UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn


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Earning Green by Going Green

Are you graduating this year and trying to find a job?  Consider going green!  With a career focused on sustainability and eco-friendliness you can give back and make positive change.  Not only that, but the green industry is growing as companies worldwide are jumping on the eco-train.   Many of these jobs relate to the production of cleaner fuel sources and green products, but not everything is so hands on.  If you look hard enough there are other jobs that require a green perspective.  Think about marketing, education, and consulting.  Some jobs are about spreading the message rather than installing solar panels.  Check out the links below to help you with your search for an environmentally friendly career.

Green Job Placement Services

Top 10 Cities with green jobs for new grads

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report

General tips on how to find a green job


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UConn Philanthropy Day 2013

Today marks the University of Connecticut’s 4th annual Philanthropy Day! This yearly celebration reminds us to thank friends, alumni and other donors of UConn for their philanthropic efforts and investments. Many of our donors give loyal, annual support and others give considerable one-time gifts. But, either way, every gift and donation significantly helps support various organizations, programs and initiatives on the University of Connecticut campus. In total, the University has over 34,000 donors, and thousands of those are our very own UConn alumni. In 2012 alone, our donors gave more than sixty-two million dollars, a third of which supported scholarships and other academic initiatives.

It is very important to take a moment of recognize and pay tribute to those who have made generous contributions to the University. Without their charity, several programs on campus that we all enjoy, benefit from and take for granted could not have been continued.

Here, at the Office of Environmental Policy, we would like to express our thanks not only to all University of Connecticut donors, but especially to our Campus Sustainability Fund donors. Your donations have absolutely helped the University earn the status as the “Coolest School” in the nation. Your donations have also helped the University fund many sustainability events and programs. UConn could not have made this achievement without your loyalty and support to the Campus Sustainability Fund. So today, on Philanthropy Day, we would like to give all of you a tremendous thank you! 

CSFLogo


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The Mystery of Single Stream Recycling

One of the most frequent questions we get at the OEP is “can I recycle X,” followed closely by “what recycling goes in each bin?”

At UConn, we have had single stream recycling since 2009.  This means that any recyclable material can go in any recycling bin.  Sometimes this is also called mixed recycling.  We have a number of different types of recycling bins on campus – we have the new green bins outside that are coupled with trash cans, we have the older rectangular cans with paper and bottle/can restricted lids, we have the small blue recycling bins for individual rooms or offices, we have white and red and yellow bins in the dorms.  Despite the difference in bins, any recyclable can go in any bin!

However, even with single stream, there are still a lot of questions about what is recyclable and what is not.

Some common items:

Plastic grocery bags – these cannot go into single stream recycling.  However, they can be recycled at most grocery stores.  This goes for any sort of recyclable plastic bag (such as newspaper bags, or plastic bubble packing material)

Paper coffee cups – these are generally not recyclable because the paper is actually lined with wax to prevent your hot beverage from leaking out of the cup.  Often the plastic lid and the paper sleeve are recyclable though!

Books – Check with your recycler, but Willimantic Waste Paper Company, the recycler for campus accepts paperback books for recycling, just put them into any recycling bin.

Shredded paper – Although shredded paper is recyclable, it can’t go into the single stream because the small pieces can’t be sorted out.  Offices on campus can contact central stores to pick up confidential documents for shredding. If your recycler can’t take shredded paper, contact them to find out where you can take shredded paper for recycling.

Ziplock Bags – Unfortunately these can’t go in the recycling.  Consider washing and reusing them, or purchasing reusable zipper bags for your snacks.

Envelopes with clear windows – These can go in the recycling bin!

Anything with food waste or grease – Even if the material would be otherwise recyclable, if it has food waste, please wash it before putting it into the recycling so you don’t contaminate the load.  If it’s contaminated with grease (such as cardboard from a pizza box), it can’t be recycled.

Check out this awesome video from WilliWaste explaining how their single stream recycling system works!


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EV Charging Station

The University of Connecticut was one of eighteen locations selected by Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) for their “Plug My Ride” program. There is already one electric vehicle charging station on campus located in the Motor Pool parking lot. It is open to the public for free use between the hours of 8:00AM and 4:00PM.

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Over the past year, CL&P and the University’s School of Engineering conducted a study on the charging station and concluded that it was in the top 5% for usage among all of the charging station included in the study (more information about the Plug My Ride Case Studies can be found here: http://plugmyride.org/Case_Studies.aspx). Recently, UConn’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and student interns at the Office of Environmental Policy (OEP) collaborated to acquire a grant for the installation of two more electric vehicle charging stations. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) agreed to fund the installation of two more electric vehicle charging stations on campus. The two additional charging stations are to be installed in both of the parking garages – one in North Parking Garage and another in South Parking Garage.

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The existence of two more electric vehicle charging stations will further promote the use of hybrid and electric vehicles. The additional charging stations will also provide the University with the potential to purchase more electric vehicles in the future to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet, and will prompt the possibility of adding more electric vehicles to the “Hertz on Demand” car sharing program. Not only do electric vehicles contribute to cleaner air quality and lead towards a more sustainable planet, but they are also economically advantageous and energy independent.

– Meredith