UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn


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EcoHusky and EcoHouse Compost at the Hartford Marathon

The annual ING Hartford Marathon was held on Saturday, October 12th in Bushnell Park. This year, EcoHusky and EcoHouse volunteers partnered with ING to help educate the runners and their family and friends on the importance of composting, as well as to promote UConn’s Sierra #1 Coolest Schools Ranking.

Approximately 30 volunteers attended the event and helped “man-the-can.”  Garbage, recycling, and composting bins were placed together and volunteers monitored and instructed on the disposal of waste.

Volunteers "manning" the can to help direct waste into the proper container

Volunteers “manning” the can to help direct waste into the proper container

Volunteers encourage people to compost and recycle

Volunteers encourage people to compost and recycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like UConn, Hartford also has single stream recycling. This means that any recyclable—glass, metal, paper, plastic—can be placed in the same bin and it will later be separated at a recycling facility. This simplifies the process of recycling and promotes consumer participation.

Both UConn and Hartford have single stream recycling - any recyclable can go in any bin!

Both UConn and Hartford have single stream recycling – any recyclable can go in any bin!

EcoHusky Officers spell out UCONN!

EcoHusky Officers spell out UCONN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runners were provided with an assortment of food options after their race including bagels, apple crumble, and grilled cheese. They were advised on what food is compostable—this applies to most products but excludes dairy and meat and thus some food had to be disposed of in the garbage bins. Fortunately, however, runners were given their food on compostable plates with compostable napkins so only the plastic spork could not be composted. Composting is an earth-friendly way to reduce methane emissions from landfills and support carbon footprint reduction. It enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and reduces the need of harmful chemical fertilizers. Compost can be used on your yard and saves money.

EcoHusky members also set up a table in the park where they had a memory-matching recycling game and sustainability themed trivia questions to engage those passing by.

People stopped by to play a recycling themed memory game and answer sustainability trivia

People stopped by to play a recycling themed memory game and answer sustainability trivia

In addition to promoting composting, this served as an opportunity for volunteers to inform members outside of its own community about the many sustainability initiatives and programs at UConn. Runners come from all throughout Connecticut to participate in the marathon so it offered UConn the occasion to discuss our recently earned Sierra #1 Coolest Schools ranking.

OEP Interns Kerrin and Emily promote UConn's #1 Sierra Club ranking

OEP Interns Kerrin and Emily promote UConn’s #1 Sierra Club ranking

 

– Emily


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Come Join UConn’s Earth Day Celebration!

Each spring the OEP along with the UConn Department of Dining Services’ Local Routes Program, EcoHusky Student Group and EcoHouse Learning Community organizes a sustainability festival called Earth Day Spring Fling (EDSF). The event features a multitude of student groups and campus departments as well as eco-friendly vendors/exhibitors. This year’s celebration will be held on April 18th from 11:00am to 2:00pm with an inclement weather date of April 19th.

Last year’s event generated heavy foot traffic as students, faculty, staff, and Mansfield community members stopped by to check out the Earth Day celebration.

Last year’s event generated heavy foot traffic as students, faculty, staff,
and Mansfield community members stopped by to check out the Earth Day celebration.

Located on Fairfield Way, students can easily stop by for a quick bite to eat on their way to and from class. Dining Services provides delicious local food (including vegetarian/vegan options) purchasable by either a flex pass or $9.00 in cash. All dishware is reusable to assist in achieving a low-waste event—with the bulk of waste being either recycled or composted. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and Mansfield community members are expected to attend. A diversity of vendors will be attending (approximately 35 to 40), including UConn’s very own EcoHusky Student Group, Kicks for Africa (a non-profit created by UConn student Chibuikem Nwanonyiri that collects lightly used shoes to send over to children in Africa), the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Lili D Magpie Creations (sustainable jewelry), Capitol Clean Cities (an organization dedicated to increasing the use of eco-friendly vehicles) and much more.

 EDSF is a low-waste event.

EDSF is a low-waste event.

UConn was recently ranked 5th on Sierra Club’s Cool School Survey this past year and we aim to continue improving sustainability on campus so we can reach our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Students are encouraged to come and learn more about what they can do to help promote sustainability on campus. This event offers the opportunity to learn more about environmental initiatives implemented at UConn as well as general sustainable practices. Some vendors will be selling products or handing out free samples while others may provide informational pamphlets.

Students can sit amongst their friends in the lawn area surrounding Fairfield Way and simply relax or seek out Jonathan the Husky who will be posing for photos to attract students toward our fundraising initiatives as part of the Ignite Challenge (Students 4 Sustainbility). Live acoustic music will be performed by two local bands named Skychase and Research n Development. There will also be a tree planting at 1:00pm on the east side of Budds Building.

edsf5

Come join us and help UConn celebrate its biggest environmental awareness event of the year. With spring in the air, let’s cross our fingers and hope for warm weather. We hope to see you there!

For more information please visit our website.


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Basketball Green Game Days: Spring 2013

Click on a picture to learn more about our green game days this spring! Thank you to everyone at the games who donated to Kicks for Africa. Collection of lightly used sneakers will continue throughout the semester at bins placed around campus.

 


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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