Friday, May 8, 2015

Green Tip

Get in gear for the rest of the year! May is National Bike Month. Regional events include workshops, route mapping, inspections, and organized rides. Check out the Bike Month calendar for a full list of events »

Carolina Serves “Food for All” as Next Campus Theme

All areas of campus will come together at a common table to examine food and food studies as the 2015-2017 university-wide academic theme. “Food for All: Local and Global Perspectives” will examine wide-ranging topics including food cultures and nutrition, food security, world hunger, agricultural economics, resource management, sustainable development, climate change and international trade. “‘Food for All’ is the perfect successor to the ‘Water in Our World’ theme,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “With alliances like UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Global Research Institute and the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, Carolina can leverage its world-class resources to guide our focus on food over the next two years. Through this initiative, we can bring our community together to address this global issue that plays a critical role across many facets of our society.” A multidisciplinary committee including faculty, staff, students, and community partners will motivate conversation and research about food-focused scholarship and public engagement. The committee will also encourage and support food-related activities, such as new courses, digital humanities projects, film and documentary work, speaker series, scholar and artist-in-residence programs, performing arts events and local and regional service projects. The committee will be led by co-chairs Alice Ammerman and Marcie Cohen Ferris, both UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members with diverse experience and deep-rooted interest in food issues and food studies. Read more »

Don’t Ditch It — Donate It During Student Move-Out

As you prepare to move out of your residence hall or apartment, you may discover items you don’t want or need to take with you. Consider donating used items to local non-profits. The Department of Housing and Residential Education (DHRE), Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR), and Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) are partnering to collect usable items from donation stations in campus residential communities. TROSA will use the donations within their furnished residences and will sell surplus items to benefit their non-profit comprehensive treatment and work training programs. Check out the “zero-waste” move-out guide for more information. Off-campus students can recycle many items at the Orange County Solid Waste Recycling Center on Eubanks Road, or contact Orange County Solid Waste Management to set up a collection area in your community. And for a list of organizations that accept household donations, click here. Donations support local non-profits, reduce your carbon footprint, strengthen the reuse economy, and preserve resources. Learn more about local resources for recycling and waste reduction »

Learn to Lead Staff Sustainability Efforts

“Making the Workplace More Sustainable,” an interactive staff sustainability workshop, helps participants identify, measure, and promote sustainable change opportunities in their work areas. Participants learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. The upcoming, two-day training will be held Tuesday, May 19, and Thursday, May 21, from 8:30AM – 12:30PM, at the Administrative Office Building on Airport Drive. Register soon through Connect Carolina for “Workplace Sustainability 1,” space is limited. Read more »

Carolina Recognized as "Green College" by Princeton Review

"The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition" recognizes Carolina as a national leader in campus sustainability. The free downloadable guide, published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), profiles campus commitments to sustainability based on academic offerings, career preparation, policies, initiatives, and activities. UNC-Chapel Hill (#31) and Warren Wilson College (#17) are the only North Carolina schools to make the top 50. Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon ranked 1st. Read more »

New “Climate Stories” Multimedia Site from the Institute for the Environment

Climate Stories NC, a new multimedia storytelling project, documents stories from North Carolinians about the ways in which their property, business, favorite activities, or way of life is affected by climate change. The project raises awareness about the changing climate. Read more »

Carolina Supports the Northside Neighborhood Initiative

Carolina is making a $3 million, 10-year, no-interest loan to help stabilize the Northside neighborhood. Located north of Rosemary and west of Columbia streets, Northside has historically been the largest African-American community in Chapel Hill. The initiative is a partnership between the University, the town and two nonprofits, Self-Help and the Jackson Center. Self-Help, a Durham-based community developer, will manage the $3 million loan to achieve shared goals of helping longtime residents stay in their homes, attracting new residents from diverse backgrounds, and increasing the availability of housing and financing options for neighborhood properties. Read more »

Colorado State University Earns First-Ever STARS Platinum Rating

Colorado State University is the first campus to achieve platinum status, the highest possible achievement, under the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). “This STARS rating reaffirms that CSU is a national leader in building a sustainable, environmentally responsible campus community,” said President Tony Frank. Carolina submitted its second STARS report in summer 2014 and received a gold rating. Read more »

Apply to Attend the Appalachian Energy Summit, July 13-15

The 2015 Appalachian Energy Summit (AES) is the fourth annual gathering for the University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge. Campus leaders from North Carolina’s 17 public institutions, six private university partners, and select leaders from other states will gather at Appalachian State. North Carolina students from all disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Read more » 

Carolina in The News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC: 

The Characteristics of a Comprehensive Wellness Program
There are many health and business benefits to a comprehensive corporate wellness program. Only 7% of companies surveyed in a nationally representative study offer what Laura Linnan, a professor of public health at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and head of the CDC-funded Workplace Health Research Network, calls a “comprehensive program.” Linnan, who is developing a new national survey of the corporate wellness landscape, identifies five practices that define a wellness program: programs are practical and accessible, the work environment is health-conscious, wellness is integrated into the company’s structure, wellness is linked to existing support programs, and health screenings and education are offered. “You have to have an understanding of what your work force’s health needs are,” said Linnan. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at

UNC Sustainability Office – Website Content and Communications Internship – NC

Keep America Beautiful – Manager, Recycling Programs – Washington, DC

Green America Center for Sustainability Solutions – Director – Washington, DC

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

LoMoMarket – Communications & Marketing Intern – NC

Conservation Trust for North Carolina – AmeriCorps Program Director – NC

Duke University – Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Outreach Coordinator – NC

Western North Carolina Nature Center – AmeriCorps Project Conserve Volunteer & Education Associate – NC

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association – Local Produce Safety Coordinator – NC

Climate Advisers – Associate – Washington, DC

University of Florida – Construction Projects Sustainability Coordinator – FL

The Nature Conservancy – Ecological Monitoring and Land Stewardship Intern – GA

Green Building Alliance – 2030 Transportation Fellow: Commuter Survey – PA

AASHE – Member Services Coordinator – PA

University of Pennsylvania – Sustainability Coordinator – PA

University of Oklahoma – Technical Specialist, Energy Conservation & Sustainability # 20398 – OK

University of Utah Sustainability Office – Communication & Outreach Coordinator – UT

Eastern Kentucky University – Sustainability Manager – KY

Luther College – Energy and Waste Fellow – IA

Lake Texoma - Oil and Gas Facility Assessor / GIS Analyst Intern – OK

Sonoran Desert Network – Data Management Intern – AZ

University of California – Energy and Sustainability Manager – CA

Alliance to Save Energy – Program Associate – CA

Amargosa Conservancy – Resource Management Intern – CA

University of Hawaii Maui College – Instructor/Associate Professor, Sustainable Science Management – HI

Petersburg National Battlefield – Resource Management Intern – VA

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Majora Carter Announced as Earth Day Keynote Speaker

Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist and social-enterprise pioneer, will deliver the Campus Earth Week Keynote Address on Wednesday, April 15, at 6pm, in Carroll Hall, room 111. Carter has redefined the field of environmental equality. She started in the South Bronx at the turn of the century and is now a leader in the local economic development movement across the United States. She is a visionary voice in city planning who views urban renewal through an environmental lens and with a focus on historically underserved and minority populations. Carter's confidence, energy and intensely emotional delivery make her talks themselves a force of nature. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Read more »

Make Your Voice Heard: Provide Input to UNC’s Strategic Sustainability Plan

To maintain its role as a national and international leader in sustainability, UNC-Chapel Hill is developing a Strategic Sustainability Plan to build upon the University’s many successful initiatives to date. The goal is to create a cohesive vision for embedding sustainability into the full range of campus activities, including teaching, research, operations, and engagement. The campus community is invited to participate in Town Hall meetings to provide input on current sustainability initiatives and aspirations for the future. Mark your calendar for an opportunity to participate: 

  • Tuesday, March 31: Campus Sustainability Town Hall, 12:30-2:00pm @ Toy Lounge, Dey Hall 
  • Tuesday, March 31: Student Sustainability Town Hall, 6:00-7:30pm @ Student Union, Room 3411
  • Wednesday, April 1: Staff Town Hall, 9:30-11:00am @ Toy Lounge, Dey Hall 
  • Wednesday, April 1: Faculty Town Hall, 12:30-2:00pm @ Toy Lounge, Dey Hall 
  • Town Halls for a mix of students, faculty, and staff interested in specific themes will be held on Tuesday, April 21, from 12:30-2:00 and 3:30-5:00 at a location to be determined and Wednesday, April 22, Earth Day, from 2:30-4:00pm @ Student Union, Room 3206A/B. 
  • An open Earth Day Town Hall for all members of the campus community will be held on Wednesday, April 22, from 11:30am-1:00pm @ Student Union, Room 3206A/B. 

Volunteer opportunities with our world-class consultants are available for students. Two to three students are needed to help with: 

  • Documentation of Sustainability Advisory Committee meeting, on March 18, 3:30-4:30pm in Graham Memorial 035. Photograph the Sustainability Advisory Committee working sessions and outcomes for inclusion in future Sustainability Strategic Plan-related updates and publications. 
  • Participate with consultant team conducting on-campus “intercept interviews,” March 18-19 Shadow consultant team during initial “intercept interviews” gathering student opinion on sustainability at UNC, and be trained to conduct additional interviews independently between 3/19 and 3/31. 

Interested students should contact Amelia Aboff at or via text at 917-696-8677. Additional opportunities for involvement will be available in the coming months – for more information as these come up, please contact Cindy Shea at the UNC Sustainability Office at

To find out the latest on the Strategic Sustainability Plan and upcoming events, read more »

What’s the Big Idea: Food for Thought

The UNC Friday Center presents four lectures on food history, culture, sustainability, and regulation as part of the next What’s the Big Idea? series. UNC-Chapel Hill researchers Marcie Cohen Ferris, Alice Ammerman, and Barry M. Popkin will present research findings, and a special session with UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt will conclude the series with a preview of the new pan-campus theme, “Feeding a Hungry World.” The talks run from April 9-30, from 7-8:30pm at the Friday Center. Each session is $10 or attend the entire series for $30. Read more »

Learn to Lead Staff Sustainability Efforts

“Making the Workplace More Sustainable,” an interactive staff sustainability workshop, helps participants identify, measure and promote sustainable change opportunities in their work areas. Participants learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. The upcoming, two-day training will be held Tuesday, May 19, and Thursday, May 21, from 8:30AM – 12:30PM, at the Administrative Office Building on Airport Drive. Register soon through Connect Carolina for “Workplace Sustainability 1,” space is limited. Read more »

Sustainable Speaker Series at CCCC Pittsboro Campus

Students for Sustainability at the CCCC Pittsboro Campus work on environmental conservation and educational events. Learn about the economic and ecological benefits of the Haw River at “The Haw River is Our Home,” on Wednesday at 7 pm, on the Chatham County Campus in Pittsboro. On March 25, learn how NC Waste Awareness and Reduction educates and engages the public on clean energy at “Building People Power for Climate and Energy Justice,” also at 7pm, at the Chatham Community Library Mary Hayes Holmes Conference Room. Read more »

Bill Introduced to Legalize Third-Party Electricity Sales in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of only 5 states that prohibits third-party sales of electricity. Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland, has introduced a bill that would allow renewable-energy developers to sell power directly to customers in North Carolina, bypassing the state's utilities. The “Energy Freedom Act” could enhance competition and consumer choice, increase development of renewable energy projects, and make the state an even more attractive place to work and live by contributing to a clean and healthy environment. The bill would take effect July 1. Read more »

North Carolina Wins 9 Good Food Awards

The Good Food Awards honors companies that create delicious and sustainable local food economies. Out of 1,462 entries, 14 different North Carolina products made it into the final round and nine were awarded the top honor. Picklers, cheese-makers, chocolatiers, distillers, brewers, butchers, coffee roasters and farmers across the state work together to make some of the highest quality food products in the nation. Read more »

I-40 Pedestrian Bridge Good for Health and Business

Recent completion of the I-40 bike and pedestrian bridge joined the northern and southern sections of the American Tobacco Trail. Cyclists can now travel the full 21 miles from downtown Durham to Apex without having to share the road with cars. NC State’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education recently found that the trail’s completion contributed to a 133% increase in use. Many people use the trail to get to restaurants, grocery, and retail stores. Though the trail is primarily used for recreation and fitness, it could become an important transportation corridor as Durham grows. Read more »

Trial Treatment of Invasive Plant Proposed in Hillsborough

Hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant that originally came to the US from Asia as an aquarium accessory, has been an issue for Orange County’s watershed. Hydrilla has several ramifications for ecosystems, including a disease that can infect water fowl. It also out-competes native vegetation, which endangers the habitats of many organisms and water quality. A statewide task force to combat Hydrilla found a chemical solution, which will be tested in a two-year trial with close monitoring before applying it to the rest of the watershed. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is reviewing an environmental assessment for toxicity and the effects on humans, plants, and animals. Read more »

The Guardian Launches Climate Change Series

In an effort to find a new narrative for climate change, the UK-based Guardian newspaper has launched a series of podcasts, images, films, and reporting to bring attention to climate change issues and engage and inform the public. The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, explains how climate change is the most important story in the world and challenges journalists to engage readers in a new way. Read more »

Register Now for Environmental LCA Workshop

Environmental life cycle analysis (LCA) is used in industry and commerce for gauging the environmental impact of a service or product. A hands-on workshop at NC State will provide attendees with an overview of LCA, and students will learn methodologies and commercial software. The workshop will be held from August 3-7, and registration is $1900. Space is limited. Read more »

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

Startup Led by UNC Grad Brings Solar Services to Rooftops
A California startup co-founded by UNC-Chapel Hill graduate Alec Guettel is expanding to North Carolina. Sungevity is launching solar services for residential homeowners in partnership with Lowe's. The company offers solar equipment and related services, including proprietary estimating technology. Sungevity is a venture capital-backed startup and raised $125 million from investors in 2013. Read more » 

New Discovery Could Change Sea Level Rise Predictions
Dr. Mike Willis of the Department of Geological Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill noticed something surprising while combing through satellite and GPS data: a hole twice the size of Central Park in a small Greenland ice cap. Willis and his colleagues determined that meltwater had been collecting in a subglacial lake until the whole thing blew out, sending the water out to sea and causing the ice above it to slump downward. The discovery suggests that water does not flow quickly between ice and rock and out to sea. Instead, it pauses on its rush to the ocean and heats the ice. This process could be important in understanding how Greenland will respond to climate change and contribute to the already 8 inches of global sea level rise since 1900. Greenland holds enough ice to raise global sea levels by 24 feet and its glaciers melt could affect projections of future sea level rise. Read more » 

Study Suggests that Dense Development Would Harm Air in NC’s Triangle
New research from UNC-Chapel Hill challenges the idea that dense urban development is better for the health of residents. The study, published in the December issue of Risk Analysis, found that denser development would slightly reduce the Triangle’s air pollution on a regional level, but at a more local level, it would expose a greater number of citizens to “hotspots” of particulate matter, a harmful pollutant. “Our suggestion is not necessarily that density is wrong,” said Daniel Rodriguez, a professor at UNC’s department of city and regional planning and a coauthor of the study, “but that in itself, in isolation, it’s probably not going to be beneficial for people.” Theodore Mansfield, the study’s lead author and a Ph.D. student at UNC, discussed the costs and benefits of city living. “There are a lot of great things that cities do,” he said. “But at the same time, the concentration of all those activities in a small space can have some negative health impacts.” Read more »

Lawsuits Challenge Agricultural Pollution
Federal lawsuits, supported by studies that link hog farming with air and water pollution, are challenging the livestock industry to change its ways. "Pork is cheap and cheap to produce in large factories because they don't pay for cleaning up water supply, and they don't pay for the asthma neighbors get. They don't pay for polluting downstream water that used to be potable, and they don't pay for the loss of property values," said Steve Wing, a UNC-Chapel Hill epidemiologist. In North Carolina, 10 million hogs produce as much fecal waste in a day as 100 million people, and Duplin County is the nation's top county for hog production. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at

Green Tip

Spring is just around the corner! Consider starting it green. Mix your own natural cleaning products from water, vinegar, tea tree oil, and lavender oil. Plant the garden you’ve always wanted. Or start a compost bin for organic waste. Learn how at the Composting Workshop at the Carolina Campus Community Garden on March 18 (more details in the news section). Read more green tips »

UNC-Chapel Hill Sustainability Office – Multiple Internships Available – NC

UNC-Chapel Hill Environmental Finance Center – Environmental Finance Data Analyst – NC

North Carolina Coastal Reserve – Summer Stewardship and Research Assistant – NC

TS Designs – Marketing and PR Manager – NC

NC FIELD – Lead Coordinator – NC

City of Lenoir – Stormwater Management Administrator – NC

Town of Kernersville – Sustainability Specialist – NC

Alamance County – Parks Superintendent – NC

Camp Sea Gull – Environmental Discovery Educator – NC

The Sustainability Institute at Penn State – Education Program Associate – PA

University of Dayton – Post-Doctoral Assistant in Sustainability (Posting # S00685P) – OH

National Outdoor Leadership School – Sustainability Coordinator – WY

Jacksonville University – Sustainability Coordinator – FL

Florida Institute of Technology – Sustainability Officer – FL

Messiah College – Director of Sustainability – PA

St. Mary’s College – Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies – MD

University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Energy and Utility Manager – NV

Nutrition Science Initiative – Director of Research – CA

Indiana University – Director, Office of Sustainability (Job #13090) – IN

University of Oregon – Program Manager, Sustainable Cities Initiative – OR

Central College – Coordinator of Sustainability Education – IA

Kalu Yala – International Sustainability Internship – Panama

Sustainability Office Internships for Summer 2015

The Sustainability Office at UNC-Chapel Hill works with the campus community to catalyze the development and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, curricula, and behaviors. Interns will become familiar with the many sustainability practices and policies at UNC while receiving hands-on experience developing communication tools, supporting initiatives, and assessing sustainable practices. There are four internship positions available and all require an in-person interview. Apply by Monday, March 30. Read more »

Conserve Water and Energy on Campus, Win a Solar Umbrella

Throughout March, UNC’s residential communities will compete in a Utility War to reduce energy and water consumption. The community to reduce the most will win a solar umbrella charging station that can be used to charge personal electronics while sitting outside. The contest is sponsored by the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee and the Residence Hall Association. Read more »

Composting Workshop, Wednesday, March 18

A free composting workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 18th from 3 - 4:30pm at the Carolina Campus Community Garden. Muriel Williman, Orange County waste management educator, will cover composting basics and how to start vermicomposting with worms. The class will be held rain or shine and parking is available across from the garden. Read more »

Innovation Lab Offers Design Thinking Workshop, Thursday, March 19

ABAN, Ten Thousand Villages, and Tech Talent South will share insight and methodologies for business solutions on Thursday, March 19, from 6-8pm, at the 1789 Venture Lab on Franklin Street. The hands-on, interactive event is open to all.

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015
CCCC will host Sustainable Speaker Series

PITTSBORO — The Central Carolina Community College Sustainable Speaker Series this spring includes the programs “Building People Power for Climate and Energy Justice” and “The Haw River Is Our Home.” In addition, there will be a screening of the movie, “Growing Cities.”
CCCC’s Students for Sustainability sponsors the series, which is free and open to the public.
Laura Lauffer, Sustainability Coordinator and Lead Instructor for CCCC’s Sustainable Technologies programs, says the Students for Sustainability are engaged in what is happening in the community — sustainability beyond the classroom.
“These topics are important to them. It is great that we have so many talented speakers who can help increase awareness about the challenges and opportunities in energy and the environment and our agricultural resources,” said Lauffer.
“Building People Power for Climate and Energy Justice” will be presented at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Chatham Community Library Mary Hayes Holmes Conference Room on the CCCC Chatham County Campus in Pittsboro. NC Waste Awareness and Reduction (NC WARN) will present the program.
“The Haw River is Our Home” will be presented at 7 p.m. March 18 on the Chatham County Campus in Pittsboro. Join Joe Jacobs of the Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company and Elaine Chiosso of the Haw River Assembly as they share the story of one of Chatham County’s beauties.
A film screening of “Growing Cities” will be presented at 7 p.m. April 15 on the Chatham County Campus in Pittsboro. This documentary film examines the role of urban farming in America. After the film, join a discussion with CCCC faculty and students to learn about growing your own food in any space available.
Calvin Megginson is one of the students who organized the event. “I believe that the Sustainable Speaker Series is important because it provides an avenue for the community to come and be involved and educated in sustainability,” he said. “This type of two-way communication is vital for creating a feedback loop so that we stay on the cutting edge of technology and industry.”
“These speakers are looking at the frontiers of these major changes — they inform and they inspire,” said student Danielle DuClos. “There is so much we can do together. An informed and inspired community is a great starting point for that. Students for Sustainability and the Sustainable Speakers Series can be a bridge to sharing this knowledge with the larger community and connecting our motivation so we can unite forces to bring great and much needed transformation locally and globally.”
DuClos added, “If we don't change the way we relate to the world, the world won't end — it will keep changing. What we are talking about with sustainability isn't saving the planet — it's keeping it habitable for us and for other living creatures.”
For those who would like dinner before the Sustainable Speaker Series programs, the college’s Natural Chef Café will be open from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Chatham County Campus. All dinners are $14. The Natural Chef Café features sustainable meals prepared by students enrolled in the CCCC Culinary Arts Continuing Education and Curriculum programs. Reservations are encouraged. For reservations, please call 919-545-8076.
CCCC offers a variety of spring sustainable program classes, as well as the Sustainable Living Series. The Series prepares members of the community to live a resource efficient lifestyle. Local experts will share their skills in green building, smart home design, and developing a vibrant local economy.
For more information on CCCC's sustainability programs, visit, call Laura Lauffer at 919-545-8032 or email

Laura Lauffer, LEED GA
Sustainability Coordinator & Lead Instructor
Sustainable Technologies Program
Central Carolina Community College
Pittsboro, NC 27312
919 545 8032

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Green Tip

It’s not too late to add a new year’s resolution. Why not make it a green one? Resolve to develop more environmentally-friendly habits: walk or bicycle instead of taking the car to do at least one errand per week; write or call decision makers to let them know how you feel about environmental, social, and economic issues; use biodegradable laundry soap; or compost. Read more green tips to stay sustainable throughout the year »

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

UNC Dining Halls Consider Local, Sustainable Suppliers
An ongoing movement toward offering more local, sustainable food options is a priority for Carolina Dining Services (CDS) as it tries to meet the standards of the Real Food Challenge. The challenge encourages universities to serve less food from industrial farms. It was brought to UNC by Fair, Local, Organic Food (FLO), a UNC student organization asking that CDS be more sustainable in its food purchases. “I think CDS continues to show their interest in expanding the amount of real food served,” said FLO member Alexandria Huber. Read more »

Residential Solar Panels Still a Great Investment
Jordan Kern, post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for the Environment writes about residential solar projects as a viable financial investment opportunity. Currently, for an average household in the Duke Energy Carolinas service area, investing in a 4-kilowatt solar panel system over 25 years can be just as good as investing in a savings bond earning 8.9 percent interest. Duke Energy’s proposed net metering reduction rate would reduce this equivalent interest rate by only about 0.1 percent. A much greater threat to the financial viability of the residential solar market in North Carolina is the expiration of state and federal Investment Tax Credits (ITCs), which collectively allow homeowners to recoup more than 50 percent of the solar panels’ original cost. The state ITC is set to expire at the end of 2015, and the federal ITC is slated to expire at the end of 2016. Expiration of either tax credit, assuming the current costs of solar power stay the same, would make purchasing solar panels a poor financial investment for most homeowners in North Carolina. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these stories! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at

Carolina Ranks 12th in the World for Sustainability

The Universitas Indonesia’s annual GreenMetric report rates campus sustainability programs worldwide. Carolina ranked 12th in the world and fifth in the United States out of 360 universities. Campuses were evaluated in six categories: setting and infrastructure; energy and climate change; waste management; water usage; transportation; and education. The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom ranked first, and four other U.S. universities — University of California Davis, University of Connecticut, University of California Berkeley, and Northeastern — made the top ten list. To see complete rankings and specific scores, Read More »

UNC Kenan-Flagler Prepares Students for the Business of Energy

A new MBA Energy Concentration and Energy Center at the Kenan-Flagler Business School will prepare graduates to assume energy-related leadership roles that power the global economy. In the full-time MBA Energy Concentration, students will explore every aspect of the energy value chain, including oil, gas, and renewables. Courses will focus on day-to-day business and economic challenges in the energy industry. The new Energy Center will examine energy public policy, conduct research, and support students in education and career opportunities. It will also be a forum for finding answers to critical energy questions. Read more »

Sign up for EcoReps Training

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. The only full day spring semester training will occur Saturday, January 31, from 10AM – 3PM in Dey Hall, room 208, and counts as a Public Service Scholars Skills Training. Register now »

Learn to Lead Staff Sustainability Efforts

“Making the Workplace More Sustainable,” an interactive staff sustainability workshop, helps participants identify, measure and promote sustainable change opportunities in their work areas. Participants learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. The upcoming, two-day training will be held Tuesday, February 24, and Thursday, February 26, from 8:30AM – 12:30PM, at the Administrative Office Building on Airport Drive. Register soon through Connect Carolina for “Workplace Sustainability 1”, space is limited. Read more »

UNC-Chapel Hill Hosts Student Research Symposium

The UNC Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology (CEE) invites all students interested in ecology and the environment to present their research work at the annual CEE Student Research Symposium. This inter-institutional event brings together students and faculty from across the Triangle. The Symposium will be held on Saturday, February 21, from 9AM – 2PM at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Registration is free and open until Friday, January 30. Register now »

Sustainability Investments and the UNC Endowment

In fall 2014, the UNC Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution requesting “that UNC Management Company research targeted investments for the University’s endowment assets that advance environmentally friendly clean energy strategies consistent with applicable asset allocation and investment objective policies.” Join Jon King, President and CEO of UNC Management Company, and Matt Fajack, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, on Monday, February 23, from 2 – 3:30PM, in Toy Lounge of Dey Hall, to learn about the sustainability strategies employed and investments made by the managers of UNC’s $2.1 billion endowment. Read more »

Help Carolina Win the Student Commute Challenge

Help UNC beat Duke, NC State, and Wake Tech by tracking your commutes! The Student Commute Challenge is a friendly student competition to see who can bus, bike, walk or carpool the most by February 20. Each commute earns points, and weekly challenges earn extra points. Track trips for great prizes, including gift cards to UNC Student Stores or an iPad Mini. Sign up and start logging your commutes today! 
Note: The website is having trouble working with UNC email addresses. We recommend signing up for the challenge with a non-UNC email address, like Gmail or Yahoo!

Join Carolina’s Environmental Honors Fraternity

Interested in the environment? Love being outdoors and volunteering? Join Epsilon Eta (Ep Eta), the nation's first environmental honors fraternity. Ep Eta is a co-ed fraternity that recognizes outstanding students, creates a social network of friends and support, and offers environmental service and education to the community. Potential applicants must attend three rush events by February 7th. Applications for membership are due by Monday, February 9th. Read more »

Waste Reduction and Recycling Spotlight: Residential Composting Program Expands!

Morrison and Manning West will join Ehringhaus, Manning East, Ram Village, Hinton James, Connor, and Cobb as communities enrolled in the residential composting program. Residents in these communities may check out a personal compost bin via the Residence Hall Association (RHA) Enhancements program. Residents are responsible for emptying their personal bins into the green community collection cart at the designated outdoor dumpster site. The food scraps are transported to the Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG). CCCG volunteers mix it, turn it, and transform it into compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment used on the garden’s crops. CCCG produce is later distributed to UNC Housekeepers. CCCG hosts volunteer workdays on Sundays and Wednesdays, 3 PM to 5 PM.
Last semester, the six enrolled communities diverted 978 lbs of food waste from the landfill! The residential composting pilot program began in Spring 2014 with four residential communities. The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR) works with RHA and the Department of Housing and Residential Education to incrementally enroll additional communities each semester. Read more »

Apply Now for Sherpa Fellowship

The Mingma Norbu Sherpa Fellowship provides $1,250 to support study and research at environmental field sites, preferably abroad. Preference will be given to Buckley Public Service Scholars program participants who are majoring in business, environmental or economics disciplines. Apply by February 9th. Read more »

Sustainability Shorts Film Competition

UNC-Greensboro is accepting short film submissions for its 6th annual Sustainability Film and Discussion Series. Entries will be screened at the Weatherspoon Art Museum on Thursday, April 23, at 6:30PM, and winners will receive a cash prize of up to $300. The competition is open to all. Films must be under 10 minutes and focused on sustainability. Entries are due by March 27th. Read more »

Compete in the 2015 MIT Clean Energy Prize

The NSTAR MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) is the nation's largest student run energy entrepreneurship competition. Over $400K in prizes are available to cutting-edge startups from universities. Winners will receive $35K in funding and all participants are paired with entrepreneurial mentors. Apply by February 8th. Read more »

Vote Now for the SECU Prize for Innovation

The State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Prize for Innovation challenges students to develop new and innovative ways to address North Carolina’s challenges and future economic well-being. Four student groups have made it to the final round in the “Fan Favorite” category. Cast your vote here to help two teams win $10,000. Read more »

Triangle Transportation Requests Proposals

The Triangle Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program of the Triangle J Council of Governments requests grant applications for projects and programs to reduce traffic and air pollution. The Triangle TDM Program promotes alternative commuting options, such as carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking, and teleworking. Apply by March 11th. Read more »

New York Times Covers North Carolina’s Flourishing Food Sisterhood

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, women lead North Carolina’s local-food movement and top-flight restaurants. Women have succeeded by helping one another along the way, stretching beyond restaurants, into pig farming, flour milling and pickling. Women run the state’s pre-eminent pasture-raised meat and organic produce distribution businesses and preside over its farmers’ markets. They influence food policy and lead the state’s academic food studies. And each fall, the state hosts the nation’s only retreat for women in the meat business. Read more »

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kansas State University – NSF Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates – KS

Colby College – Summer Interdisciplinary Research – Ethiopia

Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station – Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates – MI

Harvard Forest – Summer Research Program in Ecology – MA

Huyck Preserve – Odum Summer Undergraduate Internship in Field Ecology – NY

UC San Diego – Engineers for Exploration REU – CA

Green Business Informatics Tool – Internship – NC

Firsthand Foods – Summer Apprenticeship – NC

Student Action with Farmworkers – ITF Internship – NC

Center for Environmental Farming Systems – Summer Internship – NC

Don Lee Center – Seasonal Environmental Educator and Challenge Course Facilitator – NC

Cape Fear Botanical Garden – Environmental Education Coordinator – NC

East Coast Greenway – Communications Coordinator – NC

City of Raleigh – Manager of Office of Sustainability – NC

AmeriCorps VISTA – Community Outreach Coordinator – NC

AmeriCorps VISTA – Local Food Access Ambassador – NC

Clemson University – Water Resources Extension Agent – SC

Harvard Law School CHLPI – Summer Internships – MA

The University of Alabama at Birmingham – Program Administrator for Sustainability – AL

Job ID #35447BR Read more »

Monday, November 24, 2014

Carolina Earns “Bicycle Friendly” Status

UNC is now one of 100 Bicycle Friendly Universities, earning a silver-level distinction from the League of American Bicyclists. The Bicycle Friendly America Program recognizes communities and universities that actively support bicycling. Carolina has been developing a Bike Master Plan to improve bicycle circulation, infrastructure, and parking on campus. Tar Heel Bikes, the university’s first bicycle share program, provides 30 bikes for free, short-term loan, and plans to expand. 

Tar Heels Partner with Sustainable Textile Manufacturer to Support Recycling

With a goal of driving recycling awareness and education among fans, UNC Athletics is the first collegiate athletics program to join REPREVE's #TurnItGreen™ movement. REPREVE, a leading recycled-fiber brand, is made from recyclable materials, including plastic bottles. On December 3, Tar Heels and REPREVE will turn the Dean Dome green by recycling more than 45,000 plastic bottles into REPREVE-based items. “Working with REPREVE gives us the opportunity to show how green our students and fan base can be, and I'm confident they will rise to the challenge,” said Roy Williams, head men's basketball coach at UNC. "Recycling really does make a significant impact, and we want everyone to take what they learn in the stands and put it into action, so that the entire campus community will recycle even more than we do currently.” 

Conservation Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Season

As we look forward to time away from campus, please remember that our building systems continue to operate during the break. With your efforts, we can reduce our environmental impact and costs over the holidays. Before leaving for any extended period, please: 

  • Shut down desktop and laptop computers unless instructed otherwise by IT or administrative staff. If your computer, speakers, phone charger, etc., are all on one power strip, turn off the power strip after shutting down your computer.
  • Unplug nonessential equipment that draws “phantom load”. Copiers, fax machines, printers, scanners, and chargers often use electricity even when turned off or in sleep mode. Warm transformers, chargers, and equipment are an indication that the device is using power. 
  • Unplug appliances, including coffee makers, microwaves, televisions, and radios. Like office equipment, many appliances use electricity even when turned off. 
  • Adjust the thermostat to 65 degrees or less. 
  • Turn off office lights and as much public lighting as possible in hallways, bathrooms, break rooms, and conference rooms. 
  • Check windows to make sure they are tightly closed and locked. 
  • Check faucets in bathrooms and break rooms to make sure they are completely turned off and not dripping. 
  • If you work in a lab with variable air volume fume hoods, shut the sash completely (just as you should any time the hood is not in use). 
  • Call in any leaks or maintenance issues to your Facilities Services team (962-3456 or or Housing Support team if you live in the residence halls (966-2471 or Fix My Room).  
These tips will help keep your building safe and energy-efficient. They also apply at home. Post this information to share with colleagues, suitemates, and fellow building occupants.
Read more »

Carolina Ranks 32nd Among World’s Top Research Universities

According to the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Global Universities,” Carolina ranks 32nd among the world’s top 500 research universities and 24th among national research universities. “As a leading global public research university, Carolina inspires research, scholarship, and service on some of the most pressing international issues of our time,” said Chancellor Carol Folt. An inventory of university research that incorporates sustainability themes or addresses sustainability-related challenges can be found on the Sustainability Office website

New “Global Impacts on American Waters” Seminar Course

A new interdisciplinary seminar course on planning sustainable solutions for port communities will be offered this spring. The course explores global impacts on American waters including: water quality and availability; transportation by water, rail, and pipeline; and climate change impacts including sea-level rise, storm, and drought severity. AMST 498 with Professor Rachel Willis is for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, and will meet on Mondays from 3:35-6:25pm. 

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Divert 32,940 Pounds of Trash from Landfill

A district-wide composting and waste education effort, funded by cost-savings from decreased trash removal, has led to an 87% reduction in cafeteria landfill waste. Schools took the first step by transitioning from Styrofoam to compostable cafeteria trays with assistance from local organization Every Tray Counts. More than 8,000 students from elementary and middle schools separate compostable, recyclable, and landfill waste in cafeterias across the district. 

Orange County Public Vehicles recognized as NC Smart Fleet

The NC Smart Fleet initiative, a new, statewide program led by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, recognizes the efficiency efforts of public vehicle fleets. Orange County was recognized as having a NC Smart Fleet for reducing dependence on petroleum by reducing fuel load and adopting more fuel-conserving driving habits. The town of Chapel Hill received a champion level award for reducing emissions over the past three years.
Read more »

State Funding Announced for Clean Water Projects

North Carolina’s waterways, wildlife habitat, and water quality will get a boost thanks to $1.9 million in grant funding for projects that protect and improve ecosystem health and quality. Projects supported by the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program have resulted in the closure of 223 animal waste lagoons, the restoration or conservation of more than 20,700 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat, and environmental education and research initiatives. 

Clinton Global Initiative University

The Clinton Global Initiative University engages the next generation of leaders to develop innovative solutions to global challenges. The 2015 conference will take place at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, from March 6-8, 2015. The final application deadline is December 1, 2014.
Read more »

Apply Now for the EPA P3 Competition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking proposals to research and develop solutions to real world challenges. The People, Prosperity, and Planet Program (P3) will award up to $90K for teams to implement proposals in the field and marketplace. Last cycle award winners include projects on low-cost water quality monitoring, an air conditioning system that runs on solar power, and a campus recycling program for Styrofoam packaging. Submit proposals by December 16. 

Environmental Magazine Call for Submissions

Let the environment inspire you to create and share. eno is run by students in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University to encourage and publish artistic expression that inspires a deeper engagement with the environment. Submissions of writing or art are being accepted until November 26th.

Carolina in the News

Check out recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC: 

15 Years of Leadership in Sustainable Enterprise 
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School was one of the first business schools to offer a comprehensive curriculum in sustainable enterprise that includes experiential learning, enrichment activities, and career development. Today more than 550 MBA students have graduated with a concentration in sustainable enterprise and are pursuing a wide range of careers. “Sustainable enterprise is a strategic strength for UNC Kenan-Flagler,” said Al Segars, faculty director of the School’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise. The school's sustainability initiatives include the Sustainability Leadership Capstone course, a unique model of experiential learning; the Investing for Impact Competition, in which students assess socially and environmentally sustainable firms; and the MBA and undergraduate Net Impact clubs, which have received gold chapter standing for the last three years. 

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at

Green Tip

Consider wasting less this Thanksgiving. Plan ahead and practice portion control. After the meal, donate your leftovers to a nearby food bank and don’t forget to compost your food scraps. 

The Water Institute at UNC – Director for Research – NC

City of Raleigh Stormwater Management - Senior Project Engineer – NC

Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) – Senior Planner-Sustainability – NC

Southern Energy Management – Director of First Impressions – NC

NC Division of Air Quality – Environmental Program Consultant – NC

AmeriCorps VISTA – Community Outreach Coordinator and Local Food Access Ambassador – NC

Interpretation and Education Assistant – NC Parks and Recreation – NC

Alliance for Climate Education – Program Associate – NC

Triangle J Council of Governments – Planner II - Energy, Environment and Transportation – NC

Western Carolina University – Coastal Research Scientist – NC

National Parks Business Plan Internship for Graduate Students – Multiple Locations

University of Richmond – Director of Sustainability – VA

University of California – Office of the Chief Investment Officer – Sustainability Director and Sustainability Officer – CA

Pomona College – Energy Manager – CA