News | 31 July 2014

Humanities @ UCSC Goes Green


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Humanities Green Team

In Fall 2013, the Humanities Division proudly launched its very first green team with the goal of obtaining Green Office Certification through the UCSC Office of Sustainability. Green team members pledge to serve as sustainability champions for the division and act as liaisons with the Office of Sustainability to implement sustainable practices in everyday operations, improve overall environmental performance, reduce waste, and build a community of sustainability for the Humanities Division. The team is also committed to the Chancellors Sustainability Challenge, a coordinated campuswide effort to make significant progress toward reaching zero waste by 2020. Join us! We want to expand the Humanities Green Team to include representatives from each department in Humanities, including staff, faculty and students. Please contact us at

Evin at Sustainability Festival Spring 2014Evin Guy, Event Coordinator IHR Tony at Sustainability Festival Spring 2014Tony Grant, Space & Operations Coordinator Courtney at Sustainability Festival Spring 2014Courtney Mahaney, Program Manager IHR Marissa at Sustainability Festival Spring 2014Marissa Fullman-Campbell, Development Coordinator


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Green Office Certification

In January 2014, three Humanities departments (Dean’s Office, Institute for Humanities Research (IHR), and Humanities Academic HR/Business Office) were certified by the UCSC Green Office Program at the “Sprout” level, making Humanities the first academic department to be certified on campus! As we continue our sustainability efforts in the Humanities Division, we hope to grow from a “Sprout” to a “Tree”.

For more info visit UCSC Office of Sustainability Green Office Certification Program [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

Green Team Projects

Zero Waste Stations: 

HUM Zero Waste Station Floor 2HUM1 Zero Waste Stations, Floors 2, 3, 4, 5 HUM Recycling BinsHUM1 Recycling Stations, Floors 1, 6 IHR Recycling StationIHR Recycling Station (only 1 trash bin for the whole suite)
In Early February 2014, Humanities was selected by Physical Plant to pilot a Zero Waste Station on the 2nd (main) floor of the Humanities 1 Building, offering a central station for paper recycling, container recycling, trash, and the very first composting bin in the building! This area serves as a main thoroughfare for students, faculty, and visitors alike. Judging from the rate of use, the Zero Waste Station appears to be very successful, and we’re adding more stations with compositing throughout the building. Additionally, we have placed mixed blue recycling bins throughout the building in hallways and offices. Accompanying the new recycling bins are additional signage, aimed to decrease the confusion associated with campus recycling. The IHR office has elected to only have one trash can for the whole office suite, removing individual trash bins in each person’s office. The idea behind this was to: 1) make each office member more aware of their waste, 2) to subsequently reduce the number of plastic bags that are used by custodial and 3) create a central waste/recycling station for the IHR office.


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Green Purchasing:

All 3 offices that have been green certified are using 100% recycled paper. The main purchaser for HAHR and the Dean’s Office has also set “recycled” and “green options” as a sorting selection in Cruzbuy, to buy green products such as 100% post consumer recycled legal pads. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

Bottleless Watercooler Project: 

The Humanities Green Team applied for a grant from the Sustainability Office (Working Group Project Funding FY 2013-14) to install Bottleless Water Coolers in Humanities large event/conference rooms. Bottleless water coolers are a greener choice for our large meeting rooms because: 1. The units use filtered tap water instead of bottled water. 2. We no longer need bottled water deliveries for the hundreds of events and seminars held each year in Humanities 1. 3. The units provide hot and cold water and encourage people to bring and refill reusable containers. This project meets several campus sustainability objectives including: Waste Reduction: No more plastic water bottles needed for meetings, events, seminars and conferences. Water: Promotes the “Take Back the Tap” campaign by using tap water instead of bottled water. Energy and Greenhouse Gases: Reduces the number of trucks driving to campus to deliver bottled water. Education: Located in large event rooms provides high visibility with students, faculty, staff, and community members and will create greater awareness around campus sustainability efforts. Procurement: Provides a greener purchasing option for campus departments. Nexus CT Filtration Cooler Model GCW 215i-SIP (EnergyStar Rated) Nexus Bottleless Watercooler   take back the tap sticker   [/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

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Future Goals and Projects

The Humanities Green Team hopes to expand with participation from all the departments in the division including: Academic Service Center, Feminist Studies/History of Consciousness, History, Languages, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Writing Program, plus faculty and students. We hope to grow from a “Sprout” to a “Tree”! A few of our big project ideas include:

  • Install low-flow dual-flush toilets to reduce water usage.
  • Expand onsite composting and begin composting bathroom paper towels.
  • Educate event planners and department managers about green event options.
  • Create a Green Team webpage with information and updates on Humanities green initiatives at
  • Obtain LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for the Humanities 1 Building.
  • Research the feasibility of a roof top garden or green roof for the Humanities 1 Building.

Roof top garden image


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Contact Us!

We would love to hear from you. Feel free to email questions, comments, suggestions, or inquire about becoming a Humanities Green Team member:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]