Three University of Mississippi Green Fund projects, which received funding during the spring semester funding cycle, will be implemented this fall.
Funded projects include Lenoir Dining’s efforts to seek Green Restaurant Association certification and incorporate sustainable practices into daily operations; the establishment of Ole Miss Market Days, a series of events aimed at promoting local food; and the continuation of the UM Compost Program, which is now in its fourth year.
All UM students, faculty and staff are eligible to submit project proposals to the UM Green Fund. Green Fund Committee members and the UM Office of Sustainability will host proposal writing workshops during the fall semester to help prepare individuals to submit strong proposals in spring 2017. Follow the UM Office of Sustainability on Facebook to learn about the workshops once the dates are set.
Newly Funded Projects
The spring proposals included brand-new programs, as well as continued support for already established programs.
Lenoir Dining Green Restaurant Association Certification – A new project approved for funding, with significant support from Facilities Management, is Lenoir Dining’s Green Restaurant Association Certification effort. To achieve certification, Lenoir Dining will make energy efficient facility upgrades, incorporate more local food items into the menu and begin composting and recycling, among multiple other efforts. Proposed by UM associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management Jim Taylor and food specialist Beth Pace.
Ole Miss Market Days – Ole Miss Market Days, a series of three markets to be held on campus this fall, will feature area farmers and produce and local goods for sale. The markets aim to shed light on the importance of supporting farmers markets in relation to individual health, the local economy and the environment. Proposed by civil engineering student Sarah O’Brien.
UM Compost Program – The UM Green Fund Committee also voted to continue providing limited support to the UM Compost Program. The program is housed within the Office of Sustainability and employs four undergraduate students a semester. Students compost pre-consumer food waste from the Marketplace at the Residential College, Rebel Market, Freshii, the Grill at 1810 and Ole Miss Catering. At least once a semester, the team composts expired food from the UM Food Bank and recycles the packaging. Since its creation in 2013, the program has composted more than 60,000 pounds of campus food waste. Proposed by international studies major Natalie Balkon; chemistry major Zac Bransby; recreation administration student Victoria Burgos; integrated marketing communications major Angie Jordan; and international studies major Steven Wild.
Projects Implemented During 2015-16 Academic Year
The Green Fund has provided financial support for 19 projects since its establishment in 2013. During the 2015-16 academic year alone, six projects were implemented through the Green Fund. The projects covered a diverse range of sustainability topics, from communicating water issues through the arts to installing native plants on a portion of campus.
Native Plant Installation – In April, ornithology students installed 142 native plants on ½ an acre of campus to enhance wildlife habitats and provide an educational tool on the importance of native species. Proposed by UM associate biology professor Jason Hoeksema.
Rhoades Car – A Rhoades Car, which is a four-wheeled bike that drives like a car, is a new active transportation alternative to driving a golf cart on campus. The Rhoades Car is available for departments to rent, and may be used as part of the UM Compost Program. Proposed by international studies major Joe Bell.
Bike Repair Station – A new bike repair station at RC South provides students with access to easy tune-ups on the east side of campus. Proposed by international studies major Madeleine Achgill.
In-Room Recycling: Residential College South – Nearly 250 recycling bins were distributed to RC South residents to decrease barriers to recycling in the residence hall. The bins were accompanied by educational materials as well as clearly marked signage and bins in the building’s trash rooms. Proposed by engineering major Grace Herrington.
Mississippi River Dance – Theatre arts students performed a dance along the Mississippi River replica on Mud Island in Memphis as part of the National Water Dance celebration. The event aimed to raise awareness of water issues specific to the Mississippi River and included poetry readings by UM students and faculty as well as educational readings. Proposed by theatre arts professor Jennifer Mizenko.
UM Compost Program – The Green Fund supported the continued operation and expansion of the UM Compost Program, resulting in a total of 31,367 pounds of pre-consumer food waste composted in 2015-16. Proposed by recreation administration management major Victoria Burgos.