Some students at the University of Colorado are demanding that the school purchase all its eggs from vendors that let their chickens run free.
CU says the switch would cost them at least $70,000, which would be hard to justify in the current economic climate.
The Partnership for Animal Welfare group has gathered more than 1,000 student signatures asking that CU start buying cage-free eggs because the battery cages are so cramped that hens can’t even spread their wings, according to CU student Suzanne Spiegel.
On average, each caged laying hen is given 67 square inches of cage space, which is smaller than a single sheet of letter-sized paper, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
The University of Colorado is considering a ban on disposable plastic bottles as part of an effort to become a greener campus.
Students would be encouarged to fill up their reusable water bottles at “hydration stations” around campus.
But there’s a hitch to the plan.
One problem, though, is the university doesn’t want to take money away from a fund — supported with vending machine revenue — that awards scholarship money to the children of faculty and staff members.
At first, CU leaders were looking at ridding the campus of just plastic water bottles, said Deb Coffin, associate vice chancellor and dean of students. But, she said, they worried about unintended consequences — such as students opting instead for more bottled sodas.
“We’d like to not have plastic bottles at all,” Coffin said. …
The campus brings in about $280,000 a year from the money that people spend on snacks and soda sold at campus vending machines, officials said last fall. Part of that revenue goes to a scholarship program in which full-time CU employees can receive $750 for their dependents one semester every year.
Students at the University of Colorado — enraged by their ridiculous utility bills — are telling landlords that it’s time to suck it up and green up.
A University of Colorado student group is calling for Boulder landlords to work with student renters to increase the energy efficiency of rental properties so, as one group member said, students don’t get “cheated out of their money” when it comes time to pay their monthly energy bill.
“Oh my gosh, that totally happened to me,” said CU junior Nora Keane, who rents a two-bedroom house in the University Hill neighborhood. The 20-year-old had never lived on her own when she went looking for an apartment during the spring semester of her freshman year.
After looking at several run-down places, she came across what she thought was a perfect deal: a neat house near the corner of 19th Street and Aurora Avenue. She said she spent five minutes inside before agreeing to take it. She didn’t notice that there was no dishwasher. She overlooked the mold in the bathroom. And she didn’t ask how much she could expect to pay for utilities.”When my mom asked if I did, I got mad,” Keane said. “I was like, ‘No, it’s perfect.’”
Now, Keane said, she wishes she had. On top of $700 in rent, she and her roommate shell out about $60 a month for energy, an expense Keane said is made worse by the house’s drafty doors.
Read the fully story at DailyCamera.com.
If you want to carpool to class at the University of Colorado, but fear the possible freak factor of calling a phone number left tacked to a bulletin board to find a ride, CU has the answer.
It’s called Zimride — and school officials wants to see 20 percent of the campus using it by next May.
From today’s Daily Camera:
The university this week launched a new carpooling network called Zimride that uses a private Web site, as well as Facebook, to hook up drivers and riders in a simple way that — thanks to the voyeurism of social networking — will ensure would-be carpoolers are never complete strangers.
“It adds a lot of humanity to it,” said Peter Roper, a program manager at CU’s Environmental Center who helped bring Zimride to campus. “It’s the whole social-networking aspect of it. You can chat with the person (you’ll be sharing a ride with). You can see if you have mutual friends.”
Zimride is also available to employees of NIST and NOAA as well as city and county employees, all of which are sharing the cost of the $10,000 program. As of Thursday afternoon, 410 people had signed up for Boulder’s Zimride and there were 2,800 trips posted.
Read the full story at DailyCamera.com.
Read more posts about CU on BigGreenBoulder:
|CU earns most “eco-enlightened” school, and gets the big green diss||Folsom Field doesn’t have trash cans|
As you know (or as you will find out at about 4 p.m. Sunday if you live in Boulder), the CU vs. CSU football game is coming right up, which means there’s some tailgating to do. But lay off the Frito-Lay and Natty Ice, because there are tons of good, local food and drink options available to make your tailgating party the most delicious locavore pre-gaming you’ve ever been a part of.
Camera food editor Cindy Sutter serves up some great choices for carnivorous and vegiforous* tailgaters :
Such a local game deserves a local menu. How fortunate for us that the obvious menu choices for Buffalo vs. Ram are two foods that have long Colorado associations, not to mention extreme tailgating well-suitedness: bison (a.k.a. buffalo) and lamb.
If you’re into something a little more decadent, there’s always the bison hot dog, served Mexican style. What’s that, you might ask? It should be wrapped in bacon (Longs Farm, please) and served with cheese, and roasted jalapenos or green chiles. Now that’s a tailgating mouthful.
For those of you who like to stick with the basics, go for a bison burger. Just offer plenty of fixings. Several cheeses, jalapenos, caramelized onions, mushrooms. All local, and all delicious.
You may never party the same way again once you’ve checked out Cindy’s buffalo tacos, lamb skewers and grilled eggplant recipes. And don’t forget to have some local brews — plenty of choices there, too!
*No, this is not a real word.
Getting simple $5 stoves into the hands of the billions of poor people in the world who still rely on open fires for cooking, heating and lighting would deliver a double-punch, combating both global warming and energy injustices at the same time.
Their stoves, which vary in size from that of a paint can to an oil drum and sell for as little as $5, let villagers use 50 percent less wood, reducing tree-cutting.
The stoves emit 80 percent less smoke, cutting respiratory harm that the World Health Organization identifies as a major factor in child deaths.
“Climate change is accelerated by deforestation, the cutting and burning of the wood,” said Stuart Conway, 56, co-founder and international operations director for TWP.
The stoves also battle black carbon emissions — or soot — which is one of the least talked about major drivers of global warming. Black carbon not only absorbs heat directly from the sun and heat reflected off the Earth, but it can travel thousands of miles on air currents before settling to the ground. And when the soot settles on ice or snow, it speeds melting.
An international team of scientists — including researchers from the University of Colorado — broke a record this summer out on the frozen, unforgiving landscape in northern Greenland.
They drilled more than a mile deep into the ice sheet this year, breaking the single-season ice core-drilling record. (Seasons in the land of the midnight sun are short.) The scientists extracted 5,767 feet of fragile, layered ice columns that scientists can read like tree rings to determine what the climate was like on Earth thousands of years ago.
But even though they’ve drilled to record depths, scientists still need to make it through another 2,600 feet to reach bedrock and find the sweet stuff – ice made from snow that fell more than 120,000 years in the Eemian Period when the Earth was much, much warmer.
For Jim White, a researcher at CU’s Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, getting a good chunk of ice from the Eemian Period would be the end of a long, cold quest.
“We’ve been on a long quest to get the Eemian ice,” he said. “We had hints of it back in the ’60s, even, and in the ’70s. … I feel a lot like Captain Ahab. This is my Moby Dick.”
Read more about why scientists like White are interested in the Eemian Period at DailyCamera.com, check out the Web site for the project — called North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling — or watch a video about how scientists read the ice after the jump. Read more
The University of Colorado is the No. 1 “cool school,” according to Sierra Magazine’s “comprehensive guide to the most eco-enlightened U.S. colleges.”
The list, which came out today, noted the top 10 green schools, including some of the usual suspects: UC Berkeley, Middlebury College, Evergreen State College …
“This ranking is not a surprise, but it is a wonderful tribute to the hard work of our students, faculty, staff and administrators,” said Phil DiStefano, CU’s chancellor, in a news release. “Over the course of the last nearly six decades they have made sustainability a campus priority, and have done the hard work to make it a reality.”
But CU didn’t fare so well on Princeton Review’s list, which came out in late July. The school was no where to be found on the green honor roll, which listed the 15 schools that got top scores of 99. (Also including the usual suspects: UC Berkeley, Middlebury College, Evergreen State College … )
When the Princeton Review debuted its list last summer, CU scored an 88, and in response, school officials questioned the rating’s methodology.
But officials at CU are skeptical about the way the Princeton Review collects information for its rankings, saying the company relies too heavily on anecdotes.
CU’s Boulder campus has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, said Dave Newport, director of CU’s Environmental Center.
CU students in 1974 founded the nation’s first campus recycling program, and in 2000 the school became the first in the country to raise student fees to buy wind-energy credits for campus buildings. Chancellor Bud Peterson is also recognized as a carbon neutrality leader, sitting on a national steering committee.
“CU has been a climate and sustainability leader for nearly 40 years and is so far ahead of other schools I think we get taken for granted by some of these ad-hoc ratings systems,” Newport said.
CU is crawling with people who consider environmental issues to be of great importance, and it’s full of people who want to make a difference, too. Planet Green just did a mini-profile on CU graduate journalism student Jessicca Lucier:
Mostly, she helps out with communications, so she authored the school’s climate action plan, helps plan the Colorado satellite Bioneers conference, which is coming up on its seventh year in October, and helped to organize last year’s Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit.
Check out Planet Green for more on Jessicca. And let us know about your own local green heroes in the comments!
Charring chicken poop probably won’t save the planet on its own, but some people think charring fowl manure along with beetle-killed pine trees, corn husks and other organic matter might be an important weapon in the war on greenhouse gases. And a lot of the people who think that are hanging around Boulder this week.
Biochar — a fancy name for charcoal, more or less — is what’s left when organic matter is burned in a low-oxygen environment. And when you don’t have oxygen, you can’t make carbon dioxide. So after the burn, you’re left with biochar, which stays stable for a thousand years, locking up that pesky globe-warming carbon in a big black chunk. And as a bonus, the biochar makes an excellent fertilizer when added to agricultural fields. Read more