Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The summit is part of the Office of Sustainability’s 40 Days of Change campaign – a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
The event will commence with a welcome reception, followed by public panels focusing on local food systems at the local and state level. Additional events include film screenings, multimedia presentations and a “Food on the Lawn” fair and farmers market. “Food on the Lawn” will take place on UF’s Plaza of the Americas from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12, and feature food demonstrations, educational displays and local produce for sale. A photography exhibition, “Range, Furrow, and Grove: Images of Florida Agriculture,” will also be on display April 5-17 in the Reitz Student Union Gallery.
Michael Dimock, executive director of Roots for Change, will present a keynote speech on sustainable food system development. The presentation will take place the evening of April 12. Robert Stone, outreach coordinator for Florida Folklife Program, will present “Florida Cowboys and Agricultural History” the evening of April 13.
A special workshop will be held April 13 for local and national stakeholders invited to share their knowledge on and ideas for creating and accelerating farm-to-institution programs.
Additional programs hosted in the days leading up to the event will complement the summit program and include movie showings, student-led programs and a panel entitled “Food and Faith,” featuring local religious leaders.
Sponsors of the event include Alachua County, Aramark Higher Education and Darden Restaurants, along with considerable support from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in planning and participation.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The events culminate in an open house Friday where the public can tour the home that will compete in Solar Decathlon Europe, an international competition designed to advance innovation and research in solar, sustainable and industrialized housing.
The Project: RE: FOCUS team will encourage the UF community to “Make a Change, Not a Footprint” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Plaza of the Americas with an expo featuring solar panels, renderings of the home, the home’s floor plan staked out to scale, and other information on the project.
On Thursday morning, Project RE:FOCUS will take over the 34th Street wall to inspire the Gainesville community members to make a small change in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint.
Friday’s open house will feature tours of the home, information about the project and presentations by College of Design, Construction and Planning Dean Christopher Silver, team leader and building construction professor Robert Ries and student team leader and doctoral student Dereck Winning.
“The Solar Decathlon gives students from across the university the opportunity to work together on a real-world project, and Friday will be the first opportunity for the team to present their work to the sponsors and the community,” Ries said.
The open house will take place at the UF Solar Energy Park, 2610 S.W. 23rd Terrace, from 3 to 6 p.m., with the presentations delivered at 3:15 p.m. Those who attend are encouraged to carpool to promote sustainability and due to limited parking.
The UF team, comprised of more than 125 students from four colleges and eight disciplines, will compete in Madrid this June in 10 categories that include solar power, innovation, sustainability and communication. The team’s entry fuses innovation with the design of the historic Florida Cracker House to further the field of solar energy and inspire solutions for sustainable living that fit market needs.
For updates on the house, visit http://www.floridasolardecathlon.org/
Writing Credits: Kathryn Watson
Campus-wide cost savings, as a result of this competition, were moderate and are viewed in the context of a year-long budget for utilities. The utility charges campus residents pay are a pass-through cost included in semester rent. Utility charges for the fiscal year are set each March and are based on usage averages established over many years and the prevailing water rates charged by local utility providers.
“Our Eco-Challenge contests focus on saving resources rather than on saving money,” said Sharon Blansett, Housing Green Team captain. “We encourage residents to practice behaviors that will reduce their environmental footprint now and in the future.”
“Eco-Challenge: Battle of the Halls” competitions are cosponsored by the Inter-Residence Hall Association and the Department of Housing and Residence Education Green Team. The winners of the energy challenge and overall winner will be announced later in March. The winning residence hall communities will be recognized campus-wide prior to Finals Week.
Credits: Sharon Blansett, SharonB@housing.ufl.edu
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
The lights around Century Tower and lights on fountains and on outdoor art installations will be off from Friday evening until Monday morning. The University Athletic Association also confirmed additional campus spots that will go dark for the weekend include the stadium north end signs, the basketball lobby, the Gate 18 donor lights and Ben Hill Griffin signage on Stadium Road West. Additionally, the electronic marquees at several entrances to the UF campus will be dark from 5 p.m. Friday until noon Saturday.
This is the third year UF has encouraged students, faculty and staff to participate in Earth Hour and the second year campus landmarks have been turned off. Turning off lights at Century Tower and other campus icons will symbolize the school’s commitment to sustainability without affecting lights on streets, sidewalks or parking garages to ensure campus safety isn’t compromised.
“We are glad to be a part of this global movement to bring awareness to energy conservation,” Prizzia said. “We hope darkening our campus icons will inspire people to contemplate their own energy impacts.”
The office will also urge students, especially those living in residence halls, to turn off nonessential lighting during Earth Hour.
Earth Hour started three years ago in Sydney, Australia, and became a global event in 2008 when more than 400 cities turned off extra lights, including those at the Sydney Opera House, the Coliseum and the Empire State Building, according to the World Wildlife Fund Web site.
For more information about Earth Hour nationally visit https://www.myearthhour.org/home
Contact: Ashley Pennington.
Monday, March 15, 2010
40 Days of Change Kickoff Activities
UF Lacrosse and Softball Green Games
Alternatively Fueled Vehicles Display and Panel Discussion
Friday March 3/19
1st Annual Gainesville Environmental Film & Arts Festival
Saturday March 3/20
Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival
Follow Sustainable UF on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sustainableUF
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
From March 16 to April 24, members of the local community and Gator Nation are invited to make a change in their lives, homes and world by participating in sustainability-focused events throughout the area.
“40 Days of Change” will launch on March 16 with a series of interactive activities at the Reitz Student Union. Participants can plant their own edible greens, make jewelry from recycled materials, and learn more about the campaign.
The campaign encourages participants to be active both socially and physically through interactive events including University of Florida Lacrosse and Softball “Green Games” on March 17, the Gainesville Environmental Film & Arts Festival on March 19-28, a handmade natural soap workshop on March 20, “Range, Furrow, and Grove: Images of Florida Agriculture” photography exhibition on April 5-17, walking tours of Paynes Prairie every Thursday and “5 Days 5 Issues” presentations by UF student organizations April 5-9.
The focal point of “40 Days of Change” will be the 2010 Florida Food Summit, hosted by the UF Office of Sustainability, on April 12 -13. The event will take place at the university’s Reitz Student Union and will facilitate networking, dialogue, and visioning among members of the Florida food system, and help develop the connections needed for robust farm-to-institution programs.
The campaign will culminate with Earth Day events on campus and in the community April 19-24. UF’s campus Earth Day celebration on April 21st will include the annual State of Sustainability address by President Bernie Machen on the Plaza of the Americas, followed by the presentation of this year’s Sustainable Solutions Award recipients. Sustainable Alachua County and the UF Office of Sustainability will host “Earth Days,” the movie, at the Hippodrome during the week, and on April 24, the Florida Museum of Natural History will hold a community Earth Day celebration and Rebuild Together will provide a chance to volunteer in the community for National Rebuilding Day.
“40 Days of Change” is an opportunity for community members to learn more about sustainability initiatives while contributing and interacting with each other. The full schedule of events, with information on times and locations, can be found here.