The ASUN Green Fund provides grant funds for student-led projects directed toward improving overall environmental sustainability on the university campus. The fund and its grant reviewing committee empowers students and enables student-driven projects in sustainability by providing a source of funding, guidance, hands-on experience, and networking.
The annual festival held in April sponsored by the Environmental Sustainability Committee was approved for a Green Fund grant of $2,000 to use for promotional materials at events held throughout the festival. The materials will all advertise Earthstock as well as the Green fund and feature the ASUN logo. They will advertise in local media as well as stickers that will be used to track attendance at the Earthstock events that include a music festival, documentary screening, local speakers, and the Earth Day block party at the Union green space on April 21. ESC co-chair Shelby Janke estimated that Earthstock events were attended by about 3,000 students last year. Earthstock is the only ESC program based on education and awareness, and project leaders hope that this grant will increase the scope of students that they reach out to.
An Advertising and Public Relations capstone course project was awarded $450 as a Green Fund grant to create and implement informative signage about Green Infrastructure projects on campus, which can be found at places like the Love Library Learning Commons plaza that aim to improve storm water runoff. They conducted a short survey in fall 2016 to gauge student’s awareness of green infrastructure, to which 90% of respondents were unsure of what it is. Since existing green infrastructure projects on campus are funded through facilities by student tuition, this pilot program will collect data again after the signage is implemented and report this back to ASUN and the NU facilities department. The project will have a booth at the Earthstock block party to educate on Green Infrastructure and re-purposing storm water.
Re-purposing recyclable materials is going to become a lot more common at UNL now as student lead project Alumin8 received $8,936.54 from the Green Fund to implement this project on a larger scale than it currently is. Five members of the College of Engineering are working together to collect aluminum cans that they will re-purpose into permanent items to be donated to homeless shelters and other services around Lincoln. The Green Fund grant will allow the project to become campus wide, project members have already constructing collection boxes to place in various buildings on campus to increase aluminum can collections. The project offers an easy understanding for individuals on how the lifespan of items can be increased, and they hope that fosters a more environmentally-oriented mindsets.
Read more about the project and it’s long term goals: http://www.planetforward.org/idea/alumin8-your-life
A plot of organically maintained land on East Campus is going to become a lot more productive in these next few years as the student organic “Bugeater” farm was funded $4,263.00 to revive its operations for the next few years. The farm was founded in 2012 when there was great student interest, but after those initially involved students graduated, the farming operations became obsolete. The Green Fund grant will revitalize the farming production there, with most of the money being spent on reestablishing the seed collection and investing in new tools, while some of it will be put towards wages of the student workers who maintain it for the next few years. Student workers of Bugeater farms hope that the grant money will allow them to start back up and eventually be able to fund themselves again after a successful harvest and sales of fresh, organic produce.
Lincoln Environmental Arts Festival
This organization is sponsoring different events for Earth Month this month with the $681 grant that they received from the Green Fund for promotional materials and licensing. The Lincoln Environmental Arts festival (LEAF) is sponsoring collaborative events to celebrate Lincoln’s natural environment through visual and performing arts, as well as film and student engagement. The events include a First Friday opening reception at Innovation Campus, a Photography Competition at the Water for food conference on April 12, and a showing of the film Bikes vs. Cars at the Railyard on April 23.