Green Buzz

Around 80 people attended the first Student Government Association Sustainability Forum last month, getting answers from staff members to questions they had about sustainability issues on campus.

Read about the forum and news from sustainability student groups and research projects in the November/December issue of Up With the Green and Gold (download pdf at right).

If the 4.9 million barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deep Water Horizon spill was a ecological disaster, the two million gallons of dispersant used to clean it up apparently made it even worse – 52-times more toxic. That’s according to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have been awarded three grants totaling more than $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop energy technology solutions.

The three new awards are for projects involving solar fuel generation, power generation from vortices of solar heated air and energy storage.

The average person consumes about 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving, two times the amount that an average person needs. And that’s just the start of a holiday season full of parties, dinners and get-togethers.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering with GE and Ford Motor Co. to study ways to add greater efficiencies to electric driving and charging performance.

GE recently announced its plans to purchase 2,000 new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids for its fleet. As part of the collaboration, Ford will jointly market GE’s alternative fuel infrastructure solutions to commercial customers and provide new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE’s Vehicle Innovation Center

David Young, IM 63, has spent three decades cleaning up an abandoned historic cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn. He works almost entirely alone, without help or publicity. He knows the work will outlive him—and he fears it will be what kills him. What keeps him going?

Steven Van Ginkel, a research engineer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was walking his dog along Peachtree Creek in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood when he saw abandoned tires stuck in a sandbar. While some might have seen pollution, Van Ginkel saw building materials.

You don’t have to go far to find fresh food on campus. In fact, on the southeast side of the Instructional Center lawn, a plethora of fresh produce grows from six garden beds maintained by Students Organizing for Sustainability (SOS). 

Last spring, SOS took its community garden from a nook on East Campus to the new West Campus location. In a few weeks, the group will have its inaugural fall crop. 

Go Jackets! Go Green!

Since the Game Day Recycling program began in 2008, Georgia Tech has collected 96.9 tons of material — glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and more — diverting these recyclables away from the landfill. With one game remaining in the 2012 season, organizers are hoping to reach the 100-ton mark following the Nov. 17 contest against the Duke Blue Devils.

If you are attending the game, take care to use the blue recycling bags or use the recycling containers both outside and inside the stadium. Every bottle and can counts!

The Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee, in partnership with Capital Planning and Space Management, released the campus' first Bike Suitability Map this fall. 

The map highlights paths of low, medium and high difficulty, as well as campus multi-use paths. It also provides information on Georgia bicycling laws so cyclists can obey the rules of the road. Download or view the map online (pdf).

This month, the Student Government Association's sustainability committee debuted a newsletter, Up With the Green & Gold. The monthly newsletter plans to highlight student involvement and research opportunities both on and off campus. You can read or download the October issue at right under "Related Files."

Two teams of Georgia Tech School of Architecture students were selected as the first and third prizewinners in the prominent Land Art Generator competition for public art installations in New York’s expansive Freshkills Park. “Scene-Sensor” by James Murray and Shota Vashakmadze captured first place and a handsome $15,000 prize, while “Pivot” by Vermouth (Vee) Hu and Ben Smith (currently a graduate student at Yale University) finished third.

Though Monday will begin five days of celebration for the use of two-wheeled transportation on campus, you need not own a bicycle to enjoy the offerings of Bike Week.

The Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee (BIIC) crafted events with both current and potential cyclists in mind throughout the week of Oct. 22-26. Additional information for all events can be found at bike.gatech.edu.

All Week

Earth Day is celebrated on campus each April, but planning starts long before the campus foliage springs to life. Learn how you can help plan the 2013 Earth Day celebration and what else is going on with campus recycling in this month's Reycling Buzz. 

Read or download the September issue (pdf).

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joined Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson in announcing several citywide cycling initiatives. Among them was Cycle Atlanta, a Georgia Tech-developed iPhone application that tracks cycling routes and is designed to help the city with future cycling decisions.  

Just as Brain Quest can be highly engaging for students learning science, and Scrabble can be a fun way to sharpen teenagers’ vocabulary skills, Terminus — a game created by three Tech graduate students — can teach high schoolers all about transportation planning.

Wanted by Airbus: students who are passionate about the environment, have ideas for a greener aviation industry and want to pitch those ideas to a global aerospace company. 

Those who appreciate the shade of Tech’s tree canopy amidst the Atlanta skyline have an opportunity to advocate for these plush oxygen sources with the Campus Tree Advisory Committee. The committee, comprised of members representing the diverse audience of those with a stake in Georgia Tech’s campus trees, is now seeking student members.

Georgia Tech loves tradition; among its newest traditions is being named to The Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll, an honor the Institute just earned for the fifth consecutive year when it was named to the 2013 list.

In its sixth annual assessment, SIERRA magazine named Georgia Tech among the nation’s “Coolest Schools,” a salute to U.S. colleges that are helping solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably.

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