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UofL Green Scene: Giving your green to ensure UofL stays green

by Brett Shepherd, assistant director, Fund for UofL, and Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives last modified Aug 30, 2012 11:39 AM

Sustainability means something different to each of us. Whether it is exercising diligence with recycling, using less energy at home or adopting alternative transportation to and from work, each of us has formed a concept of what it means to be “green.”

UofL Green Scene: Giving your green to ensure UofL stays green

The UofL Green Fund is part of Charting Our Course comprehensive campaign.

What many folks might not realize is the full extent to which the University of Louisville has become committed to sustainable practices and initiatives.

  • It is part of UofL’s plan to be a premier metropolitan research institution by 2020.
  • President James Ramsey signed the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment in 2008.
  • That same year Provost Shirley Willihnganz formed the university-wide Sustainability Council and, soon after, hired UofL’s first sustainability coordinator.
  • UofL faculty, staff and students have worked diligently across all corners of campus to find ways to weave social, economic and environmental stewardship into the very fabric of the university.

We’ve achieved a great deal in a short time, but we have much more to accomplish. With the launching of the new UofL Green Fund, we are offering people at UofL who are passionate about sustainability a way to contribute financially to our efforts and providing alumni and friends of the university with an opportunity to directly support our initiatives, as well.

What’s particularly exciting about sustainability initiatives is that they hold the promise not only of paying for themselves, but oftentimes, of saving considerable money in the long-run. Many projects, however, take some initial funding as seed money to get them off the ground without raising tuition or adding new student fees. That’s where the new UofL Green Fund will help.

The UofL Green Fund will provide the seed money to help start and advance campus sustainability initiatives and pilot projects for which additional financial support will be required. Anyone who has a good idea for advancing campus sustainability will have the opportunity to propose projects for consideration. Students, in collaboration with the Sustainability Council, will have the opportunity to play a role in determining which projects take priority, as well as actively participating in their implementation. Projects that receive money from the UofL Green Fund will change over time, but some initial ideas include:

  • Employing student campus sustainability workers and “Eco-Reps” like those at other schools;
  • Producing educational and outreach materials to raise awareness about campus sustainability and how individuals can make a difference;
  • Installing on campus such renewable energy projects as solar and wind power;
  • Purchasing and maintaining bicycles for a campus bike-share program, as well as bike racks for buildings that lack them;
  • Purchasing bins and signs for recycling and composting efforts;
  • Installing rain gardens; pervious concrete; green roofs; and native, lower-maintenance species on campus grounds;
  • Expanding, maintaining and improving the organic campus Garden Commons at the Cultural Center;
  • Renovating model green classrooms, dorm rooms and offices; or
  • Purchasing and maintaining a reusable commencement gown collection for students to borrow.

With the recent launch of the Charting Our Course Faculty/Staff Giving Campaign, we as university faculty and staff have an opportunity to support any number of important causes we are passionate about at UofL. Perhaps you might consider using this opportunity to support the UofL Green Fund as you participate in this unprecedented overall campaign to raise $1 billion. Participation is the key. Each of us can make a difference with our personal philanthropy, no matter the amount we are able to give.

Simply fill out and return your Faculty/Staff Giving Form to sign up for payroll deduction or visit Charting Our Course to make your gift or pledge online. If you have any questions about giving, please contact Elea Fox, Fund for UofL, by e-mail or at 502-852-5051.

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