Taking Care of Business – ESS Grantee in the News!

September 20, 2022

We’re definitely proud of the student team at Spring Valley Student Farm and their work building a composting, ADA-compliant privy! Learn more about the project and why it’s so beneficial on community and environmental bases in the UConn Today article: https://today.uconn.edu/2022/09/taking-care-of-business-sustainably-at-uconns-spring-valley-student-farm/

Do you have an idea that promotes environmental and social sustainability in Connecticut? Apply for our ESS grant by October 11!

The Case for Not Despairing Over the Fate of the Earth – Podcast

September 15, 2022

Institute of the Environment Executive Director Mike Willig was recently featured on the UConn360 podcast!

Episode 102: The Case for Not Despairing Over the Fate of the Earth

We’re joined by Michael Willig, executive director of the Institute of the Environment and a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who talks about why he doesn’t lose hope even in the face of grim news about the climate and environment. One of the things that encourages him is the work that UConn is doing on a number of fronts, which he tells us about. He also discusses what it was like to start his field career in a remote corner of Brazil, and how that taught him about more than just evolutionary biology. Afterwards, we travel back to the Golden Age of Radio to meet a UConn professor reluctant to relive his childhood celebrity.

Listen to the episode HERE!

Funding Opportunity: Environmental and Social Sustainability Small Grants OPEN!

September 8, 2022

Environmental and Social Sustainability Small Grants Program

The Office of Sustainability and the Institute of the Environment started a funding program to support student-faculty projects that enhance environmental sustainability and campus-wide engagement with sustainability issues at the University of Connecticut and in Connecticut communities through research, authentic community engagement, campus operations, or education. Projects must increase both environmental and social sustainability at UConn, and address one or more of UConn’s strategic sustainability goal areas (climate change, energy and buildings, waste, outreach and engagement, water resources, food and dining, purchasing, transportation, or grounds, open space and conservation areas) and one or more related social challenges (fostering inclusion of diverse perspectives, addressing systematic inequalities, environmental justice, social and health inequity, community development, etc). Project activities occur at any of the UConn campuses and extend to Connecticut communities outside of the University campuses. Special consideration is given to interdisciplinary projects that advance equity and justice or incorporate the arts and humanities. Funded teams present their project findings and impacts at a symposium in the Fall following their Spring award.

Application Opens: Sept 8, 2022

Application Closes: 4:00pm on October 11, 2022

 

Decisions will be made in early December 2022. Funding will be provided to selected grantees in January 2023.

Fall ’22 Call for Proposals

Eligibility: All currently enrolled University of Connecticut undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. Students must be full-time during the time period of the grant. Applications can be submitted by an individual student or teams of students. Students can lead only one proposal each and can collaborate on up to three proposals (but can participate in no more than three proposals total).

Faculty/Staff Mentor Requirements: Each project must have at least one faculty or staff mentor who submits a support form with the application and will actively participate in the project. Mentors must be able to accept and manage grant funds on the students’ behalf. This includes responsibility for any student hiring. The mentor is responsible for ensuring the project budget is executed according to UConn policies and procedures, adheres to the guidelines outlined in this application and is expended at least three weeks before the close of the fiscal year. Faculty/staff members can collaborate on no more than three student proposals each.

Funding: Limited funding is available for proposed projects with budgets up to $10,000. Proposals should provide strong justification for all budgetary items. Awards will be announced by December 2022. Funds will transfer early January 2023 and should be fully spent by June 30, 2023.

Deadlines: For full consideration, all proposal documents must be submitted by October 11, 2022 at 4:00pm  Letters of support from faculty or staff members may be submitted through the google form application or via email to sustainability@uconn.edu. Projects should not extend past the start of Fall ’23.

How to Apply: There is a google form application which asks for contact information and a few short essay questions. You are also required to submit a project budget and faculty mentor support form. Download each form, complete, and then you can upload them into the google form application.

APPLY HERE

Grantee in NBC News!

September 7, 2022

The UConn Swap Shop, one of the grantees of the inaugural Environmental and Social Sustainability Grants program, was featured in an NBC Connecticut news story. Read the full article here:

https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/uconn-student-creates-clothing-swap-shop-on-campus/2864689/

Anyone with a UConn ID, students or faculty can shop at the swap shop by bringing in an item they no longer wear. Each item gets a credit based on its quality and brand name and then shoppers can walk away with a new item.”

Environmental and Social Sustainability Grantee in the News!

August 31, 2022

Swap Don’t Shop: Sustainable Fashion is Coming to UConn

UConn Today published a story about one of our Environmental and Social Sustainability Small Grants awardees on August 31, 2022.

Grantee Madeline Kizer is part of the team of UConn students bringing the Swap Shop to life on campus. From the article:

“Cheap clothing has created a culture of “disposable fashion” also known as fast fashion.”

“If something is so cheap, that’s how you know it’s not sustainable,” says Madeline Kizer ’24 (BUS) who is determined to educate as many people as possible about fast fashion and sustainable alternatives. She and other UConn students have established the UConn Swap Shop, a second-hand clothing store aimed at promoting sustainable shopping habits which will open its doors on Thursday, September 8th in the Family Studies Building.”

“We want to raise awareness about sustainability and get people to talk about it,” she says. “If we can get more people to shop sustainably and raise awareness of the issues, hopefully, we can create change.”

The Swap Shop is a place where students can donate clothes or swap for different items.  Besides swapping clothes, Kizer says the shop will host events.

“We’re also planning to host sewing and upcycling workshops where we will teach people how to upcycle and the reasons for why we’re doing this,” Kizer says. “We also want to create other educational workshops or a talk series about fast fashion in general.”

Read the full story on UConn Today.

Green Game Day Sept 10 – Volunteers Needed

August 29, 2022

volunteers smiling outside of green game day tentVolunteers needed for the 13th annual Football Green Game Day (GGD)! GGD is an event organized by UConn’s Office of Sustainability and UConn Athletics. GGD volunteers are responsible for collecting recyclables from tailgaters prior to the start of the game and promoting environmental awareness to the thousands of UConn Husky fans in attendance! Without volunteers like you, this event would not be possible. This year Football Green Game Day will be held on September 10th, as the Huskies take on the University of Syracuse at Rentschler Field at 7:00pm. Free transportation, dinner, and a ticket to the game will be provided to all volunteers. Please bring your own water bottle and sunscreen! The buses to the stadium will be departing from Hillside Road in front of the Student Union at 2:45 PM. Volunteers can either choose to take one of our buses back to campus around half-time (approx. 9:00 PM) or stay later and take one of the free Husky Roadshow buses back to campus.

Sign up: https://uconn.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1LKdQmAu4jG3SWG

Carbon Neutral Commuter Program Launches at UConn

July 8, 2022

New! Take your commute out of the climate by joining the Carbon Neutral Commuter Program. Donate $5 to help offset the 13,000 metric tons of carbon that are emitted by UConn commuters annually.

Staff and student personal vehicle commuting at UConn contributes over 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. That contributes to approximately 12% of UConn’s annual carbon footprint, and is equivalent to burning 1.5 million gallons of gasoline. Historically, UConn has very limited influence over this significant portion of its carbon footprint because it doesn’t own or choose the cars that employees and students drive. Now we’re offering an option for commuters to offset their commute’s carbon emissions. Anyone who chooses to participate can enroll in the Carbon Neutral Commuter Program (CNCP) after purchasing their parking pass.

 

What Is It?

A voluntary annual donation of $5 (or more if you’d like!) that goes towards projects that effectively prevent carbon emissions from being emitted into the atmosphere. These carbon negative projects work to offset the carbon emissions created by employees and students through their commute to campus.

How Do I Participate?

You can become a member at any point by making a donation! We recommend making your donation annually right after you purchase or renew your parking permit on the Parking Services website.

How Does My Donation Combat Climate Change?

For the inaugural year of the CNCP, 100% of funds raised by the program will be used to purchase third-party verified carbon offsets. Verified carbon offsets are projects that reduce, remove or avoid emission of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (or equivalent) from going into the atmosphere. Offsets must meet the OS’s stringent environmental integrity and environmental justice standards. Moving forward, the OS is forming a committee of students, faculty and staff who will convene to determine the best ways to direct CNCP funds in order to support the goals of offsetting commuter emissions, supporting students and local communities, and addressing historical environmental injustices. To learn more about carbon offsets and the program in detail, please see our FAQ section on the CNCP page.

Learn more: https://sustainability.uconn.edu/uconn-carbon-neutral-commuter-program/

Donate + Join: https://www.foundation.uconn.edu/fund/campus-sustainability-fund/?utm_source=uconn&utm_medium=web&utm_term=XXDDG072301 

Campus Sustainability Fund

Environmental and Social Sustainability Grantee in the News!

July 7, 2022

Saving the Planet, One Clothing Swap at a Time

CT Health I-Team published a story about one of our Environmental and Social Sustainability Small Grants awardees on July 5, 2022.

Grantee Madeline Kizer is part of the team of UConn students bringing the Swap Shop to life on campus. From the article:

“According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “The [Fast Fashion] textiles system operates in an almost completely linear way: large amounts of non-renewable
resources are extracted to produce clothes that are often used for only a short time, after which the materials are mostly sent to landfill or incinerated,” under-utilizing recycling. And, many of the industry workers are women, age 18-24, who are exploited working long hours, making low wages, reports re/make.”

Madeline Kizer of Wallingford hosts clothing swaps to promote second-hand shopping, aiming to raise awareness of fast fashion’s impact on the environment.”

For the rest of the summer, Kizer and two classmates are finalizing UConn Swap Shop, an on-campus thrift store. Students will have the opportunity to swap clothing, each item having a designated point value. Kizer recalled being a freshman without a car on-campus and wanting to thrift in her free time. She hopes that the thrift store will teach students the importance of shopping second-hand.”

Read the full story on CT Health I-Team.