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  1. Award Letter - Japan House Bikes

    Japan House and the University of Illinois Arboretum request funding to provide bike racks on their grounds. There are currently no available bike racks in the 57-acre Arboretum and Japan House grounds. Japan House is the site of University classes and the Arboretum is frequently used as a resource for classes from units such as Landscape Architecture, and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. In addition, the Arboretum and the Japan House Gardens are a major recreational resource for students, faculty and staff and the general public. The Japan House offices are located at the site and students routinely ask where they should lock up their bikes. Currently, with no bike racks, bikers are forced to lock bikes to benches, lampposts, etc. Funding is supplied for the installation of two six loop bike racks and pavers (to ensure that the surface is permeable), and related biking signage.

  2. Award Letter - Union Water Fountains

    Currently, the Illini Union has a variety of water fountains in the facility, totaling 16 units. Select fountains were retrofitted in 2009 with “goose-neck” style bottle filler fixtures, however these are susceptible to damage and not filtered. Ten units in public areas are funded for replacement in this project with Elkay fountains that have built in bottle refill stations. These water fountains will make it much easier to fill water bottles than the current water fountains and provide filtered, cool water to students and guests. These fill stations will also track the number of bottles saved from the land fill and will provide this information on an LED screen at the top of the refill station. The LED screens on each water fountain can be used as an educational resource for all users. These new Elkay water fountains will encourage everyone to refill their water bottles because each unit provides a real time digital display of the number of bottles saved from the landfill.

  3. Award Letter - Gadget Garage

    ISTC proposes to launch a center, using seed funding from SSC, where UI students and staff will bring their personal electronic devices for assistance with assessment and repair. We call this center the Illini Gadget Garage (hereafter referred to as “Gadget Garage” or “Garage”).
    Using the same “collaborative repair” model employed at the campus bike shop and MakerSpace Urbana (http://makerspaceurbana.org/projects/computer-help-desk/), clients with devices in need of repair/troubleshooting will work together with Gadget Garage student staff and volunteers to perform the necessary device assessment and maintenance activities. Depending upon the situation, activities may range from guidance on how to make your computer/device run faster to actual repair and replacement of components.

    Desired outcomes for students, staff, and the community include:

    1. Hands on experiences for UI students, not only in terms of performing repairs, but also in process documentation and fostering sustainable behavior on a larger scale through the iFixit Technical Writing Project; marketing and business operations; lessons in industrial design for repair and recyclability; and in environmental education and communication.
    2. Increased awareness of electronics laws and recycling options.
    3. Increased awareness of sustainability issues surrounding electronic products throughout their lifecycles.
    4. Decreased misconceptions regarding the disposability of devices and prohibitive complexity of electronics repair and maintenance.
    5. Contribution to the overall efforts to make ours a more sustainable campus with a reduced carbon footprint.
  4. Award Letter - IFSI Filtration

    This project is aimed at ensuring that water runoff from firefighter training at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute is not introducing carbonaceous material into a nearby stream. This project will improve sustainability in that the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute will ensure that water leaving the training ground is clean and non-turbid. Doing so will avoid violating the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, and will allow IFSI to continue to serve the over 60,000 students it reaches annual on the campus in Champaign and throughout Illinois. It will exceed campus standards because this project is a proactive solution, focusing on solving a problem that has not yet resulted in an EPA citation, local complaint, or significant environmental issue. This project addresses improvements necessary to ensure that only clean water is discharged. Other solutions have been investigated, and this solution has the broadest support and is the most complete solution.

  5. Award Letter - Demo Cargo Bike

    The idea for the project came after noticing most trucks on campus are only hauling small loads compared to the capacity they were made for. We believe we could switch many transportation tasks over to human powered vehicles. We are hoping we can use a demonstration cargo bike to show different departments how they can use sustainable transportation rather than large fossil fuel powered trucks. We want the departments to see how useful cargo bikes can be and then buy their own. This would not only save money, reduce pollution and congestion, but open up opportunities for student workers who do not have driver’s licenses to do these tasks. This would open up more jobs for students on campus as well as let them participate in sustainable transportation which they could then take and implement after they graduate.

  6. Award Letter - Biomass for Vermicomposting

    The SSC awarded the Sustainable Student Farm a grant in 2013 to build a transplant greenhouse that also housed a vermicomposting pilot porject with Dining Services. This was meant to test the feasability of collecting pre-consumer food waste from the Dining hall facilities and converting it into worm compost for use on the student farm. In its first year of operation the greenhouse has been heated soley from propane, which is the most common and simplest heating system for these types of greenhouses. The nature of the worms used in this type of composting require an ideal temperature range of 40-80F. In order to attain this, the greenhouse needs to be heated during the winter months.

    In 2014 the greenhouse consumed approximately 1600 gallons of propane for heating. At an average price of $2 this equals $3200/year in heating costs. By comparison if the biomass furnace is used and can replace 80% of the heating requirements that would only cost $1664/year in heating costs. The main reaplacement fuel would be #2 Shell Corn @ 15% moisture. This is readily available in the midwest and costs on average about $3.5/bushel. It would take about 366 bushels of corn to replace the BTU’s provided by the propane. The nature of managing the biomass furnace would allow us to replace only 80% of the heating requirements for the greenhouse. Future development of these furnaces could one day replace the requirement completely. However, the propane system will be kept as a back up.

  7. Award Letter - Baseline Waste Characterization

    The primary deliverable of this proposed project is to provide a detailed waste characterization assessment for three facilities located throughout the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois. Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls (LAR), Business Instructional Facility (BIF), Roger Adams Laboratory(RAL) are facilities that will be characterized.
    This proposal builds upon the initial waste characterizations conducted in the Spring of 2013 for four buildings: Henry Administration Building, Alice Campbell Alumni Center, Swanlund Administration Building, and Illini Union Bookstore.
    The objective of the assessments is to characterize the waste generated from a Lab building, a classroom building and a housing building. The primary goal of the waste stream characterization study is to provide UIUC with an accurate and precise baseline measurement of the solid waste generated at each facility type. ISTC will assist F&S in identifying and implementing practices and technologies that will reduce waste, increase landfill diversion, increase recycling revenues, and decrease waste disposal costs. These efforts will help UIUC to become an example of a sustainable campus, and will provide new learning and teaching opportunities for the university and community at large. The ancillary deliverables are various direct educational programing opportunities both structured as well as passive.

  8. Arboretum Native Plantings Award Letter

    The University of Illinois Arboretum has historically showcased formal displays of annual ornamental plants and selected trees. There is increased interest in developing plots and displays of native plants, especially those that are beneficial to pollinators. This project will introduce a variety of such native plants into several settings at the Arboretum. The Arboretum intends to use the plantings as an outdoor laboratory that will be used for formal and informal education about the role of native plants in provision of ecosystem services such as pollination adn improving soil quality. The experience gained will lay the ground work for future expansion of the concept including large plantings within selected locations and patches of clearly labeled plants that will allow visitors to learn their names and characteristics.
    The plantings will also provide physical examples of how small plantings can be used in personal and commercial landscapes. The use of perennial native plants will help the Arboretum assess the potential to save money and other resources by using more plants that do not have to be repurchased and replanted annually. The native plants along with improved habitat conditions will support a large number of local pollinators and other insect and bird species that are increasingly threatened by loss of habitat, and provide an instructional resource for university classes and local schools.

  9. Award Letter - Anaerobic Digester Pilot

    Food waste is the second largest category of municipal solid waste (MSW) sent to landfills in the United States, accounting for approximately 18% of the waste stream. Agricultural and garden wastes comprising of wood and yard trimmings come next in the list, accounting for approximately 15% of the waste stream. At the U of I campus as well, about 100-120 gallons of food waste is generated from one dining hall unit per week. That is roughly 0.5 cubic yards/week currently.
    Anaerobic digestion occurs naturally, in the absence of oxygen, as bacteria break down organic materials and produce biogas. The process reduces the amount of material and produces biogas, which can be used as an energy source. This technology is commonly used throughout the United States to break down sewage sludge at wastewater treatment facilities. In the past few years, there has been a movement to start adding food waste to anaerobic digesters already in place at wastewater treatment facilities.
    This proposal provides setup costs for a pilot test of an anaerobic digestion process to determine if a full-scale digester prototype is feasible.

  10. Award Letter - Operation Enduring Frigidity - FA2014

    The School of Chemical Sciences houses a data center in Noyes Laboratory which is the home to more than 30 racks of computers. These machines are used by the Chemistry Learning Center, which serves all undergraduate students in General Chemistry courses, the departments of Chemistry and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and are used constantly by faculty and graduate students. The goal of this project is to make the server room more energy efficient so as to reduce both the financial and environmental impact on the university.

    This is a multi-phase project with the plan being each phase will take steps towards energy reduction. (1) Install power monitors in the panels so we can collect data on how much electricity is consumed by the machine room, (2) Contain the cold aisle so that hot and cold air do not mix, (3) install new hardware into the HVAC units so that they can communicate with each other so they will not fight, and (4) install a heat exchanger for use during winter. Steps 3 and 4 are planned for a future date.

  11. Award Letter - Bike Share

    In Spring 2011, SSC funded a bike sharing feasibility study, and it established a three-tier approach to bike sharing. However, it was found that no improvements to developing a bike sharing could begin until the bike infrastructure was significantly improved. In the last 4 years, there have been vast improvements and new infrastructure plans are continuing to be implemented.

    The UIUC Pilot Bike Share program is a proposal for a two year pilot bike share program. This pilot program will be a 50 bike fleet. It will be using a new approach to bike sharing through smart locks. Smart locks contain all the technology for the bike-sharing program linked to a smart phone. The smart locks will allow for versatility in the type of bikes to use within the system and where the bikes could be located. iSEE is exploring a collaboration with BitLock for the smart locks and Neutral Cycle for the bikes.

    This two-year pilot bike-sharing program is in with collaboration with CUMTD, City of Urbana, City of Champaign, and CUPHD (CU Bike Share Task Force) in creating a bike share program on campus that can be scalable into the community. The desired outcome is to design a bike share program that is equitable and gives students the best access to traveling around campus, while reducing our carbon footprint.

  12. Funding Deadline

     

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    Apply Now for Funding from the Student Sustainability Committee – Deadline This Sunday!

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) reviews, recommends and funds over $1.1 million in sustainable projects annually that increase environmental stewardship, inspire change, and impact students.  Past projects partially funded by the SSC include the Sustainable Student Farm, the ECE Building, and the Sustainability Living-Learning Community in University Housing.

    The SSC is now accepting funding requests for the Fall 2014 funding cycle of the 2014-2015 academic year.  All projects working toward a goal of improving sustainability at the University of Illinois are encouraged to apply.  Student-led projects are welcome, but must be affiliated with a campus department and have a faculty or staff member as a sponsor.  For full funding criteria or to complete an application, please visit the SSC Website.  Applications are due by 11:59 PM THIS SUNDAY, October 19th for consideration in the Fall 2014 Funding Cycle, and projects will receive notification on whether they are invited to the next step in funding consideration by mid-November.  Projects submitted after this deadline will have consideration deferred to the Spring 2015 funding cycle.

    If you have any questions, please visit the SSC’s website or email Sustainability-Committee@illinois.edu.

    Announcing a new course offered in Spring 2015 -- Monitoring and Evaluating SSC Projects
    Adjunct Professor Warren Lavey is teaching a new class this Spring: ENVS 299 (Independent Studies of Environmental Topics) (2 credits, meeting Wednesdays 4:00 pm - 4:50 pm)

    Enrollment limited to three juniors, seniors, or graduate students involved with the Student Sustainability Committee (present or past members or participants in a working group)

    Stronger processes for monitoring and evaluating the performance of projects will help the SSC learn from and communicate the benefits of its efforts.  This course will teach the tools for financial, environmental and other assessments, and apply them in developing information useful for the SSC's current and future work. Students will research and submit two 10-page reports -- one evaluating the performanceof a project funded several years ago, and the other analyzing the monitoring provisions and expected impacts in a pending proposal.  Each student will work with the SSC to select important projects to research.  Students will interview staff involved with the projects, collect data, research the performance of similar projects, and develop a customized framework for monitoring and evaluation.

    Enrollment in this course is limited and students will be selected by the professor.  If you would like to apply, please download and complete the application at http://ssc.union.illinois.edu/bootstrap/is_application.pdf.

    Please submit via email by November 1 to lavey@illinois.edu.  Applicants will be informed of the selections by November 10.

     

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  13. Fall 2014 SSC meetings kick-off

    Student Sustainability Committee Meeting

    Union, Leadership Center Conference Room

    September 8, 2013

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

     

    1. Determining Executive Positions 5:00-5:10

    a. Chair

    b. Vice Chair Internal and External

    c. Communications

    d. Treasurer

     

    2. Working Group Formation and Chair Selection 5:10-5:25

    a. Energy

    b. Water

    c. Food/Waste

    d. Land

    e. Transportation

    f. Education

     

    3. Monitoring and Evaluation 5:25-5:35

     

    4. Subcommittee Formation and Chair Selection 5:35-5:45

    a. Executive

    b. Finance

    c. Bylaws

    d. Marketing

     

    5. Bylaws update 5:45-5:50

     

    6. Information meeting 5:50-6:00

     

    7. Adjournment

  14. New ECE Building Project Solar Panels

    The new Electrical and Computer Engineering building (New ECE building) will be operational starting the fall semester of 2014, and will be a unique green building on the University of Illinois campus. It is designed to be the most energy efficient engineering building in the world and is targeting LEED platinum certification, the highest rating for efficiency. With the full planned solar energy complement, the building is projected to achieve net zero energy status. The facility will be one of the two largest net-zero energy buildings in the United States. It will be a facility that supports all its own energy needs – on average over each year – leaving no carbon or fossil consumption footprint. Although the ECE building design itself is intended to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the energy objectives go far beyond this rating to true energy sustainability.

  15. Coffee Ground Repurposing

    The Coffee Ground Repurposing Project, spearheaded by University Housing, seeks to create a coffee ground recycling network on the University of Illinois campus. Rather than discarding used coffee grounds and sending them to a landfill, University Housing will offer used coffee grounds from the dining halls to the public for composting and re-use. The project has two main goals. First, the project will further minimize the amount of food items being directed to the landfill from University Dining Halls. Second, and more importantly, the program will be an educational tool to demonstrate to UIUC students how nearly every item they dispose of has an alternative use as opposed to being sent to the landfill.

  16. Campus community Garden Fostering Sustainable Food

    The Campus Community Garden (CCG) will be designed by students, built, and planted on the grounds of the University of Illinois Turf Farm. The CCG will look and feel like a typical allotment-style community garden, but the management of the garden will be focused on undergraduate learning opportunities. To this end, half of the individual garden plots (24 raised beds) will be made available to students for independent gardening activities and experimentation. The other 24 raised bed garden plots will be used for teaching, demonstration, and outreach on urban agriculture, and they will also serve as important examples of successful production methods for student gardeners.

  17. Allerton Park Solar Array-Phase II

    Allerton Park already has a solar array located near its Visitors’ Center. The second phase of the Allerton Park Solar Array project involves working with a Learning In Community (LINC) class to construct a second ground-mounted solar recharge array. This second phase builds on the success of the existing array with the adjacent construction of an additional 60 panels. The design of the Phase 2 array utilizes an innovative floating foundation system that allows for portability of the array if necessary. The total array provides 14.7kW of peak power, which translates to a projected annual output of 14,653 kWh(about 15-20% of total apCAP solar goals). Power at the panel and array level can be monitored remotely and be publicly viewable via an online dashboard which displays the impact of the solar power contribution in terms of energy equivalents: gallons of gasoline, light bills, tons of coal, barrels of crude oil, and planted trees.

  18. Allerton Park Bike Share

    Allerton Park is a valuable but underutilized property owned by the University of Illinois. The Allerton Park Bike Share project intends to improve Allerton Park and make it more attractive to the campus population and the community at large through the installation of a bike share system. In addition to providing an attractive service for visitors, this project will also help promote green transportation when traveling around the 1,517 acre estate.

  19. Farm and Fiber

    Fresh Press, in collaboration with the Sustainable Student Farm (SSF) and the Woody Perennial Polyculture (WPP) site, are aiming to grow student opportunities through individual and collaborative research and public engagement efforts. The money requested in the Farm and Fiber grant will contribute to the acquisition of walk-in coolers, perennial crops, bee hives/equipment, additional paper dry box, a bailer/hay rake, and a bale shredder blower. This equipment will benefit each project at the SSF by increasing farm production and allowing for increased agricultural fiber yield, leading to a growth in paper production. This increased capacity will triple production capacity and allow greater opportunity for university paper commissions and student workshops in Fresh Press facilities at South Studios.

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