By Tyler Thayer
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is back at it again, allocating $191,364 to fund projects that reduce UC Santa Barbara’s impact on the environment. This year, 20 student, staff, and faculty led projects were chosen to receive funding. Learn about how UC Santa Barbara students started this fund, and how current students continue to be involved in its legacy.
TGIF was the first green fee in the UC system. In 2006, UC Santa Barbara students voted with an overwhelming majority to pay $3.47 per quarter, providing TGIF with an approximately $170,000 budget each year. That budget is then administered by a student majority governance board, they select projects whose proposals meet the group’s guidelines. So, not only did students start TGIF, but they are involved in developing projects and choosing where the money goes. Wondering who sits on the current committee? Click here.
This year’s projects address a variety of problems, with some expanding initiatives that already exist and others creating new programs. Several of the projects aim to reduce waste production, advancing UCSB towards its 2020 Zero Waste Goal. These include establishing more hydration stations to lower single-use bottle purchases, starting a tech repair pop-up shop to limit e-waste production, and providing Isla Vista Trading post with the resources it needs to combat fast fashion and potentially divert over one million pounds of textile waste from the landfill. Other projects promote more efficient energy use and renewable energy, with funds going towards installing solar panels or replacing gas leaf blowers with electric leaf blowers. The TGIF grants will also help subsidize student attendance to the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference and the PAC 12 Sustainability Conference. See summaries of each project here.
Big thanks to UC Santa Barbara students for making these projects possible, and to the TGIF committee for their dedication to this great program.