Welcome to the September WSU Sustainability Newsletter!
Tuesdays, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Science Lab 227.
Shades of Green is an innovative multi-disciplinary course covering perspectives on sustainability for people, the environment, and economic prosperity. Twenty faculty presenters will cover sustainability topics in 15 disciplines, from physics to philosophy, English to engineering and biology to business.
An excellent introduction to sustainability, Shades of Green explores the current sustainability issues of our time through a multitude of different lenses. This course is able to offer a variety of solutions to each of these issues through the diverse practices each discipline employs.
Community members, students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend any or all sessions free of charge, or students may take this 1-credit hour class as an introduction to sustainability (GEOG 2920 – CRN 23532). This course runs over the lunch hour, making it a perfect time to bring a lunch and enjoy the discussion.
It’s not too late to sign up for other sustainability courses, look for the full course list here.
Just over 3 months ago, the Mow Electric program, in partnership with Weber-Morgan and Davis Health Departments, took off with over 1,600 applicants and provided the means for 837 households to transition from gas-powered mowers to electric ones! According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, each hour spent mowing produces emissions equivalent to 160 vehicle miles traveled. The average homeowner mows their lawn about 30 times per year and spends about an hour each time mowing. Therefore, in one year, the 837 mowers distributed through this program will save the emissions equivalent of over 4,000,000 vehicle miles traveled. That also adds up to over 100,000 lbs. of emissions that won’t go into our breathing air. This community program reached beyond our usual crowd of supporters, to a variety of locations, people, and incomes. The diversity of participants and exciting atmosphere from the day of the exchange made this one of our favorite events of the year! We look forward to more opportunities to connect with even more of the community and to work together to build a more sustainable future for everyone.
Fix-It Clinic volunteer coaches are ready to help you fix your stuff and teach you basic troubleshooting skills in the Shepherd Union Atrium on Thursday, September 27 from noon to 3 p.m. Whether you need help fixing your printer, sewing that button back on, or tuning your bike chain, bring your item (and tools if you have them) for a hands-on, fix-and-learn experience.
Are you a fix-it nerd? We still need a few passionate (and patient) volunteer fix-it coaches to help guide folks in their efforts to save their broken things from the landfill-graveyard and give them new life. Do you know how to repair a wobbly chair leg or get a lawnmower up and running? If you know the value of fixing things and can help ignite curiosity and a sense of empowerment among fellow campus-goers, please contact Bonnie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-626-6326. We need your expertise!
The Sustainability Practices and Research Center, in collaboration with the Utah Recycling Alliance (URA), invites you to celebrate the power of knowledge, saving money, and more sustainability-focused environmental living. Join in the fun. The event is free and open to all.
Are you concerned about the warming climate but unsure of how to get involved?
Look no further! The Utah Climate Action Network (UCAN) is sponsoring the Utah Climate Action Week from October 1st through the 7th, with a great schedule of events available for you to attend here at Weber State's main campus (more info here).
UCAN is an impressive working partnership between government, non-profit organizations, research & religious institutions, and the private sector whose primary goal is to address climate change here at home in Utah. If you are interested in other events UCAN is hosting for the Utah Climate Action Week throughout the state, you can check out the Calendar of Events here: Utah Climate Action Week: Calendar of Events.
The Sustainability Brown Bag Lunch series offers a chance for faculty to share their work on sustainability projects and research with fellow faculty. Meeting three times during fall semester, this series provides an opportunity to spark conversations and collaborations across academic disciplines.
Sessions in the series for the Fall 2018 semester are focused on water. Each session will be held in Tracy Hall Room 234, from 1:30 to 2:30, beginning with a short presentation followed by discussion. On September 6, Carie Frantz will present “Microbial Rocks and the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem,” on October 25, Carla Trentelman will present “The Great Salt Lake Issues from a Sociological Lens,” and on November 8, Jenny Kokai will present “The Performance of Water.”
Bring a brown bag lunch, join the conversation, and enjoy meeting with fellow faculty interested in sustainability.
Weber State’s new electric bus is now up and running, helping Wildcats to get to and from class!
WSU has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, and the new electric bus is just one exciting step in achieving that goal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) a $2.3 million grant to reduce diesel emissions from heavy-duty trucks and school buses in several counties in Utah. This grant is estimated to help save 595,137 gallons of fuel from combustion across the Wasatch Front. The DEQ generously gave $197,000 to switch WSU’s current diesel-fueled bus to an electric-powered one. Since campus shuttle buses make multiple trips during the day, adding an emissions-free electric bus will greatly minimize WSU’s fuel and maintenance costs. In addition, as we continue to reduce heavy emissions from diesel-powered vehicles, the quality of the air we breathe and the health of our communities improves.
Over the summer the SPARC supported four faculty who traveled to California to participate in a national workshop focused on training leaders to foster greater inclusion of sustainability across the curriculum at their institutions. The training participants, Christy Call, T Grant Lewis, Alice Mulder and Carla Trentelman, will this year facilitate a community of practice around sustainability, with the goal of developing and piloting a new faculty development program geared toward fostering the meaningful inclusion of sustainability, broadly defined, in teaching across the curriculum at WSU.
To see the full description of the 2018-2019 Sustainability Across the Curriculum COP and to sign up visit https://www.weber.edu/tlf/cop.html.
The Energy & Sustainability Office is proud to announce the following departments have recently achieved certification (since April 2018):
New Green Teams
Office of Undergraduate Research
Human Promotion & Health Performance
Davis - Student Involvement and Leadership
Community Education Center
Counseling & Psychological Services Center
The Walker Institute
Jerry & Vickie Moyes Center for Supply Chain Excellence and the Center for Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility
Office of the Dean - Goddard School of Business & Economics
Psychology & Neuroscience
Women & Gender Studies
Division of Online and Continuing Education: Hurst Center 102
Please congratulate your colleagues on their green achievements and welcome our newest green team, the Office of Undergraduate Research!
Get on the Green Team
If you are interested in getting your office or department involved in the Green Certification Program contact Kayla Hickman at email@example.com or visit http://weber.edu/sustainability/GreenDept.html. The purpose of the Green Department Program is to engage WSU offices and departments in the work of making the entire university more sustainable and carbon neutral. The program is voluntary and competitive. Participating departments acquire points through sustainable practices. The number of points achieved determines certification at the bronze, silver, gold, or green levels.
Wildcats went to the White House! Five students from Weber State University took action in Washington D.C. at the annual Citizens Climate Lobby conference and lobby day this June. Constituents from many districts spoke with senators and representatives from Utah, including Romel Nicholas from Senator Orrin Hatch's staff, to lobby for sustainable action in our legislature. WSU had the most representatives from a university than any others attending! Way to go!