Fund Gives Green Light to Sustainability

The University of Arizona Green Fund Committee has selected 16 projects to receive nearly $400,000 in the coming year that will make the University a more environmentally sustainable institution.
The Green Fund Committee is comprised of nine UA students responsible for soliciting, accepting, reviewing and funding sustainable project proposals on the UA campus and beyond. The committee received 34 proposals this year from a variety of projects looking for funding for the 2012-13 academic year.

The $400,000 Green Fund was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents as part of tuition and fees in March 2010, specifically by a $24 charge per student, per year.
Last year, the Green Fund funded 20 projects, which ranged from creating a new sustainable consumerism course to harvesting mesquite flour from the UA campus.
The committee allocates funds to projects that include but are not limited to:
 • Increasing the percentage of renewable energy used at the UA
 • Improving energy efficiency
 • Increasing outdoor and indoor water efficiency
 • Reducing the amount of waste generated by the UA
 • Education, research and outreach initiatives directly related to environmental sustainability of the UA
UA students and employees may submit proposals, but students must collaborate with employees to submit a complete proposal.
Alexander Harris, UA Green Fund chair, honors student and a chemical engineering senior, has led student efforts toward sustainability since he became involved with Students for Sustainability and working with the UA Compost Cats his sophomore year. 

During his junior year, he became a Green Fund Committee member. Now that he has a role in oversight of the funding, Harris said the pressure is well worth the effort.

"The Green Fund has resulted in exciting projects like teaching communities about harnessing rain water or in helping in the development of a community garden. I am amazed at what people can do with a little bit of financial investment and a little bit of time," said Harris.
He said many of the funded projects are ones that students have developed and will manage themselves such as Compost Cats but also projects that build upon student sustainability training that will benefit the greater community.
The UA Cooperative Extension Office, a part of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has obtained its second grant from the Green Fund, which will fund student externs to work developing sustainability programs over the summer throughout the state.  
This year, the extension program received $51,000, double the amount from last year, to build upon a pilot program that created opportunities for University students to bring their experience, skills and enthusiasm to their communities through innovative sustainability projects.

Read the rest of this March 21 UANews article at

Contact name: 
Mark Apel
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Released date: 
Apr 5 2012