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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)

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  1. Working Group kickoff meeting

    The SSC Working Group kickoff meeting we held today.  All the working group chairs gave a quick overview of the project types they handle. The chair gave an overview of the process and the workload for the working groups.  

    The individual working groups met at various tables and discussed their plans for the year.

  2. Positions determined for FY14

    Working Group Formation and Chair Selection

    a.       Energy

    Chair: Jessica DeWitt

    b.       Water

    Chair: Amy Liu

    c.        Food/Waste

    Chair: Maria Jones

    d.       Land

    Chair: Amy Liu

    e.       Transportation

    Chair: Katie Kinley

    f.        Education

    Chair: Nishant Makhijani

     Subcommittee Formation and Chair Selection

    a.       Executive

    Chair: Marika

    b.       Finance

    Chair: Katie

    c.        Bylaws

    Chair: Nishant

    d.       Marketing

    Chair: Marlon

  3. Solar Farm Funding Award and Acceptance Letter

    The 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm will increase the generation of renewable energy on campus and help meet goals outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The Solar Farm will produce an estimated 7.86 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) the first year or approximately 2% of the electrical demand for the Urbana campus based upon usage projections for fiscal year 2015.

  4. Sustainable Agricultural Food System_Funding Award and Acceptance

  5. TBH Lighting Controls_Funding Award and Acceptance

    $62,900 was awarded to instill occupancy sensors and lighting timers in various locations within Temple Buell Hall. This was intended to encourage awareness of energy use among design students and faculty, and to reduce lighting and cooling energy use in the building.

  6. Perennial Polyculture Production_Funding Award and Acceptance

  7. Medicine Take-Back Program_Funding Award and Acceptance

    Background: Pharmaceutical chemicals have been documented in rivers, lakes, groundwater, soil, and treated drinking water across the country. Despite occurring at very low levels, the chemicals are known to cause changes in behavior, reproduction, and growth in fish, frogs, mussels, and other aquatic wildlife. Unused medications stored in the home may also be sources for drug misuse and abuse.

    Goal: To help tackle these environmental and social issues, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) is working to establish a medicine collection program for the University of Illinois Campus and the C-U community that would properly dispose of expired or unused medications via EPA-recommended incineration.

  8. Orchard Downs Sustainable Landscape_Funding Award and Acceptance

  9. Don't ditch Diesel Yet

    When most people think about clean energy, many just think wind and solar. However, the truth is that with the rapid increase in technology and innovation within the last few decades, the possibilities for renewable energy have increased exponentially. Biodiesel, for instance, is one that many people are not familiar with but should be because it is leading the way in clean fuel production. Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be made from a diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats.


    In addition to the club, the team working on this project found that an education component would be very beneficial to spreading their overarching goals of sustainability across the campus. Because of that, they created a class that students from all disciplines can take and piloted it this semester. The objective of the class competent is to educate students on the project and hopefully increase student and campus involvement in sustainability. I had the opportunity to check out the class earlier this week. I got to see the entire progress that the oil goes through first hand, and it was incredible. The SSC plans to follow up again after they are moved into their permanent location so stay tuned for further progress and innovation updates.UIUC is participating in the development and expansion of biodiesel in many ways. On campus, there is a registered student organization dedicated to it called The Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI). Their primary mission is to produce biodiesel and soap from waste vegetable oil (WVO) collected from campus dining halls in an effort to reduce emissions and promote sustainability on campus. The Student Sustainability Committee initially voted to fund the Illinois Biodiesel Initiative during its 2012-13 funding cycle; however, due IBI being forced out of their old site at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, SSC funding was put on hold. While they wait for their permanent site in the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, IBI is currently running scaled-down production in a space in Roger Adams Laboratory.

    In the meantime, aside from the class, there are several other opportunities to get involved with the initiative and in the club. Students can join any of the four subgroups which include production/testing, Soap (production or research), Finance, and Special Projects. They are always looking for new members from all grade levels.

  10. Glass Filler Retrofit_Funding Award and Acceptance

    By providing convenient bottle filling stations at water fountains in several heavily-trafficked campus buildings and libraries, the goal of this project was to wean the student body off of plastic water bottle consumption, lower campus waste generation, and encourage students, faculty, staff, and visitors to adopt environmentally-conscious habits. A marketing campaign called “Tap That” was coordinated to publicize the project and educate the campus community about the numerous benefits of reusable water bottles. In total, the project expenses were $15,160.

  11. Campus Bicycle Shop_Funding Award and Acceptance

  12. Bridge to China Allerton Project Funding Award and Acceptance

    Allerton Park, located in Monticello, Ill., was previously the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton. In 1946 Allerton Park was given as a gift to the University of Illinois by Robert Allerton as “an educational and research center, as a forest and wildlife and plant-life reserve, as an example of landscape architecture, and as a public park”. Today, the park is used for various purposes, such as business meetings, hiking, and weddings.

    Allerton Park is 4.7 miles away from downtown Monticello and has three entrances to it. One of these entrances is a North Entrance that leads from Old Timber Road. Allerton Park wishes to construct a pedestrian pathway which runs alongside Old Timber Road, connecting the Visitor Centre of the park to County Farm Road, which is connected to downtown Monticello. However, a quarter mile north from the visitors center the path is obstructed by a creek, which is difficult to cross. Allerton Park needs a solution that would help connect the two ends of this path over the creek. They wish to construct a bike path that would connect all three entrances of the Park and be a form of transportation within the park. Allerton Park wishes to draw visitors towards the park via a safe and sustainable transportation method and to promote a positive relationship between users and the natural environment. Also, this bridge project will assist the student organization, Bridge to China, to build sustainable bridges in future bridge projects in China.

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