Santa Clara University

Center for Sustainability Banner

Sustainability Update

Back to Blog

News and Events

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

The Residence Energy Challenge
The 2nd Annual Residence Energy Challenge is riding into town, and this year it's twice as big! Lasting throughout all winter quarter this year, the Challenge is now open to all off-campus houses and apartments.

Residence halls are competing against their building's energy use from previous years, while off-campus houses will try to reduce their energy use as compared to their October 2010 consumption. The off-campus house which reduces the most energy will be reimbursed for their electricity bills during winter quarter, and the winning residence hall will choose from awesome prizes including Giants tickets a communal Playstation, or a donation in their name to an environmental justice organization.

Throughout the quarter, the Office of Sustainability will hold events for both on- and off-campus participants, which can earn them points for the enthusiastic building prize.

Off-campus houses and apartments wishing to participate must e-mail Hannah at to sign up before noon on January 14.

Living Green in the Neighborhood
Attention all off-campus students! The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Associated Student Government, is proud to announce Living Green in the Neighborhood, a sustainable house certification program for student houses or apartments that demonstrate sustainable habits or features.

Participating houses will earn titles "Going Green," "Beyond Green," or "Certified Sustainable" based on how many points they achieve on the sustainability scorecard. There will be tons of ways to earn points, including participating in the Residence Energy Challenge, attending events, and switching out conventional cleaning products for eco-friendly ones, among many others. Houses that are interested should e-mail by January 21 for more information.

Winter in the Forge Community Garden
The Forge Garden had a busy fall harvest season, with a healthy crop of pumpkins, eggplant, and tomatoes, along with delicious organic strawberries. It's now time to get to work on building out the rest of the garden. Plans for perennial beds will include California native plants, medicinal herbs, edible perennials, perennial flowers, and culinary herbs. The final stages of planning and planting the Forge orchard will be completed this winter along with propagating vegetable, flower, and herbs for the garden and in preparation for a spring plant sale.

The first official meeting of the garden club will be later this month and is open to all. But you don't need to be a member to volunteer; sow some cover crop and take home winter greens for a fresh salad during volunteer hours from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Forge is Santa Clara's community garden and is open to all.

Alternative Bike Parking
Not enough bike parking at the library? Head on over to the engineering quad and use the free campus bike corral for the day. The bike corral is monitored by cameras and is much less congested then other on campus bike racks.

Free screening of FRESH 
The recent slew of documentaries highlighting the many problems with food and big agriculture make it difficult to think there can ever be solutions. Fresh, a 2009 documentary, celebrates innovative farmers and business people who are rethinking the food industry; it focuses on solutions, not the problems.

Come to the Williman Room on Thursday the 13th at 6 p.m. for a free screening of the positive film, sponsored by the Food and Agribusiness Institute. Refreshments will be provided, but feel free to bring your own goodies. Hang out after the film for a group discussion.

Speaker: Joel Salatin
The Food and Agribusiness Institute brings farmer and author Joel Salatin to Santa Clara's Recital Hall on Wednesday the 19th at 7 p.m. Salatin and his Virginia farm, Polyface Farms, are prominently featured the documentary Fresh and in Micheal Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma. The mission of Polyface Farms is to "develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world." Tickets are $3 for students, faculty, staff and alumni with SCU ID. More information.

1st Annual Eco-Fashion Show
Calling all fashion designers! The first-ever Eco Fashion Show is coming up on February 3rd and we need you to come up with the designs. Designers are encouraged to collect their own materials and choose them carefully; either reusing or repurposing materials or using ones that can be recycled after the show. After the show, attendees will be able to vote for their favorite design. Top designers win an awesome prize.

A workshop for designers will take place on Saturday, January 15th at 1pm. If you're interested, contact Michelle Tang at

The goal of the fashion show is to shed light on the fashion industry and its high social and economic costs to those who make our clothes. The show is in conjunction with the Residence Energy Challenge and will be followed by the Hoe-Down. If you're interested, contact Michelle Tang at

"Save Our Caltrain!" a Caltrain Summit organized by the Friends of Caltrain
Caltrain is facing a severe fiscal crisis next year. Although it is one of the highest performing Bay Area transit agencies, is the only agency that lacks dedicated funding. Caltrain carries equivalent to more than three full 101 lanes during rush hour.

Friends of Caltrain is bringing together riders, residents, voters, environmentalists, small businesses--people in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties across the area that Caltrain serves. At the Caltrain Summit on January 29, you can learn and discuss solutions and start working together to make the solutions happen. Come learn about solutions and how to get involved!

Location: Samtrans Auditorium, 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos (near Caltrain)
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2010 Time: 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Tags: Buildings and Grounds, Energy, Events, Food, News, Residence Life



The Center for Sustainability sends Sustainability Updates to SCU students, faculty, and staff through non-Essential SCU Global E-Mail Distribution Lists. Others are welcome to subscribe to these monthly e-mails using this link.


Read past Sustainability Update articles. Articles are sorted by tags for quick browsing. Visit the archives.

Suggest future content

Have a suggestion for a program or person we should showcase? Want an upcoming event included next month? Please contact the Center for Sustainability with your idea.