Sustainability Month 2020

Each year, UB Sustainability collects events from around the University that relate to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals during April for Sustainability Month. This year we will be celebrating in a similiar but different way. While we join others in the act of physical distancing, we must double down on the act of social engagement. In that spirit, we will continue to provide ways to engage in efforts that promote our greater sustainability for all people and the planet through virtual platforms. 

UB's 10 in 10.

Missed the UB Climate Action Plan webinar? Check out the recorded Panapto to get filled in UB's 10 in 10 for Climate Action.

Calendar of Events

Check out our full calendar of events. Visit often to see an updated listing. 

Month Long Events

Sierra Club Earth Month Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Search Google Earth on a virtual scavenger hunt hosted by the Sierra Club. Take online tour of parks and greenspaces as you check off items on your list!

UB School of Public Health 5th Annual Step Challenge

Looking for motivation to still get your steps in? Open to anyone in and related to the UB community, the challenge is a mindful way to boost your healthy lifestyle and reduce stress. Sign up, track your steps and compete for great prizes.

The month-long challenge is part of the school's annual National Public Health Week celebration, which features activities and learning opportunities. Sponsored by the School of Public Health and Health Professions.


Beyond Plastics Poster Contest

In recognition of Earth Day, Beyond Plastics invites kids aged 5-18 to participate in a poster contest to celebrate the planet, raise awareness of our plastic pollution crisis, and promote ideas to stem the tide of plastic pollution.

Entries due April 22nd. 

UB Sustainability Art Show

Featuring work related to sustainability, energy, waste, the environment

 Our Annual SustainABILITY Art Show is now accepting digital submissions and we encourage all UB students to apply. 

Deadline for submission is APRIL 5th. Thank you for your interest.


Tuesday, April 7

Composting IS an Essential Service: Experiences and Recommendations from Around the Country

Compost manufacturers large and small are having to adapt to doing business during the pandemic. A panel of operators from across the country will answer questions about how they are managing during the emergency. Topics will include keeping employees safe, handling sales, contingency planning, and YOUR questions.

Hosted by the US Composting Council

Time: 1pm 

NY Power Dialog

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 and working with College and University partners across the US, the Bard Center for Environmental Policy is coordinating the convening of hundreds of conversations focused on the  potential to solve the energy side of climate change by 2030. The event features 52 simultaneous, university hosted webinars, one in every state, and in DC and Puerto Rico. The two-hour event begins with the university-hosted, one-hour state-level webinars in each state, followed by 45 minutes of community dialogs.

From 6-7pm, New York Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Director of the NYS Office of Climate Change Maureen Leddy and Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York Anne Reynolds will discuss the most effective yet feasible climate solutions we can enact in our state, how students can help “move the needle” on climate change actions and how climate justice is being addressed.


Wednesday, April 8

Helping Your Office Reduce Waste

To kick off Earth Month, we’re hosting a webinar to discuss how to reduce waste in your office.

We know that many people are not in the offices currently, but hope this webinar will provide you with useful information that you can implement once you return to the office. We'll also talk about what you can do to plan and prepare for when you are back in the office.

In this webinar, you will learn about:

-Waste as an issue

-Why more companies are now focused on reducing and diverting their waste

-A framework to reduce waste in your office, including concrete steps for developing and implementing a waste reduction and diversion program in your office

Host: Think Zero LLC

Time: 12-12:30pm

Thursday, April 9

Coping with Climate Anxiety in the Classroom and for Yourself: a Workshop for College & University Faculty

The Worry & Hope study at the University of Hawaii revealed a pervasive emotional climate of fear, anger, sadness, shame and hope about climate change. College faculty already knew this, and are, themselves, feeling anxiety, grief, and additional stress that accompanies a sense of urgency and responsibility to teach and engage with students about climate change across all academic subject areas.

This two hour online workshop is for faculty to address their own emotions so that we can create and hold space in our classrooms for students to integrate and process hard realities about climate change impacts. If not here, where? If not us, who? A short overview of research on climate change education and pedagogies will be followed by experiential workshop going through 4 activities that you can then use in your classroom.  The activities are based on recent research as well as ecotherapy, ecopsychology, and the Active Hope work of Joanna Macy.

Krista Hiser is the Director of the University of Hawaii System Center for Sustainability Across the Curriculum (an AASHE Regional Center). She is also a longtime Professor of writing and teaches climate change communication, project-based sustainability capstone, and climate fiction.


Time: 3-5pm

UB Libraries Resources to support your venture development

Learn about all the resources available to you and your venture through UB Libraries! We will be joined by Erin and Carolyn from UB Libraries.

Erin Rowley is the Head of Science and Engineering Library Services at UB. Her areas of expertise include library resource instruction, standards, technical reports and patents.

Carolyn Klotzbach-Russell is the social sciences librarian with expertise in management, economic and government information. 

Host: Blackstone Launchpad UB powered by techstars

Time: 12-1pm

Wednesday, April 15

Not Your Gramma’s CAP: An Interactive Climate Action Plan for Spurring Change at UB

Learn all about how UB created its new Climate Action Plan which will be announced later on this month.

Host: UB Business Days

Time: 11am

Meeting ID: 169 546 654
Password: 084267

Climate Science for Operations

This webinar, presented by Suzanne Hagell from DEC's Office of Climate Change, will cover the basic aspects of climate science, where we're at now, where emissions come from that contribute to climate change from our physical operations, and resources to help reduce them.


Time: 1pm

Monday, April 20

Virtual Volunteering

Kick of national Volunteer Week (April 19-April 26th) with an online session focused on how to volunteer virtually for local and national organizations! We will provide resources and ideas to get involved and support your favorite causes remotely.

Host: Student Engagement

Time:  5-6pm

Tuesday, April 21

Zoom in with Fred Brown: LGBTQ+

Fred Brown is a Graduate Fellow in The Intercultural and Diversity Center and he will be having a semi-structured open discussion via Zoom. This discussion will in part be an abbreviated version of the safe zone workshop focusing primarily on identity. The discussion differs in that it will begin talking about intersectionality, societal and institutional pressures/oppression. The purpose of this discussion is to create a space where students can have an in-depth and advanced discussion about LGBTQ+ identities in relation to families/friends/communities/institutions.

In order to participate, please RSVP to the event and the host will email you a Zoom ID and password. 

Host: Intercultural and Diversity Center

Time:  2-3pm

Combating Incivility, Harassment, and Sexual Assault in Environmental Fields and Fieldwork

Increased attention on the pervasiveness of harassment and assault in the daily professional lives of women and men calls for open dialogue and institutional culture change, particularly around issues of gender-based discrimination and the role of power dynamics. Although the topic of harassment in the workplace is not new, what constitutes the 'workplace' for environmental professionals can present a unique set of challenges in terms of the spaces in which the work takes place and the various actors involved. Given that environmental work can occur in isolated settings and often hyper-masculine environments, it is surprising that the issue of harassment and sexual assault has not garnered more attention. However, harassment does not only occur in the field and can be experienced in various professional settings. The aim of this webinar is to acknowledge and better understand the presence of these issues in the fields of Environmental Studies and Sciences while discussing the role of professional societies and institutions of higher education in cultivating a safe working and learning environment. This webinar will be interactive and discuss resources available through the AdvanceGeo project.

Host: Antioch University in New England 

Time: 12-1pm

Wednesday, April 22

Happiness and Sustainability Around the Earth: 24 Hour Webinar

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network invites you to join more than 13 of our networks around the world, around the clock for a 24 hour webinar event on Earth Day. We are exploring the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of well-being and happiness. Learn about solutions being developed in your region, engage with experts around the globe, and celebrate happiness and well-being with your fellow global citizens.

Host: Sustainable Development Solutions Network 

Time: All Day

Creative Sessions | Earth Day: Solutions for Sustainability

Sustainability is a buzzword - we all know it is important, but few of us are aware how to really address it. Those new grocery bags are great, but that's just the low hanging fruit. Dr. John Atkinson from UB's School of Engineering will begin with a brief description about what it means to be sustainable, providing everyday suggestions to improve your personal footprints. A moderated conversation will follow: your chance to ask those pressing sustainability questions that you've been thinking about, but not sure how to tackle. We'll wrap up with an introduction to the #365challenge, a 10-week project I use in my classes to increase environmental awareness. Everyone is welcome!

Host: Creative Sessions

Time: 12-1pm

Bushes, Blooms and Bulbs – Oh My!!

Having blooms nearly all year long is an important goal for gardeners. Not only does this add to your curb appeal (and property value), it supports our pollinators and is good for your mental health. We’ll discuss what plants you should consider to extend your bloom time to nearly four seasons.  

Host: UB HR

Time: 12-1pm

Thursday, April 23

Take Your Kids to Work Day (Online Full Day Event)

With many UB employees working from home while also keeping your kids occupied all day. Wellness and Work/Life Balance is here to help keep your kids entertained while you work. We will have sessions running all day with programming, including a break dance lesson, a healthy snack making demo, story time, STEM activities, crafts and more.

Host: UB HR

Time: all day

Business Formation

When should I form my legal business entity?

What type of entity should it be- DBA? LLC?

Do my team members and I need a partnership agreement?

Get the info you need to move forward and learn about resources provided by UB's Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

Host: Blackstone Launchpad UB powered by techstars

Time: 5:30pm

Downsizing and Minimizing Your Stuff

Whether it’s for yourself or a loved one, this seminar discusses important aspects of downsizing, such as when to start, where to start, and how to start the downsizing process. She also touches on minimizing your “stuff” – focusing on how to decide what to keep and what to toss.

Host: UB HR

Time: 12-1pm

Zoom in with Jared Strohl: Food Justice

Jared Strohl is Diversity Project Coordinator for the Office of Inclusive Excellence, and a PhD candidate in Sociology.  Through a semi-structured open conversation via Zoom, discussion will focus on food justice—the sovereignty people have to eat food that is healthy, locally grown, sustainable, and culturally appropriate.  In addition to a conversation about food justice through the experiences of attendees, the discussion will also center on Jared’s research at an urban farm in Buffalo, and a collaborative community-led project to collecting stories about food insecurity and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This conversation will also provide students with a chance to discuss current food issues they are experiencing during the health crisis. In order to participate, please register on UBLinked and the host will email you the Zoom ID and password

Host: Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Intercultural and Diversity Center 

Time: 2-3pm

Friday, April 24

Global Startup Weekend: Unite to Fight Covid-19

Calling all developers, designers, marketers, nurses, doctors, students, scientists, teachers and anyone with an idea to tackle the challenges created by the global pandemic. This is your chance to join forces with like-minded people in your country and truly make a difference.

If you’ve ever been to a Techstars Startup Weekend, you know it’s one of the most thrilling 54 hours you can imagine. You experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressures that make up life at a startup. As you work, you’ll meet the very best mentors, investors and sponsors — all who are ready to help you refine your idea.

This weekend:

  • Is run at a country level, enabling each Startup Weekend to focus on developing Covid-19-related solutions unique to each country.
  • Will bring together hundreds, even thousands, of participants to work on prototypes for three days. Geography is no longer a limitation.
  • Is an unprecedented opportunity for everyone interested in the topic to inspire and be inspired to work together and develop inclusive solutions.
  • Connects aspiring entrepreneurs with the best mentors from the Techstars global network.

Dates: April 24-26th

Host: Techstars

Code:Buffalo Hackathon @ Home

Create a Code:Buffalo team of 1 to 5 members, build an amazing app or product, and compete to win a top prize of $10,000. Teams will also be eligible to compete in multiple mini challenges with prizes throughout the week. Or join our elite team of mentors to help coders successfully submit their project.

Host: 43 North

Monday, April 27

Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Lessons From Puerto Rico and COVID-19 from the Co-Founders of RISE-PR!

The University at Buffalo School of Law and the SOL’s Clinical Legal Education Program is excited to host Dr. Ortiz García & Dr. Perez Lugo on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. for an online event titled, “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Lessons From Puerto Rico and COVID-19 from the Co-Founders of RISE-PR!” This webinar, moderated by Student Attorneys Trejahn Hunter and Zachary Kiel will take a deeper look at sustainability in today’s Puerto Rico, while highlighting true justice and building on the lessons that institutional collaboration and dedication to providing service based on sharing and peace.

Host: UB Law School

Time: 12-1pm

Tuesday, April 28

Recognizing the Impact: Supporting Communities of Color during times of Crisis

This workshop focuses on exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized communities. This program will take an intersectional approach to identifying the various ways that these communities are uniquely affected by national crises. Additionally, facilitators will offer strategies for self/community care aimed at improving and maintaining mental wellness.

Time: 12-1pm

Host: Counseling Services

Wednesday, April 29

Community Engagement in the Transition to Carbon Neutrality

Universities are increasingly interested in transitioning towards carbon neutrality. Through our discussions with peer AASHE members, a significant challenge is meaningfully engaging students, staff, and faculty in the process. During this webinar, our team will share how we tackled this challenge through our innovative Carbon Offset Pitch Competition. Upon our faculty unanimously deciding to offset our Scope 3 emissions, which make up more than 80% of our school’s carbon footprint, we formed a Carbon Neutrality+ Committee charged with reducing our footprint by focusing on responsible, achievable behavior change. It also focuses on offsetting our Scope 3 emissions as the university already offsets our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. This webinar will be of value to anybody interested in making their schools or universities carbon neutral while harnessing the immense learning and development opportunities.

Time: 3-4:20pm


Modifying Tree Planting Sites in the Built Environment

This webinar will provide an overview of techniques to modify or create tree planting sites in sidewalks, parking lots, and patios. As these modifications are very site specific, the presentation will provide introductions to different techniques rather than strict design prescriptions or standards.

Time: 12-1pm

Host: Penn State Extension

Thursday, April 30

Fostering a Positive Mindset in these Challenging Times

Studies have shown that positive thinking can improve your creativity and energy levels, increase your success and productivity and lead to improved health. In this session, you will learn how to overcome negative thinking and re-frame your mindset to one more positive and optimistic.

Time: 12-1pm

Host: UB HR

Coronavirus and the Clean Economy

How has the pandemic and resulting economic meltdown affected markets for renewable energy, clean transportation, sustainable food systems and the circular economy? How and how much have their development and deployment been hampered? It’s a mixed bag, with some technologies suffering and others continuing their relentless growth.

Join the four GreenBiz analysts covering these dynamic markets as they assess the state of play, and what to expect in the coming months. Among the things you’ll learn:

  • How the record-low price of oil is impacting markets for EVs and clean-energy solutions as well as recycled plastics
  • How the virtual shutdown of foodservice operations and restaurants is changing consumption patterns and disrupting food waste programs
  • How the economic downturn is impacting venture investments in clean technologies
  • How volatile energy markets will impact the uptake of clean energy and transform corporate procurement options
  • How recycling and materials recovery systems are shifting due to health concerns
  • The changing dynamics of reusables in the age of contagion

Time: 2:30pm

Host: GreenBiz

Saturday, May 2

Hosted by 500 Women Scientists Buffalo Pod - our mission is to serve society by making science open, inclusive, and accessible.

This workshop will include:

  • Keynote speaker Kelly Singel PhD, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Policy Fellow
  • Lobbying for science policy discussion panel
  • Breakout sessions: How can YOU be involved with science policy?

Time: 1-3pm

Thursday, May 7

UB's Carbon Reduction Challenge 2020

The Carbon Reduction Challenge is back for a second time! Teams of students were paired with local businesses in an effort to assess, and ultimately decrease, the carbon footprint of their operations. This year, the students will present their findings to their partners virtually. RSVP below to access the Zoom link for the event.

Time: 11-12:30pm 

Host: UB Sustainability and UB Geology