Dining Services offering up to $6,000 in Go Green Grants

In an effort to improve the sustainability of the campus community, UC Davis Dining Services has begun offering Go Green Grants of up to $6,000.

The program, now two years running, provides funds for students, staff and faculty to research, develop, implement and design solutions to  address campus sustainability challenges.

“We leave [the goals of the projects] completely open,” said James Boushka, UC Davis Dining Services marketing director. “We are looking for anything that has to do with food, and on the flipside, we have a non-food track. It’s the staff and faculty and students’ innovative ideas that we want.”
The Go Green Grant is competitive: last spring, only two applicants received it for a total of $3,000.
“UC Davis Dining Services recognizes the value in student engagement and education related to environmental and food systems sustainability through projects, service learning and student-organized activities,” the Dining Services website states.

The application process asks for a comprehensive overview of the project, a detailed budget and letters of support, in both a written application and a presentation.

A committee comprised of Dining Services staff, the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability and four students stewards the grant. They determine the recipients of the grant based on a clear description of their aims, innovation in their projects and an effective use of funds.
“It could be one or it could be many who get the grant,” Boushka said. “It all depends on the merit of the actual applications.”
The grant, established in the 2011-12 academic year, has thus far had six recipients.

Some of the projects established by the grant include the Field Guide to Sustainable Living in Davis, a two-unit course offered twice a year, the Aggie ReStore Project, a resale store that sells gently used items and holds lessons on creative repurposing and Wild Campus, a team of students, faculty and staff dedicated to building, studying and maintaining a wildlife habitat in addition to informing the community.

“The Go Green Grant was perfect [for Wild Campus] because it talked about sustainability and we only use sustainable resources,” said third-year wildlife, fish and conservation biology major and member of Wild Campus Alexa Kownacki. “A lot of funds through UC Davis only allow funds to be used for UC Davis students, and we wanted to preach our ideas to the Davis community of all ages.”

The grant will be accepting applications until Dec. 7. For more information, visit dining.ucdavis.edu/sus-green.html.

ROHIT RAVIKUMAR can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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