Sign up for the newsletter
Sign up for our listserv

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

UF Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Sustainable Change on Campus

This year’s Campus Earth Day Celebration included herb giveaways from Gators for a Sustainable Campus, clothing donations and hazardous waste collection. There were also educational games, art activities and a number of student and community organizations interacting with passersby. A “Greening Your Career: Bringing Sustainability to the Workplace” panel discussion, hosted individuals speaking on how they had incorporated sustainability principles into their positions, and advice for students about to enter the workforce about how to channel their own passions when they transition.

President Machen gave his annual “State of Sustainability at UF” address, emphasizing the importance of individual action and the part every Gator plays in transforming our university. He commented on the solar panels currently being installed on Powell Hall, and what this can mean for both UF and the community at large. These panels, done in partnership with Progress Energy, not only represent a step toward sourcing energy through renewable means, but to also be an engaging, educational piece for the over 200,000 annual visitors to the Florida Museum of Natural History about the prospects of solar energy in sunshine state.

Additionally he remarked on our continued recognition on the national scene. The University of Florida was most recently included in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.

This year also marked the second year of the Sustainable Solutions Awards. There were a number of notable achievements, and the following list helps reflect some of the efforts, individuals and groups who help champion sustainability here at UF:

Most Active Green Team - Finance and Accounting
Most Active Student Organization - 2010 Solar Decathlon Team
Waste Reduction - Online Swap Meet Program
Student Waste Reduction - Florida Alternative Breaks
Water Conservation - “Can You Take A 5-Minute Shower?” - Water Conservation Pilot Program
Energy Efficiency and Conservation - Physical Plant Division, Retro-Commissioning Team
Student Energy Efficiency and Conservation - Neutral Gator Renter’s Initiative
Bright Idea Award - “Pushing the Envelope” Campaign, Susan Smith
Student Bright Idea Award - Clotheslines at Campus Housing Facilities, Ricardo Brown-Salazar

Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees!