Fryer Waste to Fueling Wheels (Biodiesel)

Source: EnviroGreenInc.com

Source: EnviroGreenInc.com

Year: 2013

Grant Amount: $15,000

UT produces hundreds of gallons of waste food oil weekly. Combined with its fleet of diesel vehicles,  a demand for biodiesel exists.  This project proposes a student-led food-oil to biodiesel recycling program for with a report on the program’s success after one  year.

University Health Services – Medical Waste

Year: 2013

Grant Amount: $40,000

University Health Services uniquely manages large amounts of medical waste. This project will aim to reduce the amount of waste produced by UHS in an effort to comply with their motto of “do no harm” consistent with health related services culture. The project creates a graduate assistant to audit current waste and propose solutions. Phase two involves developing a concrete plan to reduce waste.

UT MicroFarm

Microfarm

Grant Amount: $15,000 (2011), $19,862 (2012), $15,000 (2013), $15,000 (2014)

Years: 2011, 2012,  2013

UT expanded its gardening footprint by transforming a UT-owned vacant lot on Leona Street behind Disch Falk Field into a small-scale organic farm. The UT MicroFarm hosts weekly workdays, where people can learn to garden and work the earth in ways previously unavailable on campus. MicroFarmers also learn about sustainable agriculture through practicing it themselves.

The MicroFarm provides a space and community for students to learn sustainable food production methods. Many food production methods harm the environment due to fertilizers, pesticides, and other production methods–the MicroFarm raises awareness of these methods and provides hands on experience growing organic food. They’re also a really nice bunch of people!

The MicroFarm is part of the Campus Environmental Center, a sponsored student organization in Campus Planning & Facilities Management.

Check out the MicroFarm blog and follow them on Facebook!

More Bike Racks on Campus

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Year: 2011

Grant Amount: $12,500

In 2011, the Green Fee funded more bike racks on campus. Nine Cora racks and 21 U-Racks were placed around campus, adding a total of 130 new sports for bikes. You’ll find them near the six pack on the South Mall, all along 24th near Welch, and scattered around other places on campus.

With more spots to park your bike on campus, this initiative is aimed at promoting riding your bike to campus, whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member. Riding your bike decreases carbon emission and keeps our air and our bodies healthy. Many of the bike racks even have air pumps on them in case you need to pump up your tires!

Campus Environmental Center Funding

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Years: 2011, 2012, 2013

Grant Amount: $36,000 (2011), $27,100 (2012), $29,950 (2013)

The Campus Environmental Center is located in the Student Services Building (SSB 1.302). Here you’ll find students involved in all sorts of sustainable activities, whether environmental outreach, gardening, water, or recycling initiatives. There is also a library of sustainability and green living-themed books and movies that students can borrow. The Campus Environmental Center is the place to be if you want to be connected to the heartbeat of UT Sustainability.

The Green Fee augments UT Campus Environmental Center funding by adding student employment positions. The Green Fee funded a Graduate Program Assistant, who focuses on providing assistance to the programs and initiatives for the organization. The Green Fee has additionally supported Orange Bike program assistants (prior to their move to Parking & Transportation Services), Concho Community Garden staff, and Tailgate Recycling Team Leaders.

These students have greatly increased the amount of student involvement in sustainable student initiatives and have created groups that are actively bettering the campus and Austin through environmental initiatives.

Visit the CEC website and check out what they’re up to! Don’t be afraid to drop by SSB 1.302 and see what’s new!

Green Dining at LBJ School of Public Affairs

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Year: 2011, 2013

Grant Amount: $1500 (2011), $1000 (2013)

The LBJ Green Society has helped in reducing the amount of waste produced from weekly lunch talks and meetings hosted at the LBJ School. By reducing landfill waste and compostingwe are providing more nutrients for soil and plants as opposed to throwing our waste into landfills that do us no good. All LBJ dining service have switched to compostable materials for plates, bowls, cups and silverware. By partnering with Organics by Gosh, the LBJ Green Society has three compost bins. By March 2012, LBJ had composted over 10,500 lbs of food and compostable waste.

Furthermore, by introducing sustainable habits to those who may not already think about composting, we are sowing the seeds of environmentally conscious living.

Check out the  LBJ Green Society on Facebook!