Sustainability @ UNC

February 13, 2018

Sustainability @ UNC distributes a periodic newsletter containing our recent news stories along with information about upcoming events and sustainability job and internship opportunities. To receive this newsletter, fill out and submit our subscription form.


Campus News

UNC-Chapel Hill Earns Top Sustainability Rankings

UNC has been recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for achieving a gold rating according to its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (AASHE STARS). Included in the ratings are efforts in academics, engagement, operations, and planning. Congrats UNC!

UNC-Chapel Hill Listed in Best Workplaces for Commuters 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill was named Best Workplaces for Commuters for 2018. On Jan. 31 the Center for Urban Transportation Research announced the employers who earned the designation by meeting the National Standard of Excellence criteria with their employee commuter benefits. Carolina was one of 37 colleges and universities nationally and one of six in North Carolina to receive the designation.

Galapagos 2018 Summer Study Abroad Program

This summer program offers a rigorous learning opportunity in one of the world’s most important ecological sites - the rapidly changing Galapagos archipelago. The Galapagos Islands are a living laboratory for the study of ecology, environmental change, and the conflicts between nature and society. Free of humans and predators for most of its history, these “Enchanted Islands” have developed some of the most unique life forms on the planet. Now population growth and economic development are challenging this unique World Heritage Site.  Students will receive 6 credit hours for classes while attending. The application deadline is February 14th, so apply soon!


Campus Sustainability Events

Check out our online events calendar for more great sustainability events happening this month.

Wasted! A Story of Food Waste – Feb. 16, NC Botanical Garden

Join the NC Botanical Garden and non-profit organization, Don’t Waste Durham, at its free film screening of the documentary Wasted! A Story of Food Waste by Anthony Bourdain. Immediately following the film, make connections at the Sustainability Fair which will feature local organizations and businesses working to reduce food waste and increase sustainability in the Triangle, including the Sustainability Office. The film portion of this event is Sold Out, but the Sustainability Fair is still open to all.

FILLED - Making the Workplace More Sustainable – Feb. 27 and Mar. 1

Our interactive “Making the Workplace more Sustainable” training is now filled! Look for our next training in the fall to help make your work unit more economically, environmentally and socially responsible. Participants will learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, including the new Three Zeros Environmental Initiative, become “green events” certified and learn how to use the Workplace Sustainability Assessment tool.

UNC Clean Tech Summit:

Mar. 1-2 at the Friday Center

8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The 5th Annual Clean Tech Summit will bring together attendees and speakers from business, government, agriculture and academia to explore key issues in clean tech with keynotes, discussions, workshops, mentoring and networking to foster leadership and growth in the Southeast’s clean tech industry. Themes will involve entrepreneurship, clean energy, innovation in agriculture, and smart and healthy cities.


Green Tip

Recycle properly

From artist-in-residence Robin Frohardt’s recycled plastic masterpieces and the upcoming plastic bag challenge to UNC Design For America Chapter’s Design Jam on how to reduce plastic to-go cups in campus coffee shops, plastic is a hot topic.

But, are you recycling properly? Here is the insider’s scoop on how to properly dispose of three plastic items that cause confusion:

1)      PLASTIC BAGS: These bags can be recycled in the Union in a special recycling collection bin next to Alpine Bagel (look for a grey bin below the large TV screens) or at your favorite grocery store. Plastic bags do NOT belong in the regular recycling bins on campus. They get caught in the sorting equipment at the recycling facility and need to be cut out by hand every couple of hours, which is dangerous for recycling workers.

2)      COFFEE CUPS: Coffee cups and lids are NOT recyclable. Coffee cups are made of both paper and plastic, which makes them unrecyclable. Lids are made of a type of plastic that is not recyclable at UNC. Throw both the cups and the lids in the trash, or, better yet, bring your own reusable mug! If you’re getting your cup of Joe or soda fix at Lenoir Mainstreet, The Beach Café, or Rams Market, you can get a 20% discount every time you use your CDS reusable drink container.  

3)      PLASTIC TO-GO BOXES (aka Clamshells): These are NOT recyclable. Throw them in the trash, or use the Carolina Dining Services reusable to-go containers, their new compostable containers for one-time use. Bring back the dirty container and grab a new one every time you take out food from Top of Lenoir or Chase Dining Halls. This service is available for free for those with meal plans and for a one-time fee of $3.50 per container for those without meal plans.


Carolina in the News

Farming Brings Refugees Closer to Home Through Food and Community

Yes! magazine writes about Transplanting Traditions Community Farm and what it provides to the Karen, Chin, and Burmese immigrants who farm there. Most of these farmers work as housekeepers at UNC and sell produce at the Chapel Hill and Carrboro farmers markets.

Having an Oyster Roast? Save the Shells

The News and Observer speaks with Institute of Marine Sciences associate professor Antonio Rodriguez in this piece on oysters and the importance of oyster reefs in the wake of more powerful coastal storms.

Your Bright Idea Could Save the Biggest Reef on Earth

Biology department professor, John Bruno, shares his thoughts on saving coral reefs as National Geographic discusses project proposals and a competition to save Australia’s Great Barrier reef in response to warming oceans.

A Prescription for Fruits and Veggies

A new study at UNC will give a weekly allotment of locally grown vegetables to low-income, high-risk patients at the Family Medicine Center. This has particular importance in North Carolina, where rural areas face issues of chronic illnesses and poor economic resources that are characteristic of living in a food desert.


Jobs, Internships, Scholarships and Fellowships

Check out our online job postings for sustainability jobs locally and around the country! We will continue to post sustainability-related jobs and internships available at UNC in this newsletter.

UNC Sustainability Office—Student Intern

The Sustainability Office and the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative is accepting applications for a Spring/Summer intern to help research best practices in sustainability at other Universities, support and advance initiatives, and assess sustainable practices at UNC related to the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative. To apply for the internship, the applicant must be an undergraduate or graduate student at Carolina in good academic standing. Apply at our jobs and internships page.


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