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Green Awareness Day

UConn Eco Husky Green Awareness Day Participants

What's Going On
  • Food Waste
    • Composting: All excess food from the concession stands and catered events is composted through Global Environmental Services. All of the kitchens at Rentschler are equipped with composting bins for this purpose! All paper and plastic flatware and cups served at Rentschler concession stands are biodegradable or compostable.
      • The UConn Storrs campus will be starting construction on a brand new, state of the art composting facility in Fall 2009. This 10,000 sq. ft. facility will handle agricultural and landscaping waste from the Storrs campus. Compost will be spread right back onto the agricultural fields in Storrs and any excess will be made available for public purchase.
    • Waste Oil: All waste oil from the fryers is picked up by Grease Guys, a local Connecticut company based in Hamden. Grease Guys convert the waste oil into biodiesel fuel. Their website can be found at:
      • Similar activities are also happening on the UConn Storrs campus where waste oil from the dining units and on-campus restaurant (Chuck & Augies) is being converted into biodiesel fuel which helps power the campus shuttle buses. This work is being done by the UConn Biofuels Consortium:
  • Wetlands Protection:
    • There is no activity at Rentschler during May-June. This is because Rentschler is built adjacent to a protected wetland and closing the stadium for these two months decreases the impact on thriving wildlife habitats.
  • Education:
    • More recycling and sustainability signage is being posted continuously throughout the stadium.
    • The Department of Environmental Protection and the Northeast Recycling Coalition come and train employees of Rentschler each year in these new, green initiatives.
  • Other Campus Sustainability Initiatives:
    • Sustainable Design & Construction Policy: This policy, adopted in March 2007, calls for planning, designing, constructing, renovating, and maintaining sustainable, energy- and water-efficient buildings that yield cost savings through lowered lifetime operating costs, provide enhanced learning atmospheres for students and healthier environments for all building occupants and visitors, and realize the University's commitment to responsible growth and environmental steward ship. For any building construction or renovation project entering the pre-design planning phase, and whenever the estimated total project cost exceeds $5 million, excluding the cost of equipment other than building systems, the University shall establish the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating as a minimum performance requirement. The University shall comply with all applicable LEED protocols, including registering the project with the US Green Building Council at the beginning of the design phase and applying for LEED certification at project completion.
    • Give & Go 2009: At the end of the school year many students find that they have items that they do not want anymore. As additional dumpsters are brought to campus thousands of items are thrown away that are still in perfect condition increasing the amount of waste and costing the University additional money for trash removal. This year, students were given the option of donating their gently used items instead of simply tossing them out. Over 9000 lbs. of materials (including food, clothing, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, furniture, linens, and much more!) were collected and plans are already in place for scaling up next year!
    • Climate Action Planning: In 2008, President Hogan signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, putting UConn on the path of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Since that time, workgroups have been meeting to develop strategies for reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions which have been tracked through Greenhouse Gas Inventories for the past several years. The final UConn Climate Action Plan was complete at the end of August 2009 and can be downloaded at the following website:
    • Sustainable Offices Program: In Fall 2008, the first departments and offices signed on to take part in our new Sustainable Offices Program. Among these participants were Student Health Services, Student Activities, University Communications, and the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention. The Sustainable Offices program includes meeting with staff from the OEP to do an office sustainability assessment and developing action items for areas identified as needing improvement. In these tight financial times, we focus on encouraging behavioral changes that will have a large impact on the office's environmental footprint and a corresponding cost benefit. We'll then work with you to plan an office-wide presentation that is entirely dependent upon your group's needs and has ranged from a formal presentation of the Sustainable Office Guidelines to a sorting recyclables activity and interactive UConn Eco-Jeopardy game.
    • Sneaker Recycling: 2.5 tons of sneakers were collected on Storrs, Avery Point, Stamford, and Health Center campuses during the 2009 sneaker recycling drive.
    • EcoHouse: The first environmental learning community, "EcoHouse", opened on the Storrs campus in Fall 2009. 50 undergraduate students from a wide range of academic majors are practicing a more sustainable lifestyle together in Hollister, a West Campus residence hall. These students are also taking several courses together and will be working on a range of campus sustainability initiatives, including trying to turn their residence hall into UConn's first "Green Dorm".
    • Low Impact Development: Gant Science Complex Green Roof: A Green Roof is an aesthetically pleasing alternative in the struggle to increase energy efficiency and foster environmental stewardship. A sophisticated form of rooftop garden, a Green Roof will reduce storm water runoff and improve water quality by retaining and filtering rainwater. Additional benefits include reductions in heating and cooling costs for the building hosting the green roof, and a lessening of the "heat island" effect common in urban areas. UConn's first Green Roof, in Gant Plaza, was installed on September 2, 2009! Porous Concrete & Asphalt Parking Lots: Two porous parking lots were installed in Fall 2009 in the Towers Residence Hall Complex and outside the Student Recreation Facility. These parking lots will allow rainwater to permeate directly back into groundwater, decreasing erosion and increasing the water quality in various campus water bodies.
This is just a small sampling of what's going on throughout the University of Connecticut. You can find complete information about current sustainability initiatives on the Office of Environmental Policy website at:
  • Quick Facts:
    • Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates 1 job, land-filling it creates 6, and recycling it creates 36.
    • In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. This means that each adult will leave a legacy of around 90,000 lbs. of trash.
    • Recycling 1 aluminum can saves 96% of the energy it would have taken to make from scratch and produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.