News for November from UVM Office of Sustainability

UVM Campus Sustainability Newsletter
November 2019

As we approach the much-awaited Thanksgiving Break, many of us are thinking about the abundance of food that will grace our holiday tables. It’s hard to imagine that some members of our campus community are impacted by “food insecurity” but it is a reality. According to a survey by the UVM Food Insecurity Working Group, nearly one in five of our students are considered food insecure and our staff experienced food insecurity at rates higher than the Vermont average. Read on to learn about campus efforts around reducing hunger and food waste.

The USDA defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”

FOOD DRIVE FOR PRISM CENTER…
The UVM Prism Center established a small food pantry and is now accepting donations of cans of hearty soups, seasoned boxes of rice and pasta mixes, mac & cheese, and gluten-free convenience foods of any kind. Donations may be dropped off the week of Nov 18-22 at the Allen House, located at 461 Main Street.

…AND STAFF COUNCIL FOOD DRIVE
Food donations will also be collected during the Annual Staff Council Bazaar on Wed, Dec 4th at the Davis Center.

AUTHOR LAUNCHES “SECONDHAND” BOOK TOUR AT UVM THIS THURS, NOV 14
Hear from author Adam Minter about his latest adventure into the often-hidden, multibillion-dollar industry of reuse during the kick-off of his national book tour. (Minter was just featured on “On Point” Radio which aired on VPR today). Details: November 14th at 2:30 pm, Sugar Maple Ballroom, Davis Center. Book signing to follow. Learn more and RSVP.

HELP A STUDENT IN NEED
If you know or work with a student who’s expressed that they are financially struggling and at times cannot purchase food, then please consider referring them to the UVM “Swipe Out Hunger” program. For a student to be eligible for extra meal “swipes” on their UVM Dining plan, they must be referred to the program by a UVM staff or faculty member. For more information, please visit the UVM Swipe Out Hunger webpage and complete the Meal Request form.

STAFF INVITED TO APPLY FOR SUSTAINABILITY FACULTY FELLOWS PROGRAM 
For the past 12 years, fellows from a wide range of disciplines have joined together to develop a robust, year-long, learning community. This year, the program is also open to academic staff and will explore sustainability, systems thinking, and pedagogy in the context of our present moment of rapid climate disruption and social instability. This is a collaborative program offered by UVM and Shelburne Farms. Learn more and apply online. Deadline is November 11th.

Green Mountain Transit (GMT) in partnership with UVM Student Government Association (SGA) invite all UVM staff, faculty and students to:
24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action
November 21, 4:30PM – 6:30PM | Waterman Memorial Lounge

Jenn Wood, trained Climate Reality Leader and Public Affairs and Community Relations Manager at GMT will present 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action. She will be joined by a panel of local experts and activists from UVM, VT’s Youth Climate Congress, VT’s State Legislature as well as the business and non-profit communities for a discussion on the truth of the climate crisis and how we solve it.

Join us for a conversation about the climate crisis and what it means for our community, as well as the solutions and actions we can take to make a difference.

 RSVP here and The Climate Reality Project will plant one tree on your behalf, thanks to friends at One Tree Planted.

REDUCE HOLIDAY FOOD WASTE
In 2016, six million turkeys, valuing ~$293 million, ended up in the trash in the US! Fight food waste with tips from the Zero Waste Chef website:

  • Guestimate to not make more than you need
  • Store your food to make it last
  • Cook well with scraps or food that is past prime
  • Compost whatever is left

TRANSPORTATION SURVEY
All UVM employees and students were sent an email on 10/28 to take the annual CATMA survey. Please respond to help them improve your transportation experience and enter to win prizes including $100 Amazon Gift Cards!  Visit Chittenden Area Transportation Management Association (CATMA) to learn more.

Dear Sprout,
How can my family and I avoid all the hype around Black Friday shopping and find more sustainable alternatives? 

A growing number of people are just saying “no” to shopping the day after Thanksgiving and celebrating “Buy Nothing Day” instead. One nationwide retailer even closes for the day to encourage its employees and customers to get outside instead.  Explore more Ways to Simplify Your Holidays from the New Dream website.

  1. Consider giving Gifts of Experience instead of material goods;
  2. Create your own handmade or homemade crafts; or
  3. Opt for unique one-of-a-kind or re-purposed gifts from secondhand shops.

-Sprout

UPCOMING EVENTS