Sustainability Month 2023

"The work that is happening here is very exciting and really a model for our country.” Vice President Kamala Harris was correct when she affirmed UB’s sustainability and climate action efforts to the world during her visit to our campus this past September. Our community here at UB knows this as you can see with all of the upcoming events for Sustainability Month 2023!

Month Long Events

UB School of Public Health 8th Annual Step Challenge

Ready...Set...Step! into the Eighth Annual UB Step Up Challenge! Accept this month-long challenge to step on your own or with a team. Open to anyone in and related to the UB community, the challenge is a mindful way to boost your healthy lifestyle and reduce stress. Submit your progress every step of the way, and win great prizes.

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Menu for a Sustainable World/Plant Powered Mondays

On the four Mondays of the month of April, we want to offer a plant powered and decreased meat menu at our dining locations beyond the Strictly Vegetarian section. Highlighting the diverse plant protein options as well as the alternative options that are now widely available. The purpose of the initiative is to encourage students to look at the environmental cost of meat and not to forbid it. 

Changes are not done overnight. We want to spread the message that one day a week we can lower our meat consumption and have a large impact while highlighting the taste, health and environmental benefits a plant-based meal. Following the idea of meatless Mondays, we seek to reduce the prevalence of environmental impacts associated with meat production and excessive meat consumption. Implementing this concept can help UB achieve sustainability goals and commitments such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

Plant Powered Menu Mondays will generate a platform for innovation through the creation of new dishes and engaging employees to help improve health and our environment. This creation of a nutritious, tasty and nourishing menu can be done in partnership with the UB registered dietitian as well as the executive chef team. 

A Weight the Waste audit would also be held on the same Mondays to bring awareness to students the importance of lowering our food waste. A fun and interactive way to engage students in understanding just how much plate waste an individual can produce at the end of a meal.

UB Sustainability and student assistants will be responsible on the engagement with students while educating on the importance of a menu for a sustainable world and minimizing our food waste and showcasing solutions so everyone can be part of change in our university campus. Also, the team will be responsible on guiding and weighing the food waste audit.

When: 5:00 - 8:30PM (every Monday)

Where: C3 


UB Bike Days

Brought to you by UB Parking and Transportation, look out for Bike Days! 

Get your bicycle ready to ride this spring! Bring it to UB Bike Days, a free tune up event, taking place over three days, on three campuses. 

Please note that due to demand, bicycles will not be accepted into the queue for tune-ups a half hour before the posted end time. For the JSMBS location, that would be 2:30 p.m.; for the North and South Campus locations, 1:30 p.m.

Where & When

Friday, April 7 JSMBS (Washington St. entrance); 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Wed., April 12 The Commons (across from the Student Union); 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Thurs., April 13 Main Circle Bus Loop; 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Wednesday, March 29

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Informational Event

By joining a CSA, consumers can buy local, seasonally fresh produce directly from a farmer and support the entire community, including the farmer. Come and learn how you can become a member, whether you're a student, faculty member, or staff.

When: 6PM

Where: Student Union, UB North Campus

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Free Film Screening: "Aftershock"

Following the preventable deaths of loved ones due to childbirth complications, two families galvanize activists, birth-workers and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American crises of our time–the U.S. maternal health crisis. 2022 Sundance Film Festival documentary winner.

When: 6:45PM

Where: Dipson Amherst Theater, 3500 Main St., Buffalo

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Saturday, April 1

Poetry Walk Along Ellicott Creek (April 8th rain date)

Join members of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures & Prof. Jim Jensen from Environmental Engineering for a walk along Ellicott Creek! This walk aims to highlight the history and local importance of the waterway & its surroundings. Students are encouraged to bring a notebook and pen so as to write poetry about the space.

When: 10AM

Where: Ellicott Creek 


Tuesday, April 4

Pitch for a Purpose

Think big. Think broad. Think collaboratively.

The Pitch for a Purpose asks student participants to think big and come up with an idea to make our world a better place. To participate, students form interdisciplinary teams of two to four members, develop and pitch a solution with a global impact that addresses one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

When: 4-7PM

Where: GRoW Clean Energy Center

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WiSE & Shine Breakfast Meetup: Sustainability Month

Join WiSE students and learn more about sustainability initiatives on campus and faculty's research that involves climate change and resiliency.

Coffee and breakfast will be provided!

We'll be hearing from:

  • Holly Buck: how emerging climate technologies, like direct air capture or green hydrogen, could be developed in ways that are sustainable and just.
  • Sayanti Mukherjee
  •  Diana Ramirez-Rios: the impacts of supply chain disruptions and extreme weather events that affect the distribution of goods to the population in need and aim at the social welfare of the most vulnerable communities.
  • Lourdes Vera
  • UB Sustainability

When: 9-10 a.m

Where: Salvador Lounge, Davis Hall (2nd floor)


Thursday, April 6

How I Got Started in Sustainability Panel

Get an exclusive look inside sustainability perspectives! Guest speakers from a range of industries will share their personal experiences and how their work contributes to their organization’s sustainability initiatives. Light refreshments will be served.


  • Lindsay Aleshire | Head of Social Sustainability at M&T Bank 
  • Dr. Alexandra Holland | Executive Director of the WNY Sustainable Business Roundtable 
  • Rob Gauchat | Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Solar Liberty 
  • Nicole Morris-McLaughlin | Senior Energy Development Specialist at Erie County- Department of Environment & Planning 
  • Bonnie Thoman | Director of Sustainability and Innovation at NOCO Energy

When: 12 - 1:30 p.m. 

Where: Buffalo Room (Room 10), Capen Hall

all sdgs.

Monday, April 10

Global to Local Racial Justice Series: Decoloniality, Indigeneity and Queer Politics

The UB School of Social Work's Global to Local Racial Justice Series explores how racism affects communities by hosting a diverse range of speakers — voices from within our school and UB, the Buffalo community and other parts of the country.

For this month's lecture, we'll hear from Autumn Asher BlackDeer, PhD, MSW, a queer decolonial scholar-activist from the Southern Cheyenne Nation. Dr. BlackDeer serves as assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Her scholarship illuminates the impact of structural violence on American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Dr. BlackDeer centers Indigenous voices throughout her research by using quantitative approaches and big data as tools for responsible storytelling. She is an advocate for fellow survivors of sexual violence, and is deeply committed to decolonizing the academy and achieving Indigenous health equity.

When: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Where: Zoom


Pride March and Mixer

March to celebrate your identity, support your peers, and honor the history of LGBTQ+ activists who paved the way for the community today. Beginning in Knox Quad at the Progress Pride Paths, this march will be immediately followed by a mixer with speakers, food, and conversation in the Student Union Lobby.

March leaves from Knox Quad at the Progress Pride Paths.

Mixer will immediately follow the march in the Student Union Lobby.

When: 3 - 6:00PM

Where: Knox Quad, Progress Pride Paths

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Tuesday, April 11

TS Madison: University Pride Lecture

TS Madison, also affectionately referred to Maddie, is an American Reality television personality, actress, and LGBTQ activist. Madison has built her social media influencer name by walking in her unapologetic truth, as an openly transgender woman.

The icon TS Madison also adds reality star to her credit with The Ts Madison Experience airing on WE tv TS Madison, the music artist superstar continues to make history. She is featured on Beyoncé’s “COZY”, from her 2022 album “Renaissance”. Madison and Honey Dijon (a producer on “Cozy,” the song Madison’s audio appears on) are the first Black trans women to land a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

**There will also be a students only session offered from 3-4:30PM at Student Union in room 240**

When: 7 - 8:30PM

Where: Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Hall


Tuesday, April 11

UB's Climate Action Plan Update

Each year, the UB Climate Action Plan committees provides an update on our progress to get to climate neutrality. Join us to hear about last year's efforts and how the climate action plan has evolved. 

When: 9:00 - 10:30am

Where: Center for the Arts Main Stage

Brown Bag Lecture Series--"The Role of Food Insecurity in the HIV Care Continuum: A mixed methods approach to a complex public health phenomenon"

This presentation is the dissertation defense for Community Health and Health Behavior PhD candidate Jacob Bleasdale.

When: 11AM - 12PM

Where: Via Zoom or Biomedical Education Building 125, UB South Campus

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Innovation Sprint: River Road Research Sustainable Pet Food Challenge

Students will have the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams to design a pet food, treat, or topper using River Road Research’s FDA approved sustainable protein.

"Are you an animal lover? A pet parent? Interested in sustainability? Join us for this Innovation Sprint sponsored by River Road Research. River Road Research is a cutting-edge insect agriculture company based out of Buffalo, New York. Our processes transform food waste into quality protein for animal feeds. AAFCO has recently approved our protein as a feed ingredient for Adult Dogs and Cats. We want YOU to help us by creating an innovative way to utilize our new protein!"

Key Dates:

4/12/23- KICK-OFF 4PM; Location: SU 145

4/13-4/26 -  Student Groups work independently and utilize resources provided.

4/13-4/26 - Kitchen Usage Days; TBD 

4/27/23 - Final Pitches 3PM; Location: SU 145


Wednesday, April 12


Meet up with members of the LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Association to socialize and celebrate UB Pride Week at Tappo Pizza located at 166 Chandler Street. Friends and partners welcome!

When: 5-7:00PM

Where: Tappo Pizza, 166 Chandler Street, Buffalo, NY 14207


STEM for Everyone

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student involved in technical research or hands-on projects? Would you like to share your work with a broad audience and sharpen your communication skills? Submit your proposal to participate in STEM for Everyone! 

STEM for Everyone, presented by the UB Women in STEM Cooperative (WISC) and UB Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), invites students to present a short 5 minute talk, poster presentation or video on a STEM topic to hone their communication skills.  

This event provides a platform for students to communicate the significance of their work in non-technical language, an important skill for any STEM professional. Creativity is encouraged!

Participants will benefit from mentorship and constructive feedback as they are preparing their presentation, poster or video, and will be eligible to win prizes for strong submissions.

When: TBA

Where: Student Union, room 210


Thursday, April 13

Queer Climate Justice

As we celebrate April’s Sustainability Month, it is important to recognize that climate change will impact LGBTQIA individuals more severely than straight cisgendered people (and will be compounded by the intersectionality factors of race and gender) but sustainability has always been connected to queerness. The interconnectedness of the two is illustrated by the green stripe in the pride flag, which symbolizes nature and growth.  It signifies that being queer is part of nature’s design, and that queer people have a duty to support the environment. In this session,  attendees will learn about queer climate justice, and be asked for their input on how it relates to UB’s Climate Action Plan.

When: 3-4:30PM

Where: Student Union, room 240


Friday, April 14


Join us for our Open to All Ball. In collaboration with the IDC PRISM is showcasing ballroom culture for the first time at UB. Learn about the culture and why it is so important in the QTPOC community.

When: 7-11:00PM

Where: Harriman Hall, UB South Campus


Global Health Day Symposium: Women's Health

Join scholars from different disciplines to discuss this vital global health topic. Keynote--“Air Pollution and Women’s health: Exposure Vulnerability and Biological Susceptibility” with Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, professor, Global and Environmental Health. Chair, Environmental Science and Policy Division, Duke University.

When: 12 - 4:00PM

Where: Farber Hall G26, UB South Campus

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Ecopedagogy: Teaching Environmental Care in Iberian Studies and Beyond

Ecopedagogy is an approach to teaching that brings ecological thinking to bear on whatever subject matter is at hand and aims to cultivate advanced critical thinking skills in students. This means teaching environmental care across the curriculum, but also registering the connections between environmental care and social justice and carrying principles of social justice over into how we teach. Our two speakers will discuss the tenets of ecopedagogy and give examples of successful teaching strategies from within the Spanish language, literature, and culture curriculum. The talks are intended to be relevant to a wide audience in the humanities and social sciences.

Sponsored by the The Zengierski Family Lecture in Spanish Language and Culture and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.


Professor Iñaki Pradanos,  Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Miami University

Professor Jordi Mari, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, NCState University

When: 4 - 5:00PM

Where: Viewing Party at GRoW CEC; Remote - Zoom Link


Saturday, April 15

Queer Prom

Queer Prom concludes UB Pride Week 2023! Dance the night away with food and refreshments in your fanciest fits. Featuring a live DJ and a photographer to capture your prom photos.

Co-sponsored by LGBTA and UB Prism.

When: 7-11:00PM

Where: CFA Atrium


Birding at Tifft Nature Preserve

Come join the Audobon Club for a birding walk at Tifft Nature Preserve! Students and members alike will be meeting at the entrance parking lot.

When: 9AM-12PM

Where: Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY


Tuesday, April 18


Hosted by the Career Design Center!

Join recent Graduates turned sustainability professionals in an informal gathering. Hear their story and how they developed an interest in sustainability issues of Social Justice, Equity, and Climate Action. They’ll share industry knowledge and advice on influencing change as a college student and emerging professional.

⭐️ Sadie Kratt '20, BS, Environmental Geoscience, ’22, MS, Urban Planning

Transportation Planner at Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)

⭐️ Sonya Tareke '17, BS, Business Administration, ’21, MBA

Program Manager, EforAll Buffalo, Inc.

Co-Founder of RealTalk

When: 12-1:30 PM

Where: Capen Hall, room 259


Wednesday, April 19

UB Department of Indigenous Studies Campus Pride Month Speaker: Kit Thomas

Co-sponsored by UB Department of Indigenous Studies and UB’s First Nations Students, invited speaker Kit Thomas will be discussing LGBTQ+ and mental health advocacy as well as the concept of 2spirit and its significance within indigenous communities! 


When: 1 - 2:00PM

Where: Student Union Theater, UB North Campus


Thursday, April 20

What is ESG?

Environment, social and governance investing has received a lot of attention lately, but what is it and why is it important? Representatives from M&T Bank will host an informational session on the tactics of sustainable investment and why it is valuable tool in fostering climate-just business practices. 

When: 12-1:30PM

Where: GRoW Clean Energy Center


The Legacy of Love Canal: An Intimate Conversation with Lois Gibbs

As all of us in the environmental field have realized, the environmental laws in place today would look very different if it were not for Ms. Gibbs. Lois Gibbs was raising her family in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls, New York in 1978 when she discovered that her home and those of her neighbors were sitting next to 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals. That shocking discovery spurred Lois to lead her community in a three-year struggle to protect their families from the hazardous waste buried in their backyards. Her leadership led to the relocation of 833 Love Canal households, litigation against the chemical companies, and the passing of the EPA’s CERCLA Act that led to designating Superfund Sites. While today the words “Love Canal” evoke a public health tragedy based on gross negligence, Lois Gibbs’ name has become synonymous with the power of grass roots organizing.

When: 6:00PM

Where: CFA, room 112


Friday, April 21

Engineers for a Sustainable World Club Tabling Event

Join ESW at their table in the Student Union on Friday, April 21st, for information about their newest Pollinator Garden Bed project! They will be describing the importance of native wildflowers in relation to pollinators species such as bees while also explaining the importance of bees, as well as explaining the importance of biodiversity and how important conservation is. The session will wrap up with a discussion on human infuence and the power humanity has in contributing to the protection of declining species such as bees.

When: 10AM-4PM

Where: Student Union


Saturday, April 22

Earth Day ‘EduCaring’

Hosted by the Graduate School of Education.

To mark Earth Day , an "EduCaring" event was held in 145 Student Union. Participants were able to explore new aspects of climate action, reflect on their own practice and see how interconnected we all are.

Where: 145 Student Union


Wednesday, April 26

2023 Celebration of Student Academic Excellence

Please join the UB Experiential Learning Network to celebrate this year's celebration of student academic excellence! Support our students, get ideas for future projects, and join the celebration by attending; registration link made available below.

When & Where: 1:00 - 2:45PM (Student Showcase); Alumni Arena

                             3:30PM (Ceremony); SU Theater     


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Monday, May 1

GRoW Your Network

80% of people find jobs or internships through people they know. Start growing your network at the GRoW Home Clean Energy Center on North Campus. Join sustainability professionals from various industries in a casual night of networking.

Sponsored by UB Sustainability and the Career Design Center.

When: 4 - 6:00PM 

Where: GRoW Clean Energy Center

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Wednesday, May 3

RENEW Institute Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. David Lodge. "Bringing University-Based Knowledge to Impact on Sustainability Challenges"

Dr. David Lodge is the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, and is an internationally recognized conservation biologist, a past president of the Ecological Society of America, and the founder and former director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative.

One of the world’s leading experts on invasive species, he has extensive research experience in freshwater ecology, invasive species biology and bioeconomics, ecological risk analysis, global changes and biodiversity, and environmental ethics and policy. Dr. Lodge has a long history of collaborating with economists, historians, theologians, and philosophers and has partnered with organizations to bring his scientific work to the public policy arena.

Dr. Lodge’s talk will be informed by his expertise in ecological forecasting, policy development, and natural resource management.

When: 3 - 4:00PM with reception following

Where: Student Union Theater, SU 106/201


Thursday, May 4

Environmental Justice 101: Connections to Higher Education

Negative environmental impacts are felt disproportionately more often in marginalized and disadvantaged communities, especially those that are primarily lived in by people of color. UB Sustainability will host an introduction on environmental justice that provides a brief overview of the history of the movement and its connection to higher education. Following the presentation will be time for a discussion and reflection on participants’ experiences facing environmental injustice on campus.

When: 11 - 12:05PM

Where: UB North Campus (TBA)

Solar Smoothies.
Green Carpet.