Institute for Sustainable Development


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Wednesday Kickoff Event Thursday Schedule Friday Schedule
KEYNOTE Presentations Conference Speakers Featured Film - Friday
Paul Persons Award K-12 Greenie Awards HIgher Ed Greenie Nominees
Exhibitors Become a Volunteer REGISTRATION
Lunch on the Town Event Sponsors Getting to Chico
Accommodations in Chico Campus Map Conference Archives
Meet the Team Conference Poster (pdf) Conference Program (pdf)

2017 Greenie Nominees
Higher Education Groups

The Higher Education Greenie Awards this year will recognize student groups from all CSU campuses only. And, for the first time ever, winning student groups will receive cash award prizes to support and enhance their projects. These awards are sponsored by the Rawlins Endowment for Environmental Literacy. Award amounts will be paid to the student organization following the conference in the following amounts:

1st Place Winner $200
2nd Place Winner $150
3rd Place Winner $100

Make sure you visit the Higher Education Greenie Award nominees tabling event and vote for the best team project. All conference participants can vote once per category at Colusa Hall, Room 100B from 8:00-11:00 am on Friday, March 24th. Continental breakfast will be available during the tabling event so bring your mugs and be prepared to vote! Judging criteria is at the bottom of this page.


Sustainable Tiny House
Sol Vespidae Team at CSU, Sacramento

See Project Video

With a tiny house comes a tiny cost. Tiny homes require less materials than an average home and not to mention have a smaller impact on our environment. Using 14 times less wood than the average home, we found that building a tiny house actually uses half of a logging truck to build, versus the conventional home; taking 7 full logging trucks! We were able to use recycled pallet wood for our bathroom and interior as well as use recycled wood for the flooring. Joining with former students, we used their highly efficient thermal hot water heater to heat both the water in the house and even the house itself; we did this by running the hot water through pipes in the floors in order to heat the home. Where did this heat and energy come from though? The Sun! We found that running the solar hot water heater and all eight solar panels simultaneously actually gave us more energy than we needed to run the tiny home; which meant we would essentially even be able to power other things such as electric cars if we wanted to. This has enabled us to create a completely off the grid tiny home. Using a rainwater catchment system also helped achieve being off the grid. Winning best bathroom award in the SMUD competition, we decided it was a good idea to dedicate a larger portion of our 400 square foot tiny home to our bathroom. With a bay window in the front and a total of 11 windows and a glass French door, we also use less electricity than an average tiny house. That being said our tiny house has proved to be a trendy way of saving not only our energy and money but also saving our environment as a whole.


SCOOP Team photo

Broadening Sustainable Practices to Faculty and Staff
Sustainable Consultations of Office Practices
(SCOOP) Team at CSU, Chico

See Project Video

The ultimate goal of SCOOP, is to set standards for sustainable development within the office. Setting standards for best sustainable office practices is the foundation of SCOOP, as our consultation team will educate students and staff alike in sustainable solutions, which will lead to a more environmentally conscious tomorrow and a greener bottom line.
SCOOP began in 2008 as a collaborative effort between four sustainable student groups here at CSU Chico. This program was designed to assess current office practices and formulate a strategic plan to create a sustainable office standard campus wide. This is accomplished by an office audit focusing on energy, procurement, solid waste and recycling, transportation, and office employee and wellness. Staff and faculty offices are ranked on a three-tier scale for current practices and improvements throughout the audit process. SCOOP also focuses on engaging the student community by participating with other student clubs in ongoing campus events to promote sustainability practices and awareness.
SCOOP has helped over 50 offices reach this sustainable standard over the last nine years here on Chico’s campus. The sustainable office standard program has been replicated at many other schools who seek to bring sustainability to the faculty and staff on their campus.


Solar Charging Station Team photo

The Solar Charging Station
Solar Charging Station Team at CSU, Chico

See Project Video

The Solar Charging Station here on CSU Chico''s campus is a table equiped with off-grid, solar powered outlets designed and built by students. These five students were given the projet in their mechanical and mechatronic engineering senior capstone course. The off-grid station, that sits in front of the Bell Memorial Union, generates all of its own energy and stores it in batteries located underneath the benches. Before this station, there wasn't a place to study and charge a laptop outside on campus. Now students are able to use energy from the sun to charge thier electronics and enjoy the environment they are preserving while doing so.

California Polytechnic State University
Green Campus Team at San Luis Obispo

See Project Video

One of the many projects that Cal Poly Green Campus has worked on this past year is the Eco Reps program. Eco Reps are a group of students focused on sustainable leadership and impact both in their living communities and on-campus as a whole. The group is lead by a Green Campus team member, which is a official group recognized by Cal Poly to raise awareness about sustainability and increase involvement on environmental efforts among the Cal Poly community – that includes students, staff, professors, etc. Eco Reps was created to provide students leverage the passion of young students into a highly impactful time on campus by creating a mechanism to get them connected to the on-campus sustainable community with the opportunity to learn about how to help the environment, while simultaneously developing their teamwork and leadership skills. The Eco-Reps program successfully completed 313 Green Room Certifications across campus; in a successful attempt to foster sustainable lifestyles and awareness within freshman living communities. The members of the group are also currently tasked with implementing an event within their housing community and a broader project that can be implemented at the campus level. These projects are funded and supported by the facilities department, and allow students to gain the experience of working within the system to achieve meaningful results. Some of the campus projects currently being tackled are a mandatory sustainability training module for the whole campus, an on campus farmers market, improved composting education, and multiple waste reduction projects within dining. In addition to their projects, Eco Reps serve as a support pillar in the form of volunteers to other environmentally-focused groups on campus. Eco Reps are selected through an application process, in which interested students fill out an online application detailing their involvement and interest in sustainability. Approximately 50 to 30 students are chosen – each representing their living community. Within this group, there was an additional application process to create the Eco Rep Leadership Board. This group of six committed, driven, and foresighted Eco Reps helps to guide the program both this year, and looking into the extended future. This group of natural stakeholders was brought together to help institutionalize the program and make sure it becomes an impactful staple of a sustainable experience at a Cal Poly. This academic year, 2016- 2017, is the first year Eco Reps has been a program at Cal Poly and it has the potential to become a group which could lead sustainable efforts on the Cal Poly community. To add on, the Eco Reps program could be replicated on other universities to increase the involvement of students in sustainability and environmental efforts.

Annual Conservation and Diversion Challenge
California Polytechnic State University
Green Campus Team at San Luis Obispo

See Project Video

The Annual Conservation and Diversion Challenge (ACDC) is a two-week competition between six residence halls on campus to have the greatest reduction in energy and water consumption. The Green Campus Team leverages the competition as an opportunity to educate students on ways to be conscious of their resource use. In the Fall 2016 competition, there was a 17% overall energy reduction (15, 160 kWh of energy total) and a 6.4% water reduction (55,000 gallons of water total). The project aims to have an impact on students’ long term behaviors by encouraging them to continue using sustainable living tips learned during the competition. By actively engaging freshmen, students are introduced to environmentally-friendly practices early in their career, ensuring the retention of these behaviors throughout their time at Cal Poly and after they graduate.

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All conference participants will have the opportunity to vote for the student project that most closely meets the criteria listed below:

Judging Criteria:

  1. Does the project address the “3 E’s of Sustainability”: Economy, Ecology, and Equity?
  2. Can the project sustain itself? In other words, what resources are used to maintain and implement the project?
  3. Are other organizations able to replicate the sustainable project?
  4. What is the scale of impact of the sustainable project?  (Campus, city, town, state, etc.)
  5. Is synergy demonstrated as a result of the project? In other words, does the project support broader goals in sustainable development?
  6. Only one winner per category will be awarded. Tie breakers will be broken at the discretion of conference management.