Revived Give and Go Program Helps People and Planet

May 17, 2024

UConn community diverts over 8,000 pounds of donations to local aid organizations during move out.

You never think you have too much stuff until it’s time to move. Thousands of UConn students faced that same problem while moving out of residence halls this May.  

Luckily Give and Go was there to help! 

Give and Go is a program that allows students to donate gently used goods at drop off points throughout campus, which are then sorted and given to community organizations that help those in need. It diverts waste from incineration, provides an easy way for students to donate items, and supports the lives of fellow residents. 

Read the rest of this article on UConn Today.

Earth Day Spring Fling 2024 – April 17th

April 16, 2024

What: Earth Day Spring Fling is an annual celebration of sustainability hosted by the UConn Office of Sustainability and UConn Dining Services. Established in 2008, the festival features 30+ environmental vendors and organizations to produce the greatest day of environmental awareness all year! Hop on our party peddler bike for a tour of UConn's most sustainable campus features or check out our environmental art show! Coinciding with the event is UConn's annual Arbor Day celebration and ceremonial Class Tree planting. Write intentions for your future at UConn and plant them with the Class of 2027 tree! 

Graphic showing the schedule for Earth Day Spring Fling 2024. From 11am to 2pm dining services and the office of sustainability will be hosting an zero waste barbeque on fairfield way. During the same time frame, the party peddler sustainability bike tour will be running and environmental vendors will be tabling along fairfield way. There will also be an environmental art show on fairfield way. From 12 to 1 pm on the Founders green, there will be goat yoga. Finally, from 1 to 2 pm on the Student Union Lawn, the annual class tree planting will be taking place.

When: Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 from 11am to 2pm (The rain date is set for April 22nd)

Where: Fairfield Way!  The BBQ, vendors, bike tour, and art show will all be located along Fairfield Way. Outdoor yoga will take place on the Founders Green and the class tree planting will be on the Student Union Lawn.  

Who: There will be many unique, sustainability-minded vendors attending EDSF! The event is open to everyone – we encourage you to come out and celebrate the Earth with the OS and Dining Services!  

Some of the highlights include: 

  • Environmental education opportunities
  • Local conservation non-profits 
  • Hydrogen technologies 
  • Sustainable vendors 
  • Giveaways  
  • And more! 

Green Careers Panel – February 29, 2024

January 30, 2024

What: An interdisciplinary panel of experts, designed to inform students on the ways in which their desired career path can intersect with sustainability and the environment. A green career does not have to be one solely in the environmental field! Green careers are found in business, art, science, education, government, and more. The GCP will help you as a student find a career that connects your unique talents and interests with sustainability. This is also an Honors event! (Categories:  Social Change, Service, & Sustainability; Career, Professional, & Personal Development- #UHLevent10700)

When: Thursday, February 29th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm (Check out the Eco-Involvement Fair from 4:30 to 5:30 in the Atrium before the panel!)

Where: BPB (Bio Physics Building), room 130

91 N. Eagleville Road, Storrs CT 06269

Who: Students of any and all majors are encouraged to attend. Green careers are not limited to environmental majors! We want to show you all how your majors can be related to a green career.

Why: The Earth is facing an imminent crisis: climate change. We will need all hands on deck to make progress in our goals as a global community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save our planet. We at the OS want to show YOU, all the students here at UConn, that ‘green’ does not have to mean strictly environmental science. Our panelists include engineers, businesspeople, and more – sustainability initiatives can be incorporated into any job! There is a place for all of you in the fight for sustainability and environmental justice; you all have a role to play, big or small.

Eco-Involvement Fair (4:30-5:30 pm in the BPB Atrium): Join us before the GCP for a meet and greet among environmental clubs on campus. Learn more about what students like you are working towards on campus and find out how you can get involved with the many environmentally-minded student orgs!

RSVP HERE 

Environmental and Social Sustainability Grant Applications OPEN

January 10, 2024

Are you a UConn student with an idea that can push environmental and social sustainability forward at UConn and in Connecticut? Then apply for our Environmental and Social Sustainability Small Grants!

Projects must advance strategic sustainability goal areas AND related social challenges.

Deadline is March 1, 2024 at 4pm.

Winners will be selected by April 1, 2024.

Grant amounts may be up to $10k.

All projects must have a faculty or staff member acting as a mentor, and must have the ability to accept funds on behalf of your project.

Projects must be completed by the end of December 2024.

For all the details, deadlines and materials visit the grant info page.

Environmental and social sustainability grants logo

Share Your Sustainability Event with the Office of Sustainability

December 20, 2023

Is your student organization or department hosting an event related to sustainability? Need help getting the word out at UConn?

Fill out our new form and we may be able to share it on our social media channels, digital dashboard screens, and in our monthly newsletter.

Please give at least 2 weeks notice and know that we may not have the staff power to share all events, depending on our existing obligations.

Sustainability Event Form

 

*Note – don’t forget to add your event to the University Event Calendar and tag it “sustainability” for even greater viewership.

Sustainability Action Student Org Meet and Greet on Nov 16

November 1, 2023

Is your club involved with suSustainability student org meet and green on Nov. 16 2023 from 5:30-7pm in McHugh 102.stainability issues like environmental justice, agriculture, energy or more? Does your club want to be more involved? Let’s connect!

Meet with other clubs and the UConn Office of Sustainability between 5:30p and 7pm on Thursday November 16 in McHugh Hall, room 102. Pizza and beverages provided.

RSVP Here

Not part of a club yet? You’re invited too – see how you can get involved with the many UConn student organizations working on saving the environment.

Letter from the Director: World Vegan Day

Dear UConn Campus Community, 

Today, November 1st, is World Vegan Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Word Vegan Day also helps raise awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of animal agriculture. 

For several years I worked with some of California’s largest dairies to advance energy and water conservation efforts. My time on these farms was enough to convince me to stop eating dairy products and drastically cut my meat intake. Many of the operations that I encountered housed 5,000-10,000 dairy cows. These large scale confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s) are drastically different from the many small farms here in CT but they supply some of the biggest food distributors and restaurant chains in the world with an unsustainable and unethical product.  I urge you to shop local and think about the impacts of these CAFO’s before visiting your local chain for a burger. Here is why. 

Family farms vs industrial-scale dairy and meat production 

There is a significant difference between family farms and industrial-scale dairy and meat production. Family farms are typically smaller, more diversified, and more sustainable. They often raise animals on pasture and use fewer antibiotics and hormones. Industrial-scale dairy and meat production, on the other hand, is characterized by large-scale CAFOs, where animals are too-frequently raised in crowded and unsanitary conditions. CAFOs have a very large environmental impact, sucking up precious ground water (especially in the case of Central CA) and are a major source of air and water pollution. Additionally, these industrial facilities contribute to climate change and antibiotic resistance. 

Social impacts of industrial-scale dairy and meat production 

There are also significant social impacts of meat and dairy production. For instance, workers in the meat and dairy industry often face poor working conditions and low wages. They are at increased risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and diseases. Communities near CAFOs often suffer from air and water pollution, and they may also experience decreased property values. Sadly, many farm workers are food insecure and live in food deserts. 

Environmental impacts of industrial-scale dairy and meat production 

Industrial-scale dairy and meat production is a major contributor to climate change, water pollution, and biodiversity loss. It is also a major consumer of land and resources. 

So….. What can we do? 

There are a number of things we can do to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of dairy and meat production. One is to choose to buy meat and dairy products from family farms whenever possible. We can also reduce our overall consumption of meat and dairy products. And we can support policies that promote sustainable and ethical agriculture. 

I encourage you to learn more about the social and environmental impacts of dairy and meat production, and to make choices that support a more sustainable and ethical food system.  To start, you can check out: 

https://sustainablefood.uconn.edu/ 

https://portal.ct.gov/DOAG/Marketing/Marketing/Organic-Farms-Listing  

https://ctgrown.org/ 

Sincerely, 

Joe Fullerton 

Director of the Office of Sustainability  

University of Connecticut 

Letter from the Director: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 9, 2023

Dear UConn Campus Community, 

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I write to you to honor and celebrate the rich history, culture, and contributions of Indigenous peoples across our nation and around the world. I see Indigenous Peoples’ day is an opportunity for reflection, mindfulness and unity, to acknowledge and support Indigenous communities.

Before I go on, however, please take a moment to acknowledge the land on which our university stands. The University of Connecticut is located on the traditional lands of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Nipmuc, and Lenape peoples. Especially as an Office dedicated to cultivating a healthy relationship between humans and the environment, we honor and respect the enduring relationship that exists between these Indigenous nations and their ancestral lands.

In the spirit Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the Office of Sustainability encourages all members of our community to learn about Indigenous history, culture, and contemporary issues. On campus, one of the best resources for this is the Native American Cultural Program: https://nacp.uconn.edu/.

In the coming months and years, we will engage deeply with the critical issue of environmental justice and will be sharing resources that provide opportunities for education, dialogue, and celebration of the many vibrant cultures and valuable perspectives of our community, including that of indigenous peoples.

I’d like to take a moment to encourage everyone to support Indigenous communities through acts of solidarity and allyship. One simple act is to understand the historical lands upon which you, your loved ones now stand: https://native-land.ca/

Also, I encourage participating in local events, supporting Indigenous-owned businesses, and advocating for Indigenous rights and environmental stewardship. A good place to start is here: https://career.uconn.edu/blog/2020/11/24/native-american-owned-small-businesses/

Indigenous Peoples’ Day reminds us to reflect and take action for an equitable, just and sustainable world. Let us use this day to honor the resilience and wisdom of Indigenous peoples while also acknowledging the challenges they continue to face.

Thank you for joining us in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and for your ongoing support in our shared commitment to sustainability and inclusivity at the University of Connecticut.

Sincerely, 

Joe Fullerton 

Director of the Office of Sustainability  

University of Connecticut 

Haunted HEEP 2023

October 3, 2023

I survived Haunted HEEP October 2023

Prepare to be scared at the annual Office of Sustainability Haunted HEEP (Hillside Environmental Education Park)! This thrilling 1 mile walk through the woods is sure to scare.

Date: Wednesday, October 25

Time: 7-9:30pm

Free! Do RSVP in advance though. We will have a VIP line for quicker access for those who pre-registered.

Rain date will be Thursday, October 26.

First come, first served, and we need to close promptly at 9:30pm. First 100 students will get a limited edition Haunted HEEP shirt.

Where: Entry will be at the HEEP Trailhead off of Discovery Drive and behind the Innovation Partnership Building. You can take the blue line, walk, or park your car in the IPB lot.

HEEP Trail Parking is behind the Innovation Partnership Building.

Volunteers Needed

We are currently recruiting volunteers to help put on the event. We need people willing to scare, and also to help with entry/exit. If you’ve ever wanted the chance to jump out of the bushes and scare your fellow UConn students, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

Does your club want to host a scary scene? Sign up here.

Do you want to volunteer on your own or with friends? Sign up here.

Volunteers will receive a limited edition Haunted HEEP shirt and pizza.

You must be able to be present from ~5pm onwards on October 25th.

You must attend a pre-event trail walk through to get oriented with the site. A walk through will be hosted on Saturday, October 14 from noon-1pm, and a second option on Saturday, October 21 from 2-3pm.