UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn


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Ignite Challenge: Students 4 Sustainability!

IGNITE Challenge – Competition to Win $10,000 towards Environmental Initiatives and Awareness

What is the opportunity?

The Ignite challenge is UConn’s first crowdfunding competition that gives UConn students and young alumni the opportunity to follow, connect with, and support causes at UConn they are most passionate about. UConn alumnus, David Barton ’61, is helping sponsor the competition to promote philanthropy and to engage campus wide participation. Selected groups will compete for donors and awards, with the top prize of $10,000 to a supported cause that will benefit the UConn community.

Who benefits?

All donations for our cause will directly go to the Campus Sustainability Fund. The Campus Sustainability Fund supports programs and initiatives that raise environmental awareness and develop conservation-minded students. Through demonstration projects like green roofs, renewable energy and biofuels, recycling and composting enhancements, campus bicycling amenities, water and energy conservation competitions, and donating reusable goods to community partners, students learn to be environmental stewards and positively contribute to society.

The Campus Sustainability Fund was enacted to provide part of the necessary capital to aid the Sustainability Office in its efforts to meet this aggressive goal to become a sustainable campus. Continuing to build a sustainable campus and creating a culture of environmental stewardship among students will require an upgrade of the University’s resources dedicated to sustainability and specifically, the further development of the Sustainability Office within the OEP. Support of the fund will ensure that UConn will continue to be a leader in sustainability within the state and throughout the country.

Why this is important?

The Ignite Challenge is the first opportunity we have had to raise significant money through a donation for the Campus Sustainability Fund (“CSF”). The CSF in recent years has been short of  external funds, which are crucial to financially supporting many of our environmental initiatives at UConn. UConn has made significant progress as a top green university with the recent Sierra Club ranking placing UConn as the top 5 greenest college campus, but we need continued support.

How to participate?

Groups were pre-selected to participate in the Ignite challenge through an application process. The Office of Environmental Policy’s cause is to support Environmental Awareness and Initiatives at UConn through the cause “Students 4 Sustainability.” If you are passionate about environmental issues and would like to help your university continue its sustainability efforts, please sign up as a donor today! Winning causes will be selected based on the highest number of student and young alumni* donor participants, not on the sum of dollars raised.

*Young alumni include Graduates of the Last Decade (2003-2013)

How YOU can Donate to our cause, “Students 4 Sustainability”

There are a variety of ways to donate to our cause for the IGNITE challenge, below are some of the possibilities.

  •     Text2Give: Text 5055 with the following phrase:
    •   For students: “uconn earth [your first and last name] [peoplesoft]”
    • For young alumni: “uconn earth [your first and last name] [graduation year]”
    • Respond YES when asked to confirm your $10 donation in a follow-up text message that you will receive. This gift will support the cause “STUDENTS 4 SUSTAINABILITY”

*More information of Text2Give can be found here: http://www.foundation.uconn.edu/text-donations.html

When is the competition?

The competition spans from February 1 – May 3, 2013

 
Thank you for your continued support. Remember to Go Green and Stay Blue!

For more information on the Campus Sustainability Fund, or the Ignite Challenge please visit:

http://www.ecohusky.uconn.edu/about/csf.html

http://www.foundation.uconn.edu/studentgiving/index.html

Important Disclosures:

$10.00 donation to support the University of Connecticut Foundation through the  mGive Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid  balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms and Privacy Policy: s.uconn.edu/txt. Foundation.

Your gift to Students 4 Sustainability will be administered by the UConn Foundation, Inc. and deposited into the Campus Sustainability Fund (#22701). Donations will be used to support programs, projects, supplies, equipment, staffing and related expenses needed to develop, coordinate, promote, carry out, measure and report about UConn’s system-wide campus sustainability initiatives.


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EcoMadness Final Results 2012!

The final results on EcoMadness 2012 are in!

Energy

Throughout the competition, Buckley has held the number one spot for lowest daily per capita usage of energy, at 3.7 kWh per student per day.  Their hard work and dedication kept them in the lead, and as a reward they will have a free UConn Dairy Bar ice cream party in addition to bragging rights!

In the energy reduction category, Sherman/Webster of Towers held the lead for three weeks. However, during our double or nothing final week of competition, Whitney scrambled ahead in the final moments! They had held a top three position throughout the competition, but Whitney beat out Sherman/Webster by a slim 0.03% finishing for a 20.5% total reduction in energy consumption.

Of the 23 participating dorms, 21 successfully reduced their energy consumption by a total average of 8.5%. The average per capita use was 4.4 kWh per day.

Water

Sprague, the new home of EcoHouse, was the clear winner for water reduction with an incredible final reduction of 21.0%! For some perspective on what a major accomplishment this was, the second place dorm reduced by 13.0%. Since the second week of competition, Sprague held its leading spot with steady improvements each week.   Another winner who held their position consistently throughout EcoMadness was Hamilton/Wade/Fenwick/Keller of Towers with an average per capita consumption of 32.0 gallons of water per day throughout the course of the competition.

Nine of the 23 dorms reduced their water consumption by an overall average of 2.9%.  Excluding the dorms whose water consumption was unchanged, the average reduction in water consumption was 7.1%.  The average per capita use of water was 39.9 gallons per day. (Converting that to its weight, the average per capita use is 334 lbs of water daily!)

An honorable mention goes out to our second and third place dorms for all four winning categories:

Per Capita Energy: Holcomb (2nd Place) and Batterson (3rd Place)
Energy Use Reduction (%): Sherman/Webster (2nd Place) and Hollister A/Hollister B (3rd Place)

Per Capita Water: Terry (2nd Place) and Spraque (33.4)
Water Use Reduction: Alsop A/Alsop B (2nd Place) and Whitney (3rd Place)

The overall final results are as follows:

Water Reduction Winner:
Sprague (21% Reduction)

Energy Reduction Winner:
Whitney (East) (20.5% Reduction)

Water Usage Per Capita Winner:
Hamilton/Wade/Fenwick/Keller (32 gallons)

Energy Usage Per Capita Winner:
Buckley (3.7 kWh)

Congratulations to all the dorms that successfully reduced their water and/or energy consumption during the course of EcoMadness.  Keep up the good work and remember to keep conserving!


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Ecohusky 5K Road Race

Each spring, runners from UConn as well as the larger Connecticut community converge on Horsebarn Hill to lend their legs in support of furthering sustainability on the Storrs campus. For the seventh straight year, the race was held as a fundraiser for the EcoHusky Student Group, which champions issues related to environmental sustainability on campus. The race was held on Sunday April 1st, and attracted around 60 participants who were everything from UConn undergrads, to UConn professors, to community members interested in a challenge. The rigorous course proceeds up, over, and around the famous and scenic Horsebarn Hill so the top times of 17m 22s and 21m 27s belonging to Matt Glocker and Taylor Stott, the top male and female runners, respectively, are all the more noteworthy! Winners of the four age categories were the recipients of gift certificates and services donated from local institutions. Additionally, this year’s winning group was the Evolutionary Ecology and Biology faculty team who have long been supporters of environmental initiatives on campus. The proceeds of the race will be used by the EcoHusky Student Group to sustain their efforts as a platform for student and community environmental outreach and service.

Ecohusky 5k runners

University of Connecticut Students and Faculty running in the Ecohusky 5k


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The UTC Sustainability Case Competition

By: Emily Udal

So what if you take a problem on campus, relate it to a new trend and make it a competition? That was exactly my thought process when deciding to create the first sustainability case competition. Popular with business schools across the country, the purpose of a case competition is to take a given problem and to try to find a solution for it. There is no or right or wrong answer, however a good amount of thought and creativity are key.

Once I determined the goal of the case competition, I tried to find a way to appeal to a mass number of students to help them solve a campus-related problem, while gaining professional experience with a blue-chip company. The objective of organizing this case competition was for students from all majors and graduation dates to get hands-on experience to put on their resume for a future internship or job. The concept originated from trying to bridge environmental stewardship and business at UConn through a creative concept that is both feasible and respectful to a $10,000 budget constraint.

With over 100 students signing up, the case competition had garnered significant interest by the campus community.  In today’s competitive job market, landing the perfect internship is crucial to early career success. With the case competition open to freshman and sophomores to participate, it allowed students to gain professional experience early, which is often difficult considering most career-related opportunities are open to upperclassman.

UTC Case Competition Participants

UTC Case Competition Participants

The finalists included teams that proposed more efficient bus routes, an internship program for a biogas facility, retrofitting exercise equipment to produce its own electricity, and a Daily Campus smartphone app to reduce newspaper usage.

The winners of the competition introduced the concept of Ethos Based Recycling. The winning team members included key members from the EcoHusky Student Group. Their concept was based on increasing the amount that students at the University of Connecticut recycle through a fresh perspective on recycling.

The program would involve an overhaul of the current recycling receptacles on campus to provide an emotionally rewarding and educational experience to students as they recycle. Some of the new features that would be included on the recycling bins would be: information on recycling on the bins to intervene in the issue of improper disposal; motion sensors bins that will respond with applause and list the number of items that have been recycled on a given day; painted scenes of nature on the recycling bins to inspire students to protect their environment through the simple act of recycling.

The event was the first to bring environmental stewardship, business and friendly competition to find a student solution to a real problem faced at UConn. The winning proposal has been considered at major environmental workgroups, such as the University’s Environmental Policy Advisory Council, to try to implement such a program on campus. The overall goal of giving hands on experience was achieved, but more importantly, the event has brought a fresh student perspective to some of the current environmental initiatives at the University of Connecticut.