The Environmental Improvement Initiative:
In the spring of 2005, students voted to dedicate a portion of student fees to implement on-campus projects incorporating renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, and other innovative projects to reduce the University of Colorado Boulder campus¹ impact on climate and environment. Sustainable CU funds are used for: capital investment, the purchase of infrastructure necessary for the initiatives, installation of capital projects, educational displays related to the capital projects, and any other non-staff operating costs associated with the initiatives. Particular attention is paid to initiatives created and led by students. The Sustainable CU fund is administered by the Environmental Center. Examples of previously funded projects are listed below.
Request for Proposals 2012-2013
For 2012-2013, approximately $125,000 is available for disbursement in two funding cycles depending on the size of the project.
Small grants program (up to $2,500) New for 2012-13: Applications are now accepted via online form for small scale projects requesting $2,500 or less. Deadlines are the first Monday of the month in September, October, November, January, February and March.
Small grants fund expenses such as infrastructure, contractor fees, consumables, and equipment rentals. Sustainable CU does not pay for applicants’ own labor. However, fees charged by third-party professionals, e.g., architects and electricians, are funded by the program. Funded small projects must be fully executed within three months of the date of the award. An interim progress report must be submitted no later than six weeks after grant submitters have been notified that their project has been funded. Funding will be withdrawn if projects do not meet completion deadlines in the absence of a compelling written request for extension. A short final report is due once the project has been completed; 10% of funds will be withheld until the report is received. Guidelines for progress and final reports are available from the Environmental Center upon request.
Complete the online small grant application (or view it for additional information) by clicking here.
Large grants program (over $2,500) For 2012-13, the deadlines for applications for large scale grant proposals have passed. For next year, large grant proposals are typically accepted and reviewed twice, with deadlines on the first Monday in November and the first Monday in February.
To view past submission guidelines for large grant applications, including eligibility, requirements, submission format, timeline, and evaluation criterea, click here to download the 2012-2013 Request for Proposals.
Small grants ($2500 or less)
Large grants (above $2500)
- UMC Coffee Cart Solar Panels, $6,500
- Community Garden at Williams Village, $62,645 (includes $24,000 restoration earmark)
- Innovation Lab Incubator Kiosk with budget and workplan, $20,000
- Williams Village Water Station and Bottles, $10,191
- B-Cycle Campus Station, $52,750
- Compost Tea Brewer with cost spreadsheet and addendum, $23,103
Small scale grants (under $2500)
- Laboratory Water and Energy Efficiency Program (LWEEP) Conservation Manager contractor, $2500
- Laboratory Waste Stream Reduction and Recycling project , $2100
- Reusable Dining EcoClamshell pilot, $1000
- Diversion of Used Oil Filters from the Transportation Garage, $1493.15
- Science Discovery Computers to Youth summer class, $2500
- Dining Services Electric Golf Cart , $2500
- Casey Middle School Sustainability Garden, $2500
- Vertical Edible Garden , $2498.11 (pending building approval)
- CU Biodiesel Solar Thermal for ESTER , $2500
Large scale grants (over $2500)
- Semester Bicycle Rentals, $31,000
- Electric Zero Emission Vehicle, $78,895
- UMC Paper Towel Reduction project, $16,158
- CU Green Roof project, $100,000
- Science Discovery Garden, $9294
- Food for Thought Series, $3000
- Laboratory Freezer Competition Incentives, $28,500
- Compost Tea Brewing, $21,560
Small scale grants (under $2500)
- "The Simple Solution" campus waste documentary, $2500
- Energy Saving Timers for campus scientific labs, $2500
- Computer Desktop Virtualization project, $1900
- Labs Conservation Manager Contractor, $2500
- Housing and Dining Services Phase 1 Sustainable Food Best Practices Guide, $2400
- Housing and Dining Services Phase 2 Ideas for Student Involvement, $2400
- Housing and Dining Services Phase 3 Food Sustainability "Treasure Chest", $2400
- Summer Conference Sustainability Education, $2465
- Zero-Waste Summer Orientations, $1145
- ISLE Next Generation Sustainable Land Care, $2500
Large scale grants (over $2500)
- Environmental Design building Zero Waste bin pilot, $8180
- Mountain Research Station Photovoltaic Solar Installation phase II, $50,000
- CU SEAM Energy Audits for Student Rentals, $8000
- Topographic Mapping of the CU Campus for Sustainability, $20,000
- Smiley Court Garden Relocation, $9530
- Grab-n-Go Filtered Water Station, $3917
- Campus Climate Coalition display, $2500
- UMC Recycling Stations, $5892
- Mountain Research Station Solar Installation, $75,000 (see photos of installation below)
- CU Swisscamp Photovoltaic Installation, $4500 (photos of installation below)
- Campus Garden, $90,000
- CU Housing and Dining Services Dining Can Crushers, $11,400
CU Swisscamp Photovoltaic Installation, funded by Sustainable CU 2008-09
University of Colorado Mountain Research Station Solar Installation, funded by Sustainable CU 2008-09
- Sustainable foods toolbox including a directory, preference survey, signage and reusable food baskets, $3654
- Funding Facilities Management for the difference in price between a planned vehicle replacement and a new electric vehicle from E-Ride Industries, $8400
- Reusable bag pilot study for waste reduction in campus grab and go dining units, $1450
- Outdoor recycling bins for grab and go waste, $2600
- Norlin Sundial pervious paving and drainage system, $2400
- Facilities Management microfiber cleaning technology, $7376
- Folsom Park Bicycle Station, $55,000
- Wolf Law Building 10kW Solar Array, $41,000
- Facilities Management Sod Farm, $15,284
- Water refill stations at Housing grab and go dining units, $13,080
- Bruce Campbell Art Project: Artist Bruce Campbell will create a recycled sculptural installation using salvaged materials from CU's construction and demolition process. The artwork will be displayed on campus, demonstrating CU's commitment to environmental protection and exemplifying closed-loop recycling. Award: $19,600.
- Mobile Billboards: The blank space on the side of CU recycling vehicles will be used to promote recycling. These vehicles drive around campus all day, providing an opportunity to spread the word about the benefits of recycling. Award: $6,000.
- Smart Strip Surge Protectors: This project is a pilot program testing the effectiveness of smart strip surge protectors inside dorm rooms. The surge protectors can be set to turn on and off at specific times, resulting in substantial energy savings. Award: $13,444.
- Solar-Electric Recycling Vehicle Conversion: This project will transform an existing recycling vehicle into an educational, solar-electric vehicle that will continue to collect recyclable materials. Award: $15,193.
- Composting and Recycling Containers: The capacity of the composting program in the UMC kitchen will be increased. Zero-waste Bins in Glenn Miller Ballroom Three permanent recycling structures will be installed in the Glenn Miller ballroom in order to facilitate zero-waste events and increase diversion rates in the UMC. Containers for cardboard will help with the recycling during student move-in. Award: $8,100.
- Folsom Field Wind Project: Six wind turbines will be installed on the Folsom Field stadium as a highly visible demonstration project to show the viability of using wind turbines on the CU campus. Award: $90,195.
- Occupancy Sensor Lighting Units: Occupancy sensors will be installed inside classrooms within the Hellems. Energy will be saved by ensuring lights are turned off when rooms are not in use. The engineering student group, SEVEN, will monitor the success of the program in order to determine the viability of developing similar projects in other buildings on campus. Award: $3,108
- Folsom Stadium Solar Shade
- Mobile Biodiesel Processor and Educational Facility
- University Memorial Center Energy Monitoring System
- Housing Electric Vehicles
- Greenhouse Feasibility Study
- Recreation Center Solar Canopy
- Recycling Facility and Rate Study
- Residence Halls Recycling Cabinet
- Food Security Initiative: Campus Garden Improvements
- Libby Hall Dock Improvements for Recycling and Composting