The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Grant Making Committee is pleased to announce the selected projects for the 2014/15 funding cycle! The Committee awarded funds to 14 projects, totaling $138,950. Below is an overview of the projects that you can expect to see completed within the next academic year.

Single Pass cooling system replacement ($ 24,994)
This project, led by LabRATS, involves the removal of 41 Single Pass cooling systems from the Chemistry and Materials Research laboratories which will be replaced by closed loop cooling systems that recirculate the water instead of disposing of it down the drain. The project also received $10,000 in matching funds from be smart about safety to replace these systems. Single pass cooling systems circulate water once through a piece of equipment and then dispose of it down the drain. These systems tend to flow constantly at 1-2 gallons per minute, so a lab can consume up to 1,000,000 gallons per year if such systems are left on continuously. Reducing the usage of single-pass or once-through cooling provides an opportunity for significant water savings.

Lab composting pilot ($ 2,500)
Currently, laboratories at UCSB send their waste to the landfill instead of composting it. LabRATS will use these funds to help initiate a program to compost animal bedding from the Animal Research Center (ARC) in the biology II building. In order for the researchers to transfer the animal bedding to the compost dumpster, they would need to lift the toter up and into the dumpster. With up to 700 pounds of animal bedding in a red toter, this can be difficult. The Grant will be used to purchase one dumpster lifter to transport the animal bedding into the compost dumpster corral. Roughly 700 pounds of compostable waste are created weekly by UCSB laboratories. Instead of releasing methane while rotting in a landfill, compostable waste can be transformed into nutrient rich soil at a composting plant.

Recreation Center Aquatics Pool Deck LED Retrofit ($16,935)
Funds for this project will be used to retrofit 13 Recreation Center Aquatics Pool Deck LED fixtures. The project also received $15,000 in matching funds from the Recreation Center. By converting existing fixtures to LEDs, the Recreation Center hopes to reduce energy consumption and outdoor lighting costs by at least 50 percent annually. This LED retrofit project aims to help move the campus towards our 2025 carbon neutrality goal with an estimated aggregate reduction equivalent of at least 7365.9 lbs of CO2 and 10139.3 kWh annually.

Lighting Retrofit for UCen 2/MCC Building ($40,244)
TGIF funding will allow PowerSave Campus, a student-driven organization that generates actual energy savings and increases awareness about the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability, to facilitate a lighting retrofit of the University Center 2 here at UC Santa Barbara. The replacement of all Halogen bulbs with LEDs is estimated to save the University 47,351 kilowatt-hours and $5,208.61 annually. Using significantly less energy will reduce the amount of GHGs emitted throughout the process of energy production.

Growing New Ideas and Fueling Inspiration through CHESC ($7,840)
This project will provide financial support for 12 students from UCSB to attend the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), July 20-24, 2015 at San Francisco State University. CHESC is an important gathering of key stakeholders from across the state of California who are working on UC System-wide and state-wide policies. Student fellows from the UC Global Climate Leadership Initiative and the UC Global Food Initiative will be attending, and members of the UC System-wide working groups on water, climate, green building, operations, transportation, waste, food service, and more will be gathering as well. This grant will allow students who are engaged in sustainability to attend this event.

A Road Map to Climate Neutrality ($5,448)
UCSB Bren master’s students will collaborate with campus staff to develop an optimal roadmap and timetable for achieving carbon neutrality at UCSB by 2025. The students will work closely with UCSB Utility and Energy Services, the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee Subcommittees on Alternative Energy, and the Subcommittee on Coordination of System wide Initiatives. The students will work through the summer to collect information on different strategies for achieving carbon neutrality which will include an analysis of the associated costs and will provide recommendations to the campus on how the campus might best achieve carbon neutrality.

LEED Exam Scholarship ($5,000)
This grant will encourage students studying green building and sustainability to become LEED accredited by partially subsidizing the LEED certification fees for students in the Environmental Studies Green Building course. Although this grant is aimed toward students in the Environmental Studies Green Building course, other students who are interested in taking the exam are eligible to apply for the scholarship. The vision for this grant is to expand upon the scope of student study by reducing the monetary obligation of the LEED exam, which often acts as a deterrent of taking the exam. This project is student run and will directly benefit prospective green building students.

Electric Hand dryers ($4,612)
The grant will be used to purchase and install Dyson Airblade electric hand dryers in the restrooms adjacent to the central courtyard of Bren Hall. Electric Hand-Dryers provide a quick, sanitary, and waste-free alternative to paper towels. By eliminating towel dispensers in the first floor restrooms, this project eliminates the opportunity to mindlessly consume 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.

Campus Climate Impact Assessment Analysis ($4,437)
This project, proposed by two undergraduate students, will provide information about vulnerable areas and habitat within UCSB campus boundaries, including Devereux Slough that will require the most attention in order to combat the issues of climate change and rising sea levels. This information will be presented in the form of a project proposal and report, as well as an interactive map.

Bertha Labels and Bin Upgrades ($7,661)
This grant was awarded to Associated Students Recycling for the purchase and installation of 100 updated recycling labels and 100 updated landfill labels for the Berthas on campus, as well as for the purchase of 100 new bins for the interior of the Berthas. Berthas are 4-slot, beige outdoor recycling and landfill receptacles that are serviced by AS Recycling and Facilities. The new labels will increase the clarity of UCSB’s current waste infrastructure, which will help UCSB staff, students, and faculty sort their waste more appropriately. Better sorting of waste will increase UCSB’s diversion rate, which will help UCSB meet the UC goal of producing zero waste by 2020, and replacing the Bertha bins will help control the campus rodent infestation.

New Banner Signs & CalFresh EBT Card Reader at the Gaucho Certified Farmers Market ($2,907)
Part of this Grant will be used to purchase updated banner signage for the Gaucho U Farmers Market. The current banners have the former location of the market and need to be replaced. Banners will have updated information about the location and the CalFresh program. The other part of the grant will be used to purchase Eco-tokens, which help to reduce the stigma associated with food assistance by utilizing a Card Reader that serves all shoppers with a card in exchange for tokens, the equivalent to cash with vendors.

Library Waste Infrastructure Update ($10,706)
This funding will be used to update the waste infrastructure in the Davidson Library with one style of matching waste receptacles for recycling and landfill, complete with signage. Currently, the Library at UCSB has over 10 different styles of waste receptacles, totaling over 140, all of which have limited and/or outdated signage. With over one million visitors each year, the Library is the most visited building on campus, and as a result, is the largest single generator of landfill waste at the university, largely due to the inadequate and confusing waste disposal infrastructure. This project will help UCSB recover more recyclable material since the majority of the waste disposed of at the Library is recyclable, e.g., bottles, cans, and paper.

LED Lighting Replacement in Career Services Workshop Room ($5,376)
This grant will be used for the replacement of current hanging fluorescent lighting in Workshop Room 1109 in the Career Services Department. This room is used extensively by students for all of Career Services quarterly workshops on interviewing, cover letters, resumes, employer info sessions, classroom presentations, careers-in series, internships, employer recruitment/hiring, etc. The project will result in substantial Energy savings and will help to reduce our campus’s GHG emissions.

Using Microbial Indicators to Assess the Biological Function of Stormwater Wetlands and Bioswales ($650)
TGIF has decided to fund a student intern to aid in field sampling and lab analysis (1 intern, for 2 quarters) for this project which is aimed at developing approaches to assess nutrient removal in wetlands and bioswales.