The Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College (ASCOCC) and Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) joined up to hold an eco-pledge drive at Central Oregon Community College. Students who signed the pledges promised to take one of four energy-saving measures: checking tire inflation once a month, unplugging electrical devices not in use, replacing regular light-bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, or moving their thermostats down or up two degrees in the winter and summer, respectively. Students gathered 110 pledges.
As students are working to promote clean energy, both by using the university to research new solutions and by pushing the campus to use available clean technology, many are turning to biofuels. Eight graduate students at the University of Washington are working with local American Indian tribes on the Bioresource-Based Energy for Sustainable Societies program, a research and education program on biofuels. At Binghamton University, the Student Environment Awareness Club has created a petition to convert used vegetable oil from the campus’s dining halls into biodiesel.
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Calculator, developed eight years ago by a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, has been one of the most influential tools used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of college campus energy emissions. The calculator is now being used at approximately 700 colleges and universities around the country.
Read more from the University of New Hampshire
University of Kentucky students and community members opposed to logging nearby Robinson Forest held a protest in an effort to appeal a Board of Trustees decision. Demonstrators presented their opposition to the plan that would cut about 800 acres of the Eastern Kentucky forest for a forestry research project.
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Environmental student activists at the University of California, Santa Barabara staged a protest to protect the Gaviota Coast – the last substantial undeveloped portion of Southern California’s coast. The protest, however, was held primarily for a mock documentary being made by students in UCSB’s film studies program. The film, in turn, is planned to be used to protect the Gaviota Coast.
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A group of students at the University of Colorado, Boulder are
raising money and looking to find sponsors for their upcoming summer
road trip, an adventure they are calling “Option Green.” The students
plan to travel in a diesel school bus that they will mechanically alter
to run on vegetable oil and other grease products. The students also
plan to create brochures that explain the purpose of their road trip in
the green bus and spread the world as they travel across the country
about what individuals can do to reduce, reuse and recycle in their
Students at Duke University are protesting the expansion of Duke Energy, one of the nation’s largest power companies, with letters and phone calls. While Duke Energy representatives say the new facility would be among the cleanest coal-burning plants in the nation, opponents counter that Duke Energy’s claims amount to nothing more than green-washing. Student activists hope to leverage the University’s strong ties to Duke Energy – half of the University’s endowment is in the power company – to stop the construction of a new plant.
This winter break, two student leaders from Virginia Tech’s Campus Climate Challenge attended a training session to learn to give Al Gore’s lecture from An Inconvenient Truth. The training session, held in Nashville, was the former Vice-President’s inaugural training in the lecture, and it attracted thousands of applicants. One thousand were accepted; they were then split into training sessions of 200 people. In the session the Virginia Tech students were assigned to, only one other student—from Harvard—was present. And if that doesn’t make you want to pony up, we don’t know
Students from WashPIRG chapters at the University of Washington, Evergreen State College, Whitman College, Western Washington and Green River Community College united in Washington’s state capitol, Olympia, last week for a day of environmental advocacy and awareness as part of the Campus Climate Challenge. Students from WashPIRG, a state nonprofit public interest research group, gathered signatures from their peers and then presented the signatures to several state representatives and senators as proof of student support for two bills aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
In response to campus trends toward environmental awareness The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Kansas have launched efforts to increase the efficiency and decrease the volume of cars on campus. Kansas’s Saferide program, which provides free nighttime transportation for students, has obtained hybrid cars while UPenn has launched a partnership with Philly Car Share, a company popular among students that offers registered users access to hundreds of cars in the Philadelphia area to borrow for a short period of time.