The day was Monday, September the 17th. A crowd of spectators, made up of some EvCC students and employees, Everett Transit and City of Everett Officials, even our US Representative, Rick Larsen, gathered together across the street from Whitehorse Hall. What for, you may be asking? Well, Everett Transit has officially introduced its first ever 100% electric bus, and it was here, at EvCC’s College Station, that they held the ribbon cutting ceremony.
According to the official statements from Everett Transit, the bus is just one of many more to come. In fact, they plan to electrify about half of their fleet by 2021. All of this is in large part due to a $3.4 million federal grant through the USDOT’s Low or No Emissions Vehicle Program, which was developed to help with replacing old and polluting public vehicles, such as transit buses.
As Mayor Franklin pointed out during her speech at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, by 2022 there will be 18 of these new vehicles, replacing Everett Transits decades old fleet. These new buses wills save Everett Transit more than 10,000 gallons of fuel each year. This also reduces the Everett Transit systems carbon footprint by more than 100 tons each year. That’s the same amount of CO2 produced by driving an average passenger vehicle for about 250,000 miles.
This is a very exciting development that only proves that local governments are stepping up and leading the way toward a sustainable, environmentally conscious future.
For those of you familiar with EvCC’s EV Charging Stations located in Parking Lot F (if you fall into this category, we thank you!), you may have noticed that 3 of the 6 charging stations are not currently operational. This is due to a nationwide network issue. Below is a statement issued by Blink Network Support:
“We are currently experiencing a nationwide network outage at this time. Out networking team is currently working on having it brought back up, but we do not have an ETA on when the network will be back online at this time. If you would like to receive an update as to when the network is back online please reply to this message. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Campus Sustainability will issue a notice when we receive word that the stations are operational again. Thanks for your patience, and check back soon!
EvCC Sustainability is currently waiting on a quote from the vendor that supplies the Blink Charging Stations. We will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.
EvCC Sustainability and Laura Wild’s Nutrition Spring Quarter class partnered to install 35 Mason bee “huts” across the EvCC Campus in late May 2018.
The project is intended to help EvCC students, employees and neighbors understand the importance of these tiny pollinators to our campus plants, as well as providing a legacy project for Laura Wild’s students to manage each year. An online EvCC Bee tour will be available online soon, courtesy of one of Laura Wild’s students. The EvCC Mason Bee project will be featured later this month in Crown Bee’s newsletter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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!
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
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!
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
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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!
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.
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!