools this year has given us a chance to perform one of the most complete assessments of our work in sustainability to date.

Winning the #1 ranking is great—it really is—but it is even better to be able to look at the progress we’ve made, identify areas for further work, and plan for next steps.

Let’s celebrate this year and keep moving forward. Here’s to yet more innovation and implementation!

Read more about our award and watch a fun “video postcard” from Sierra‘s student correspondent about why UC Davis is the Coolest School in 2012.

 

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Excited for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference!

June 18th, 2012 @ 4:52 pm by Camille Kirk

We are thrilled to welcome nearly a thousand of our higher education colleagues who are advancing sustainability on their campuses. Higher education is providing leadership in showing how we the world can integrate more sustainable practices into our own daily lives.

The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference is an important communication channel to keep all of us in the forefront, and we are so proud to be hosting it this year.

As hosts, we are excited to show off all the sustainability work that we’ve been doing at UC Davis. Here are sneak peeks at a campus sustainability self-guided tour map and Global Leadership in Sustainability brochure that we’ve made for the event.

See you at the conference!

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Free Office Supply Clean Out Event (Campus Units Only)

March 9th, 2012 @ 10:35 am by Camille Kirk

The Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Waste Reduction & Recycling program is teaming up with Bargain Barn to provide a unique week-long opportunity, starting March 12! Dispose of campus office supply items for free, and help UC Davis during RecycleMania.

RecycleMania is an annual, national competition among college and university campuses to reduce waste going to landfills.

Office supplies such as working adding machines, staplers, stacking trays and folders can be dropped off at the Bargain Barn.

WHEN: March 12-16, 3:00-4:00 PM daily

WHERE: Bargain Barn, on LaRue Rd (between Garrod Dr and Putah Creek Lodge Dr)

Contact Bargain Barn at (530) 752-2145 with any questions about which office supply items you can recycle.

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UC Davis climate change research posters for Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3

May 23rd, 2011 @ 12:36 pm by Camille Kirk

In November 2010, the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3 was held at UC Davis. The campus is a powerhouse in climate change research, and the summit was a fantastic opportunity to share that depth of knowledge with a global audience. The big question, though, was how to translate that wide spectrum of scientific research into readily absorbed information by an audience with disparate backgrounds.

Sharon Ruth, director of communications and marketing for the John Muir Institute of the Environment, and Laurie Lewis, design manager for campus publications, spearheaded a project to translate some of the extensive body of UC Davis climate change research into posters with a reader-friendly format and layman’s language. They created a “call for posters” and had strong response from UC Davis researchers. The researchers worked with Ruth, Lewis and members of Lewis’ design team to create their posters.

The posters were a big hit, according to Ruth. “People appreciate that the information is both easy to understand and straight from the researchers’ mouths, so to speak,” Ruth said. “The posters give you, at a glance, a very good look at UC Davis research designed to help solve problems created by global climate change.”

After an extensive process to publish them in PDF and document them on a web page, the UC Davis Climate Summit research posters are now available online. We encourage everyone to visit the posters page and explore the depth and variety of research presented. Let us know what you think, and tell us the most interesting or surprising thing you learned from these posters.

Thanks to Sharon Ruth, Laurie Lewis, Brenda Dawson, Russ Thebaud, Diane Nelson and Dave Jones for their contributions to the poster project and this blog post.

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Volunteer to make Picnic Day greener (Monday, March 14 deadline)

March 10th, 2011 @ 11:55 am by Camille Kirk

Editor’s note: Do you want to make Picnic Day more environmentally friendly? Campus Center for the Environment Volunteer Coordinator and second-year Sociology/Spanish double major student Tessa Artale writes in with an opportunity to do just that:

Help make the Quad an environmentally friendly area at Picnic Day, this April 16!

Picnic Day needs volunteers to help reduce waste by assisting in recycling, composting, and promoting public awareness.picnic-day-logo.jpg

The Campus Center for the Environment (CCE) is working together with the ASUCD Senate and Waste Reduction and Recycling to promote sustainability at the Quad on Picnic Day. This year, all booths at the Student Organization Faire will use compostable wares to reduce landfill waste produced on the Quad.

We are looking for student volunteers to direct visitors in correctly disposing of their waste and to staff a booth about sustainability practices.

Volunteer for a 2-hour shift and get a Picnic Day t-shirt! Shifts are from 10:00AM to 12:00 PM; 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM; and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Please specify the shift you’d like when you email. Please contact cce.volunteers@gmail.com by Monday, March 14 to register as a volunteer, or if you have any questions.

Come participate and promote conservation of the environment through waste reduction!

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