Brent Engel, a junior and the Tree Campus Student Representative for UNC, discusses UNC’s exciting recognition as a newly established Tree Campus.
Having UNC be recognized by the Tree Campus USA committee is a very exciting accomplishment. The project started out with the Head of Grounds at UNC Pat McDonald starting a completely new tree inventory of every tree on campus.
The goal was to identify, measure, catalog, and geo-map every tree on campus by the end of the summer. Student representative Brent Engel was in charge of assisting Pat on the identifying and measuring of every tree on campus which totaled to 3,695 trees. After measuring and identification, Brent would then go to the Greeley forestry offices where City Forester Shiloh Hatcher supervised the geo-mapping of the campus trees into their GIS system.
The process of becoming a Tree Campus was extremely tedious and time consuming, but it was well worth the work and time to be recognized by such an important organization. Having such an variety of state champion trees like the Silver Maple on President’s Row and Cork, Amur trees throughout campus is something to be recognized by the campus community and organizations like Tree Campus.
Congrats to Brent Engel and Pat McDonald for all their hard work paying off!
Written by Student LEAF Grant Coordinator William Woods
The alarm clock goes off and we get up. We then continue our lives under one author, ourselves. My world is written primarily by me and thus it revolves around me. It’s hard to stray away from the singular perspective especially when it comes to everyday life. So when it comes to thinking about the impact you as a particular person have on the world. It is easy to push aside the connotation that your footprint is costly to the environment at all. Well in all actuality it very much so is. This post isn’t about the details of global climate change, if you want to know about that look in your daily newspaper. This is about changing our lives for the better, because living the life of a leech isn’t a good life at all.
As a UNC community member your carbon footprint, that is the amount of impact you have on our earth via greenhouse gas emissions, is roughly around 3.5 tons of greenhouse gas emission per person, per year. That is almost 6,800 lbs. per person. The variables in this include the buildings you walk into, the car you drive, the food you eat, and of course the water you consume, not to mention a list that could go on for days. The top contributors however for our campus are our electricity use with a total of 28,300 tons of CO2 equivalent and our commuter mileage which equals up to 18,000 tons of CO2. These numbers can easily be diminished.
No we have all seen it; the pollution rising from the coal stacks, or the exhaust out of a car’s tail pipe. It seems almost lighter than air, how could anyone add up such a mass amount of something we see floating away? Well it all comes down to our daily lives. We turn the heat up in our homes burning the natural gas to do so. We have our microwave, hair dryer, computer; televisions all plugged in, and so on and so forth. These, all day-every day, or even once a day, once a week things, pile up and being the people we are, we tend to keep our minds elsewhere. We’re students, we don’t have 9-5 jobs we are studying or writing papers, Most of us have just enough time to go out once a week and socialize. So how are we supposed to fit one more thought into our overcapacity bubble? The answer is as simple as forming any habit you already have.
It doesn’t take more than five seconds to unplug your phone charger; it doesn’t take more than a second to flip the light switch off. And what does it take to turn the thermostat down and add a sweater? We all love sweaters anyways. It’s improvements that, although seem small at first, will start you on the path to obtaining less of an impact and bettering our community and our world. This is why Student L.E.A.F. is so important. We are allowing any of you students to propose change and to help you fulfill it. I’m not saying you have to join Student LEAF but you should join the population of “Giving a Shit.”
To see your carbon footprint or to know how many worlds it would take to live your lifestyle click here.
Written by Student LEAF member Sophi Robbins
As a freshman living in the dorms, this year is my first time having roommates. Not only am I adjusting to living away from home, and to dealing with a college workload, I’m also going through the semi-awkward process of living with three complete strangers.
This means many different things. It means getting ready in the dark some mornings, sleeping through blaring TV shows, and wondering whose hair is on the soap. Among the many things I had to adjust to, there’s one that I never saw coming: recycling. Or, rather, the lack thereof. While I grew up in my Boulder suburb sorting my cans and cardboard, and composting my watermelon rinds, the same was not so for my roommates. Unlike me, they didn’t really care if the empty cracker box ended up rotting away in the landfill. Though far from Earth-hating psycho-litterers, they, like 23% of Americans, didn’t know much about recycling, and, as a result, it wasn’t one of their top priorities.
As creepy as it sounds, I was that roomie picking through the trash. I just couldn’t stand by and watch as a perfectly recyclable bottle or box sat perched in the trash, never given a second chance in the world.
So, I took it upon myself to educate the inhabitants of our humble room. First things first, I had to explore UNC’s recycling system myself. I searched around the Internet, and found the handiest guide in town, right on the University website.
Once I knew what could and couldn’t be recycled, I casually mentioned it to my roommates, and suggested we get some kind of system going so that we could sort our recycling as needed for processing. For whatever reason, the rooms only provide one blue bin, despite the fact that when you take your recycling to the curb, it has to be sorted into at least three categories. I mean, come on, somebody had to have foreseen that problem!
So we gathered together two extra boxes, which, conveniently, had been sitting in an ever-growing pile of things “To Be Recycled…” in the corner of the room. We made it into a fun craft, and painted on the boxes to show what should go in each one. We labeled them paper, cardboard, and plastic and cans. It was a success in two ways: it made it easier for me to sleep at night, knowing there would be no can unrecycled (not under my roof!), and it also gave us roommates a little bonding time.
With our new, user-friendly recycling system in action, things are going as smoothly as peanut butter pie from Holmes dining hall. That is to say, the girls are getting the hang of recycling, and I pick far fewer coke bottles and mini cereal boxes out of the trash lately. If that’s not a victory, then I don’t know what is.
Check out the newly added Proposals page! Here you can find the Project Proposal Application and information on how to go about submitting a proposal. Student LEAF is always accepting proposals to help improve UNC. So, if you’ve got a great idea, we can’t want to hear it. Together we can make this campus a mean green fighting machine!
Remember, it’s your money, so do something with it!
First off, I want to welcome you to the new Student LEAF website! We’re so happy to have you!
The Student Leadership for Environmental Action Fund, commonly known as Student LEAF, is the University of Northern Colorado’s green fund. A green fund is a pool of money available to finance environmental projects that promote sustainability on a college campus.
As a student-funded foundation, our top priority is your environmental needs. Every UNC student has the ability to submit a project proposal. If you have any ideas about how to make UNC a more sustainable eco-friendly environment, we want to hear it! I always say, the best ideas, are green ideas! So don’t hesitate to share!
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’m probably the laziest person you’ll know. But luckily, being green doesn’t have to be hard. If it were, I certainly wouldn’t be doing it, would I? Here, at Student LEAF, we want to make eco-lifestyles easy and accessible to the UNC student body. This website will seek not only to inform you of Student LEAF’s ongoing activities on campus, but also to provide you with some valuable and practical information about how to go green, and what sustainability looks like on a college campus.
UNC is not just a place where we (sometimes) go to class. We eat here, we sleep here, we breath here. In short, we live here—together—sharing one happy campus community.
I love this cow town, and I have a feeling you do to! So let’s take care of what we’ve been given, one green step at a time.
Public Relations Representative
Something to ponder:
“Think you’re part of the food-literati? True or false: 13 million more acres of farmland would be required to produce enough fruit and vegetables for the daily diets of all Americans to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines.
The official answer is Yes, according to the James Beard Foundation, which put out the quiz. (You can see the whole quiz below). But we reached out to Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund who’s being honored by the JBF tonight, for a slightly more nuanced response.
For starters, Clay says, it’s important to point out that we import about 30 percent of the fresh fruits we consume now. So perhaps we could make up difference by increasing our imports.
But Clay says we can — and should — be smarter about what we do at home with what we already have.
‘We could intensify production without expanding into additional farmland. We need to improve productivity in farming by focusing on what matters most. Instead of focusing on increasing tons of product per acre, we could focus on calories and nutrients consumed per acre or per gallon of water,’ he says.
So, there’s really no quick and easy answer.”
Excerpt from NPR’s “Test Your Food IQ: Do We Need More Farms To Grow Fruits And Veggies For All?” by Allison Aubrey