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UCSB Green Initiative Funds Renewable, Sequestration, Repair Projects

Grant Program Funded by Student Fees Awards $190,000 to 20 Proposals

Among the projects funded by UCSB students' Green Initiative Fund is a smartphone repair store. | Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil

UC Santa Barbara’s Green Initiative Fund awarded 20 “green” oriented projects more than $190,000 during the 2018-2019 school year, a fund first created by students in 2006. This year, UCSB’s fund provided monies for grounds equipment, an Isla Vista Theater lighting upgrade, a “carbon sequestration study,” a sustainable technology repair pop-up, and construction of new solar panels among other projects, according to university spokesperson Shelly Leachman.

All UCSB students pay $3.47 per quarter toward the fund, part of the approximately $1,800 per year of total student fees. In its lifetime, the fund has provided over $2 million in grants to dozens of projects, including the ZipCar project and the Edible Campus Program campus farm. “It has since impacted nearly every part of the campus, over the years supporting hundreds of projects that are helping UC Santa Barbara conserve water, reduce waste, boost energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy,” Leachman said in a press release.

Most notably, the sustainable tech repair pop-up, at $16,812, provides minor software and hardware repairs of smartphones, computers, and tablets for students in order to “reduce e-waste by increasing the ability to repair — rather than discard — technology.”

The “carbon sequestration study” with a $15,195 grant, will allow the North Campus Open Space restoration project to assess and analyze “carbon sequestration potential,” which is the long-term storage of carbon in plants and other formations.

Three of the grant projects involve solar energy: The North Campus Open Space will receive $50,000 for construction of a new solar panel system, the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts $9,199 for a solar table to “power devices” outside of UCSB’s Humanities and Social Sciences Building (HSSB), and the children’s center $8,819 for a similar solar powered table.

A full list of Green Initiative Fund projects since 2006 can be viewed here.

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