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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Less Car Challenge is back for third year at UF

University of Florida faculty, staff, and students will show their commitment to alternative transportation during the third annual One Less Car Challenge this fall.

The challenge continues until Nov. 19, and focuses on individual commitment to commute by foot, bike, bus, carpool or another alternative mode throughout the fall semester.

To kick off the challenge, the Office of Sustainability will host an Alternative Transportation Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday on the Reitz Student Union North Lawn. Clubs and local organizations will have information about the various transportation options available on campus and around Gainesville, as well as games and other fun activities and giveaways.

One Less Car Day will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6 on the Reitz Student Union Colonnade and North Lawn. The event is a celebration of the benefits from alternative transportation and will honor those who have stepped up to the challenge. The event will also feature games and activities, with the opportunity to win a variety of prizes.

The campus community is challenged to use alternative transportation on One Less Car Day and throughout the semester. Since 2008, nearly 3,000 people have participated, avoiding more than 78,000 trips and keeping 375 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere.

“We are thrilled to see the support and excitement surrounding the One Less Car challenge, and look forward to the program’s continued growth among the campus community,” said Anna Prizzia, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Those interested in taking part in the challenge can join the Sustainable UF team and log the miles they commute with the UF GreenRide software. Points are awarded for each trip traveled by alternative transportation, and the challenge encourages participants to earn bonus points through “invite a friend” referrals. Participants can also start or join their own teams to encourage healthy competition amongst friends and colleagues.

Registration is ongoing. Members of the UF community can find out more information, sign up for the challenge, and join a team online at

For more information, contact Ashley Pennington at or (352) 392-7578.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Energy and Climate Change at UF

The main campus of the University of Florida uses approximately 470,000 megawatts of power from Progress Energy annually, and spent roughly $38 million for electricity in 2008. Because the majority of our energy comes from fossil fuel sources, such as coal and natural gas, energy use in our buildings is the primary contributor to UF’s carbon footprint.

In 2006, UF president J. Bernard Machen was the first to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, committing to reduce our carbon emissions and educate our campus community about climate change. The University of Florida has completed carbon inventory for 2004-05 as a baseline, and is working on an inventory tool that will regularly update. UF has also published a Climate Action Plan and set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025.

For more information on what UF is doing and how to get involved, check out Chomp Down on Energy.