The Charlotte Green Initiative student committee selected 24 projects for funding this past academic year. CGI allocates funds from the University’s Student Green Fee, which is supported by full-time students. The committee recently concluded its 13th academic year of evaluating proposals that could make the campus more efficient, eco-friendly and healthy, and funded several significant projects during the 2021-22 academic year:
- Zero Waste event bins and solar trash compactors ($38,762) - These upgrades will improve recycling and composting at Zero Waste stadium events on campus and improve collections at outdoor dining areas
- Aquaponics Pilot Program ($13,409) - This project funds a small-scale aquaponics lab for use by teachers and students as a learning tool for biology, environmental science, sustainability and public health. The lettuce and fish that this system will produce will be donated to the Jamil Niner Student Pantry
- Period Poverty Dispensers ($4,686) - This grant to the University’s chapter of the American Medical Women's Association will install 10 tampon and pad dispensers in unisex bathrooms in the Popp Martin Student Union, the University Recreation Center (UREC), the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Student Health Center. The aim is to address the barriers to menstrual products women face, contributing to the stigma surrounding menstruation
Smaller grants were approved for:
- Campus events, such as the Student Gathering, Student Garden Day, movie screenings and Party for the Planet
- Sustainable lifestyle products, including adding sunscreen dispensers at playing fields and reusable makeup wipes; eight new organizations joining the Adopt-a-Spot litter cleanup program; sustainability research studies; and the initial fee for the University to apply for Bee Campus USA certification
Students, staff and faculty can submit a proposal to CGI. The student committee will reconvene in the fall to evaluate new proposals.