The Green Initiative Fund chose 17 projects this year to help make UCSB a more sustainable campus. Sincerest gratitude 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:

High-Efficiency Laboratory Glassware Washer for Bren Hall ($15,167.6)
Funds will be used to purchase a new LEED-compliant Labconco FlaskScrubber laboratory-grade glassware washer, or similar, for use by students performing research in Bren Hall. This equipment is critical to improving water and energy use efficiency, and as an added benefit will accelerate environmental research. 

Waterless Condensers ($6,000)
Funding will be used to introduce water-free condensers into the research and teaching labs 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. There are highly efficient air condensers currently available to perform water-free usage to achieve the same efficient results. TGIF funds will be used to purchase and replace water condensers with air condensers. The air condensers, such as those from Findenser, do not use external power to operate. 

LED Lighting  for the Image Resource Center ($5,234)
The Image Resource Center’s (IRC) primary space (the Center for Object-Based Research and Learning) is used for the display of and analysis of art objects by both faculty and students. The room only has overhead fluorescent lights. TGIF funds will be used to replace fluorescent lights with LEDs.  

CCS Old Little Theater LED fixture trial retrofit ($6,450)
The College of Creative Studies will use funds to upgrade the lighting system in the Old Little Theater, a historical multi-purpose venue on campus, by replacing its outdated incandescent fixtures with modern, energy-efficient LED lighting. As a trial, this initiative aims to retrofit 8 of the approximately two dozen existing ETC Source Four Ellipsoidal fixtures with ETC Source 4WRD LED conversion kits.

Elings Hall Data Center Cold Aisle Containment and Energy Efficiency Study ($10,000)
Funding will be used to install ‘cold aisle containment’ curtains, whose primary purpose is to boost the cooling capacity of the Elings Hall data center that houses computer servers. It is currently close to capacity, as is North Hall, so this project will provide additional space for computing equipment that is used primarily in research (both graduate and undergraduate), as well as a few classes. Without it, a new air conditioning unit would need to be added to the data centers, at significant installation cost, and ongoing additional energy costs. 

Environmental Justice For Engineers Workshop ($5,600)
Funding will be used to support a one-day Symposium on Climate Justice for Engineers that will be organized on August 30th, 2024 at UCSB. This event will bring together ~50 UCSB Engineering graduate students, ~30 summer undergraduate student researchers (e.g., from UCSB and from REU programs) and postdocs, and ~30 faculty and research staff from across Engineering, the Bren School, Social Sciences & Media Studies, and the Humanities. Guest speakers will present their work on various aspects of Environmental Justice relevant to major engineering research areas at UCSB. Participating Ph.D. students will be required to prepare a poster detailing aspects of climate justice related to their research to be presented at a poster
session ~1 month after the initial event.

Environmental Justice Symposium ($3,950)
Funding will be used to support Bren’s seventh-annual Environmental Justice (EJ) Symposium in late May, 2025. This event brings together Bren students, UCSB undergraduates, community activists, and participants from other universities to teach and learn about justice and equity in the environmental field. 

Edible Insect Initiative ($1,070)
Funding will be used to support the Edible insect exhibit hosted April 1st-5th at the UCSB GlassBox Gallery, with a reception event taking place Thursday, April 4th, from 5-7:30PM. 

Lot 22 Electric Vehicle Charging Expansion; The Equitable Charging Access for Renters in the 805 region (E-CAR 805) Project ($30,000)
TGIF funds will support the installation of Electric Vehicle charging stations in Parking Lot 22. This TGIF grant would help cover costs that were not covered by the REACH 2.0 grant UCSB received for Lot 22 charging stations and installation.

Eco-friendly Painting Preparation Alternative ($50,000)
All buildings on campus have components and equipment that require periodic re-painting. Typically, old paint is removed using harsh chemicals that create hazardous waste. A new device from Laser Photonics has become available using a portable handheld laser that can remove paint and other coatings without hazardous chemicals or abrasive techniques that can cause air pollution. TGIF offered co-funding for the purchase of the Laser Photonics CleanTech cleaning and paint removal system. The applicants are currently seeking other potential funding sources to cover the full costs.

Campus Circular Clothing Economy ($500)
The Isla Vista Trading Post is a campus organization that has built and perpetuated a circular clothing economy within UCSB’s on- and off-campus community. IVTP members physically collect, store, and redistribute donated clothing at no cost to community members in need. Funding will be used to establish clothing collection bins in all 9 undergraduate resident halls, all 6 undergraduate apartments, as well as key community spaces in Isla Vista. 

LEED Green Associates Exam ($2,500)
The LEED Lab class (ENVS 187 and ENVS 194GB) is guided by a LEED Accredited Professional, allowing students to learn and apply the LEED process through a collective hands-on effort throughout the school year. The funding for this grant will be used to offset the student cost of the LEED Green Associate ($100) by $100 total. 

Commencement ClearStream Infrastructure Project Application ($4,084)
The current waste infrastructure at Commencement consists of disposable cardboard trash boxes causing unsustainable waste diversion due to poor signage and spillover from low capacity. New Clearstream waste bins will help provide a uniform waste infrastructure that helps waste diversion with visible signage and prevents spillovers. The funding will be used to purchase 40 Clearstream bin frames and lids (20 Landfill and 20 Recycling) which will have increased capacity and be easily monitored by staff with the see-through bins. The new infrastructure will also be made available for other campus events. 

Expansion of Laboratory Glove Recycling Initiative ($9,903)
Over the last year and a half, the initial Glove Recycling Initiative program that was piloted by TGIF has proved just how many laboratories on campus use disposable nitrile gloves in daily research. The California NanoSystem Institute core facilities, MRL facilities, and a number of biological, physics, and chemistry labs have gone through nearly 3000 lbs of gloves since the pilot program was launched just over a year ago. With only 40 participating labs so far, there is plenty of room to grow this program and increase the impact of waste diversion we have already started. Additional funding through this TGIF grant will be used to expand the program.

UCSB’s Early Childhood Care and Education Services/ Ecological Playscape Project ($20,000)
Funding will be used to install an Ecological Playscape at UCSB’s Childcare Center.
As we confront the realities of climate change, there’s an increasing emphasis on sustainable practices across all sectors, including playground design. Sustainable playscapes not only reduce environmental impact but also offer opportunities to educate children about sustainability and nurture a connection with nature. Sustainable playscape designs positively impact the environment, rather than adding to the carbon footprint.

Associated Students Food Bank Seed ($1,000)
The AS Food Bank is offering free seeds, pots, and soil to all registered clients through their Seed Bank program. Over 5,000 students are registered to the ASFB and 1,200 to the Seed Bank program. This program was started in 2021 and has been an ongoing project maintained by the ASFB student staff. These materials are offered directly to students to help alleviate some of the financial burden of growing their own food. The funds from this grant will be used to supplement the cost of materials and pilot a closed-loop composting program.

CERT Club Backpack ($1,000)
This project consists of community-led disaster preparedness trainings offered at UCSB. CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, is a nationwide disaster preparedness program designed by our Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program teaches participants a variety of skills, including basic first aid, light search and rescue, and fire safety, among many more. Ultimately, CERT aims to equip its participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect themselves and their families during a disaster event, such as a wildfire, earthquake, or tsunami. CERT basic training lasts 3 days (roughly 18-21 hours total). The funding will go towards CERT preparedness kits, which are gifted to all CERT participants at no charge. The preparedness kits consist of a CERT-labeled backpack, CERT-labeled vest, hardhat, gloves, flashlight, dust mask, and first aid kit. The preparedness kits are an essential component of CERT, as it provides participants with essential survival supplies.