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Report Card 2010

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Student Survey

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With the publication of the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, more than 1,100 school survey responses from over 300 institutions are now available online. In total, these surveys offer more than 10,000 pages of data collected from colleges and universities during the summer of 2009 . To access surveys from other schools, go to the  surveys section  of the website. To see grades, or to access additional surveys submitted by this school, please click the "Back to Report Card" link at the beginning or end of the survey.

 

Name:   Nicole Wooten
Position (in student organization): Previous Co-chair (2008 – 2009)
Date survey submitted: July 7, 2009

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.
Name of organization: Student Environmental Action Coalition
Number of active members: 12
Website:
Date of last meeting: May 2009
Frequency of meetings: Once a week during school year (Aug – May)
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: Reusable bag campaign, 11 th Hour showing, vermicompost, Renewable Energy Forum, Obama and the Environment forum, landfill tour, public transit support, support for stopping ecologically-unsound development on Jordan Lake, corporate responsibility
Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008:

·          Forums and events accomplished.  

·          Vermicompost: SEAC members were given a demonstration of vermicompost (composting with worms) and outdoor compost bins by a local expert.   We then created 5 indoor vermicompost bins of our own using recycled plastic bins, newspaper, and particular worms.   For Earth Day, we hosted a table at UNC’s Earth Day celebration and taught visitors the basics of composting.  

·          Public Transit: Eight SEAC members joined together on Saturday to ride the bus system around the Triangle area (Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill) in order to show our support for public transit and a new bill that could bring light rail to the Triangle.   During the trip, we delivered a letter of support to the capital building in Raleigh.   We also video-documented our trip and will later hold a screening and forum on campus to garner further student support for the bill.  

·          Jordan Lake: SEAC members have been present at many Board of County Commissioners meetings to show our government that students care about the environmental impacts of development.  

·          Corporate Responsibility: With help from a grassroots organization called Carrot Mob, SEAC has brainstormed how to incentivize environmental responsibility in local businesses through the collective buying power of the community.   We have gotten in touch with other interested locals and are in the process of planning a Carrot Mob event for next year.

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS
2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?
[ ]  No
[X ]  Yes. Please list details for each competition.
#1 - Name of competition: Reusable Bag Campaign
Year initiated: 2008
Frequency of competition: once
Participants: Student body
Incentives: Ten students who donated the highest number of plastic bags for recycling won prizes, such as a gift certificate to a local business (Carrboro Yoga Company, Townsend and Bertram) or a free Chico Bag.
Goal of competition: Collect plastic bags for recycling and encourage the use of reusable bags.
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: Collected 2,458 plastic bags.
Lasting effects of competition: Encouragement of reusable bag use.
Website:

SUSTAINABILITY IN STUDENT GOVERNMENT
3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?
[  ]  No
[ X]  Yes. Please describe: Environmental Affairs Committee (EAC).   Mission from website: To collaborate with students, faculty, and staff to create a more cohesive environmental presence on campus while promoting key environmental principles, encouraging sustainable lifestyles, and facilitating improved cooperation between student environmental groups and the University.”

OTHER ACTIVITIES
4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:   The Renewable Energy Forum was a wonderful and very successful event SEAC organized in 2008.   State Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Professor Gerald Cecil, and NC Sustainable Energy Association representative Paul Quinlan spoke on the state of and necessity for renewable energy in the world today, what NC has done to encourage renewable energies, and certain hurdles still present in our state government.   The event was a success, with over 70 students actively listening and asking questions of the speakers, who also questioned and discussed future options amongst themselves.

5) Please list and briefly describe any other student-run organizations related to campus sustainability at your school, and provide URLs if available (e.g., student groups; student government committees; student-run food co-ops, gardens/farms, bike co-ops) and provide contact information of the student leaders, if possible:   There are, I believe, 17 sustainability-related student organizations on our campus.   Two brief lists are located: http://sustainability.unc.edu/Initiatives/StudentInitiatives/tabid/141/Default.aspx and http://sustainability.unc.edu/Academics/StudentGroups/tabid/71/Default.aspx .

Questions 6 is for informational purposes only; your response will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.
6) Please list any regional or national networks with which your group is affiliated (e.g., Energy Action Coalition/Campus Climate Challenge, Sierra Student Coalition, a state PIRG, a state student sustainability coalition):   The Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) is a national group which started at UNC in the 1980s but has since grown and evolved.   We are no longer very closely related, but we share the same mission.

 

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Name: Philip Womble
Position (in student organization): Co-Chair       
Date survey submitted: 7/20/09

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role. Name of organization: Students Working in the Environment for Active Transformation (SWEAT), committee of UNC Campus Y (UNC social justice organization)
Number of active members: 20-25
Website: http://isweat.ning.com/
Date of last meeting: April 23
Frequency of meetings: weekly
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008: Weatherization/Energy efficiency, Mountaintop removal coal mining, NC Env. Justice issues, Bottled water usage, PowerShift organizing
Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008: Initial phases of weatherization project; established connections with local DOE partners and set up potential for volunteer opportunities next semester.  Petitioned, tabled, attended spring/summer MTR awareness camps.  Held panel on Environmental justice issues in hog industry in eastern NC.  Fundraised money for water projects abroad by selling nalgenes to reduce bottled water consumption on campus.  Organized UNC contingent for PowerShift 2009, student climate change conference in Washington, DC.

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS
2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?

[X]  No

[  ]  Yes. Please list details for each competition.
#1 - Name of competition: 
Year initiated: 
Frequency of competition: 
Participants: 
Incentives: 
Goal of competition: 
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: 
Lasting effects of competition: 
Website: 

#2 - Name of competition: 
Year initiated: 
Frequency of competition: 
Participants: 
Incentives: 
Goal of competition: 
Percent of energy/water/waste reduced: 
Lasting effects of competition: 
Website:

 

SUSTAINABILITY IN STUDENT GOVERNMENT

3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues? [  ]  No
[X ]  Yes. Please describe: Student Government has an Environmental Affairs committee that deals with official university involvement in environmental issues.  Also has a Campus Collaboration group that meets periodically to coordinate and collaborate on environmental campaigns between various environmental groups

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:   In the past, we sponsored and funded three sustainable development-based international volunteer trips.  Worked with Foundation for Sustainable Development in Bolivia, Family Alliance for Development and Cooperation (FADECO) in Tanzania, Green Belt Movement in Kenya. 

 

5) Please list and briefly describe any other student-run organizations related to campus sustainability at your school, and provide URLs if available (e.g., student groups; student government committees; student-run food co-ops, gardens/farms, bike co-ops) and provide contact information of the student leaders, if possible:   
See Environmental Affairs Committee listing of UNC groups: https://sites.google.com/site/eac0809/environmental-groups-on-uncs-campus

Questions 6 is for informational purposes only; your response will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.

  6) Please list any regional or national networks with which your group is affiliated (e.g., Energy Action Coalition/Campus Climate Challenge, Sierra Student Coalition, a state PIRG, a state student sustainability coalition):  We have worked with Energy Action Coalition to organize PowerShift, though we aren't officially affiliated with EAC.

 

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Name: Bill Bobbitt
Position (in student organization): Co-Chair
Date survey submitted: 6/30/09

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
1) Please describe the student-run campus environmental/sustainability organization in which you have a leadership role.
Name of organization: Environmental Affairs Committee of Student Government
Number of active members: 54
Website: http://sites.google.com/site/eac0809/
Date of last meeting: April 24, 2009
Frequency of meetings: Weekly
Key issues addressed and programs implemented since August 2008:

Invasive Exotic Species Guidelines

Efficient Paper Management

Campus Lighting

Sustainable Dining (Food Production, Consumption, & Waste)

Support Carolina Community Garden

Improving Bike Infrastructure on UNC's Campus

Campus Sustainability-minded Group Coordination

Developing Student Response to UNC System Sustainability Policy

Increasing Recycling availability (on campus, Greek, split containers):

Water Waste Reduction

Green Games/Greek Green Games

Environmental Racism Event

Progress made on each issue/program since August 2008: See attached report, PLEASE let me know if this doesn't work.

SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS
2) Does your group organize any sustainability challenges/competitions for your campus and/or with other colleges?
[ X ]  No
[  ]  Yes. Please list details for each competition.

SUSTAINABILITY IN STUDENT GOVERNMENT
3) Does your student government include a specific position or committee dedicated to campus sustainability issues?
[  ]  No
[ X ]  Yes. Please describe: Our committee, the Environmental Affairs Committee

OTHER ACTIVITIES
4) Please describe any additional campus sustainability activities or projects that you or your group has initiated at your school:  

5) Please list and briefly describe any other student-run organizations related to campus sustainability at your school, and provide URLs if available (e.g., student groups; student government committees; student-run food co-ops, gardens/farms, bike co-ops) and provide contact information of the student leaders, if possible:   Every student group website is linked to on our website.

Questions 6 is for informational purposes only; your response will NOT be included in the Report Card evaluation process.
6) Please list any regional or national networks with which your group is affiliated (e.g., Energy Action Coalition/Campus Climate Challenge, Sierra Student Coalition, a state PIRG, a state student sustainability coalition):  
Environmental Affairs Committee

 Bill Bobbitt

 Elinor Benami

 nvasive Exotic Species Guidelines

Committee members: Lars Perlmutt, Adam Sherwood

Goal : Provide a list of native alternatives to the many invasive exotic species to ensure that no further invasive species are introduced into the UNC-CH environment and to spread awareness about invasive exotic species.

Progress : Over the summer, committee member Lars Perlmutt was in contact with Dr. Peter White, director of the NC Botanical Garden, and Stephen Keith, natural areas curator at the NC Botanical Garden, to learn about the role of native plants in UNC’s wider landscaping policy. Both NC Botanical Garden contacts proved useful and provided a good deal of specific and detailed information to aid the committee in achieving its goals.

Peter recommended that students propose to reinforce the Task Force on Landscape Heritage & Plant Diversity Committee report with the UNC buildings and Grounds Committee--of which Dr. White is also a part. The Task Force report can be found here: http://www.fac.unc.edu/aboutus/shopsdepartments/grounds/heritagelandscape/tabid/183/default.aspx .

The report includes a list of alternatives and a recommended planting policy that discourages the use of invasive exotic species in its appendix, but there is no policy that prohibits invasive exotics outright or one that encourages the removal of existing invasive exotics.

According to Dr. White, many in the university have recognized the existence of a problem with invasive exotics, but coming up with a standardized list of plants to avoid has been difficult.  Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the “plants to avoid” list is constantly updated and actually used to guide planting decisions. Dr. White stated that replacing existing invasive exotics on campus with their native counterparts could be difficult because currently there is no list or map of where they are all located.

In later communication with Kirk Pelland, Director of Grounds, he noted that there are some invasive exotic species problem areas  (such as near Battle Park, Meeting of the Waters Creek, Horton Dorm (south campus), the Giles Horney building (Facilities Services), and Baity Hill), and also asserted that Grounds Services does *not* knowingly plant invasive exotics.

Since then, several Committee members have participated in invasive exotic species removal events at Battle Park—which the committee would encourage future administrations to do, as well.

The Committee now hopes that the next administration will continue the efforts of this year and work to develop a more specific agreement with the Grounds department about ceasing new plantings and possibly removing/education about potential impacts of existing plantings.

 

Efficient Paper Management

Committee members: Amanda DelVecchia, David Murray

Goal: Reduce paper use (and particularly paper waste) among students, faculty, and staff.

Progress: In the earlier stages of the project, the efficient paper management group drafted a letter to the Chairman of the Faculty Council advocating an environmentally-friendly format for papers and reports on student syllabi. They then explored other options to deliver this message (for example, they were encouraged to investigate doing a presentation instead of simply sending a letter).

As the year progressed, the committee found that a multi-departmental approach to reducing paper waste would likely be the most effective. Daniel Arneman, UNC’s Greenhouse Gas specialist, is currently arranging a paper waste reduction workshop in early April that will include representatives from purchasing, IT, Mail Services, Recycling, and EAC to see this goal achieved—both for the sake of the environment and UNC’s budget.

 

Campus Lighting

Committee members : Julian March, Rick Browne, David Murray, Marshall Phillips

Goal : Investigate the installation of additional vending misers & occupancy sensors; balance goal of keeping campus safe while minimizing light pollution.

UNC-CH already has vending misters on all vending machines that support the technology (i.e. machines without OneCard Readers).  The committee investigated placing stickers on the machines equipped with  vending misers to make environmental and energy efficiency measures more evident to the students.  EAC got an estimate from UNC Printing Services for printing 215 stickers: $95 for one color and $145 for two colors.  EAC forwarded that estimate to the Sustainability Office.  Brian Cain, Outreach Coordinator for the Office, said he would consider designing a sticker for future use after appropriate permissions are obtained from Auxiliary Services (which manages the vending machines on campus).

Furthermore, EAC members met with Cindy Shea, Director of the Sustainability Office, in the beginning of the year.  Ms. Shea said that the campus was slowly phasing out T12 fluorescent lights and replacing them with more energy efficient T8 lights or T5 lights.  EAC members were concerned that there were bright lights on campus shining at night, especially in empty buildings, along with other forms of energy waste. 

This mention sparked the creation of a “campus energy use and environmental concern form,” which is on the EAC website and is linked from the home page of the Web site for executive branch of student government. From this form, anyone can fill out their concern as they provide details of the location of the problem, note when or for how long they’ve noticed the problem, and include any suggestions they have to remedy the problem. This form was designed because students, faculty, and staff travel the campus every day and are uniquely positioned to witness energy/environmental concerns day and night.  This provides accountability, as the EAC chairs forward the concerns to the appropriate department for official review. 

The URL is here: http://tinyurl.com/eacconcernform ; the form has been successfully used by several individuals already.

 

Recommendations for the future (if applicable):

Use of the campus energy use and environmental concern form should continue, possibly being placed on the Web site of the Sustainability Office and managed by their personnel to ensure permanence and continuity. 

 

 

Sustainable Dining (Food Production, Consumption, & Waste)

Committee Member: Tim Wander

·         Composting for individual student use [EAC Committee member Tim Wander] : Over the past year, the committee investigated how other universities (such as the University of Vermont) have approached individual student composting and then inquired about the feasibility of different programs at UNC,  such as individual composting in dormitories and group composting in a central location.

The best examples of individual composting among students at UNC can be seen among those involved in environmental organizations like the Carolina Garden Co-op or students living off-campus who have the ability to set up composting systems in their yards. Until the existing infrastructure can be improved for large-scale use), the best way to reduce the amount of organic waste from students ending up in landfills will come through providing students with information about where they can drop their compost off (Carolina Garden Co-op, etc.) and what is compostable (a map to the Carolina Garden co-op can be found off the sustainability website; mentoring sessions with the Garden and/or Orange Solid Waste Management can be set up with those organizations, as well).

Recommendation for the future : Focus on education of first-year students by supplying them with information about food waste issues on campus and encourage them to take personal initiative by vermicomposting or bringing their food waste to a compost site. Also, work with BJ Tipton of the Office of Waste Reduction and Management to explore possibilities of composting pickup along with recycling and landfill garbage. 

·         Sustainable dining containers : Carolina Dining Services introduced Eco-Clamshells (reusable dining containers) in Lenoir and Ramshead Dining Hall on September 2, 2008. Buying into the Eco-clamshell program currently costs $3.50, which provides each participating student access to one container per visit. When the student returns a used container, they are given a clean one to re-use (the used one is then washed by CDS and re-circulated). Signs have been posted informing students about the long-lasting impacts of putting Styrofoam into a landfill, which hopefully further encourages a decrease in Styrofoam container usage by the student body.

·         Maintain contact with student organization FLO throughout the year, provide support for FLO movement : The director of Yale’s Sustainable Food Project (Melina Shannon-DiPietro) came to UNC’s campus in late September to discuss the successes of Yale’s initiatives and the possibilities of extending such a project to representatives from Carolina Dining Services, the Sustainability Office, FLO (Fair, Local, and Organic), the Carolina Garden Co-Op, the Environmental Affairs Committee, and other student organizations that were in attendance. The EAC also helped promote and publicize Sustainable Foods Week going on November 10-13, and invited members of FLO to submit their comments for a November dinner meeting with Erskine Bowles when discussing environmental sustainability. The EAC has attended FLO roundtables and offered to assist in publicity for any other events/activities as appropriate.

Recommendation for the future: invite FLO to have an invested member on the Environmental Affairs Committee to stay in more direct contact and to help with promotion of events.

 

Improving UNC’s Bicycle Infrastructure

Committee members: Rick Browne, Heather Ekstrom, Brad Cheek, Adam Meyer

Goal: Initially, the EAC Biking Committee had hoped for all UNC students to understand the rules of the road as a biker, vehicle driver, and pedestrian and to work to make all things necessary for bike safety as accessible as possible. The bike committee wanted to increase bicycle parking space, covered bicycle parking spaces, bike lanes, and bike repair sessions and to encourage bike safety on campus and surrounding areas.

As time progressed, the committee decided that to best disseminate this information, it would locate this information on the up-and-coming Carolina Green website. The website would be publicized, in part, by bumper stickers, which could then be placed on bike racks, and from the website, students could access information  related to bicycling safety (a portion of this is currently available on the Department of Public Safety’s website ( http://www.dps.unc.edu/Police/communityassistance/services/bikeregistrationandpolicy.cfm ) This information includes how to register a bike, lock recommendations, and how to keep a bike tuned-up.)

Furthermore, the committee also identified and communicated with a few bicycle stores interested in holding booths on campus for a bicycle welcome breakfast and workshops.  The committee plans to invite them in for Earth Day activities and hopes that future administrations will continue this trend.

Recommendations for the future (if applicable): Recommendations include attending local government meetings to understand more of the community’s plans for bike lanes and greenways and working with the Department of Public Safety to assist them with specific goals they might have for bicycling on campus.

 

Sustainability at Carolina North

Committee members: Chase Pickering, Alex Hardee

Goal:  Follow and contribute to the planning of Carolina North in regards to environmental sustainability .

Progress: The EAC’s Carolina North (CN) group has joined forces with Student Government’s Carolina North Taskforce to address the sustainability issues arising from the Carolina North development. One of our committee members, Alex Hardee, has also been invited to work with the once-every-other-month Carolina North Forest & Trails Advisory Committee, which focuses on the management of the Carolina North Forest and Trails.

To aid the development project in attaining its sustainability goals, the CN Student Task Force is working on several items, including:

  • Creating a survey (currently aimed primarily at graduate students) to assess student needs at the Carolina North Site.
  • Attending Chapel Hill Town Hall meetings regarding Carolina North planning. Task Force members have spoken during meeting in regards to transportation and sustainability.
  • Engaging CN director, Jack Evans, and other CN planners in constant conversations regarding sustainability. The UNC administration has also been supportive and open to hearing our thoughts and ideas.
  • Exploring the current railroad path in Carrboro as a possible new bike path connecting to Carolina North property. 
  • Developing a Bike and Outdoor Center concept for Carolina North.

Perhaps the most exciting news in regards to Carolina North this year has been the recent release of a draft of the Development Agreement. This document sets forth the expectations for the entire campus during planning and construction. Some highlights of the Development Agreement include:

1. Buildings at Carolina North will be built according to state-required energy efficiency standards (LEED Silver).

2. The energy efficiency and carbon reduction strategies at Carolina North will be implemented across the campus as a whole.

3. The University is committed to meeting the standards in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Note: these standards supersede the earlier CRED goals.

4. The University has prepared a GHG inventory (http://acupcc.aashe.org/ghg- report.php?id=372).

5. The University will strive to develop Carolina North in a manner that supports the ACUPCC goals.

6. Carolina North should use energy efficiently and support town sustainability goals. 

7. Buildings at Carolina North will meet state-required water conservation standards.

8. A whole-water approach at Carolina North will include water reclamation strategies.

9. Buildings will include water-reclamation and water-reuse designs.

The Task Force has also drafted a Sustainability Memo, in addition to a Transportation Memo. The memo  states that overall, the Task Force was pleased with the standards set by the Development Agreement. However, it would like to see a continued emphasis in the following areas to ensure that the campus created can serve as a national leader in sustainability:

-Aggressive carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

-LEED certification in all buildings as set by state regulations.

-Forward thinking in regards to energy generation.

-Construct buildings that are solar-ready and could be compatible for future smart grid technology use.

-Ensure current transparency measures are continued for all stakeholders.

-Establish community garden on-site.

Recommendations for the future: Continue active representation and collaboration with the Carolina North Student Task Force. I [Chase Pickering] would highly recommend that the Jones administration continue this Student Task Force, possibly making it inclusive of other significant facilities projects being planned at UNC.

 

 

Greek Recycling/Greek Green

Committee members: Sarah Ransohoff, Helen Baddour, Anna Eusebio, Christina Lynch, Caitlin Zhogby, Chris Bakke, Caroline Peterson, Leigh Habegger

Goal: Reduce the environmental footprint left by the Greek houses at UNC. Because the Committee does not have the capacity to oversee the progress of each house, it will install “Greek Green Representatives” in each sorority and fraternity house. The Greek Green Representative will meet on a regular basis with the Greek Recycling team and fellow Greek Green Representatives to discuss updates, suggestions, and problems that they have encountered. The Greek Recycling team will provide them the resources needed to reduce their carbon footprint and will guide them way to an environmentally friendly Greek community. With this collaboration, the Greek Recycling team and the Greek Green Representatives will work to accomplish several goals: eliminate Styrofoam containers from each house; help implement a recycling program in each fraternity house; reduce paper, water, and electricity usage; and increase recycling awareness throughout the houses.  The EAC hopes to sustain this project throughout next year to help the houses achieve these goals.

Progress and accomplishments so far:  A “Greek Green Representative” from each fraternity and sorority with a house has been selected and filled out the assessment worksheets, detailing their progress in sustainable building practices thus far and their goals for the future. Some members of the EAC make up the “small group leaders” that lead discussion and provide ideas for improvement. Because there are so many fraternities and sororities, it would be impossible for just one person to guide all of the representatives. The leaders have also created a “plan of action” for each member that lays out which areas they should tackle first (i.e. eliminating all Styrofoam) and which areas are more long term goals (i.e. composting). The next steps will be to estimate how much their plans of action will cost. Based on this, funding will be acquired to cover at least half of the cost. Additionally, Andy Burstein from Greek House Supplies ( http://greekhousesupplies.com ), which offers green supplies to houses, has contacted the Committee about a possible contract deal. Discounts are given to large orders that will contribute to an “environmental fund” for each house. Currently, the representatives are filling out a document that lists supplies that they get from their current vendors. Although Greek House Supplies offers some green products, the company is located in Pennsylvania, and transportation mileage is an unfortunate associated carbon cost. In order to acquire funding, petitions have been made and given to each representative. The representatives will distribute them to their chapter members to sign. These petitions and a proposal will be presented to Panhellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council, Student Government, and the Office of Sustainability to gain funding. The main problem that fraternities and sororities face in going green is funding. With these petitions, possible funding sources will realize that the entire Greek community is inspired by and committed to the issue.

 

Granville Towers Recycling

Committee members:  Carolyn Treasure, Joanna Dozier, Stephen Meyer

Goal: Establish a more efficient and accessible recycling program in Granville Towers. 

Level of Completion: The towers have opted not to enhance their existing recycling program after more than two years of suggestions from both the EAC and the Orange County Solid Waste Management Office.

P rogress: Group members met with the Assistant Manager of Granville Towers to discuss recycling earlier in the year, and the tower managers noted they didn’t feel it was necessary to establish a new recycling program for the following reasons: 1. Students could use the bins improperly and damage private property 2.The bins do not seem cost-effective 3.The company that owns Granville Towers feels their future is unclear, so they are unwilling to fund extra projects that aren’t already in the budget. 

After this meeting, the Committee decided to take a different approach: to educate the students about recycling and try to publicize the location of existing bins (located outside West Tower).  The Committee kept an open dialogue with Tower managers in hopes of installing recycling bins either on each floor or at the bottom of each tower.  If bins are installed on each floor, the Committee believes it would provide students an easier and more efficient way to recycle, thus, housekeeping could empty the bins weekly when they pick up the trash.  If the bins are put at the bottom of each tower, each tower will have an accessible location that is out of reach of miscreant hands and is more efficient than what is already in place. Granville is undergoing construction that will last until the end of the year, so all recycling efforts have been put on hold. However, if management remains the same, they would be open to initiating  a recycling effort next year. Another angle that the Committee is pursuing is going through the Campus Sustainability Office. If UNC takes over Granville next year, then the University will be in charge of the recycling effort. Much of any future recycling effort will hinge on that conclusion.

 

Athletic Recycling

Committee members:  Caroline Peterson

Goal: Reduce waste and increase recycling efforts at sporting events, specifically games at Kenan Stadium and the Dean Smith Center.

Progress and accomplishments so far: The Committee met with B.J. Tipton to discuss current waste management and possible improvements at athletic events, as well as projects that would increase recycling and reduce waste in general.  The EAC will work on developing a pilot project for the Dean Dome that would bring recycling to the facility, and with Kenan Stadium to enhance the practices already in progress there. EAC members are teaming up with two other students who are involved in trying to start athletic recycling.

The project is long-term and its major hurdle is getting the UNC Athletic Department  and the  Dean Dome facility manager on board, but there are high hopes for future seasons. There is a meeting set up with Ms. Tipton  to discuss placing recycling bins at the student gates as well as inside the Dean Dome. Plans for Kenan Stadium mostly include tailgating recycling and increased publicity for recycling efforts, so the Committee is working with the Grounds Committee to see if they are willing to participate inrecycling efforts and to pick up the bins after games. There are plans for a pilot game at the beginning of next football season when the  new process will be tested and evaluated, and changes will be made.

 

Classroom Recycling

Committee members: Julian March, Claire Bradley, Logan Stephens, Grant Morine

Goal:  Increase classroom recycling on campus.

Level of Completion:   Near complete.

Progress: To increase recycling in classrooms, the EAC partnered with the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling and Housekeeping Services to launch a pilot project in late March or the first week in April.  Committee member Julian March met with Amy Preble of OWRR and Bill Burston, Director of Housekeeping Services, to finalize the pilot project.  Trashcans will be removed from classrooms in Dey, Murphey, and Hamilton Halls to encourage students to carry all waste to hallway receptacles, where they can recycle paper, bottles/cans, or throw away general waste.  Signs will be placed in the classrooms to remind students to remove trash, and the departments in the buildings will be contacted.  The progress of the pilot project will be evaluated at the end of the Spring semester, and it could continue throughout summer school and the Fall 2009 semester.

Committee member Julian March also applied for a recycling bin grant from Coca-Cola and the National Recycling Coalition.  In November, it was announced the EAC  received a grant of 30 recycling bins, each with a 60-gallon capacity.   EAC can now use those bins to increase recycling in classrooms, and may also allot some bins to encourage recycling in Greek Houses, as needed. 

 

Continuing Existing Projects – Green Campaign

Committee members: Lars Perlmutt, Aidan Hysjulien

Goal: Raise awareness of environmental issues on campus.

Progress: Over the course of the year, the committee has worked with the Sustainability Office on their Green Guides: small, comprehensive leaflets promoting green tips for living on campus. 

Members of the Committee also met and communicated with Brian Cain, Research and Outreach Manager for the UNC Sustainability Office, to discuss how the EAC might aid the Sustainability Office in  making UNC a more sustainable campus throughout the year.  Through this meeting, it was learned that carolinagreen.unc.edu would be an all-encompassing site for everything green at UNC.  The site will have three different categories, leading students to different green resources at UNC.  The first section, “How Do I,”  guides users to the green guides, as well as the greening committees at the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.  Section two, “Get Involved,” directs users to information on how to get involved.  This section will provide information on green courses and green research opportunities, as well as how to get involved in green community groups and student groups.  The third section, “Green at UNC,” lets users know what UNC is already doing to become more sustainable.  Such sites include Campus Dining, as well as the UNC Sustainability Office and Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.

The site will go live in late spring/early summer of this year.

Recommendations for the future: This website will be guided by four departments: The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, the Sustainability Office, Environmental Affairs Committee, and the UNC Institute for Environment.  Each of these four departments will  maintain their section of the website, and thus, it will be important for the EAC to be consistent in updating its portion of the Carolina Green initiative throughout the academic year, so as to maintain the integrity of the CarolinaGreen initiative as a whole.

 

UNC Sustainability Signage

Committee Member: Kristen Jarman

Goal: To provide a comprehensive signage brand for the University to identify the green and sustainable aspects of campus facilities and to promote awareness from the student body of the environmentally friendly initiatives that the University has taken on. Signage could also potentially help to identify areas in which the university could heighten its focus.

Progress: This will be a long term project which is just in the beginning stages. More planning is needed and finding the funds to really get the signage out there is posing as a problem. The EAC will work further with Brian Cain, Outreach Coordinator for the Sustainability Office, but will also find an exemplar university signage program to use as a template. So far it seems like UNC is in the forefront in this regard, but finding a model could be extremely helpful, not only for advice but also to increase support among the student body for this initiative.

Facilities Inventory: Water, Lighting, and Waste

Committee members: Lily Roberts (plus collaboration by RESPC committee member Eleanor Saunders)

 

Goal: Complete a thorough and accurate inventory of facilities throughout campus. Some categories to be included in the inventory include lighting (noting, for example, where occupancy sensors are needed and the use of incandescent bulbs), plumbing fixtures, and recycling infrastructure.

Progress: Brian Cain, the Research and Outreach Manager of the campus Facilities Services Division, Cindy Shea of the UNC Sustainability Office, Warren Jochem from Energy Management, and Ray DuBose from Energy Services have been contacted for their input in terms of inventory categories and facilities to target. In addition, Amy Preble and BJ Tipton, the Recycling/Outreach Coordinator and Solid Waste Program Manager, respectively, of the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling have been contacted for their suggestions and input on a preliminary inventory mark-up devised by the EAC and RESPC.  A group of trained volunteers will carry out the inventory of selected campus buildings when the finalized list is made (before Earth Day 2009), and then the results will allow the Sustainability Office and others to carry out their jobs with more efficiency and tact.  The project will also aid the general public in increasing awareness of sustainable infrastructure on campus.

 

Additional EAC Projects

 

Charter Buses (aka Magic School Bus)

Committee Members: Mary Cooper, Conor Farese. Karla Capacetti

Goal: Provide students, particularly first year students,  transportation to and from their hometowns on University breaks. This would cut down on the carbon dioxide emissions coming from the cars. Moreover, it would provide safe and reliable transportation for the University of North Carolina’s students over breaks.

Level of Completion: This project is currently in the planning process and slowly coming to fruition. There is still a lot to be done in terms of planning, scheduling, etc. However, many people including many central figures, such as Cindy Shea and Greg Gangi, as well as potential users (information collected through an informal poll done with first year students) have approved the idea and are excited to see it happen.

Recommendations for the future (if applicable):  The members working on this project recommend that there bemore consistent contact and follow-ups with relevant parties to truly see this project happen in the near future.

 

EAC Speaker Series

Committee members: Julian March

Goal: To bring project-related individuals (staff, faculty, and community members) to the beginning of each committee meetings to discuss what they do, what they want students to know, and how they see students. The speaker series was also intended to develop or strengthen EAC’s connections with staff and faculty, as well as to inspire the Committee by providing real-world examples of sustainability-minded individuals making a difference in their work. 

Level of Completion: Fully Complete

Progress: Julian arranged for several speakers to come speak at the beginning the EAC weekly meetings. The final line-up of speakers were:

  • Jon Curtis, advisor to Student Government
  • Cindy Shea, Director of UNC Sustainability Office
  • Dr. Greg Gangi, Associate Professor in Environmental Studies and colleague in Institute for the Environment
  • Greg Kopsch, Forestry Technician who works with Carolina North Trails and Advisory Committee
  • John Richardson, Chapel Hill Town Sustainability Officer
  • Chinyere Alu, Campus Peace Corps Representative

Recommendations for the future:

There was good feedback from both the speakers and the EAC members throughout this project.  The speakers helped explain roles of their positions and gave EAC members an opportunity to meet them, ask questions, and know of someone who could help collaborate on one of their projects.  This was especially helpful for new members.  Ending the series before the 2 nd semester was good, as well, because it allowed everyone to really focus on getting the projects completed that they had set out to do.  The speaker series is most effective when it is an introduction for the first few weeks.

 

Campus Sustainability Collaboration

The newest generation of “Enviro-leaders,” this group brings together representatives from all UNC student environmental organizations on campus once a month to discuss, plan, and collaborate on environmental sustainability issues at UNC and beyond. To date the group had three meetings in the fall (one was bundled in the Student Leader Orientation from early November) and two in the spring.

To help bring sustainability-minded folks together early in the year, committee members Julian March and Conor Farese worked closely with the Sustainability Office  and Institute for the Environment to put together a Sustainability Social in the Campus Y Faculty Lounge on September 29, 2007. The council is also very helpful for the planning of Earth Week, as described below.

The EAC also put together a centralized Web site to post meeting minutes, announcements, and a sustainability calendar for EAC items as well as campus-wide sustainability and Campus Sustainability Collaboration events (now all located at https://sites.google.com/site/eac0809/ ).

 

Water Bottles

Full Member Names: Conor Farese, Mary Cooper, Sarah Ransohoff, Kristen Jarman

Goal : Start  a discussion about the environmental and social impacts of disposable water bottles. The long-term goal is to begin to eliminate disposable water bottle usage on campus, along with avidly promoting and supplying students with other reusable water bottles and water fill stations to use.

Progress and accomplishments so far : Understanding  that this project is just getting started (it came up in the middle of the second semester), it is one that will need substantial resource input as the year continues. However, the Environmental Affairs Committee is already in discussion with the Union Director about ways to combine public arts projects with water bottle refill stations, and  is compiling educational materials about the implications of reusable water bottles.

Recommendations for the future: The members of this group would recommend expanding the informational materials about water bottles. Compiling this information and presenting it to the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor could be a useful way to approach the Chancellor and other administrators. On a more basic level, studies should be conducted to discover the amount of revenue that Carolina Dining Services (and other retail locations) receive from the sale of water bottles. Once this information is compiled, it is recommended that the EAC proceed with an education campaign supplemented by some sort of distribution of reusable water bottles, while they are phased out of CDS and other campus retail locations.

 

Week of Welcome

Full Member Names: Conor Farese, Rob Broadhurst, Michael Daugherty

Goal : To provide an ‘environmental package’ for incoming students during the Week of Welcome. The package would include all or some of the following, depending on the available budget: eco-clamshells; reusable, BPA free water bottles;  a pamphlet regarding alternative transportation in the Triangle area; a  magnet advertising the campus sustainability website (carolinagreen.unc.edu); a chico bag, and another pamphlet with a guide to all the environmental groups on campus.

Progress and accomplishments so far : Although progress has been made in figuring out exactly what should be included and how to distribute it, the project began after many grant deadlines, and so has been on hold until the EAC can figure out a source of funding. More than likely, this will translate into a smaller package given out at the 2009 WoW, which would also serve as a pilot package. In the coming years, it will be important to apply for funds through the Parents Council and other grant sources, as well as find the best retail locations to purchase the goods. Maintaining updated pamphlets about the alternative transportation and environmental groups on campus is also critical.

 

Tar Heel Treasure

Committee member name: Elinor Benami

Goal Tar Heel Treasure is a new initiative seeking to change UNC’s end-of-year move-out waste practices. Developed as a collaborative project by members of the Department of Housing and Residential Education, the Carolina Union, the Campus Y, UNC Facilities Services, the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, the Residence Hall Association, and the Executive Branch of Student Government,  the project seeks to collect as many still-usable goods that might otherwise have been discarded during the student move-out season and offer them for sale at a much reduced price to UNC Employees and members of the general UNC community in the form of a giant yard sale this May. This program will not only keep trash out of the rapidly-reaching capacity Orange County landfills but will provide the UNC community access to still usable goods at a low cost. Any revenue generated by the sale will then be donated to a charitable cause (this year the committee selected the Eve Marie Carson Scholarship as the cause to contribute any excess funds to).

Progress: With the assistance of Carolina community volunteers (students, staff, faculty, residents, etc.), this project will be implemented for the first time this May. Exciting!!!

 

C-Green

Committee member name: Stephanie Bullins

Goal : Finish up an environmental magazine project started by RESPC last year. The magazine includes articles written by several UNC students and professors, and also includes an environmental sustainability student group directory at the end. The committee is in the final editing stage of the project, and the magazine should be out in time for Earth Week celebrations.

 

EARTH Week Co-Coordination

EAC Member Names: Karla Capacetti, Andrea Hubert, Amanda DelVecchia

Goal: Organize EARTH week activities

For the past several years, the EAC has been tasked with putting together Earth Week activities. This year, the earth week celebrations will be occurring from April 17 until the 26 (Earth Day itself falls on Wednesday, April 22).

This year, each day will a different theme (E-Energy, A-Agriculture/Architecture, R-Resources, T-Transportation H-Habitat)—and planners  have been encouraged to time their events so as to fit this scheme. Multiple student groups have been submitting events, as has the Sustainability Office and the Institute for the Environment, and this year’s celebrations promise to be a blast.

 

Sustainability-Related Updates:

Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee Referendum and Fee Renewal

This year, the $4 per semester green energy fee that all students (graduate  and undergraduate ) pay went back up for renewal (according to its original mandate, the fee is due for students to vote on at regular intervals). RESPC itself worked diligently to spread the word, and several EAC members contributed their time and effort as well.

We’re happy to report that the renewable energy fee passed this year on the approval of approximately 82.3% of the voting student body (6,843 students voted in favor and 1,414 students voted against). This overwhelming success translates into the committee continuing to collect and oversee the fee for renewable energy projects and also broadening its scope in being able to fund energy efficiency projects.

 

Sustainable Endowments Institute Report Card

This year, UNC-Chapel Hill received a grade of B+ on the Sustainability Report Card, up from a B- last year. UNC-Chapel Hill received an A in Administration, Food and Recycling, Green Building, Transportation, and Investment Priorities. We received a B in Climate Change and Energy, and Student Involvement. We received a D in Endowment Transparency. We received the highest grade among the top five public universities and the same grade as Duke, University of Florida, and Cornell.

The Sustainable Endowment Institute assesses the 300 institutions of higher education with the largest endowments, and UNC ranked among the top 30.  Only 15 schools in Canada and the US received an A-, the highest grade given to any of the 300 schools with the largest endowments.

In addition, after consulting with appropriate representatives throughout Carolina’s administration, the EAC is looking to support UNC’s adoption of another assessment tool that has more transparent accounting mechanisms (such as the nascent AASHE STARS program).

 

UNC Tomorrow & UNC Sustainability Committee Draft Report

The UNC System Sustainability Committee worked over the summer to develop a comprehensive, system-wide environmental sustainability policy that would properly respond to the UNC Tomorrow Commission’s recommendation of “[embracing] environmental sustainability as a core value among its institutions,” in a meaningful, measurable way. The draft report of the committee’s recommendations was published in early fall, after which the EAC worked to coordinate a student response to the report.

Excerpt: “The proposed policy recommends applying the principles of sustainability to eight (8) specific areas:  Master Planning, Transportation, Design and Construction,  Recycling and Waste Management, Operations and Maintenance, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), Climate Change Mitigation and Renewable Energy, Systematic Integration of  Sustainability Principles.

The proposed policy consists of goals and supporting guidelines for implementation.  Specific implementation strategies, including timelines, cost estimates, as well as  performance and accountability measures, are being developed to provide guidance to the campuses on ways to successfully meet these goals.”

 

A select few of the many goals emerging from the UNC Tomorrow’s Draft Report include:

·         Bringing the entire UNC system on track for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest, with an ultimate goal of overall climate neutrality.

·         Aiding each constituent institution towards achieving a state of zero waste.

·         Improving the social and environmental performance of each constituent institution’s supply chain with consideration given to toxicity, recycled content, energy and water efficiency, rapidly renewable resources, local production, working conditions, and historically underutilized businesses.

·         Institute a capital project planning process that delivers energy, water, and materials efficient buildings that minimize the impact on and/or enhance the site and provide good indoor environmental quality for occupants.

The Co-Chair Perspective:

Bill Bobbitt

This year has been an adventure for the Environmental Affairs Committee, as we had an obviously large number of projects to conquer and lots of obstacles popping up in our way.  I have had a great experience working with a wonderful group of my motivated peers, and every meeting or activity I learn something new.  Whether devising a strategy to collaborate with environmental groups on campus or drilling the Chancellor on sustainability policy, there has never been a dull moment.  With piqued interest at the Student Government open house, our group expanded to an exceptional 52 members.  All of the student initiatives and desire for change on campus made working with this committee both an honor and an enjoyment.  I’m very excited about all of the work we have accomplished this year and it has inspired me to further my efforts in aiding the campus environmental movement throughout my college career.

 

Elinor Benami:

From my side of the coin, it has been both a pleasure and an honor to work alongside so many dedicated folks just itching to make the university into a better place. Hearing about the amazing events and activities going on around campus (whether directly or tangentially related to sustainability) and then spreading it to appropriate channels has been incredibly fulfilling to me. Also, seeing and interacting with so many people interested and wanting to make positive change on this campus has been hugely inspiring.  I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to play a part (however small!) in connecting students interested in improving the university to the resources they’d need to make those projects come to reality. I look forward to incorporating what I’ve learned this year into my role as Senior Adviser next year, helping in EBO projects as well as serving as a resource for the next EAC, too.

 

To all, I’ll close with a note from our friend Mr. Keillor: “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”


 

 

 

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