As part of the commitment of the UST campus to become carbon-neutral by 2035, UST’s Sustainability Committee, via the Campus Sustainability Fund, finances projects that promote climate-neutrality and sustainability at UST. Members of the campus community – students, staff and faculty – were invited to submit proposals this fall for 2012-13.

Projects awarded this year are:

Public Safety Bike Patrol Initiative
Funding was approved to increase the Department of Public Safety’s Bike Patrol capabilities by adding four new patrol bikes and necessary equipment. This will bring the number of bike patrols to six, reducing the use of the Public Safety vehicles from May through October. In addition to a reduced carbon footprint, visibility of Public Safety will be increased across the St. Paul campus by added bike patrols.

Using Service Learning to Increase Visibility of the UST Sustainability Mission
Support for a substantial increase in public information about UST campus sustainability efforts. This project pairs students in biology and environmental studies courses with a student adviser in the Department of Communication and Journalism to produce multimedia content. The teams will produce blogs, podcasts, videos, etc., summarizing the carbon footprint status of the university and of households of university community members. The information would be designed to provide specific guidance to those interested in decreasing their carbon footprints.

UST Takes a Nice Ride
Support for 250 incoming freshman subscriptions to the Nice Ride bike-sharing service. Additional subscriptions will be available to the UST community. A $10 fee per subscription will be charged with the balance being paid for with the grant monies. Geography students will analyze usage data to track trends in campus bike use, estimate the total number of miles pedaled, and estimate carbon reductions resulting from decreased car use.

Expansion of UST On-Campus Composting Initiative
Expanding the current on-campus coffee-grounds vermicomposting (worm composting) project to Coffee Bené in the library, and The Loft and T’s in the Anderson Student Center. The purpose is to change the way we think about our waste. The level of composting will be increased along with awareness. This project uses worms to break down food waste into usable and fertile soil, thus reducing the university’s amount of waste.

Developing the UST Stewardship Garden
Enhancements will be made to the UST Stewardship Garden to augment undergraduate student-led research in sustainability science. This grant will allow undergrad students to conduct distinctive and impactive research projects each year. Raised beds will be constructed to make it easy to remove and replace topsoil after each growing season, thus ensuring homogeneous conditions for annual research projects.

Find out more about the Campus Sustainability Fund  and other Sustainability Committee efforts on the UST Sustainability website.