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CHESC Impact on one California Community College

Last year's California Higher Education Sustainability Conference gave us the tools get rid of Styrofoam, begin pre- and post-consumer composting and start the process of enabling CCC's to establish a TGIF fund.

don reid

on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of CHESC Impact on one California Community College

Schools are like slow moving ships and turning them takes time
If your campus is not composting, then this is a clear path to meeting CA Assembly Bill 341 which states that by 2020, 75% of their waste needs to be diverted from land fills--and by next year they need to have a plan in place to meet that requirement.

Making a difference takes work
Keys to success:
Students are the changemakers--empower & motivate them!
Attend meetings: Student ECOS, Student Sustainability, ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety
Student letters/emails from individuals & from student groups will go a long way
Schedule appointments to discuss this issue in person with the key players
Stay on the social media posts. Be sure to give praise for postive efforts
Read the mission/value statements of your school, the departments/committees & the companies on campus for sustainability clauses and quote them on what they say
Find sustainability allies and keep the shirtless dancing guy in mind!
This movement needs
your participation
New followers
new followers
CHESC Impact on one California Community College
You may be just one person but your visits to the cafeteria, letters to the administration, and your state senator can truly make you a changemaker!
By "easy" I of course mean
the stuff you'll find the most documentation on
help from changes in legislation
models from one of our state's schools

None of this will be easy, but your efforts will have a significant & lasting impact. Change happens incrementally, but it's cumulative.

Quoting this legislation when asking about composting removes the touchy-feely-tree-hugger part of the conversation entirely. Include links to the bill as not everyone is aware of this recent legislation.
Our Hort Dept Composts!
Student volunteers add compost weekly to a compost heap, aerated with fans powered by solar panels. Our campus Starbucks & Child Day Care Center participates.
Biodigester field trip in Sacramento
Now we're composting;
but five 35 gallon containers?
Green Fund /
TGIF workshop...
Establishing a Green Fund ended up not being as easy at the CCC level because it requires a change in CA Ed Code, but we have made progress and in the end, every CCC will benefit!
ARC's Green Office Program...
This will be the year it takes off!
Go after the easy stuff first!
Aramark says
No to Styrofoam!
Success comes in stages
The name "The Green Initiative Fund" was first coined by UC Santa Barbara in 2006. The TGIF fund at UC Berkeley receives a mandatory $5.50/student/semester from student fees=$320,000 per year. Check out TGIF at other universities and colleges:
Don't try to reinvent the wheel & stay connected at the same time:
everyone shares!
Follow along their social networks. Here are some Facebook pages, but there are also Twitter feeds, RSS, YouTube channels, Pinterest, etc... so join in on the conversation!
Vendors of compostable to-go containers, some of them were at last year's conference:
At a Community College, it's easy to feel like you only accomplished one thing, or had enough time to start a project only to leave it in the hands of your successors. I found this video from the UCSB Plastics Coalition to be inspirational in that it reminds us that each victory should be celebrated--because they add up!
The main problem I could see here was that with a student population of 34,000+/- our volume would overwhelm this understaffed department's efforts, and so we chose Waste Management as a partner. Waste Management was already picking up our land fill / recycling; but there would be a cost for this service, and that had to be picked up by someone.
Our signs...
I was inspired at last year's conference to come up with new signage for our campus. At UC Davis, you never had to wonder which bag to use because it was clearly marked. When I looked into it, I was surprised at how many things we are able to be recycled!
If one does not exists, consider starting a small project with your Horticulture Department, a student club, or student organization.
what i imagined we'd be seeing...
Green Office Program
I modeled ours after the Harvard Office of Sustainability Green Office Program, and before it went live I requested to be a presentor at last year's CHESC
--but was denied.
Who did they choose? Stanford, Cal Poly & Berkeley! So I of course went to theirs to hear about these established programs & definitely learned some things.
Some links for similar projects
We have 15 departments that have signed up; but everywhere I go, people tell me they are working on getting their first acorn.
Establish Partnerships
There is no way you will be as productive alone!
Ecological Restoration Project
Planting trees
Lots of moving parts here, and
every one of them needs to be involved
Student clubs / senate
ARC Administration - Vice President of Admin
ARC Maintenance and/or Facilities Department
ARC Horticulture Department
ARC Culinary Department - The Oak Cafe
Dean of Fine & Applied Arts
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee
ARC Green Office Committee
Waste Management
Arcade Creek
This creek borders the eastern side of our campus
Establish Director of Sustainability Position. This position was designed to have one student be the Chair of the Sustainability Committee Chair, give them a vote on the Student Senate at American River College, and will be there to help push green initiatives.
S13-37 Constitutional Amendment
Full transcript