Zero Impact Band

 

Year: 2012, 2014

Grant Amount: $2,500 (2012)

The Longhorn Band uses many products that are recyclable, and is currently making a conscious effort to educate members on recycling and composting the everyday materials members use. They seek to become a “Zero Impact Band,” meaning that 90% of materials used can either be recycled, composted, or reduced all together.

The Longhorn Band used Green Fee funding to order reusable cups and water bottles for their members in order to encourage reuse and recycling. They also worked with Pok-E-Jo’s, a local barbeque company that provides meals for the band on game day, to use compostable dishes and silverware. Future projects include ordering iPads for directors and section leaders to use in order to reduce paper. Renewed funding will take this project into the 2014-2015 academic year.

Waller Creek Awareness

Waller Creek

Year: 2013

Grant Amount: $4,365

Waller Creek runs through UT and has undergone significant beautification processes through the Green Fee Program. This project aims to keep the focus on Waller Creek through raised awareness via student involvement with Waller Creek Cleanups. Student involvement will be incentivized through prizes and entertaining events.

Exterior Water Fountains

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Year: 2013

Grant Amount: $7,500

Water fountains reduce the use of disposable water bottles. Water fountains are present inside various buildings; however, before this project, none were available outside. This project installed one exterior fountains near the RLM building, in an effort to reduce the amount of disposable plastic water bottles and better hydrate the UT community.

UT Tree Nursery

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Year: 2011, 2013

Grant Amount: $54,198 (2011), $21,780 (Renewal of funding for 2013-2016)

The Tree Nursery is located at the LBJ Wildflower Center. Originally proposed as a way to grow large trees for beautification and landscape improvement, the importance of the UT Tree Nursery skyrocketed when Bastrop, TX was devastated by wildfires in September 2011. The Tree Nursery immediately began growing Loblolly pines to donate to Bastrop and other communities that need reforestation.  The Nursery also provides service opportunities for students to plant trees in areas that experienced devastation from the fires.

A 30 foot by 96 foot shaded house was built to shade the seedlings while they grow. The Tree Nursery has been a point of contact for outside environmentalists as well as an opportunity for students to get hands on experience planting trees and serving the Bastrop community. Future objectives for the Tree Nursery are to grow trees for use in UT landscaping, and possibly launch a ‘heritage’ program for seeds collected on campus. The Tree Nursery is also open to collaboration with research initiatives as well as more community engagement, merging science and the public.

Green Roof at the LBJ Wildflower Center

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Year: 2012

Grant amount: $39,540

This project will rehabilitate a “dead zone” at the Wildflower Center while providing an opportunity to develop best practices for green roofs on main campus. This is an area of great interest for students and the rest of the UT community and the Green Fee Committee is endorsing a close study of costs, longevity, and potential academic applications.

Green roofs slow the amount of runoff on a roof and even can act as a water purifier. Furthermore, they provide great insulation as well as a weapon against the urban heat island effect. They also add aesthetic value to structures.

Note: These are photos of green roof research being done at The Wildflower Center, the Green Fee funded roof will go on a section of the roof at the visitor center.

Project Owner: Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Pervious Cover near San Jacinto Garage

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Year: 2012

Grant Amount: $55,100

Impervious cover decreases the amount of infiltration that can occur during rain storms. In a large city like Austin, our abundance of impervious cover causes intense amounts of contaminants to runoff into creeks, specifically Waller Creek on campus. Pervious cover, unlike impervious cover, allows for water to pass through the concrete and filtrate directly into the ground.

The new pervious cover just outside of the San Jacinto garage on the southern side allows for more filtration of rainwater before it enters Waller Creek nearby. This filtering effect will better the water quality of Waller Creek, which often has poor water quality due to the intense amounts of urbanization surrounding the creek.

Furthermore, the new surface provides many possibilities for research on specific effects of pervious cover, infiltration times, and water quality improvement.  This project is an excellent start to more pervious cover on campus and will be a useful research site.

Fountain Retrofits

Year: 2011

Grant Amount: $7,500

Many water fountains around UT have been retrofitted to have a spout specifically for filling up water bottles. This encourages water bottle use and discourages buying plastic bottled water. This work benefits UT by reduces our ecological footprint, but also by making the free water bottles that various colleges give out more useful and visible. The fountains funded by this project were simple “gooseneck” fillers that can be installed on the back of existing fountains and connected to the municipal cold water line.

You can find these spouts on 39 water fountains on campus including these buildings: ACE, ART, BIO, BME, CAL, CBA, ECJ, EPS, ETC, FAC, GAR, GOL, JGB, MAI, MBB, NMS, PAI, PCL, RLM, SEA, SUT, UTC, WAG, WCH, WEL.