Statements from Students!

As we near the opening of the election on the Green Fee, some of us are curious to hear what students have to say about it. The Green Fee Committee has began collecting statements from students across all demographics; ASB Senators, club members, student leaders, and students at large. Here are a few of our favorites:

“My name is Evonne Aguirre; I’m a student senator here at Everett Community College and I am in support the Green Fee Initiative. Every day I see my peers not only working hard at creating bright futures for themselves, but also are coming together in support of protecting our planet through continued efforts to keep EvCC eco-friendly. This student-led initiative reflects the care that we as students share for wanting to foster a healthy environment, and the Green Fee has the potential to help us reach our goals of creating a future for our planet that’s as promising as our students. I’m proud of what our students have accomplished so far, and I’m excited to see what new heights we can reach when we pass the EvCC Green Fee Initiative!”

  • – Evonne Aguirre, ASB Senator

 

“I’m supporting the green fee because I think that for the price of my breakfast from Starbucks once a quarter, promoting sustainable programs on my college campus is a no-brainer. Being a good steward of the Earth is something I think we should all want to do, and this has got to be the absolute easiest way to do it.”

  • – Cameron Calder, ASB Senator & Social Justice and Current Events Coordinator

 

“I support the Green Fee because great things start from small community. In this era of technology, we need more initiative to keep the Earth safe while working on new innovations, and i know this Green Fee is a good start!”

  • – Zarith Sofiy Mohammad Azlan, ASB Senator & Student Ambassador

 

I’m voting green because I believe in funding opportunities for students to become more engaged in sustainability on campus.

  • – Katherine Abdallah, SEA Club President

“I support the Green Fee Initiative because I know that my small contribution will lead to a more sustainable campus, thus making a positive impact for generations to come. Together we can lead the way to a sustainable future by supporting this initiative. “

  • – Emmerson Hunter, ASB Senator
  • “I’m voting green because it’s the responsible thing to do!”

– Marlene Barnes, Student-at-large

Thanks to all those who provided a statement. If you’d like to provide one, just email your statement to sustainability@everettcc.edu.

Visit our web page for a complete list of statements at EverettCC.edu/GreenFee.

 

EvCC Sustainability, Earth Week, and the Green Fee

Background

If you were on campus during the week of April 16-19, you probably know what Earth Week is. In celebration of Earth Day, EvCC strives to host creative and fun activities for students, employees and the community, while fostering awareness about the struggles we face in regards to the environment, climate, and resource consumption. Earth Week has become a looked-forward to tradition on campus, but this tradition may not be with us for much longer…

The Green Fee

The EvCC Green Fee is a proposed student fee of 50 cents per credit, up to fifteen credits, not to exceed $7.50 per quarter for each student. It was proposed by a group of students, including the Students for Environmental Action club and members of the student government, in response to concerns over the impending budget shortfalls for the EvCC Sustainability Initiative (more on that here). In accordance with state law, this fee has to be subject to a student body election to determine whether it should be assessed. This election is scheduled for May 21-24, 2018. Ballots will be cast online using the MyEvCC Student Portal.

If it passes the election, three major developments would occur:

  1. The creation of the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF): This fund would serve to fund student projects that focus on sustainability or the environment. A student, or group of students, could submit a proposal to receive a grant from the CSF to pay for their project. The proposal would be presented to a committee of 5 students and 2 employees, who will vote on whether to approve or reject the project proposal.
  2. Formalize the Office of Sustainability: While EvCC has a full time staff member with part-time hourly assistants to coordinate the sustainability program, the Green Fee would be used to permanently establish an Office of Sustainability, which would help to manage the fee, the CSF, and its associated programs, while also continuing the effort to green the campus.
  3. Student jobs: Within the Office of Sustainability, three student positions would be created and funded each year. These students would serve as the public faces of the EvCC Sustainability program and work to keep the student body actively engaged in making EvCC a more environmentally friendly, socially equitable and fiscally responsible campus.

The relationship of Earth Week and the Green Fee

As mentioned, the funding for Earth Week (which comes from the depleted sustainability budget) is not long for this world. In the past, money left over from grants that were intended for other projects like energy efficiency retrofits was pooled into the Sustainability Grant Fund. This was relied on for all student engagement activities hosted by the Sustainability manager.

After the end of this school year, there will hardly be enough funds in the sustainability budget to get through another years worth of activities. Those lovely green water bottles you may have got for free at one of our events? Paid for by the sustainability budget. The wonderful presentation by Ciscoe Morris? Also paid for by the sustainability budget. Nearly all the events require some kind of payment out of the sustainability budget, and it adds up quick!

Unless a long-term solution is implemented, we can prepare to say goodbye to many of these activities and programs. Dozens of students have expressed their concern about this, and most of us agree that something has to happen to change the status quo on carbon emissions, environmental toxicity, habitat and biodiversity loss, pollution, and many other global challenges.

This is why we, the students on the EvCC Green Fee Committee, are working to hold this election and secure funding for the program. But, we are also trying to change the entire premise of the EvCC Sustainability program. If its funded by a student fee, that would put the power to make the changes we need in our hands, as students. We would determine how the money is spent, what projects get funded, and ultimately how our campus approaches sustainability. So, in the end, we aren’t trying to just save the program by asking the students to pay for it. We are trying to revolutionize it by empowering the students to lead us down the path of sustainability, and ultimately giving ourselves a bigger voice in the long-term development of EvCC.

If you want to know how you can help, visit our webpage: EverettCC.edu/GreenFee, or email sustainability@everettcc.edu.

Also, don’t forget to vote!

Earth Week 2018: Plant Sale, Recycled Art and More!

Once again, EvCC took Earth Day to a new level, with an entire week of events planned and carried out on campus to bring awareness to issues surrounding the environment, climate change, and resource consumption. After another successful celebration, lets take a look back to see what went down.

Monday, April 16: Electric Vehicles!

Tesla parked in grass. Photo by Matt Henry on Unsplash

Partnering with the Engineering Department, the annual EV display is held the first day of each Earth Week. This event is always a hit with students, as they get the chance to see an in-depth tour of the vehicles and can even try out the drivers seat (without actually driving the vehicle…)

On display you can find EV’s ranging from high-end, expensive Tesla’s, to the more economical Chevrolet Volt, among others.

 

Tuesday, April 17: Plant Swap and Ciscoe Morris

The masterminds behind the Plant Sale, setting up prior to the event

Another favorite of the Earth Week series is the annual Plant Swap and Sale. Here, students, staff and community members can purchase garden starts, seeds, and even take home a vast variety of flowering plants and shrubs for FREE! Perhaps the best part of this event is the presentation given by the eccentric TV personality, Ciscoe Morris!

Top: Kimi Crombie (Administrative Services) posing with Ciscoe. Bottom: Michael Moore and Gwen Bennetts from Purple Cow Gardens

A special thanks this year to Michael Moore and Gwen Bennetts, for providing dozens of veggie starts from their local nursery, Purple Cow Gardens. Estimates of attendance at this event put the number of visitors at nearly 1500 students, employees and neighbors.

 

Wednesday, April 18: Sustainable Vendor Fair

Bagfoot and Sacksquatch pose in front of the Green Fee Initiative banner

The third event in the Earth Week series is the Sustainable Vendor Fair, in which business and community leaders who practice and advocate for sustainability and environmental stewardship are invited to set up booths to sell their products, educate students on their work, and recruit volunteers to help with environmental restoration projects. Some vendors this year were Costco, Everett Transit, and Sno-Isle Co-Op, with many more having been in attendance. Of course, it’s never a truly successful Earth Week without the appearances of Bagfoot and Sacksquatch.

These handmade costumes contain over 500 plastic bags, and are supposed to represent the number of bags an average American uses in a single year. This fun and creative gimmick is a great way to visualize how much plastic we as consumers use without even thinking about it!

 

Thursday, April 19: Electronics Recycling

To wrap up the week-long celebration, we invite 3R Technology to set up shop on campus and give employees and students the chance to recycle their old electronics for free. This year was record breaking, over 4000 lbs. of electronics recycled or safely disposed of!

Earth Art Competition

This years special event was the Earth Art competition. This is a challenge for students and employees to express their creativity and their resourcefulness by creating pieces of art made up of at least 75% recycled, upcycled, or reclaimed materials.

Our winners this year are:

1st Place: Annie Loomis

Annie Loomis won first prize with her piece, titled The Girl with the Newspaper Earring. On her registration form, she notes that most of this piece isn’t what it seems, and that “most of the girls face is actually made out of Mark Zuckerberg’s forehead.” Congrats, Annie!

2nd Place: Karalee Garcia

Karalee took 2nd place with her entry, which she dubbed “Make Tea Not War.” She explains that she is an avid tea drinker and, as such, produces a ton of waste, so this seemed to be a unique opportunity to make something positive with it. Congratulations, Karalee!

3rd Place: Jessica Hall

Jessica’s entry is called “My World,” and is made from a chair that she rescued from the side of the road. She though it would be perfect for this competition, and wanted to give it a new life. “The chair is now the atmosphere, and the center is my world: my family.” Thanks for participating, and congratulations Jessica!

In conclusion…

Thanks to all of you who helped us make Earth Week a success. We couldn’t do it without your generous support and time. Now it’s time to gear up and prepare for next years Earth Week Celebration, and if you’d like to be a part of that, email us at sustainability@everettcc.edu.

Keep on keeping green, everyone!

 

EvCC Green Fee Campaign in Full Swing

After the ASB Senate approved the Green Fee Proposal last year, the students serving on the Green Fee Committee have been hard at work planning and executing the information campaign to prepare the campus for the election.

The Green Fee Committee is reaching out to students with weekly information tables, social media, and more.

Throughout the final weeks of Winter Quarter, the committee made a “slow roll out” to begin introducing the idea to the student body. Now, as Spring Quarter is upon us, it’s time to really get to work!

Along with weekly information tables, there will be several opportunities for students to learn about this initiative. A student information forum was hosted in Winter Quarter, and two more are planned throughout Spring. Student LIFE has offered several social media posts on behalf of SEA Club, the primary sponsor of this initiative, and there is plenty of additional information available online.

The proposal that was approved by the ASB Senate calls for an election on the assessment of a new fee to support and expand the EvCC Sustainability Initiative. Any student enrolled at the time of the election has the right to vote. This came as a response to the impending budget shortfalls within the sustainability program, and due to the apparent “lack of leadership on the national level in regard to climate change and other environmental concerns,” as stated by the former president of Students for Environmental Action (SEA Club).

The proposed fee is 50 cents per academic credit for the first 15 credits taken each quarter, so it will not exceed $7.50 per student per quarter. The revenue will be allocated to the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF), which can be used by EvCC students to fund their ideas for environmental or sustainability focused projects that help advance EvCC’s Sustainability Mission, and to the Office of Sustainability so the department can employ three part-time students each year.

The long term goal of the Green Fee Initiative is to empower the students to lead EvCC to a more sustainable future by minimizing our environmental footprint, balancing our resource consumption, and reducing our contribution to climate change.

As it stands, the group is still searching for students who can commit to volunteering for campaign events and who can go around to various campus organizations to give presentations on the Green Fee Initiative. If you know of, or you are an interested student, have them contact the committee by emailing sustainability@everettcc.edu.

If you want to do your own research, visit the campaign web page!

EvCC CTR Survey: Who won the Kindle Fire?

Thanks to all of our employees who participated in the CTR Survey last month. The winner of the drawing for a free Kindle Fire is Erika Smith, an Associate Faculty member from the Criminal Justice Department. Congratulations, Erika!

 

Erika Smith, Criminal Justice Dept. Winner of CTR Survey Kindle Drawing

Blue Carbon: How River Estuaries Help Combat Climate Change

A new video released by Earth Corps details how river estuaries help combat climate change by sequestering huge amounts of carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide that becomes a part of this cycle is known as blue carbon (blue coming from the water involved in this cycle). Because of the incredibly fast cycle of growth, decay and soil buildup in river estuaries, carbon is absorbed and stored underground. In fact, if the Snohomish River Estuary, about a mile north of EvCC’s campus, were restored completely, it could sequester enough carbon to be equivalent to taking 1.7 million cars off the road by 2100. This means that estuaries are far better carbon sinks (the term for a biome that stores more carbon than it emits) than forests.

This new information proves how imperative it is that we continue the efforts to restore our river estuaries and improve our land management practices as we work toward averting the worst implications of climate change.

Watch Blue Carbon by clicking here!

Earth Corps has given us permission to circulate this video around campus, so if you’d like to use it in a presentation to students or staff, feel free and we encourage you to do so!

Cedar Hall Game Night and Energy Challenge Kick-Off

Thursday, January 11, the Cedar Hall Programming Intern worked hard to host the Cedar Hall Game Night, an event that was intended to build and foster a sense of community between residents living in Student Housing. The interns main goal was to build a positive relationship between Cedar Hall and Mountain View, new and returning residents, and domestic and international students. This event was the best attended held in Cedar Hall so far.

Also at this event was our Sustainability Team, hosting the kickoff for the Cedar Hall Energy Challenge! The challenge officially begins in February, and signups are going on now. The challenge is simple: EvCC Sustainability will determine the baseline energy usage for each unit in Cedar Hall using January’s data from the PUD. During the month of February, residents who have signed up their unit to participate in this challenge simply need to find ways to cut their electricity consumption. Since they are competing against their own baseline, the goal is to use less energy in February than they did in January.

At the end of the challenge dates, EvCC Sustainability will review the electricity usage data and compare each units consumption with their baseline. The ten residents whose units made the biggest reductions in electricity usage will receive a prize valued at $50 each.

Thanks to Residence Life Staff and others who helped make this event so popular, and also for supporting EvCC Sustainability!

If you live in Cedar Hall and want to sign up for the challenge, follow this link!

A few photos from the Cedar Hall Game Night, courtesy of EvCC Marketing

2018 EvCC Sustainability Pledge

We all know that its important to start your New Year off right. So, for January’s monthly Sustainability Outreach event, we decided to help students and staff with their New Years Resolution and encouraged them to pledge to reduce their consumption of disposable water bottles and plastic grocery bags. We even provided a reusable water bottle or reusable bag as an incentive. Thanks to all 47 students and staff who signed the pledge!

Now you may be wondering why this is important. Here are a few facts about the problems associated with the consumption of bottled drinks:

  • In the US, we use enough plastic bottles to circle the globe…twice…each week.
  • More water is wasted during the production process than ends up in the final product. The Pacific Institute estimates that for every liter sold, it represents 3 liters of water.
  • The plastic used for bottling in the US uses about 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a full year.
  • The energy used to produce plastic bottles in the US is enough to power almost 200,000 homes.
  • The entire process of bottling and transporting the product produces about 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming)  annually, as estimated by the Pacific Institute.

We encourage you to do some research of your own and learn more about the dangers of using so much plastic, and maybe even find some great alternatives to purchasing bottled water.

If you are interested in signing this pledge but were not able to attend the event, click on the image below. We appreciate your support for sustainability!

 

Sustainable Tree Removal and Transplant by EvCC Grounds Dept

EvCC Grounds works hard to manage campus grounds with an eye towards sustainability.  This ethic was demonstrated recently when a tree located west of the Olympus building outgrew it’s location.

Rather than cutting down the tree, campus grounds employees John Syson, Brent Sall and Scotty Smith used campus equipment to relocate the beautiful Liquidambar Styraciflua or Liquid Amber (commonly known as an American Sweetgum).

At 30 inches in diameter and 30 feet tall, the average cost for a commercial move or purchase of a tree this size would have been  $1500.00 – $2000.00!  Grounds transplanted the tree for about $70.00.

The tree was removed from the Lot “A” west flower bed  and planted in Lot “C” on the hillside.

EvCC Offers Free Holiday Tree Recycling Jan 2 through Feb 2 2018

Trees can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.  Trees must be free of decorations, tinsel and other non-biodegradable materials. No flocked trees will be accepted.

EvCC is located at 2000 Tower St. in Everett. Drop off trees in the marked area in parking lot F. To see the location of parking lot F, visit EverettCC.edu/Maps and click Campus Map.

EvCC has been recycling holiday trees since 2009. Last year, EvCC collected approximately more than 250 trees that were turned into woodchips on site and used for campus flower beds and mulch.

For more information, call 425-388-9512.