Overview of Grant
UC Davis Dining Services recognizes the value in student engagement and education related to environmental and food systems sustainability through projects, service learning, and student-organized activities. UC Davis Dining Services Go Green Grants provide funds for individuals or teams of University of California, Davis (UC Davis) students, staff, and faculty to research, develop, implement, and design solutions to campus sustainability challenges. Grants are awarded for projects fostering a more sustainable campus.
On the Future of the Go Green Grant
In its fifth and final year, the UC Davis Go Green Grant program awarded a total of $4340.00 in grant funding to UC Davis campus and student sustainability projects. The funding, provided by Dining Services, was awarded to the campaign for The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), the One Cup Challenge campaign, The Experimental Community Garden, and the Hunt Hall Bokashi composting expansion project during the 2015-16 academic year. All four of these projects expand sustainability and sustainable food systems on the UC Davis campus community.
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is poised to leave a long lasting and deep impact on the future of the campus and its students. TGIF is a $3.00 quarterly fee initiative, collected on a per quarter basis for five years. The money will go toward a granting pool for projects which support campus sustainability efforts and demonstrate significant undergraduate student involvement.
The Go Green Grant helped fund the TGIF campaign that was voted in during the ASUCD Winter 2016 ballot. Moving forward, TGIF will be replacing the Go Green Grant as the new grant pool supporting campus sustainability projects.
2015-2016 Grant Recipients
The below projects received funding during the 2015/2016 academic year.
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is a $3.00 fee initiative that would be collected on a per quarter basis for five years to go towards a granting pool for students. Grants would be given to applicants whose project supports campus sustainability efforts and demonstrates significant undergraduate student involvement. TGIF gives students a unique opportunity to help Davis achieve its ambitious 2020 climate goals as projects would focus on campus energy and water efficiency, zero waste, event planning, and any other sustainability related efforts. Currently, TGIF is active at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA and UC San Diego. The TGIF Committee housed within the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability and overseen by the Council on Student Affairs and Fees would manage grant allocation and assist with project development.
This past quarter we focused on solidifying TGIF bylaws and advancing the bill to the ASUCD Senate for approval to be placed on the ASUCD Winter 2016 Ballot. During election on the seventh week of winter quarter, TGIF will need 20% of the student body to vote and 60% of that portion to vote “yes.” In order to garner enough support from the student body to pass TGIF we will need to disseminate a video campaign, hold events and panels, design apparel and pins, as well as establish a volunteer basis to perform outreach to all corners of the student body. The Go Green Grant will be essential for developing and implementing a campaign strategy that draws on the strengths of other University’s successes.
The One Cup Challenge
The “One Cup Challenge” spans Spring Quarter and aims to educate students about and encourage reusable cup use. The One Cup Challenge itself is a 30 day pledge to not use disposable cups and instead use reusable mugs/cups. Students can pledge to participate as early as the first day of Spring quarter, March 24th. However, the 30day challenge itself begins May 1st, during which students can upload pictures of themselves on social media with their reusable mug to compete for prizes each week. If their picture is chosen they will receive a prize from our wide selection of products that are relevant to UC Davis students, such as Aggie Cash, Aggie swag, or gift cards for cafes downtown. This program is based off the successful “Kill the Cup Campaign,” started at UC San Diego, and now active on 16 other campuses.
ECG Sustainable Agriculture and Self-Sufficiency Training Plots
The Experimental Community Garden is exploring the possibility of developing a practice-based educational program that leverages existing gardener-member activities, community garden resources, and local and scientific knowledge of community garden networks with the initial goal of investigating the potential for direct sponsorship of research projects in partnership with various on-campus entities and local organizations.
The ECG Training Plots is an exploratory effort towards establishing the educational program. The goals are to promote principles of sustainable agriculture and self-sufficient organic gardening by providing practice-based, qualitative gardening instruction to UC Davis students. Another goal is to survey gardeners about issues and topics of interest related to the training plots. The service population is UC Davis students. The processes for implementation involve transitioning and broadening existing gardener-member and committee activities in areas of Tree Care, Water Resources, Small Garden Preparation and Care, Composting, and Principles of Community Gardening.
The anticipated results of this exploratory effort and devoted training plots are strong social networks among community gardeners, increased self-sufficiency, and local food security for student participants. Survey and focus group results will be utilized to determine the efficacy of training plots.
Bokashi compost expansion in Hunt Hall
The majority of America’s food waste goes to landfills, which are responsible for 25% of US methane emissions (methane has 25 times more global warming potential than carbon). Diverting food waste from landfills can greatly reduce methane emissions. Food waste, if managed properly, can be converted into compost. A dozen undergraduate students and I saw a great opportunity to reduce our negative environmental impact by diverting our food waste from landfills. With countless hours of brainstorming and researching, we put together a plan to collect food waste in Hunt Hall landscape architecture classrooms. We have been collecting and managing food waste, using the bokashi method, in Hunt Hall for a year (in February). We have had considerable success in landfill diversion and increased awareness. Using the bokashi method, a method of pre-composting that is easy and quickens the composting process, we were able to divert over 300lbs of food waste from the landfill. This year we propose to expand this project even further, by incorporating more and larger compost bins in classrooms and offices of Hunt Hall and create a place in the Hunt Hall courtyard for compost and edible garden.
Previous Grant Recipients
Go Green Grant Archive