Looking to leave your mark on UB's campus? From food systems, to bicycling, the 2020-2021 cohort of Change Agents will choose from one of the following projects to work on throughout the school year.
Education and Leadership Fellows (ELFS) in Sustainability are a group of premier campus student leaders who are committed to educating and engaging their peers, working to cultivate a culture of sustainability at UB, and having a positive impact in our region and beyond. In doing so they will prepare themselves and their colleagues to become the next generation of globally-minded, sustainability literate leaders.
Student leaders will elevate the conversation about sustainability by developing and delivering programs and projects that engage, inspire and empower themselves and their peers to take action and live sustainably, both through their studies and long-term thinking.
A growing issue of global concern is waste, how much is generated and what is and can be done with this waste in order to divert refuse from landfills that are reaching storage capacity. The University at Buffalo has a sophisticated recycling program in conjunction with external partners and contracts in order to appropriately handle waste products, particularly recycled materials including papers, plastics, cardboards, and glass.
The purpose of this project is to effectively apprise students, staff, and faculty of the recycling process, do’s and don’ts of recycling, and overall consumer responsibility pertaining to product consumption and waste. It is the intention of the Change Agents to spur the necessary changes at UB by targeting peers and leveraging specific opportunities to educate and engage others to recycle.
This project is open ended and is about relieving stress and misconceptions about the COVID Pandemic while giving advice on how to be sustainable during the COVID-19 reality that we are living in. This might be advice on how to reuse gloves, what is safe to reuse and what is not, and how do we make sure that we are being aware of the environment while staying safe. The Change Agents will be tasked with doing research on the disease, and identifying points of intervention where people can be more sustainable in a safe way.
It is proven that solutions come from people from of all different backgrounds and experiences working together. What greater problem to tackle than our changing climate? Change Agents that participate in this project will work towards building a more inclusive environmental justice movement here at UB while constructing antiracist and collaborative spaces for sustainability work. Possible projects could involve diversity in STEM fields, the intersectionality of climate change and marginalized groups, and community organizing.
The food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption. Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment and the impact of food on individual and population health.
To improve nutrition, food access, sustainability, and reduce food waste; this project aims to develop a comprehensive campus garden to be run by, managed, maintained, and for students to consume. Also, campus researchers estimate approximately one quarter of the student population struggles to have consistent access to nutritional and affordable food, which this food system could improve.
At the campus level, laboratories, on average, consume five times more energy when compared to office spaces or classrooms. Laboratory equipment require energy and other resources such as water at larger quantities for longer periods of time than the typical technical equipment utilized in many other campus environments. Other supplies and products used by laboratories have inherent hazards as they may be chemical in nature or intended for one time use.
These metrics are not limited exclusively to laboratory spaces and there is opportunity for offices as well as classrooms to also green operations and resources to reduce emissions across all UB campuses. This green space certification pilot program at the University at Buffalo, SUNY is intended to provide staff, faculty, and students with the opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of their labs, offices, and classrooms.
Change Agents will help in the collection and organization of a Materials Library. This initiative entails reaching out to departments that require students to make material purchases that they might not need after course completion. Examples of these items are art supplies, engineering tools, and architecture construction materials. The intent of this program is to reduce salvageable goods going into the waste stream by redistributing supplies to students in need that would have gone into the trash.
Other new projects involve:
Check back soon!