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What are we working on?
The Sustainability Center always has a diverse set of projects in the works. Here are the ones that are hot right now. If you want to get involved in working on these initiatives, contact email@example.com.
Expanding EV Charging Infrastructure We have been applying for rebates to add EV charging to more lots on main campus and other campuses. If you drive an EV and want to be kept abreast of charging-related updates email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee Bike-Locker Program We are planning to offer secure bike lockers to employees (21 in the SSC parking garage and 5 at the Early Childhood Lab School). Email email@example.com to inquire about a locker.
Greening the Curriculum Our office has a Fellow who is working with faculty across many disciplines to weave sustainability examples into their courses. He is looking for more faculty to work with so email Nate at Barton_Nathaniel@smc.edu for more info. You can also join the Environmental Affairs Committee to be part of our ongoing efforts to Green the Curriculum in all departments.
Developing an Aquaculture Certificate Program Over the past year, faculty from Life Science, Earth Science, and Business have been working together to develop a certificate to help train the workforce for jobs that are coming in the aquaculture industry in southern California. Funding is starting to come in from grants, and partnerships are forming with other universities that recognize the opportunities the ocean has to offer in repairing our climate, providing healthy protein, and well-paying jobs.
Divesting from Fossil Fuels Several community colleges in LA have been meeting to support the trend to encourage CalSTRS, CalPERS, and other investments to shed their holdings in fossil fuels. A panel discussion hosted by Fullerton College had guest speakers who spoke about AB1173, proposed legislation to require CalSTRS to divest, expert journalists and fund managers who discussed the reasons that fossil fuels are a bad investment, and local colleges who described their efforts to decarbonize their campuses and encourage divestment. Panel 1 and 2
Eco-Action Club hosted four events to celebrate Earth Week (April 18-22). 158 students participated by attending sessions featuring speakers who talked about how the environment and equity intersected around several issues like food security, indigenous land rights, health, and financial inequities. www.smc.edu/EarthWeek
Get out and enjoy the sunshine. Students from SMC’s new free Bike Maintenance class are planning a Pit Stop on Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 20th. Roll over to Pearl Street for some yummy treats and give-a-ways if you are on a bike that day.
Bike Maintenance Professor Tyler Parsons worked with his students to fix up five bicycles which were given to a Ukrainian refugee family (ages 12-19) that moved to LA. All bikes were fixed up by students in the class. Now, that’s a nice welcome to America and great start to Bike Month!
Bike Donation Program
During the pandemic SMC employees got together twice a week for many months to repair old bikes to give to students from our EOPS programs (separate from the above program). So far we have given away 100+ bikes and still have about 30 more to match to students who are in-need. If you know a student who could use some wheels and smiles, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Growing in the Organic Learning Garden
In preparation of the warm weather ahead, we are starting to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and basil. At this time, we are saying goodbye to cool season crops like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas. But not to worry, they'll be back in the fall! While all of this transition is happening, we are spending a lot of time feeding the soil with rich organic compost, because happy soil equals happy plants! Most of this compost was generated right here on campus in the vermitech using food waste from the Bodega and plant trimmings from the garden itself. Wondering what we do with the food we grow? All of it goes to the Bodega, which is free for all currently enrolled students. Come stop by if you'd like to see what we have growing or have any questions!
Student Sustainability Workshops Update: The workshops are halfway done! 5 of 8 weeks complete. The students are engaged and have been asking insightful and deep questions concerning our environment and how they can further engage in sustainability efforts. Their thought provoking essays have included the following topics: renewable sources of energy, local climate-focused organizations, and environmental laws that directly impact ourselves. Workshops will wrap up by the end of May and participating professors will receive a list of students that successfully completed the Workshops. If you have any questions about the Workshops or just want to chat, reach out to email@example.com
As always, please email Recycle@smc.edu to schedule an extra pick up or with any waste related questions.