Green Campus Spotlight | Earth Day Network

Green Campus Spotlight

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The University of Cambridge in England has taken the next step toward sustainability by removing red meat from the menu of its food catering service. The change has decreased the land needed for the service to produce food and lowered its carbon footprint by a third, all while increasing profits. This is one of many changes the catering service has made since enacting the Sustainable Food Policy Plan in 2016 to decrease its environmental impact, other sustainability measures include cutting plastic waste and reusing cooking oil.

You can find the full report here. Colleges in the United States have also been busy building better food systems. Read more about these success stories here.

In Fall 2018, Seattle University’s board voted to fully divest the university’s endowment from fossil fuels within five years, becoming the first university in Washington State and the first Jesuit institution in the US to do so. The school also reduced water use by 25 percent, saving about $100,000 and 4 million gallons. After a waste management audit revealed the Redhawks weren’t always using the correct bins, the school held a rowdy recycling rally, and students doubled down on disposal education on campus. Seattle U’s pesticide-free, organically maintained grounds are nourished with compost made from dining hall food waste. Seattle U received the Tree Campus USA designation after developing a Tree Care Program that aims to ensure a sustainable campus urban forest.

Eighty faculty members conduct sustainability research, 62% of students are engaged in community service, and 400+ sustainability-related courses are offered. In June 2018, Seattle University received a gold STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and a few months later, the Princeton Review selected SU as one of the 26 “Green College Honor Roll” schools. SU also landed 13th on the Sierra Magazine annual “Cool Schools” ranking (2019).

Bard is focused on Climate Solutions by 2030. On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 Solve Climate by 2030 will moderate a conversation with sustainability professionals from across all 50 states, focused on solving the energy side of climate change by 2030. The two hour afternoon/evening will begin with a 15-minute national webinar introduction, followed by one-hour state-level webinars in each state, followed by one-hour community dialogues. The community level events will be hosted at colleges and universities, high schools, community groups and faith organizations. A university partner in each state will organize the state-level webinar.

The University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to creating a resilient campus and recognizes the impacts of climate change. The university has set goals to become a carbon neutral campus by 2050 and also to become a zero waste, net zero water and biodiverse campus. The UIC Climate Commitments consist of aspirational goals that offer visionary solutions for the future, short-term action items to ensure progress over the next five years, and educational experiences that train students to address 21st century problems. These efforts are jointly led by the Office of Sustainability and the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy (CCSE).

 

Students are brought together from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to create a dynamic team working to deepen the culture of sustainability on campus. UAB Sustainability Ambassadors participate in educational workshops about environmental, social, and economic sustainability and receive guidance and support in their efforts to engage the greater university community through an Earth Day Activity.

On Saturday, September 2nd, Earth Day Network participated in the 2nd annual ReNew the New cleanup in Radford, Virginia. Together with Radford University, New River Adventures, and others from the Radford community, the cleanup brought out close to 200 volunteers and collected 2,000 pounds of trash.

As part of a larger cleanup event organized through the New River Watershed Association Roundtable, Radford, along with four other neighboring counties, collected a grand total of 12,700 pounds of trash in a single day!

“I think the important thing is that people discover how we value our natural spaces,” – Radford Mayor David Horton.

The goal of Earth Day’s Great Global Cleanup™ is to inspire action and achieve tangible impacts on waste in our environment. Improved health, strong investments and sustainable growth can be achieved once people gain the expectation that their community will be clean. Every person has the right to live in a clean community.

Mason will celebrate Earth Month and Earth Day with a schedule of amazing programs and events over the course of April 2020.

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