CSU Students Lead the Way in 'Greenovation'
April 8, 2011
By Sarah Vagts
California State Student Association
From energy efficiency to waste management to ecosystem preservation and beyond, students on CSU campuses are leading the way in tackling the many issues of sustainability. With the sustainability movement gaining tremendous momentum on university campuses across the nation, the California State Student Association – CSU's recognized statewide student voice – has launched the Greenovation Fund to harness student interest in sustainability.
The fund is the brainchild of Grant Mack, President of Associated Students at San Diego State who also serves as CSSA’s Environmental Officer. Grant has turned his vision of enhancing the sustainability profile of each CSU campus into reality through the creation of the Greenovation Fund, which provides funding for student-led sustainability projects, initiatives, campaigns and events.
After receiving overwhelming interest from students during its first application cycle, CSSA approved $8,500 for ten projects taking place on nine CSU campuses – CSU Channel Islands, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Long Beach, CSU Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona, San Diego State, San Francisco State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Sonoma State.
At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, students will be getting their hands dirty at a “hands-on” recycling event taking place during Earth Week (April 18-22) designed to educate Cal Poly students about what is recyclable, compostable, and trash.
Students at Channel Islands will also be taking action to ensure that compostable materials don’t end up in landfills by placing vermicomposters throughout campus
Cal Poly Pomona students have been working with campus facilities staff to conduct a lighting audit and subsequent lighting retrofit in the Los Olivos Dining Commons. This project will save Cal Poly Pomona as much as 12,350 kWh, about $1,600 annually; a four-fold return for the campus on CSSA’s investment.
One of the most exciting projects—Do it in the Dark at CSU Long Beach—will take place next fall and is a month long event designed to raise awareness about energy efficiency and water conservation among students who are part of residential life. Beginning in September 2011, students will gather baseline usage data then try to reduce their consumption through the next month, October 2011. In 2010, the same competition took place and students collectively saved 34,700Kwh, about $4,500. Long lasting behavioral changes were observed and recorded after the 2010 competition concluded – resulting in a total of 19,500Kwh or $2,500 in savings.
For the upcoming fall 2011 competition, CSU Long Beach plans to up the ante and collaborate with CSU Fullerton in a friendly competition to save energy and water.