UAB to invest in ideas to decrease its ecological footprint

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sustainability sizedSustainability Coordinator Julie Price has seen the progress that can be made when employees get involved, including new food waste-reduction programs, stormwater-runoff systems and water bottle-refilling stations. Now, she said, it’s time to get students involved in the process. 

“Students have fresh ideas,” Price said. “We really value their contributions and want them to feel they have some input on campus sustainability. Their involvement will bring it to a whole new level.”

A new Sustainability Investment Fund should help propel that. The fund will provide grants for endeavors that improve sustainability and efficiency and decrease UAB’s ecological footprint. Students can apply for this funding offered through the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Life.

“Through this initiative, students will have a sense of ownership over the projects,” Price said. “They can put it on their resume, mention it in job interviews, and take the relevance of these projects with them into their professions.”

In the past, students have led projects during UAB’s Earth Month celebrations, including an Arbor Day Celebration, and helped install green roofs on campus buildings.

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Students can learn about the application process and get ideas for proposals during the Sustainability Investment Fund’s launch party at 5 p.m. Oct. 8 in Heritage Hall Building Room 125. Pizza will be provided, and giveaways include a drawing for a portable solar panel. Register online.

Applications are due Nov. 12, and the winners will be announced Dec. 5. A sample application and budget can be found at

Price said it’s important that employees encourage students to get involved with campus sustainability measures.“Employees have a different perspective because they have usually been here longer and have time-tested ideas for potential sustainability projects,” Price said. “They are the ones who can plant the idea seeds.”