“Making the Workplace More Sustainable,” an interactive staff sustainability workshop, helps participants identify, measure and promote sustainable practices in their work areas. Participants learn about UNC sustainability goals and initiatives, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. The upcoming, two-day training will be held Tuesday, February 23, and Thursday, February 25, from 8:30am - 12:30pm, at the Administrative Office Building on Airport Drive. Register soon through ConnectCarolina for “Workplace Sustainability 1,” space is limited. Read more »
Thursday, January 14, 2016
EcoReps are Carolina’s trained peer-to-peer sustainability outreach team. Learn about campus sustainability initiatives that advance ecological integrity, economic prosperity, and societal well-being. Then, learn the skills needed to effectively engage other students. Spring semester training will be held on Sunday, January 31, from 11am-4pm in the Student Union, room 3209, and counts as a Public Service Scholars Skills Training. Register now »
Students now have the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and a master's in mass communication over the course of five years at Carolina. The program is a unique partnership between the School of Media and Journalism and the Curriculum for Environment and Ecology, with support from Honors Carolina. An information session about the program will be held on Thursday, January 21, from 5-7pm in the Freedom Forum Conference Center (room 305) of Carroll Hall. Faculty from the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology and the School of Media and Journalism will provide information and a current program student will share her experience. Register here »
The 3rd Annual NC Clean Tech Summit will be held on February 18-19 at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill. This year’s event will feature a number of experts, stakeholders, and industry leaders offering their perspectives on success stories from the clean tech industry and the challenges ahead. Register by January 15 for the early bird rate. Read more »
The 2016 State Energy Conference, April 20-21 at NC State University, brings together decision-makers, engineers, planners, and thought leaders to examine the impacts of energy technologies, policy, and finance of the energy marketplace. Students have several opportunities to get involved: showcase energy-focused research and projects as poster presentations; volunteer for complimentary registration; and attend the Cleantech Connect Career Fair for internship and job opportunities. Read more »
Are you a second- or third-year undergraduate student with leadership and public service experience? Are you interested in American Indian nations or environmental issues? If so, you may be eligible to receive The Udall Scholarship. The award includes access to professionals, skill training, internship opportunities, and up to $7,000 for eligible academic expenses. Endorsement application submissions, including letters of recommendation, are due by Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 5pm. Email ODS (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Read more »
The UNC Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology invites all students with research interests in ecology and the environment to present their work at the annual CEE Student Research Symposium, to be held on Friday, February 26 from 11am- 5pm on UNC's main campus. Registration is free and open until Friday, January 29. Contact Dennis Tarasi (email@example.com) with questions or concerns. Apply now »
The Odyssey Fellowship Program is a 10-week residential immersion program for young adults ages 18-28. Fellows spend their days learning important practical life skills in regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and ecological sustainability. The program is currently accepting applications for the spring and fall sessions of 2016. Read more »
The Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award recognizes outstanding engagement and service to North Carolina communities. All students, faculty, staff, and official student organizations are eligible. Submit a nomination by February 3. Read more»
The Carolina Center for Public Service is currently accepting applications for the Community Engagement Fellowship program, which awards a maximum of five fellowships of up to $2,000 each year for projects that employ innovative, sustainable approaches to complex social needs. Returning, full-time graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill are eligible to apply. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal by February 8.
The Mingma Norbu Sherpa Fellowship provides $1,250 to support undergraduate or graduate field study and engaged research in environmental areas. Preference will be given to students in the Buckley Public Service Scholars program who are majoring in business, environmental or economics disciplines. Apply online by February 8. Read more»
More than four decades after the Clean Water Act, agriculture has become the biggest threat to water quality in many parts of the United States. Phosphorus and nitrogen from manure and synthetic fertilizers are causing problems not only in the Midwest, but also in places like the Gulf of Mexico, where a “dead zone” the size of the state of Connecticut has formed. Farmers are becoming more aware of agricultural nutrient pollution and many are adopting practices known to curb, if not eliminate, nutrient pollution. Read more »
Recent climate negotiations in Paris show that world leaders are capable of fast political movement, but a growing chorus of academics and city-level planners are saying that major cities on the U.S. coast—where nearly 39% of Americans live—are not preparing for the inevitable rise in sea levels. Legal experts are looking at cases that could set a precedent to hold policymakers accountable for inaction. “You are enforcing by not enforcing,” said Victor Flatt, the director of the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources at the UNC School of Law. “If you know that the whole system is going under and that there is high likelihood that deaths or property damage can result from failing to alter your building codes or your zoning, once the knowledge is out there it becomes difficult.” While direct legal pressure is not being applied to city officials as yet, environmental activists are pressuring Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate corporate leaders for hiding the risks of climate change from the public. Read more »
Researchers have long suspected that climate change leads to stronger and more frequent algal blooms, and a new fusion of climate and watershed models have proven those suspicions right. For Lake Erie, the number of severe blooms will likely double over the next 100 years. The findings hold implications for hundreds of coastal regions around the world where nutrient runoff and climate change intersect, causing a toxic algae problem. Hans Paerl, of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UNC, is evaluating a variety of algae mitigation and control strategies. "It should be noted," he said, "that no matter what types of physical or chemical treatments we use to mitigate blooms, they should be accompanied by nutrient input reductions.” Read more »
Next time you do your laundry, consider using a wool dryer ball instead of commercial fabric softeners which can contain harmful chemicals and perfumes. Wool dryer balls are natural, reusable fabric softeners that reduce wrinkles and save energy by decreasing drying time.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Monday, December 7, 2015
Long-term solutions to climate change will require profound changes in how we think about energy. At the same time, there are everyday things we can do to reduce our personal contributions to greenhouse gases. Check out these seven simple guidelines for thinking about carbon emissions. Read more »
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Carolina joined more than 200 colleges and universities across the nation in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge. Announced by the White House just ahead of the Conference on Climate Change in Paris, the pledge demonstrates the signatories’ commitment to “accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across campus.” Read the full pledge and list of signatories here.
Carolina specifically pledged to build on existing investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and public transportation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by:
• Transitioning to burning more natural gas instead of coal as an interim fuel strategy at our award winning 32 megawatt combined heat and power plant.
• Investing in more LED lighting and demand responsive HVAC systems. UNC-Chapel Hill has already reduced energy consumption by 29% per square foot since 2003, thus avoiding $260 million in energy costs and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
• Examining opportunities to expand our use of GHG-intensive methane gas to generate electricity. UNC already operates a 1 MW generator that produces electricity from landfill gas.
• Working with the town to implement our recently developed bicycle master plans. UNC already sponsors a fare-free transit system, along with the town, that provides 7 million rides annually.
The new Edible Campus project promotes a landscape of fresh produce and herbs accessible to all. Over 80 students and community members recently participated in the first planting day, facilitated by Grounds Services employees. Volunteers planted over 300 edible plants around campus, including blueberry bushes, persimmon trees, and artichoke plants. Read more »
Earlier this year, Colorado State University (CSU) became the first university to achieve a Platinum rating in sustainability from AASHE STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). CSU has now announced the new Master of Greenhouse Gas Management & Accounting to provide an interdisciplinary approach to greenhouse gas quantification and mitigation efforts. The program leverages world-leading climate change expertise and enables students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, such as environmental studies, business, engineering, natural resources, and agriculture, to develop the skills needed for emerging professions in greenhouse gas management and accounting. Read more »
The Carolina Center for Public Service is currently accepting applications for the Community Engagement Fellowship program, which awards a maximum of five fellowships of up to $2,000 each year for projects that employ innovative, sustainable approaches to complex social needs. Returning, full-time graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill are eligible to apply. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal by February 8, 2016.
Asheville City Council recently adopted the Community Clean Energy Policy Framework, a blueprint for implementing the city’s 2013 pledge to transition to a clean energy economy. Developed by a diverse group of residents and city staff, elected officials, and business owners over a two-year period, the framework includes next steps and practical strategies for innovative ways to reduce energy needs. Read more »
APPLES is soliciting proposals for $5,000 service-learning course development grants from faculty and instructors who teach undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Up to seven $5,000 grants will be awarded to develop new or modify existing courses that integrate community-based service and promote service-learning pedagogy at UNC-Chapel Hill. For eligibility criteria and application information, click here. Applications are open through February 22, 2016, through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Carolina celebrates America Recycles Day on Wednesday, November 11! Head over to the Great Hall in the Student Union from 11am-2pm for a swap shop, composting demo, Carolina Green pledge drive, update on UNC’s Strategic Sustainability Plan, and more! Learn how Tar Heels reduce, reuse, and recycle on campus and at home. Read more »
At a recent two-day climate change summit in San Diego, UC President Janet Napolitano vowed to turn the system’s 10 campuses into a living laboratory for sustainability solutions that can be scaled up to state, national, and global levels. The university agreed to buy 80 megawatts of solar power—the largest purchase by any U.S. university— and to also target $1 billion of its investment portfolio toward renewable energy and other climate-change solutions over the next five years. The plan will be presented at next month's Climate Conference in Paris. Read more »
On November 19, the White House and the State Department will bring together leadership from higher education institutions, including school administrators and student leaders, to encourage a strong agreement at the December Climate Conference in Paris and call for a low-carbon, sustainable future. Students and school leadership will join high-level government officials, celebrities, NGOs, and business leaders in a live-streamed event that facilitates meaningful dialogue on climate change solutions and activates young people. Read more »
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), U.S. Green Building Council, (USGBC), Second Nature, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recently unveiled a shared vision to advance sustainability by working more closely together for the benefit of higher education institutions. Their vision is that:
By 2025, 20 million graduates across all majors will be global sustainability citizens: learning about relationships between natural, physical, economic, social, and cultural systems; understanding how their personal and professional choices impact these systems; and having the agency to create solutions that allow people and the environment to thrive.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Launched by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is the world's largest celebration of innovators and job creators who bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and improve human welfare. UNC will host a weeklong series of events from November 16-21 to reach across all disciplines and the Triangle community. This event is free and open to the public and features workshops, competitions, networking, and more. Read more »
Imagine taking a study break from the library to harvest a snack. The new edible campus project promotes a landscape of fresh produce and herbs accessible to all. Emily Auerbach, Chancellor’s Fellow and recent UNC graduate, is leading the project with Facilities Planning and Design and members of student government. Volunteer to plant the first seeds of the edible garden on Saturday, November 21, at 2pm. Email Emily Auerbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Read more »
The NC Triangle Chapter of WTS - Advancing Women in Transportation is currently collecting applications for scholarship opportunities for women pursuing transportation-related study. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and focus on transportation-related issues. As an added incentive, the NC Triangle Chapter may award separate scholarship funds to the most qualified students submitting applications. Applications are due by Friday, November 13. Read more »
The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University announces the launch of a free, open-source, online learning module to explore Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis (FCA). FCA is a problem solving method using systems thinking to account for economic, societal, and environmental costs. The module is also designed to be easily incorporated into preexisting course syllabi or as the foundation for new courses. Read more »
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Thomson Reuters recently ranked the “Top 100 Innovative Universities.” Stanford University was ranked 1st globally, UNC-Chapel Hill was ranked 15th, and Duke University followed at 17th. Carolina received $792 million in research grants and contracts in fiscal year 2014. Students and faculty have launched more than 150 businesses, creating 38,000 jobs worldwide and generating more than $7 billion in annual revenue. Read more »
Carolina Dining Services (CDS) serves more than 4 million meals a year and is always on the look-out for food from local and organic producers. Nearly 30% of all food served comes from within 150 miles of campus and nearly 20% is ecologically sound, fair, and humane. Local foods purchased from within 250 miles of campus are available daily and include fresh produce, dairy products, and baked goods. CDS was also recently awarded a Gold Medal from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) for outstanding performance in sustainability education and Grand Prize for Excellence in Sustainability for its inaugural “Feeding the 5,000” event. Other CDS sustainability initiatives include a reusable container program, tray-free dining, fryer oil recycling, and weekly food donations to food banks. Read more »
Keep your room naturally clean with a sustainable, non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner. Instead of using chemical-based products, make a simple mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and water. Add essential oils for a mild, clean fragrance. Read more »
The Center for Design Innovation (CDI), a multi-campus research center within the University of North Carolina system, catalyzes economic transformation through design-focused activity and digital technologies. A recent move to a new building in the Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem comes with expanded labs, classrooms, and meeting rooms for entrepreneurs, inventors, and designers. “The Center for Design Innovation blends the arts, technology, and science of creativity to inspire entrepreneurial enterprise and the next generation of the 21st Century workforce,” says Pamela L. Jennings, CDI’s executive director. Read more »
Bee City USA, based in Asheville, NC, recently announced a new national program, Bee Campus USA, to protect pollinators and increase awareness about their benefits. Southern Oregon University has been named the first Bee Campus USA. Bee City USA director, Phyllis Stiles says, "Hard-working pollinators are responsible for about every third bite we eat, and 85 percent of the world’s flowering plant species need a pollinator’s help in order to reproduce. Recognizing the serious threats faced by the thousands of species of bees, butterflies, bats, beetles, and hummingbirds that make our planet bloom and fruit, we feel very fortunate to have found such an outstanding partner in pollinator protection.” Carrboro, NC, is the third city to be recognized as a Bee City. Read more »
Every two years, UNC's Social Innovation Initiative holds a pan-university challenge open to all students, faculty, and staff interested in launching social ventures. Ten ventures are selected for a two-year residency at CUBE, UNC’s social innovation incubator, and can receive up to $5,000 in seed funding. There are eight different tracks: environment, health, education, socio-economic development, technology, sports, arts, and food. A kickoff informational event will be held on Wednesday, October 7 from 6-7:30pm in the Campus Y, and will include an opportunity to meet this years mentors-in residence and receive feedback on your idea. Applications for the Challenge are due by December 27, 2015. Read more »
UNC and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB), a top business school in India, are co-recipients of a 3-year grant to advance sustainability education in the US and India. As part of the collaboration, Professor PD Jose is offering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Strategy and the Sustainable Enterprise,” which includes short videos about social entrepreneurship from UNC Professor Carol Hee’s BUSI 507 class. “Strategy and the Sustainable Enterprise” is packed with insightful lectures, case studies, interviews, and peer-group discussions to provide a competitive advantage. The free online course began September 29 but there is an option for late enrollment. Read more »
The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) is hosting an upcoming conference for sustainability-minded students implementing waste reduction programs on their college and university campuses across the country. The Students for Zero Waste Conference will be held October 9-10 at the University of New Hampshire. Travel scholarships are available. Read more »
Recent graduates receive hands-on experience while working to solve urgent environmental problems with Green Corps' year-long paid program. Green Corps connects graduates with environmental and progressive groups to help build their organizations, create social change, and protect the environment. The early application closes on October 11th. Read more »