Monthly Archive for June, 2008

CFL bulb recycling at Home Depot

Home Depot announced Tuesday that it will collect compact fluorescent light bulbs and send them off to be recycled. The home-improvement behemoth hopes the new program will keep the bulbs, which contain a small amount of mercury, out of household trash and recycling bins. IKEA also collects CFLs for recycling but doesn’t have the market saturation of Home Depot; more than three-quarters of U.S. households are estimated to be within 10 miles of a Home Depot store. The company’s 1,973 U.S. stores will also switch to CFLs in light-fixture showrooms by the fall, a move expected to save it $16 million annually in energy costs.

DFW bicycle advocacy group

BikeDFW.org has a email list and petition for signing up to advocate for a more friendly bicycle DFW.

See http://www.bikedfw.org/

Alternative Spring Break — Catalina Island, 2008

Eleven students and one staff member from UT Arlington volunteered their time and effort from March 16 to March 22, 2008 to go to the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program in Catalina Island, California. While there, volunteers provided manual labor for service projects including invasive plant removal, planting and transplanting, composting, hauling, painting, raking, trail building, seed collection, landscaping, mulching, gardening, beach clean-ups, and scientific data collection. In most of the pictures provided, the volunteers are working to build a terrace area for the camp to provide an area for visiting elementary and middle school children to learn more about the environment. Also, there are several pictures of volunteers removing fennel from the camp, which is an invasive plant to the island. The students brought back a desire to continue saving the environment and many have volunteered on campus with our compost pile and some have even started their own home compost pile. This was the third Alternative Spring Break trip to Catalina Island for the UTA Student Activities department. The volunteers on this trip were:

Mohammad Al-Abed, Stephanie Fenniri, Jennifer Cao, Gillian Talley, Katie Nixon, Vinay Kumar, Sahvanna Diaz, Tatiana Carrillo, JoAnna Fisher, Christopher Franke, Laura Maroun, and Brian Joyce

See pictures from the trip here.

Learn more about the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program here.

For more info on UT Arlington’s involvement, contact Brian Joyce, Assistant Director, Student Activities, UT Arlington.

University promotes ride-sharing program

 

 

 

 

Q: What’s good for air quality, good for the climate, good for your wallet?

A: Well, probably a number of things. We should we make a list. But here’s a biggie.

News Release — 19 June 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Sue Stevens, (817) 272-3317, sstevens@uta.edu

ARLINGTON—The University of Texas at Arlington is working with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) to help solve two problems that are in the news on a daily basis: air quality in the Fort Worth-Dallas area and the skyrocketing price of gasoline that is imposing a hardship on commuting employees and students.

Although Arlington is the largest city in the United Sates without public transportation, The T has vanpooling programs that can save the commuter an estimated $8,128.00 annually, based on a 55 mile round-trip commute. Vanpooling also helps reduce dangerous ozone levels that adversely affect air quality and public health. The T also maintains a data base that can help in establishing carpools.

Many people who might consider a ride-sharing program are deterred by concern about emergencies: a child getting sick at school or a work issue that demands unplanned overtime. Vanpool participants need not worry because The T has a “Guaranteed Ride Home Program (GRHP.) Participants receive GRHP calling cards that entitle the holder to call Yellow Cab to be returned home or to a park and ride lot for a $5 co-pay. The T covers the balance.

The campus community will have numerous opportunities, including upcoming registrations, Staff Advisory Council events and employee orientations, to fill out a “Rideshare Commute Options” card, the first step to joining a ridesharing program.

The Dallas Morning News recently interviewed vanpoolers on their experiences in the program. Read the story.

 

To sign up, call 817-336-RIDE (7433).

Shorthorn story, June 24

 

Carbon footprint report released

A draft report on the University of Texas at Arlington’s first carbon footprint analysis is now available. The report has been prepared for the President’s Sustainability Committee by an interdisciplinary student/faculty team through a summer course in the School of Urban and Public Affairs. It characterizes the university’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, forecasts emissions in 2010 and 2020, then proposes a framework for setting reduction targets and develops reduction scenarios based on those targets. This is believed to be the first university carbon footprint analysis in a UT System university and the second in the state.

I wish to thank the students, who worked hard on a difficult project under difficult circumstances. Special thanks to Greg Collins and Vinodh Valluri, who made extraordinary contributions, and to Salman Ahmed, Luis Reyes, Sala Senkayi, and Tim Yatko, who went beyond the call of duty.

The report, produced in a very short time frame, is being issued in draft form so that members of the committee and other interested parties can participate in reviewing it. Comments are invited.

Star-Telegram story, 7/7/08

Shorthorn story, 6/18/08

Shorthorn sidebar on energy conservation, 6/18/08

Shorthorn editorial, 6/24/08

AASHE blurb, 6/26/08

Background

Executive summary (.doc)

Chapter 1 – Introduction (.doc)

Chapter 2 – Methodology (.doc)

Chapter 3 – Summary of emissions in 2005 and forecasted emissions in 2010 and 2020 (.doc)

Chapter 4 – Responsible growth – A framework for emissions reduction and summary of reduction scenarios and recommendations for 2010 and 2020 (.doc)

Chapter 5 – Buildings and facilities (.doc)

Chapter 6 – Student, faculty, and staff commuting (.doc)

Chapter 7 – Vehicle fleet (.doc)

Chapter 8 – Solid waste

Chapter 9 – Other [refrigerants, fertilizers, water] (.doc)

Presentation to PSC, 6/10/08 (.ppt)

President Spaniolo approves initial Sustainability Agenda

Kicking the Mavericks Go Green campaign into high gear, Pres. James Spaniolo has approved the university’s first Sustainability Agenda, a package of 89 actions that will involve students, faculty, and staff across the campus in protecting the environment. The agenda ensures that UT Arlington will continue to be a leader in campus sustainability in North Texas and across the state even as a more comprehensive set of goals and strategies is being developed in the coming months.

 

When the President’s Sustainability Committee was launched in October 2007, one of its initial moves was creation of a comprehensive set of work groups. In turn, one of the groups’ early objectives was development of a preliminary agenda to improve the university’s campus-wide environmental performance, consider how to extend the environmental curriculum, and deepen campus engagement in North Texas environmental affairs. The groups submitted recommendations to Pres. James Spaniolo and Vice Pres. John Hall in March 2008; and the President and Vice President issued decisions on these recommendations in April and May 2008. The Sustainability Agenda consists of 77 approved actions to be carried out in the coming months (some pending approval of funding) and 12 preliminary actions that the work groups and various campus units have already largely accomplished in recent months.

 

A small sample of approved actions:

 

  • ♦ hiring a Sustainability Director to facilitate the work of the President’s Sustainability Committee and sustainability efforts across campus;
  • ♦ exploring ways to green the university’s curriculum and research;
  • ♦ extending implementation of energy conservation measures;
  • ♦ hiring student interns to undertake a thorough ecological landscape assessment;
  • ♦ encouraging formation of an active student environmental organization;
  • ♦ supporting student involvement in programs such as the Campus Climate Challenge (http://climatechallenge.org) and Ecomagination Challenge (http://www.ecocollegechallenge.com/aboutTheChallenge.html).
  • ♦ increasing use of recycled paper for stationery, letterhead, business cards, and copy paper;
  • ♦ developing purchasing guidelines on energy efficiency of new computers, photocopiers, televisions, and other electronics;
  • ♦ working with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to develop an advertising campaign to educate the UT Arlington community on air quality issues;
  • ♦ developing an employee carpooling program; and
  • ♦ pilot testing a program for recycling goods and materials when students move out of residence halls in May each year.

Members of the university community are invited to offer feedback to assist the work groups in revising and extending the Sustainability Agenda during subsequent rounds of recommendations. Please contact the chairs of the appropriate work groups.

 

Sustainability Agenda (with list of work groups and their chairs).

Press release 

AASHE announcement