Charlotte Green Initiative funds campus sustainability projects

Charlotte Green Initiative funds campus sustainability projects
Friday, May 28, 2021

The Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI) student committee selected seven projects for funding this past academic year. CGI allocates funds from the University’s Student Green Fee toward projects that will enable the University to use renewable energy, become energy efficient and operate in a sustainable manner. The Student Green Fee is supported by full-time students through student fees, currently allocated as $1 each semester. The following projects were funded in the 2020-2021 academic year:

Water Quality Sensors for Reclaimed Water ($35,000) - The largest grant was allocated to install water quality sensors to monitor the new reclaimed water pipeline, one of the first in Charlotte. This new water source for campus will decrease the University’s water bills and provide a drought-proof source of water for irrigation and cooling buildings. Facilities Management will use the equipment to ensure the water is safe for plants or cooling equipment and will share the data with researchers and teachers

Low Temperature Freezers ($11,369) - Last spring, CGI funded the replacement of ultra-low temperature freezers with energy-efficient models. The committee selected this proposal to continue those upgrades on future freezer purchases. The funds will pay any extra costs to purchase the energy-efficient model over a standard model and can be used this summer as equipment is purchased for the new science building

Student Garden Day ($5,979) - Student volunteers built raised beds for food crops at the Jamil Niner Pantry and the Staff Community Garden and replanted both the Student Gardens and the Pollinator Beds on campus

Bio-retention Garden Study ($550) - Student research on a stormwater bio-retention feature added to the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens tested different types of soil, vegetation and filter substrates 

Bird Nesting Box Trail Expansion ($494) - Student research was supported with funding to install 15 additional nesting boxes on campus for native birds. Over the past two breeding seasons, more than 100 baby birds were born in CGI-funded, on-campus nesting boxes, which are monitored by students conducting research on campus wildlife

Infographics and a DIY Project (less than $100) - Two small grants were awarded for infographics to promote plastic recycling and for a DIY fabric softener demonstration for resident students

Students, staff and faculty can submit a proposal to CGI. The student committee meets during the academic year to review proposals. Learn more about past projects and fund allocations.