The Green Initiative Fund chose 14 projects this year, awarding a total of $122,773 to help make UCSB a more sustainable campus. A big thanks to the student population whose fees make the implementation of these projects possible, and to the TGIF committee for their dedication to this great program. See below for summaries of each project you can expect to see completed over the next academic year:

UCSB’s Environmental Research Podcast ($8,870)
Funding will be used to launch a podcast highlighting environmental research being conducted by UCSB scholars. This podcast will elevate diverse researchers’ voices and increase science communication to the broader community.  By educating the public on cutting-edge discoveries and areas of innovation in the environmental sector, this podcast will promote more informed decision-making to support eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyles.

The Human Crusade ($4,553)
The Human Crusade is an exhibit booked to open Winter 2023 at the UCSB Library Ocean Gallery. It will tell the story of humanity and the environment through a span of four large collage art pieces. The exhibit will provide students with a new perspective on climate change. TGIF funds will cover the costs of the art installations created for the exhibit.  

Building 434 Rear Patio Retrofit ($10,000)
The TGIF grant will help the Division of Student Affairs remove and replace very worn and outdated patio furniture between the rear of building 434 and front of building 477 with five new SunBolt Marquee tables, three of which will have solar umbrellas to provide cell phone, tablet and laptop charging stations. Other funding sources are being secured by Veterans & Military Services (VMS) to cover the full cost of this project, which is around $42,000.

ECCES Pollinator Project ($7,000)
UC Santa Barbara’s Early Childhood Care and Education Services (ECCES) provides high quality early care and education to more than 300 children each year in two beautiful settings, the Orfalea Family Children's Center (OFCC) located on the west campus and the University Children's Center (UCC) located at the Student Resource Building on the main campus. 
The ECCES Pollinator Project seeks to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards while protecting our planet’s precious pollinators. The goals and objectives of the project include:

  • To install and maintain native pollinator-friendly gardens throughout both Centers. 
  • To plant native tree species that provide important sources of food for pollinators in the spring.
  • To become a certified Monarch Waystation by adding milkweeds and nectar sources to existing gardens.
  • To provide hands-on, nature-based tools and learning opportunities to the children and extended UCSB community.
  • To support learning about the environment and link between pollinators and food.

Family Student Housing Composting Project ($4,000)
This project aims to expand upon the existing composting program at the Family Student
Housing (FSH) West Campus and Storke complexes. The existing composting program is
maintained by the Associated Students Department of Public Worms (DPW). Funding will be used to purchase household composting bins for interested residents and for proper signage and advertisement of the program to ensure residents are aware of the composting facilities, as well as what food scraps can and cannot be composted.

Water Free Condensers ($6,500)
Funding will be used to introduce water-free condensers into the research and teaching labs on campus to replace traditional jacketed water condensers. The water condensers utilize running water to keep the liquid cool. The water passes through the glass and excessive water use is disposed of down the drain (~0.5 GPM). Depending on the size and use of the labs, an annual savings of up to 66,000 gallons of water is achievable.

COPR Electrification and Expansion Project ($9,577)
Funding will be used to electrify gas-powered landscaping equipment (replacing 15 year old energy inefficient equipment) at Coal Oil Point Reserve (COPR) and purchase a shed to ensure the equipment lasts a long time. COPR staff has been restoring the habitats degraded by early ranching activities for the past 20 years. The COPR reserve includes 170 acres of restored habitats and over 1,000 species. 

9.72 kW Solar Array for Santa Cruz Island Infrastructure Project ($20,846)
The Santa Cruz Island Reserve (SCIR) is building two new staff accommodations, which will be entirely powered by an independent solar array. The new staff homes will provide living space for staff and will increase the support of UCSB undergraduate education and UCSB faculty research at the Reserve. TGIF funding will be used to partially support the purchase and installation of the 9.72 kW solar array to supply electricity to the new accommodations. 

Sustainable Drinking Water Solutions at the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves ($6,138)
TGIF funding will be used to purchase and install 2 hydration stations at the
Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves – one at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research
Laboratory (SNARL), and another at Valentine Camp Reserve. Both are field stations
of the UCSB Natural Reserve System located in Mammoth Lakes, CA. These facilities
are heavily used by students for classes ranging from Geology to the Humanities (each
year over 3,500 university level students utilize these sites; nearly half of this use is
from UCSB students). 

Disposable Gloves Recycling Program for Scientific Laboratories ($7,850)
Many laboratories on campus use disposable gloves to protect their hands from chemicals and samples from contamination. The California NanoSystem Institute core facilities and similar research labs can go through hundreds of gloves in a single day, which then end up in landfills to decompose over the course of several decades—neither a sustainable nor environmentally responsible process. TGIF funding will be used for a pilot program to collect disposable gloves used in Elings Hall and Material Research Lab core research facilities, Nanofab, and the Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition facility, and send them for proper recycling using Zero Waste boxes. 

The Carbon Action Plan: UCSB Decarbonization through Electrification ($16,819)
TGIF funds will be used to hire two graduate students over summer 2022 to to measure, verify, and analyze the fossil fuel burning infrastructure used by Housing, Dining, and Auxiliary Enterprises (HDAE) on the campus, to identify where changes can be implemented to reduce carbon emissions.
Clean Water UCSB ($15,000)
Funding will be used to purchase and install additional Hydration Stations in Residential Halls on campus. 

Hand Dryers for Greek Houses ($3,600)
The Grant will be used to purchase 4 Dyson hand dryers to install in Greek Life chapter housing bathrooms to replace paper towel usage.  By eliminating towel dispensers, this project reduces the consumption of single-use products. In addition, an electric dryer uses less water, and exudes less carbon dioxide in its lifetime than does the process of creating and disposing of paper towels. 

California Art Museums Climate Plan ($2,020)
UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A Museum) is drafting a climate action plan. This grant will fund an internship position working with the AD&A museum to draft the climate action plan.