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Projects Updates for place: National Soybean Research Center

  1. Curtis Road landscaping

    Tom's Mailbag in the News-Gazette included information about the Solar Farm 2.0 landscape buffer: https://www.news-gazette.com/toms-mailbag/toms-mailbag-june-19-2020/article_ddf7f640-1c32-5024-98b0-74d8f4ecaa7e.html

    Curtis Road landscaping

    "Curtis Road from Neil Street and First Street in Savoy,  why are they planting several rows of tree and bushes?

    The work underway in that location is for a landscaped buffer between the University of Illinois' Solar Farm 2.0 site and the village of Savoy, said Morgan White, associate director for sustainability at the University of Illinois.

    "Since the start of the project, the university has incorporated the feedback of nearby residents and businesses in planning aspects to ensure that area is aesthetically pleasing and limits the future visibility of the array directly from Curtis Road," she said. "The buffer was designed by the University Landscape Architect at Facilities & Services, Brent Lewis, and it consists of native trees, shrubs and perennials specifically selected for their aesthetics and pollinator benefits.

    "The trees were funded by the Student Sustainability Committee, and the remaining costs were provided by Facilities & Services and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

    "This extensive buffer planting, along with the 54 acres of native perennials and grasses under the solar panels, will help to establish a diverse pollinator habitat and strengthen ecosystems for local and migratory birds and insects, including butterflies and bees. This effort supports the university's commitment as a 'Bee Campus USA,' proving progress in awareness, native plant landscapes, and safe pest management.

    "When completed, the site will also serve as a demonstration for pollinator-friendly solar arrays, following the requirements of the Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act, of which the university has taken the lead in creating."

  2. Is your office "Green"?

                                                              Is Your Office 'Green'? iSEE Can Help You Save Resources, Energy!    

     

    With the campus gearing up for the fall semester, now is the time to think about "greening" your office!

    Small steps by everyone help the University of Illinois reduce its overall carbon footprint, and the newly updated iSEE Certified Green Office Program gives employees a way to pitch in. Offices and units choose a sustainability ambassador and take simple steps to cut emissions and waste. By using recycled supplies, turning off lights and other measures, units can earn a gold, silver, or bronze certificate!

    Check out the program (link above) or email iseegreenoffice@gmail.com.

  3. Green Office Opportunities!

    Many university employees want to set an example for students by taking environmental action at work, but they aren’t sure where to start. The Certified Green Office Program is designed to identify simple, inexpensive actions you can take in your workspace.

    In its first four years, more than 50 offices and over 1,000 staff and faculty joined the Certified Green Office Program. In the program’s fifth year, we invite you and your office to make a pledge to reduce your use of resources and improve the overall sustainability of your office’s day-to-day practices.

    Small actions make a big difference when many take those small actions. The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) outlines campus plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and we believe everyone can play a part in achieving that goal through their day-to-day actions. With your help, we can reduce the environmental impact of this campus and strengthen its position as a national leader in sustainability.

    Click here for more information about the Certified Green Office Program.

  4. Participants needed: Help Illinois win the Freezer Challenge for third straight year

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello 2020 researchers! 

    After winning 1st place internationally in 2018 and 2019, lab researchers who use cold-storage at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are encouraged to register in the 2020 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge to save energy and help the campus win for a third-straight year.

    Sign up HERE!

    Campus efforts in more than 70 laboratories across 15 buildings earned Illinois the award last year. The total energy usage in these spaces decreased by an estimated 438 kWh/day or a combined annual total equivalent of 13.5 homes energy for one year.

    Worldwide recognition

    The University of Illinois research community has received international recognition from a number of organizations and media publications:

    • Lab Manager Magazine, Cold Storage March 2019 Published article with participants quoted for expert advice here

    • Nature Magazine feature published in Oct. 2018 and Sept. 2019 edition 

    • S-Labs highlights our achievements in their short-listed profiles here 

    • iSEE and Facilities & Services published news releases U of I Wins Freezer Challenge 

    Labs that use ultra-ultra low temperature freezers (-150C), ultra-low temperature freezers (-80C), lab freezers (-40C to -20C), refrigerators, or cold rooms can earn points by taking action now.

    For more details on how your lab can save cooling energy, visit freezerchallenge.org

    The Freezer Challenge takes place between December 2019 and May 2020. Individual labs self-report and estimate their energy saving on score sheets. These sheets are made available via email upon registration and are due by May 1, 2020.

    Reductions were achieved due to the dedication and creativity of researchers across campus in implementing best practices for cold storage management. They received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples, and retiring unneeded units.

    Campus-specific highlights from the 2018 competition and 2019 competition are available on the Illinois Freezer Challenge website

    In 2019, over 400 labs representing 41 organizations around the world competed, and Illinois was named one of three organizational winners by saving 160,000 kWh/year. The Ming Lab in the Department of Plant Biology, managed by Julie Nguyen, was named an honorable mention winner in the individual lab category.

    The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Labs run the Freezer Challenge. Participants have already saved over 8.5 million kWh since 2017, approximately enough to offset the carbon emissions associated with driving over 15 million miles.

    Past winners were announced at the I2SL conference and their accomplishments published in Nature. 

     

    For more information on the Illinois campus achievements and competition, check out our Illinois-specific website: https://freezerchallengeui.wixsite.com/freezerchallenge

     

    Join us and submit your scoresheet by midnight on May 1st to achieve world-class results!

     

    For help getting started contact:

    Madeline Barone @ mbarone2@illinois.edu

     

    Madeline E. Barone, B.S.

    Environmental Sustainability and Psychology

    Energy Efficiency & Conservation Specialist | UIUC Facilities & Services

    Co-Director | Eco-Olympics

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/madelinebarone/

     

     

  5. Composting at NSRC and on campus

    This week (2/10 - 2/14) I distributed the letter to the offices in the NRSC to inform them of this composting project. We hope to collect the names and contact information in order to conduct a training and inventory how many supplies are needed. I also continued working on the composting guide for future projects. 

     

    Meredith Moore also met with Shantanu Pai, Zero Waste Coordinator, to discuss formalizing our procedures for other campus entities interested in starting composting projects. 

  6. Guide to small-scale composting program

    Hi Meredith,

    Here's my update for this week: 

    This week I started to write a general guide on composting best practices and the implementation process for on-campus offices/departments to start a small-scale composting program similar to our own.

    Next week, we will begin distributing the outreach letter informing the NSRC units of this initiative. The units in this building are being asked to contact me so we can start training the offices and so we know how many receptacles to purchase.

     

    Hope you have a great rest of the week! 

    Theresa

     

  7. Hello 2019 Freezer Challenge participants!

    Associated Project(s): 


    The registration for the 2020 Freezer Challenge is now open!

    Sign-up this year to win for the third year in a row!

    Signing up is easy and only takes 2-3 minutes to enter the labs contacts and organization information.

    If you would like help signing up, send Your Name (first, last), email, PI’s name, Building and Department, with subject “Please Sign-Up” to: mbarone2@illinois.edu

    The challenge takes place throughout the spring semester and participation is self-explanatory, each lab gets points for actions taken to increase lab energy efficiency (see Score Sheet for categories). I will be in contact with all the labs that sign up to support your efforts throughout the semester. The labs with the most points in each laboratory category win the challenge.

    Our participation in the North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge supports our Climate Leadership Commitments, campus sustainability, Green Labs, and the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP).

    If you are no longer the contact for your lab and you have a different contact that I can replace yours with, please let me know!

    Questions can be sent to:
    Madeline Barone, email: mbarone2@illinois.edu
    University of Illinois F&S | Freezer Challenge Site Coordinator
    Eco-Olympics | President

  8. Freezer Challenge for the win!

    Associated Project(s): 

    The University has been recognized for winning the Freezer challenge for a second year in a row, in the magazine Nature. Click the link to go to the site!  https://www.nature.com/articles/d42473-019-00288-0

    A cool competition for sustainable labs

    Laboratory refrigeration requires a surprising amount of energy. Since 2017, the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge has pushed labs to reduce their draw.

    Produced by

    Nature Research Custom Media

     

    My Green Lab

     

    International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories

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    Inefficient freezers waste energy and money.Credit: Cavan Images/ Alamy

    For scientists, a good freezer is like a good colleague: integral to doing your best work. But cooling comes at a great cost. Ultra-low temperature freezers, which usually store samples at –80°C, can use as much energy as an average household, and more as they get older. Multiplied by hundreds of thousands of units in labs around the world, that humble lab freezer has quite an energy footprint.

    In 2017, My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) created the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge* to inspire labs around the world to reduce energy used for cold storage, from refrigerators to the coldest freezers. Individual labs or organizations complete a scorecard detailing the implementation of best practices and energy-saving processes: good management practices, including defrosting freezers; temperature tuning, such as setting a freezer at –70°C or higher; retiring unused refrigerators/freezers or replacing them with more efficient ones; and some unexpected improvements, such as storing certain samples at room temperature.

    Labs receive points for every action that they take. In four categories, academia, the biopharma industry, hospitals and government/non-profit, individual labs and organizations that accumulate the most points win. There can be eight winners, all of whom receive an award and recognition in Nature. This year, awards were given to labs and organizations in three of the four categories.

    “The number of participating labs in 2019 nearly doubled from 2018,” says Allison Paradise, CEO and founder at My Green Lab, bringing the number of entrants worldwide to about 400 this year.

    Organizational winners

     

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign winning team Credit: University of Illinois

    In a repeat of 2018, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, took the top spot among academic organizations by saving about 160,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. To win as a university, Madeline Barone, an undergraduate studying environmental science who organized the effort, made it her mission to get as many labs as possible involved. “Following up with people was super important,” she says.

    Teamwork also made a big impact in the biopharma-organization category. Charles River — a global, preclincal contract research organization and headquartered in Wilmington, MA — registered all its sites around the world for the competition and encouraged them to compete against each other.

    “This led to one of the most meaningful reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions we’ve ever seen,” Paradise says.

    Winning team from Charles River

    Charles River, Mattawan (MI), took the top spot. “We entered to see where we stood in relation to industry standards,” says neurobehavioral scientist, Rachel Tapp. The team ended up learning a lot. “Our sustainability crew is new within our Charles River site,” Tapp explains. “So, we learned much about who manages these systems and how they were managed.” Charles River, Mattawan saved about 423,000 kWh a year.

    Rounding out the organizational winners, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earned a threepeat in the government/non-profit category. Even after wins in 2017 and 2018, the CDC added an estimated saving of 300,000 kWh a year.

    Individual winners

    Among individual laboratory winners, the Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Tissue Bank at Imperial College London took the top academic spot. To do that, says tissue bank manager George Gveric, “We increased the temperatures on all our freezers and rearranged samples so that freezers are opened less frequently.”

    Winning team at Imperial college London

    The top honor in the biopharma industry category for an individual lab went to Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab. The start-up is based in Emeryville, CA. Senior associate scientist, Gloria Sagala calls the Freezer Challenge “a great opportunity for our team to come together around a common goal to improve our energy efficiency with our cold storage.” Sagala and her colleagues removed inefficient and unnecessary freezers and implemented a system to track defrosting, saving the lab 30–40% in freezer energy.

    Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab winning team Credit: Amyris Biology/Automated Strain Engineering Lab

    An individual lab winner in 2018, the Inorganic and Radiation Analytical Toxicology Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teamed up with the Clinical Chemistry Branch to take the individual government/non-profit lab category. “We keep entering because we keep trying to increase awareness of energy use for cold storage in our division,” says Deanna Jones, a team leader in the CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences. When asked about the biggest change this year, Jones says, “We have begun buying ENERGY STAR-rated freezers to replace old, less energy efficient ones.”

    CDC winning teamCredit: CDC

    Overall, the combined efforts of participants in 2019 saved about 2.4 million kWh a year. That’s enough energy to power more than 230 average American homes for a year.** Freezer Challenge organizers hope to see that number double again in 2020.

    Organizational honorable mention:

    • Charles River Laboratories, Leiden

    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • US. National Institutes of Health

    Individual-laboratory honorable mention:

    • Janssen Immunology Biology Lab at La Jolla, CA, led by Steven Nguyen

    • Laboratory Research & Reference Branch, Division of STD Prevention, CDC

    • Ming Lab, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, managed by Julie Nguyen

     

    *The Freezer Challenge is made possible through the generous support of sponsors, including 2019’s Gold Sponsors Eppendorf and PHCbi.

  9. Freezer Challenge participants to be recognized at Celebration

    Hello 2019 Freezer Challenge Participants, It’s time to celebrate, eat cake, mingle with your peers and be recognized for your efforts supporting the University of Illinois’ second-year running 1st place finish in the International Freezer challenge. Thanks to you for leading sample management and cold-storage best practices, and supporting the University of Illinois' world-class standing.

    RSVP today!

     

    Sustainability week is October 21-25th. This year the campus Sustainability Celebration will take place on October 23rd, from 4-6pm in the Levis Faculty Center, Room 300. We will award your Certificate of Leadership in Environmental Stewardship in Sustainable Lab Practices at this celebration and acknowledge your hard work and energy savings this past year at the University of Illinois. 


    This celebration also shares exciting environmental initiatives around campus (including the Energy Conservation Incentive Program) and attendees will have the chance to provide input for the 2020 Illinois Climate Plan.

     

    Additionally, you will be acknowledged and invited on stage to be congratulated for your hard work, as well as join in the group photo with the 1st place award from the I2SL conference in Denver, Colorado. (We are hoping it will return in time, if not we will use last years for the photo) 

     

    Please RSVP to this email if you are able to clear your schedule for this celebration and check in with me at the door when you arrive. 

    Thank you all again for your incredible performance in this year’s International Freezer Challenge. We could not have won without your hard work and dedication to sustainable labs on campus. 

     

    Best,


    Madeline Barone

    Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Intern | UIUC F&S

    President | Eco-Olympics

     

    --

     

    Madeline Barone

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Class of 2020

    Environmental Sustainability and Psychology Majors

    Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship Intern | UIUC F&S

    President | Epsilon Eta Environmental Honors Fraternity

    President | Eco-Olympics

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/madelinebarone/

  10. Glass recycling finds funding on campus

    Glass recycling finds funding on campus

    Recycling+and+trash+bins+lie+near+the+west+courtyard+of+the+Union+on+Wednesday.+The+University+offers+more+than+3%2C000+recycling+bins+around+campus+including+glass+deposits.%0A

    MARK CAPAPAS

    Recycling and trash bins lie near the west courtyard of the Union on Wednesday. The University offers more than 3,000 recycling bins around campus including glass deposits.

    BY LUIS VELAZQUEZ, STAFF WRITER
    OCTOBER 10, 2019

    A glass recycling bin located in the Illini Union Courtyard surprised associate director of Facilities and Services for Sustainability Morgan White because she thought the University does not partake in recycling glass. Although many bins around campus only have places for plastic, paper, cardboard and scrap metal to be recycled, the University Housing Dining Services still funds glass recycling.

    More than 3,000 recycling bins are available throughout campus in dorms, as well as public facilities where plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and scrap metal can be recycled. 

    “A few times in the past 30 years, we have reviewed the materials that go through the F&S Waste Transfer Station, and we found that there is a very small amount of glass,” White said in an email. “Recently, Waste Characterization Studies were done for (eight) buildings on campus, measuring the exact amount of waste materials produced by each of those buildings.”

    According to White, Dave Guth, interim senior associate director of operations at the Illini Union, said, “This is probably one of the last remaining fiberglass bins we have in the building. The old containers had a separate stream for glass bottles and aluminum cans/plastic bottles.”

    White said although small amounts of glass come from campus buildings, the University Housing’s Dining Services have chosen to fund glass recycling.

    According to the Waste Management and Recycling website, “The University ‘diverts about 30% of its waste from landfills.’”

    With help from the F+S Waste Management Department, the University is aiming to reach its goal of reducing the total amount of waste sent to landfills. The University’s objective is to obtain a Zero Waste Campus environment, as indicated in the Illinois Climate Action Plan.

    The Waste Transfer Station, a facility for recycling goods, operates daily compacting and shipping trash to a landfill. However, the recyclables that come from campus are manually sorted and deposited into storage bins. After being compressed in a different bin, they are sold to recycling companies.

    Nichole Millage, environmental sustainability specialist for the City of Champaign Public Works Department, said the city offers glass recycling, but does not actually collect or process trash. This job is done by other companies, such as private solid waste haulers.

    “The City manages a multifamily recycling program (Feed the Thing), but the pick-up services are contracted to a private hauler (Midwest Fiber Recycling in Urbana),” Millage said in an email. “Per City Code, all licensed residential solid waste haulers in the City of Champaign are required to accept glass for recycling from residents.”

    Lesly Ortega, sophomore in LAS, said she believes since the University does not tell students to recycle, the majority do not properly recycle trash. However, Ortega is glad the University offers this option in general.

    “I feel like glass is used a lot more now,” Ortega said. “A lot of the refreshments sold in vending machines or in stores are accompanied with glass, so instead of it being thrown away, it should be recycled.”

  11. Freezer Challenge was in the Chancellor's message

     
    Click here to see this online
     
     
     

    A monthly e-newsletter where Chancellor Robert Jones shares campus news, stories, successes and information


    Welcome Back


     
     

    I hope you'll take a moment to watch this short video welcoming students to campus. I am grateful to each one of you for making this a special place to live, learn and work. No matter how long you’ve been part of the Illinois community, there is always something new to discover. I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish together. 

    Sincerely,
    Robert J. Jones
    Chancellor

     


    Celebrate Homecoming


    It's time to come home, Illini.

    Illinois Homecoming will take place Oct. 13-19. From pancakes at the Homecoming 5K to family fun in Grange Grove, don’t miss out on all our community has to offer. 

    For the full list of events, view the homecoming website and the Facebook event.

     


    Congratulate Students


     
     

    Illinois students are outstanding. For the spring 2019 semester, the university announced:

    - 7,240 Dean’s List students
    - 243 Bronze Tablet honorees
    - 9,068 May graduates

    For the complete list of names, view this list.

     


    Rediscover TailGREAT


    The 1980s tailgating competition is returning to Illinois after a 30-year hiatus. 

    TailGREAT will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21 when the Illini take on Nebraska at Memorial Stadium. The competition will award the Best BBQ and Most Creative Tailgate.

     


    Celebrate Our Community


     
     

    Illinois was ranked #20 on the list of Best Colleges for your Money by Money magazine.

    Champaign-Urbana was named one of the Top 40 places young people are moving to by USA Today.

    Illinois received first place in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge’s Academic category for the second year in a row.

     


    Learn About University News


    Application opens - The Illinois application for freshmen and transfer students opens Sept. 1.

    Scholar endowment - A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign endowment to honor scholar Yingying Zhang has been established by the Zhang family. Yingying's Fund will assist international students in crisis and their families.

    Student Success - A new Student Success Initiative aims to better understand the factors that lead to retention, graduation rates, placement, degree-completion time and more.

     


    Discover Illinois Research


     
     

    Better sleep - Optimistic people tend to sleep better and longer, according to a new Illinois study.

    Cheaper flight costs - Illinois researchers are using artificial intelligence to design a customized pricing model that benefits airline customers.

    Healthier diets in children - An Illinois study provides more evidence that kids who cook have healthier dietary habits.

    Safer K-9s - A new Illinois effort will ensure law enforcement K-9s get the specialized care they need when injured on the job.


    Unsubscribe from Illinois Noteworthy

     
     
     
     
     
     
  12. Collection Containers to Increase Recycling Efforts

    Associated Project(s): 

    As part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s effort to improve sustainability, new recycling and landfill collection containers have been distributed to buildings on the Urbana campus. Eventually, more than 20 buildings will have the containers, which feature three top openings with easily-identifiable and color-coded labels for either “landfill,” “paper,” or “bottles & cans.”

     

    Collection Containers to Increase Recycling Efforts

     

    Pete Varney . Facilities & Services

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