TGIF 2013-14 Funding Cycle Awarded Projects

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Grant Making Committee is pleased to announce the selected projects for the 2013/14 funding cycle! A total of 22 projects applied for TGIF grants this year, requesting a total of $264,802. The TGIF Grant Making Committee awarded funds to projects, totaling $184,614. Below is an overview of the projects that you can expect to see completed within the next academic year.

Additional Hydration stations for the UCSB Library ($4,241)

 This TGIF grant will go towards the installation of two additional hydration stations in the Library. During the 2011-12 funding cycle, TGIF funded 22 hydration stations, where students can fill up their reusable bottles with filtered water for free! The 2011-2012 funded hydration stations installed in the library are so popular that they are currently being used beyond their planned capacity and, consequently, have slow flows delivering reverse osmosis and filtered water. TGIF hopes that funding additional hydration stations will help to decrease the amount of plastic waste generated on campus and yield energy savings by eliminating chillers in each water fountain.

Art Department LED Retrofit ($25,995)

 The funding will be used to retrofit the Art Department Studios and Museum by replacing inefficient incandescent lamps with a total of 542 LED lamps. This will require a total of $25,995 allotted from The Green Initiative Fund. This grant will increase campus energy efficiency and reduce UCSB’s environmental impact. LEDs are estimated to have a 90% higher efficiency rating over incandescents, so this project will result in huge energy savings in the Art Department. Current energy use is just over 111,000kWh per year for 542 incandescent bulbs. Once we replace these with LEDs, usage will drop to 15,000kWh per year. Savings per year translate to 96,000kWh of energy, 66,000lbs of CO2, and $12,500. Over the average lifespan of an LED bulb (50,000 hours or about 17 years), this equals 1.5million kWh, 500 metric tons of CO2, and more than $200,000 in savings. Less money towards lighting over time means more funds for other necessities on campus that may be undervalued.

Indoor Compost Bin Project ($3,812)

Associated Students Recycling will be adding 23 gallon compost bins to department kitchens and lounges around campus. The goal is to capture the large number of low volume food and compostable products that are currently being discarded in landfill bins. The goal of this project is to reduce UCSB’s impact on the environment by reducing the amount of waste it sends to the landfill and subsequent GHG emissions, and to save the University money by reducing disposal costs.

Mercury Free Fluorescent Microscopy ($17,581)

This project will reduce waste and provide a demonstration to the campus that mercury free illumination can be used successfully in research and teaching applications. The NRI-MCDB Microscopy Facility plans to replace two of the eight mercury arc sources that are traditionally used as high intensity light sources for fluorescence microscopy with solid state light engines that do not contain mercury. Integrating the light sources into this core facility will be the best exposure for this alternative light source, as well as immediately reducing the generation of waste from the systems. This project could have a lasting impact on the choices researchers and educators make when selecting new instrumentation.

Give Project ($8,375)

The funds will be used for the purchase of items badly needed to successfully process, collect, protect, and display over 30 tons of donated goods. From June 13th-22nd, residents can donate unwanted food, clothing, furniture, books, and electronics to several site locations throughout campus and IV. Ninety percent of the items collected come from students. Volunteers sort and organize the donated goods to prepare for the GIVE sale at Embarcadero Hall on June 23rd & 24th.  The proceeds generated from this project are given to local Isla Vista non-profits.

The First Net-Zero Energy Building for UCSB ($20,000)

The Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) is in the process of designing a new fully-funded classroom/lecture hall for its facility near Mammoth Lakes, CA. The project objective is to make the building a “net-zero” consumer of fossil fuel by employing photovoltaic energy generation and ground source (aka geothermal heat loop) heating and cooling.Donor funding has been secured for 85% of funds needed to install the two energy systems and the TGIF Grant will cover the remaining 15% of the cost of the 15 kW PV and ground source heating/cooling systems. This will be the first “net-zero” energy building in the University of CA. We hope this project will encourage others to adopt this sustainable technology.

Vermicompost Bin Project ($4025)

The Associated Students Department of Public Worms (DPW) is a student-run organization that works to reduce UCSB’s compostable waste through on-site vermicomposting and that conducts workshops designed to teach students the benefits of composting and how to do it at home. The TGIF funds will be used to purchase materials for the construction of 3 4’x8’ worm bins, to purchase composting worms to stock the bins, and to print vermicomposting guides and fact sheets. Additional bins will also allow DPW to increase the amount of compostable waste that can be processed on site, keeping it out of landfills and avoiding the transportation impacts associated with commercial composting. New bins will also improve outreach potential by allowing visitors to view all stages of the process and by providing finished compost to the UCSB community.

Energy Conservation Initiative ($30,000)

Approximately one half of UCSB’s daily energy demand supports the operation and ventilation of campus research laboratories. Due to the complexity of lab operations, only scattered work has been done in recent years to optimize campus lab ventilation, and no coordinated projects or campus-wide policy exists. This project proposes to provide 1 000 hours of experienced staff researcher time to assess and implement new strategies for energy-efficient laboratory ventilation in existing and new campus lab buildings. At other UC campuses, lab building energy costs have been cut by as much as 61%, utilizing demand-controlled ventilation schemes, chemical hazard assessments, occupancy sensors, and low-flow fumehoods and also obtaining variances from CalOSHA and fire marshal standards to operate these labs using newer, non-traditional safety technologies. Such measures present potential savings for UCSB on the order of $2-3 million, as well as significantly decreasing energy, water, and carbon footprints. This proposal has secured matching funds from Facilities Management, approved by the vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, demonstrating concrete support of this project.

My Tree Keeper and Invasive Species Mapping Project ($15,201)

This project will build on more than $90,000 invested in the Campus Flora project by upgrading the Facilities Management program to “MyTreeKeeper.”  Mapping the exotic species in an effort to form a weed management plan may decrease the colonization rate of invasive species on campus and help to maintain a more sustainable habitat for the native flora and fauna that occupy UCSB’s natural areas. The Treekeeper 7 information is currently not available to the public. The MyTreekeeper upgrade will educate the public about our special and diverse tree specimens and the sustainable and low impact practices they serve on campus. It offers user-friendly navigation and includes tools that measure Yearly Eco Benefits, Greenhouse Gas, Water, Energy, and Air Quality benefits of campus trees. Additionally, this grant will provides a skill building opportunity through the funding of a two quarter undergraduate student internship for the mapping component of the project, and a graduate student internship which will provide technical writing experience through the preparation of the weed management plan under the CCBER Director of Ecosystem Management.

UCSB Energy Management Initiative ($16,137)

UCSB Bren master’s students will collaborate with campus staff to develop an Energy Management Initiative implementation plan for the Campus. The Bren master’s students will develop an implementation plan for the eventual roll out of the Energy Management Initiative, which will be a user-based incentive model that will enable energy conservation within academic units at UCSB. If successful, this initiative could reduce energy use at the building level by 10-15% by incentivizing improvement in user behavior through education, outreach, and financial incentives

Office Desk side Recycling Bins ($17,900)

As 2020 rapidly approaches, UCSB must continue to make advancements in its waste management practices in order to meet the UC-wide goal of Zero Waste by 2020. One of the key elements of becoming a Zero Waste institution is establishing a high recycling rate on campus. The funding will be used to purchase 5,000 new recycling bins for offices throughout campus. Adding recycling bins in offices will directly increase the accessibility of recycling for many people on campus, and in turn, will increase UCSB’s waste diversion rate and allow the University to meet its waste management goals.

Lithium-Battery Powered Lawnmower ($7,487)

This grant is for the purchase of the first electric lawnmower for the Facilities Management (FM) Grounds Department. The EPA states that gas mowers are responsible for nearly 5% of our nation’s total air pollution, and that over 800 million gallons of gasoline are consumed each year for lawn mowing purposes. The lithium-powered electric lawnmower would replace an existing gasoline-powered lawnmower, and, therefore, decrease UCSB’s gasoline consumption and GHG emissions. As the first electric lawnmower in the department’s fleet, not only will it provide direct environmental benefits, but it will also significantly encourage the department to make future environmentally-preferred purchases in a field dominated by fossil fuel powered

Student Scholarship for UCSB Student to attend CHESC ($4,657)

This grant would provide scholarships for 12 students from UCSB to attend the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), June 16th-20th, 2014. CHESC is designed by and for campuses from each of the four systems of higher education in California, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, and private and independent colleges and universities. As a result of this unique partnership, CHESC provides top quality sessions highlighting the most innovative best practices in campus based sustainability efforts from the past year. Speakers include staff, administrators, faculty, and students from colleges and universities throughout the state, often speaking on teams representing the stakeholder collaborations which are the foundation of campus sustainability efforts.

This project will provide real-time electricity usage information and metrics on Building Dashboards within the Santa Ynez, El Dorado, and Storke 2 apartment complexes as well as weekly reports to students living therein that details their weekly energy consumption and associated impact. The weekly reports will also include energy-saving tips and overall average consumption patterns in the respective complexes.The project is expected to result in reduced electricity consumption and carbon footprint in UCSB student housing facilities.


For more information, please contact Jewel Snavely, TGIF Grants Manager, at or 805-893-8367

TGIF is up for Reaffirmation, so remember to vote yes for TGIF on gold during April 21 thru 24th if you want to keep funding sustainability projects.