Eight colleges and universities from across America won national recognition in the National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming 2008 nationwide competition. This award program honors the U.S. schools that are ahead of their time in addressing global warming and being highly creative in doing so.
The eight winning schools were chosen from a nationwide pool of entries. The winners included: a new model carbon trading system, extreme energy efficiency measures, an energy efficiency and renewable energy plan that leads to carbon neutrality, the use of forest land for carbon storage, and ways to reduce the global warming impact of commuting students.
"Every one of our Chill Out winners deserves an Oscar for the example they have set," says Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. "Campuses nationwide are demonstrating that we can combat global warming, protect habitat and save money at the same time. These campuses are actually doing what the science says should be done to reduce the threat of global warming."
The National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out Competition takes the global warming discussion to the next level by showcasing campuses that have stepped up and implemented real solutions for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the root cause of global warming.
Butte College in Oroville, California was named the Grand Prize Winner. Butte College, a two-year community college, is on the track to be carbon neutral by 2015, without carbon offsets. It is employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities. The College boasts a broad array of comprehensive global warming pollution reduction initiatives, including a Sustainability Studies certificate program and degree program that will be in place by the fall of 2008. The College also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, recycles more than 75 percent of its operations waste stream, and has a solar panel that accounts for 28% of the campus electricity use.
The winning videos and projects were featured in the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming webcast on April 16, 2008, which was broadcast live from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The webcast also featured a special message from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), as well as a panel discussion of university students and staff.
The winners will also receive a grant from the National Wildlife Federation to continue exploring innovating global warming solutions.
The 2008 Chill Out webcast was a part of global warming events scheduled on more than 175 college campuses, which represented 44 states, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Iran, Syria, India and Canada.
The National Wildlife Federation's EcoLeaders Program has been an integral part of the campus greening movement since 1989. The nation's 4,100 colleges and universities educate more than 15 million students in any given year making these schools important laboratories for creativity and innovation--keys to tackling a monumental crisis like global warming.
The 2008 Chill Out webcast was streamed live in front of a studio audience at George Washington University, on April 16, 2008. A representative from each of the winning campuses came and had an interesting and informative panel discussion, as well as showcasing videos from their campuses. Andrew Lee, a member of NWF's Young Professional Advisory Council, hosted for the second year in a row. The webcast also features a special message from Barbara Boxer.
Butte College, Oroville, CA Butte College, a two-year community college, is on the track to be carbon neutral by 2015 and is employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities. The College boasts a broad array of comprehensive global warming pollution reduction initiatives, including a Sustainability Studies certificate program and degree program that will be in place by the fall of 2008. The College also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, recycles more than 75 percent of its operations waste stream, and has a solar panel that accounts for 28 percent of the campus electricity use.
Winner - Energy Efficiency
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO The University of Missouri won the award for its intelligent and creative energy plan. The University of Missouri has achieved zero global warming pollution emissions growth while also expanding the University. Since the inception of its energy conservation program in 1990, total campus energy use has been reduced by 19 percent while campus space has grown by nearly 60 percent.
Winner - Transportation
University of Montana, Missoula, Missoula, MT The University's transit system is run by the student body. Since its inception, the student-run organization has reduced its global warming pollution emissions. The Associated Students of the University of Montana's Office of Transportation (ASUMOT) conducts various initiatives such as transit passes, bike co-ops, biodiesel projects, and more. In 2006-2007, the program reduced carbon emissions by roughly 170 tons.
Winner - Habitat Restoration, Waste Reduction, Educational Awareness and More
Cascadia Community College and University of Washington, Bothell, Bothell, WA
The College and the University are co-located on a single campus in Washington created to increase higher education access on the eastside of Seattle. The campus contains an expansive stretch of restored urban wetlands and incorporates an array of sustainable initiatives including an extensive compost project, uses goats to control invasive weeds, retrofitted toilets to save 40,000 gallons of water in 8 months and will be building a Wetlands Interpretive Center in the fall.
Winner - Innovative and Experimental Solutions
Berkshire School, Sheffield, MA Berkshire School has implemented a global warming pollution emissions trading system between dorms to both help reduce global warming pollution and educate the student body. This innovative and exciting approach provides students with economic incentives for achieving reductions in pollution. The program will also reduce the School's electricity use by more than 32,000 kilowatts during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Berea College created a video entitled "Doing the Green Thing." The video includes footage of Berea College's 8,400 acre, sustainably managed forest that offsets the college's carbon emissions. The video also showcases an educational farm that demonstrates sustainable farming techniques and provides local food.
Daemen College created a video entitled "The Little College that Could." The video showcases a new green building with a geothermal system, an eco-trail that provides natural habitat for students to study and wildlife to enjoy, energy audits performed by the student body, and a large recycling initiative on campus.
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR A cornerstone of climate change solutions at the University of Oregon is the Campus Recycling Program. The Program maintains a 48 percent waste diversion while continuing to implement opportunities for waste reduction in reducing individual and university impact with a new compostables collection starting Spring 2008.
Massachusetts College of Art, Jamaica Plain, MA The Massachusetts College of Art's architecture department received a $10,000 pilot grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to design and build a garden on that roof. The goals were to mediate temperatures against the extreme levels of heat and cold. They also wanted to use local native plants modeled off of a Sand Plain Community, instead of the traditional Mountain Sedums. Another major goal for the garden was storm water mitigation.
University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA Students, staff, faculty and administration at UC Santa Cruz are working collaboratively to lower the campus' carbon footprint and promote sustainable lifestyles. The campus purchases 100 percent renewable energy thanks to a student fee passed in 2006. The energy produced with UCSC's purchase of renewable energy is enough to spare our atmosphere 30,000 tons of CO2 per year.
College of Menominee Nation, Keshena, WI
In February 2007, College of Menominee Nation President Verna Fowler signed on as a Leadership Circle member to the American College and University President Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). CMN has committed to focusing on institutionalizing sustainability into the education of students, requiring students to take the Introduction to Sustainable Development course. This past summer the college hosted its 2nd conference on "Sharing Indigenous Wisdom: An International Dialogue on Sustainable Development." CMN's two year goal is collaborate with the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, located at Iowa State University in developing a set of campus sustainability indicators that will be transferable and appropriate for all 36 tribal colleges across the country.
Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC
Warren Wilson's mission states a commitment to environmental responsibility. The College puts this commitment into action to facilitate a comprehensive campus climate protection plan. WWC conducts an annual GGE Inventory since 2003 and maintains a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Task Force to set target goals for emissions reductions.
The following campuses, high schools and businesses hosted events to watch the 2008 Chill Out broadcast.