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USU Awards Over $4,000 for Sustainability Projects

This funding cycle, the Utah State University (USU) Carbon Offset Program awarded $4,000.00 for projects addressing air quality, matched by $28,000 in-kind. Projects will range from artwork to installing solar panels on a greenhouse.

The Carbon Offset Fund is a program which has been made possible by USU employees and students who check a $10 contribution box on travel reimbursement forms. The fund is dedicated to reduce carbon emissions locally rather than purchase ‘carbon credits’ from a distant location. Given the air quality problems in Cache Valley, USU's Sustainability Council is working towards lowering emissions right at home.

So far the fund has raised about $6000. The first project helped USU Landscape and Operations Maintenance purchase the university’s first electronic fuel injection (EFI) riding mower. EFI is the use of electronic controls to regulate the flow of fuel in a combustion engine. EFI benefits include 25% fuel consumption savings when compared to carburetor engines and 50% CO2 reduction compared to similar propane engines.

The Sustainability Council created a new process for future allocation of the fund’s resources, under the guidance of council president Jordy Guth. Last spring, the Northern Utah Clear the Air, a group of local citizens and USU employees and students, teamed with the USU Sustainability Council to launch the first annual Clear the Air Contest. This process solicited ideas from the USU community for research and project based solutions to improve local air quality. The USU Sustainability Council combined this initiative with the Carbon Offset Program in the fall of 2013 as a new “Clear the Air Carbon Offset” grant program.

See the full news story about the most current grant recipients, written by Kevin Opsahl at The Herald Journal, here