Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi

greenfund-logoGreen Fund Projects

History

The UM Green Fund (UMGF) was officially created in the spring of 2012. In October of 2011, student environmentalists held an campus-wide vote on the creation of a green fund to pay for sustainability projects. There were 1,800 students who voted, of which 95% were in favor of the creation of a green fund. University administration then decided to create the University of Mississippi Green Fund and supply it with an annual budget of $15,000. The fund also receives donations, which are then matched 50% by the University. Since its implementation, the UM Green Fund has gone through two funding cycles and funded five projects.

Applications for the Fall 2014 Funding Cycle are due October 17th.

Spring 2014 Projects

Compost Project Expansion

After one full year of success composting pre-consumer food waste from the Residential South Kitchen, the UM Green Fund’s Composting Project is expanding this Fall Semester. This expansion will allow the already existing compost facility at the Medicinal Plant Garden to begin composting pre-consumer food waste from the newly opened Rebel Market in addition to the Residential South Kitchen.

The project is headed by Victoria Burgos, a junior Parks and Recreation Management Major from Olive Branch, Mississippi who originally proposed the project in the Spring Semester of 2013. This past year her project composted nearly 6,000 pounds of pre-consumer food waste from the RC Kitchen, creating 19 cubic yards of compost. The created compost is now being used by the RC Garden Club to plant their new on-campus garden. This year the project is expected to compost up to 36,000 pounds of food waste. In addition to Burgos, the project employs two interns in the Office of Sustainability who help in the transportation and maintenance aspects of the project.

Library Low-E Film

This summer the J.D. Williams Library has installed Low-E Film on the library’s south facing windows, including those in the Faulkner Room, thanks to funding provided by the UM Green Fund. The film works by reflecting 57% of total solar energy, thus keeping cooling costs down. This project is expected to lower the Library’s energy use in those rooms between 10-40% and to pay for itself in 3 years. The project was proposed by the Library’s staff members, who are diligently working to record energy data on the project and increase student awareness of the energy savings that stem from sustainable building practices such as this. The project leaders are Librarian and Green Team Chair Buffy Choinski and Library Operations Manager Stan Whitehorn.

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Flip-the-Switch

The Flip-the-Switch Project is aimed at reducing student energy use in the Residential Colleges by encouraging students to turn off their lights. This is done by applying friendly-reminder stickers to all light switches in student rooms that ask the students to “flip the switch” and “conserve energy one switch at a time.” The project will also seek to determine the extent to which sticker campaigns affect student conservation behavior. This will be determined by using HOBO Data Logger software to asses the level to which students are conserving energy in rooms with the main sticker, slightly different stickers, and the absence of stickers (done by using different stickers on different floors within the RC). The project was created by UM Green Fund Student Committee Member Joe Bell, a sophomore International Studies and Public Policy Leadership double major from Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Flip the Switch

Past Projects

Pilot Composting Program, Spring 2012

Hydration Station Implementation, Spring 2012

During the past school year the UM Green Fund paid to have two additional Hydration Stations installed on campus to provide students with cool, filtered water in hopes of increasing student use of reusable water bottles. One is located in Brevard Hall. The other is located in Holman Hall. The Hydration Station project was proposed by now graduated Pharmacy Graduate Student Tristen Jackson.

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H2Otty Toddy Water Bottles, Spring 2012

The first project funded by the UM Green Fund was the H2Otty Toddy Water Bottle project proposed by writing professor Milly West and her Freshman Writing Class. Their project sold reusable H2Otty Toddy Water Bottles at the 2013 Sustainability Fair as a part of Green Week. The water bottles were sold to raise student awareness of the waste created by non-reusable water bottles and to promote reusable water bottle use. The proceeds of the water bottle sales raised just over $2,000 that was put back into the Green Fund.

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Project Proposals

The UMGF accepts project proposals twice a year. All UM students, staff, and faculty are eligible and encouraged to submit project proposals. The UMGF exists to increase, promote, publicize, and fund sustainability at the University of Mississippi, with the express intent to improve the quality of life for all members of the campus community.

Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Impact:  Projects should help the university advance the university’s commitment to sustainability and operational efficiency.
  • Visibility:  Projects should have an education and outreach component.
  • Feasibility:  Dream big, yet projects should be realistic and achievable.

Proposals should seek to address a sustainability goal, including but not limited to the following:

  • Efficient use and conservation of energy, water and other resources
  • Advancing UM’s transportation programs
  • Increasing the university’s use of renewable energy from sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable energy technologies
  • Reducing campus waste
  • Educating the campus community about environmental sustainability
  • Making environmentally informed and sustainable choices more accessible to students, faculty, staff, and the Ole Miss community
  • Reducing Ole Miss’ greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improving the operational efficiency of campus buildings and infrastructure

Preference and priority will be given to project proposals that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate the greatest reduction in the University of Mississippi’s negative environmental impacts for the least cost.
  • Include a strong campus-participation component.
  • Yield cost savings to the university.
  • Incorporate additional or matching funds from sources other than UMGF.
  • Projects should address return on investment/lifecycle costs to support the prioritization of this project versus others under consideration.

All projects are required to have a mechanism for evaluation and follow up. At a minimum, a project plan must include a report made to the UMGF Committee after implementation. The UMGF will not fund projects that are solely for research purposes; however, a research component will not disqualify a project for funding.

Proposals should include the following sections in 4-10 pages:

  • Project Overview
  • Project Purpose and Goals
  • Project Details and Timeline – Please provide details about how the project will work, who will implement the project, and any details the committee should consider.  Identify partners the project will need to be implemented and indicate whether you have reached out to the partners yet.
  • Budget – For those projects that include an additional funding source, please include the amount of the additional funding and a letter of support from the contributing entity.
  • Student Engagement – How will the project seek to inform or engage the student body?
  • Project Evaluation – Please include a method of gathering data about how the project is working.  What data will you gather and how?
  • Proposal Contacts – Identify a primary and secondary contact
  • Conflict of Interest – Have any of the Green Fund Committee members been involved in this project?  If Yes, please identify committee members.

Selection Process and Timeline 
The UMGF committee accepts proposals twice per year—once in the spring and once in the fall. The UMGF committee will review all project proposals and select an initial round of proposals to consider.  All proposers selected during the first round will then be invited to speak at the public hearing/forum. One member from the project group must be present at that event to present and answer questions about the project. Following the public meeting, the committee and, in some cases, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance will make final selections.

Applications for the Fall 2014 Funding Cycle are due October 17th. Click here to download the project proposal guidelines.

Questions?  Email green@olemiss.edu