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Students’ Green Fund Helps Finance Sustainability

Logan Green, grants manager for TGIF

More than a year after students voted to tax themselves each $2.60 a quarter to support campus greenhouse gas reduction efforts, the first 10 such projects are under way. The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) was approved in spring 2006—82 percent of the grad students and 74 percent of the undergrads who voted favored the measure—and soon solicited projects for funding.
During the first year of operation 18 projects applied for funding, requesting a total of $490,000. More than half received some support, though TGIF collects around $182,000 a year, and infrastructure and education projects were considered.
Among the projects funded were a comprehensive waste management program for Ellison Hall ($24,731) that aims to achieve 75 percent waste diversion by the end of 2008, and zero waste by 2012; replacement and recycling of nine standard urinals in Campbell Hall and North Hall ($10,242) with waterless urinals; expansion of Environmental Health and Safety’s Adopt-a-Chemical Program ($17,791) to minimize chemical wastes by designing a new Web site and hiring an educator; and $24,145 was loaned to the Design and Construction Services Department (DCS) as matching funds for various energy conservation projects.
Logan Green, grants manager for TGIF, points to the DCS loan as a sign of the fund’s flexibility and its business savvy. The energy loan will be paid back to TGIF over three to five years, beginning in 2010-11, and reinvested “as added payback.” In the meantime, the projects will withhold from the environment an estimated 3,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide, 24 tons of sulfur oxide, and 16 tons of nitrogen oxide.
“The concept behind TGIF is to harness the creativity of the university community to take on challenging environmental problems,” he says. “TGIF focuses on projects that increase the amount of renewable energy used on campus, increase energy efficiency, and reduce the amount of waste created by the university.”
TGIF applications for 2007-08 will be accepted, Green says, from faculty, staff, and students until Jan. 25. The form and required information, as well as past examples of successful applications, can be found online at <http://sustainability.ucsb.edu/tgif>.