news-iconLocal News: Green Energy Fee Grant Program (GEF)

Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to the Green Energy Fee Grant Program.

Bellingham firm builds bike-repair kiosk as gift to public

July 26, 2015 |
Bellingham Herald
A-1 Builders in Bellingham has been a bicycle-friendly company for years. A decade ago, to mark the company’s 50th anniversary, A-1 built a large covered space for bicycle parking at the downtown Community Food Co-op store. Now, for its 60th anniversary, A-1 has built a covered community kiosk with a public bicycle repair station by the sidewalk outside its offices at 3310 Northwest Ave. Rick Dubrow, company president and an avid biker, said Bellingham and other communities would benefit from more bike-repair stations. “Our hope is that this is the first of many,” he said.

At first, the folks at A-1 were thinking about installing just a kiosk for community notices. Then, last September, Patrick Martin, a production manager at A-1, took his daughter to The Evergreen State College in Olympia and saw a sturdy bicycle pump and repair station installed outdoors by some dormitories. He thought back to the idea of a kiosk, and realized a pump and repair station could fit inside. “I thought we should put the two together,” said Martin, who did much of the design work for the station. A 12-by-12-foot concrete slab forms the base. Look closely and you’ll see the slab is decorated with old bicycle parts — gears, tire rims, lengths of bicycle chain — embedded in the concrete, along with leaf plants that resemble fossils.

Pedaling for a purpose

April 6, 2015 |
The Western Front
The second floor of the Wade King Student Recreation Center is a place that’s all about expending energy. But Sean Petersmark, junior and business and sustainability major, recognized the cardio area also has massive potential for energy generation. This spring, Petersmark and two other classmates are competing for the $300,000 set aside each year to fund sustainability projects on campus through Western’s Green Energy Fee Grant Program. This would be enough to fund new cardio machines capable of producing enough energy to sustain themselves. “I looked around [the rec center] and saw that it was a lot of people working out on all of these machines and it’s cardio heaven up there,” Petersmark said. “I just thought to myself, ‘that’s a lot of energy being used and a lot of kinetic energy not being harnessed.’”

Petersmark, along with sophomore Kate Thompson and senior Drew Swisher, now have a power-generating elliptical machine on loan from Bellingham Fitness Gear and Training that students are free to try in the rec center. The monitors of the Technogym brand machines Petersmark and his teammates rented display the power someone generates in terms of how many electrical appliances their workout could have powered. For example, the number of watts produced as someone exercises would be measured in number of lightbulbs that could be illuminated. The team is pushing for four new bikes if they receive the grant: two standard bikes and two reclining bikes.

Check In With The Environmental And Sustainability Programs

January 20, 2015 |
The AS Review
With a new quarter underway, the Associated Students Environmental and Sustainability Programs are preparing a series of events for this winter to raise awareness of problems facing the environment and to encourage students to learn ways in which they can become engaged in environmental activism. ESP Director Sadie Normoyle emphasized an interest in exploring the intersection between social and environmental issues. To this effect, the office is collaborating with other groups on campus, including the Ethnic Student Center and the Social Issues Resource Center.

“Later in the quarter we’re planning to do an indigenous resistance event,” Normoyle said. “Our vision [for 2015] is a continuation of what we worked on since we started our jobs...being more inclusive in our programming and in who we reach out to.” On Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. Dhar Jamail, a journalist known for his coverage of the Iraq War, will speak in Commucations Facilities 110 on the issue of climate disruption. His talk, “Are We Off the Climate Precipice?” will focus on the science of climate disruption and mass extinctions that are currently in progress.

Western's green energy fee works to make campus sustainable

November 13, 2014 |
The Western Front
Western's Green Energy Grant Program, which allows students and faculty to design and implement their own green projects, is starting the first wave of idea pitches. The $7-per-student green energy fee funds projects such as water bottle refill stations, LED lighting for concert halls and parking lots to encourage energy sustainability on campus. GEF provides small and large grants from their annual budget of about $300,000, according to the GEF website. The GEF also subsidizes clean energy, GEF Education Coordinator Colin Ridgley said. “We’re funding enough clean energy to match the amount of energy that Western uses on campus,” Ridgley said. “That’s why the fee was created.”

The GEF was implemented in 2005 to encourage clean energy and amended in 2010 to fund the grant program. Alyssa MacDonald, the GEF outreach coordinator, said the projects must involve sustainability, reduce energy consumption or the university’s environmental impact and engage the campus community. “We fund small and large grant projects,” MacDonald said. “A small project is anything from $500 to $5,000. Anything above $5,000 up to $250,000 is considered a large grant.” The process begins when a student or faculty member has a project idea. Then, they build a team with a couple of other students and an advisor. Their project is then submitted to a committee for approval.

Sustainability wall opens in Wilson Library

June 5, 2014 |
Western Today
The sustainability wall is now open in Wilson Library at Western Washington University.

A collaborative project of Western Libraries, the Office of Sustainability and the AS Environmental Center, this wall provides Western with a central and public location where the campus community can find out about environmental and sustainability events. The wall is located near the north entrance to the Wilson Library between Zoe’s bagels and the Tutoring Center.

Expo highlights teams' Green Energy Fee projects

May 23, 2014 |
Western Today
The Green Energy Fee Grant Program at Western Washington University held its second annual expo May 14 in the Miller Hall Collaborative Space on campus. The event highlighted 10 teams that have been working hard to formulate new and innovative sustainability projects for campus.

The applicant teams that presented at the expo have been actively researching or implementing a wide variety of campus projects. More than 70 students, faculty and staff attended the expo.

Pilot project provides students with sustainable, energy-efficient room

May 8, 2014 |
Western Today
A residence in Buchanan Towers is showcasing modern sustainability practices demonstrating ways to cut energy and water consumption in one’s daily living.

In the winter of 2012, two Campus Sustainability Planning Studio students wrote a report on how to include energy saving technologies and practices into Western’s residence halls in efforts to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In the Spring of 2013 two students used information from that report and then applied for, and were awarded a Green Energy Fee Grant to modify a Buchanan Towers room, into the Sustainable Energy Efficiency Dorm Pilot room.

Students live in efficient resident hall

April 22, 2014 |
The Western Front
In honor of Earth Day, two Western students tabled Saturday, April 19, showing off their eco-friendly resident hall.

Western’s first Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm (SEED) monitors energy consumption and water use as part of a pilot project funded by the Green Energy Fee Grant Program. The results from this project could influence sustainable choices in other residence halls.

The human aspect of sustainability

February 26, 2014 |
Western Today
We at the Western Libraries are guided by our mission: “Western Libraries connects—people to people, people to place, and people to learning.”

One of the many ways in which we make such connections is through collaborating with students, staff and faculty to create educational proposals that have meaningful impacts. As such, Western Libraries has participated in several Green Energy Fee Grant Program-sponsored projects, including one during winter quarter that emphasizes the importance of social equity as an integral component of sustainability. The GEF Grant Program supports projects that are designed to increase student involvement and education, reduce the university's environmental impact and create an aware and engaged campus community.

It's getting hot in here: Solar power to heat pool

November 5, 2013 |
The Western Front
Starting next spring, sunlight will heat the water in the Wade King Student Recreation Center pool. Thanks to the Green Energy Fee Grant Program, solar water heaters will be installed on the roof of the recreation center, said Stephen Harvey, Western Washington University student and project lead.

The Green Energy Fee Grant Program awarded a group of students $219,511 to pay for the project. Western students Harvey, Brian Maskal and Nina Olivier proposed the project to decrease carbon dioxide emissions and increase awareness of solar thermal energy at Western.

Students provide $340K to make campus greener

October 16, 2013 |
Western Today
Looking to make the Western Washington University campus more green, sustainable and energy efficient? Students, faculty and staff are invited to submit proposals for the 2013-14 Green Energy Fee Grant Program. The campus community can apply for a small grant of $500 to $2,000 or a large grant of $2,000 to $300,000.

This year, there are four opportunities to submit a small grant application, with the first proposal due on Oct. 23. Up to $40,000 in small grants will be awarded in the 2013-14 academic year.

Student pilot program reduces on-campus waste

October 11, 2013 |
The Western Front
Each time a student enjoys a latte, tea or other hot beverage on campus, they are confronted with a choice: to use a single-use disposable cup or a reusable mug.

A student–designed pilot program, Project MUG, aims to prevent waste generated by single-use cups by offering reusable mugs to students who purchase coffee and other hot beverages on campus.

Grants to go to Western students for 'green' projects

October 4, 2013 |
The Western Front
Starting in November, Western Washington University will award $340,000 in grants for student projects that aim to lessen the school's carbon footprint, an effort that has involved many students and has already saved the school thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity.

The grants, funded by the student-initiated Green Energy Fee, have been used in the past for projects such as the solar array installed on the Environmental Studies building. The array has saved more than 8,300-kilowatt hours over the last 14 months, said Regan Clover, program coordinator for the Green Energy Fee Grant.

Green Energy Fee grant will fund solar energy to heat the pool at Wade King

July 25, 2013 |
Western Today
The Green Energy Fund Committee in June awarded a three-member student team $219,511 for the installation of solar thermal collectors to heat the pool at the Wade King Student Recreation Center.

The project will decrease Western's carbon emissions and will serve as a learning model and awareness tool for solar thermal energy. Installation is scheduled to take place in the spring and summer of 2014.

Green Energy Fee awards expo to be held May 30

May 29, 2013 |
Western Today
The Green Energy Fee Awards Expo will take place at 4-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 at Western Washington University's Academic West Sky Bridge.

The event is free, open to the public and light refreshments will be served. Western's President Bruce Shepard will introduce the eight project teams who were awarded over $225,000 in grant funding, and the teams will speak about their projects.

Green Energy Fee Brings Eight New Projects

May 6, 2013 |
AS Review
Each year, the student body pays the Green Energy Fee, which is used to fund the Green Energy Fee Grant Program. These grants are allocated to teams of students, staff and faculty who have created a conceptual proposal to promote sustainable learning and practices on campus.

The Green Energy Fee Committee, also composed of students, staff and faculty, is in charge of selecting which teams are awarded the grant money, and this year they have selected three large-scale projects and three smallscale projects.

Green fee funds pilot programs

April 30, 2013 |
The Western Front
Western Washington University's Green Energy Fee Committee announced funding for eight campus projects using the Green Energy Fee Grant Program April 22.

The committee selected the eight proposals based on how well they fit the mission of the Green Energy Fee, said Katie Savinski, chair of the committee and AS vice president for student life.

WWU's Green-Energy Fee Grant Program To Fund Eight Campus Projects

April 22, 2013 |
Western Today
The Western Washington University Green Energy Fee Committee announced that it will fund eight campus projects.

Three large projects, which range in funding from $9,000-$185,000, represent the second round of funding allocated to student, staff and faculty teams.

Your small project idea may get Green Energy Fee funding

February 6, 2013 |
Western Today
The Green Energy Fee Grant Program at Western Washington University is requesting proposals for small projects.

Supported by a quarterly fee paid by all Western students, the program exists to promote experiential learning opportunities and sustainable practices at the university. This is done through funding of innovative, student-driven projects. Past large projects include the installation of solar panels on the Environmental Studies Building; the installation of water bottle refill stations at Old Main, Arntzen Hall, and the Rec Center; and the installation of LED lighting in the C West Parking Lots on campus.

Initiative ignition

May 14, 2012 |
The AS Review
During this year's election, students not only voted for the new Associated Students Board of Directors, they voted on initiatives. While initiatives are usually sparse or non-existent on Western ballots, there were three this year. The Water Bottle, Print Quota, and Transparency (Higher One) initiatives overwhelming passed in the student vote, but Western is not yet ready for their full implementation.

Letter to the editor: supporting the Water Bottle Initiative

May 14, 2012 |
The AS Review
Recently there was an initiative in the Associated Students Elections addressing the sale of bottled water on campus. As the results have not yet been released, I am unsure of whether it has passed or not. [Editor's note: The Water Bottle Initiative passed with a 73 percent vote.] However, this letter is to advocate for a ban of selling bottled water on campus.

Solar panels installed atop Environmental Studies

March 30, 2012 |
Western Today
A student-funded solar array is being installed atop the Environmental Studies Building at Western Washington University.

The $167,500 project, funded by the student Green Energy Fee and proposed by a team led by Matthew Moroney, is being installed on the building's south-facing roof. The 5-kilowatt array will be visible from the Academic Instructional Center skybridge, where students can view info station on the project and an interactive display of the array's power output. The solar array is one of four projects being installed this year by the Green Energy Fee Grant Program.

Solar panels installed on Environmental Studies

March 30, 2012 |
The Western Front
Western is adding 24 solar panels to the top of the Environmental Studies building. The project is being funded by the Green Fee Grant Program and has a total cost of $167,500.

Preparations for the panels began in December and the first of the panels was installed over spring break, said Kathryn Freeman, Green Energy Fee Grant Program coordinator. Work on the roof is expected to continue into early April, according to an online statement released last year by the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget. Dave Willett, manager of architectural and engineering services at Western, said the panels are expected to be operational in mid-April.

Dreaming in green

March 27, 2012 |
The AS Review
The hand dryers in Miller Hall, the water bottle refilling stations in Arntzen Hall and the paper towel composting in Haggard Hall are all products of the Associated Students Green Energy Fee program.

These environmentally friendly additions to Western's campus came from student-written proposals submitted during the 2011-2012 school.

This year, there are workshops for Western students, faculty and staff to assist in proposal planning and writing for this year's AS Green Energy Fee Grant program.

Funding Opportunities in Sustainability

March 9, 2012 |
Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
Western Washington University strives to be a national leader in campus sustainability. In 2011 the Sierra Club placed Western Washington as 14th in their fifth annual rankings of the ‚Coolest Schools? in the nation based on efforts toward solving climate issues and sustainable operation. Western is the first school to have a student-imposed green energy fee which funds various projects around campus, the first being the new water bottle filling stations. The Office of Sustainability website has more information on Western's accomplishments and ongoing sustainability efforts.

Funding for projects focused on sustainability or environmental protection can come from a wide variety of sources including Federal and State agencies and private agencies as well.

New hand dryers part of Green Energy Fee program

February 21, 2012 |
Western Today
Western Washington University's Green Energy Fee Program completed another project Feb. 17 when Facilities Management completed the installation of four high-speed Dyson Airblade hand dryers in the basement restrooms in Arntzen Hall.

The brainchild of Western sophomore Mike Gore, junior Bodie Cabiyo and senior Jordan Murphy, the project developed from an assignment in the students' campus sustainability planning class.

Green Energy Fee pays for alternative to paper towels

February 17, 2012 |
The Western Front
The bathrooms on the basement level of Arntzen Hall now have Dyson Airblade hand dryers.

In an effort to become a more environmentally friendly campus, Western will install four Dyson hand dryers, two in each restroom, funded by the Green Energy Fee Program on Friday, Feb. 17. The dryers blow two walls of air on inserted hands at 400 mph. Users pull their hands through the walls of air to create an invisible wiping effect, according to Dyson's website.

Green Energy Fee Program completes first project

January 10, 2012 |
Western Today
With the completion of three water bottle refilling stations -- one on the second floor of Old Main, one on the first floor of Arntzen Hall and one in the Wade King Student Recreation Center -- Western Washington University's Green Energy Fee Grant Program has completed the first of a number of projects initiated by the fledgling program.

Created in 2010, the Green Energy Fee Grant Program puts to use student dollars collected in the quarterly Green Energy Fee and designated to the grant program. This year, that's some $300,000, said Kathryn Freeman, Green Energy Fee Grant Program Coordinator.

Library bathrooms gain bins to lose waste

January 6, 2012 |
The Western Front
Students using Haggard Hall bathrooms can now compost paper towels. The new compost bins are a part of a six-month pilot program to reduce Western's solid waste.

Haggard Hall ranks first on Western's most frequently used bathrooms list, winning it the compost bin selection. The building's restrooms average more than 1,000 uses per day, said Kathryn Freeman, Green Energy Grant program coordinator. The pilot project was awarded a grant for $1,400.

The Green Energy Fee program, which all full-time Western students pay for as part of their fees and tuition, is funding the project. The fee charges students 70 cents per credit, up to $7 per quarter.

Project to compost paper towels in Haggard Hall starts now

January 3, 2012 |
Western Today
As part of the Green Energy Fee Program from the Office of Sustainability at Western Washington University, a six-month pilot project to compost paper towels used in the first and second floors of Haggard Hall begins winter quarter.

The main goal of the project is to reduce the use and subsequent waste of paper towels on campus. Composting can play a significant role in that by decreasing the amount of waste that the Western campus sends to landfills. According to the Associated Students Recycle Center, which conducts regular audits of campus trash and recycling, 72 percent of Western's waste is already recycled, and the majority of the remaining portion is compostable.

UISG proposes voluntary 'green' fee

December 8, 2011 |
The Daily Iowan
University of Iowa students might soon be able to opt into a "green" fee to fund sustainability efforts on campus.

Seth Vidana, campus sustainability manager for Western Washington University, said students pay approximately 70 cents per credit hour, amounting to roughly $7 a student for the mandatory green fee.

"We're able to get small pilot projects on the ground when funds are tight," Vidana said, and the fee has allowed officials to fund a $157,000 solar ray, water-bottle refilling stations, hand dryers, and a paper towel composting pilot.

The dirt on the Green Fee projects

November 7, 2011 |
The AS Review
Western is about to get a whole lot greener – eventually. Last year, $263,000 from the Green Energy Fee was awarded to five student-designed projects. Western's Green Energy Fee provides money for student-created projects that promote experiential learning opportunities and sustainable practices on campus, according to an email from Associated Students Vice President for Student Life Sara Richards.

These projects were chosen on how well they exemplified the Green Energy Fee Program mission statement, which includes increasing student involvement and education, reducing Western's environmental impact and creating an aware and engaged campus community, according to the Green Energy Fee website.

Green fee funds bottle refilling stations

September 30, 2011 |
The Western Front
As the result of a student-led effort to discourage bottled water purchases, three water-bottle refilling stations will be installed on campus this November.

The refilling stations, which will have both a drinking fountain and a small shelf behind it to fill water bottles, will be located at the Wade King Student Recreation Center, on the first floor of Arntzen Hall and on the second floor of Old Main.

The idea for the refilling stations was part of a project by students from an environmental studies class, Campus Sustainability Planning Studio, and was brought to the Green Energy Fee committee as a project proposal called "Think Outside the Bottle." The committee gave the project was $21,000 last spring.

When Green is Gold

May 31, 2011 |
The AS Review
A total of $263,900 out of the Green Energy Fee has been awarded to five student-planned projects, which range from installing solar panels on the Environmental Studies Building to replacing plastic garbage bags in Wilson Library with compostable ones.

Each year, students pay $21 toward the fee, the majority of which is used to fund the grant projects, according to a press release about the Green Energy Fee awards. The leftover money, between $60,000 and $80,000, goes toward paying for renewable energy credits which are purchased to offset Western's environmental impact.

LED lights in parking lots, solar panels among projects to get funding from AS Green Energy Fee

May 11, 2011 |
Western Today
The Associated Students at Western Washington University has announced the projects slated to receive funding from Green Energy Fee grant program, according to a press release from the AS. The money comes from a fee the student body voted to impose on itself; Western's was the first student body in the nation to self-impose this kind of fee.

Students compete for $300,000 in Green Fee money: Green Energy Fee program funding will be given to the best student submissions

May 3, 2011 |
The Western Front
Seven groups of Western students have presented their proposals for projects funded by the Green Energy Fee Program. Jamin Agosti, vice president for Student Life and chair of the committee that will decide who receives funding, said the $300,000 will be given to whatever project or projects seem like the best fit and most feasible for Western.

Your eco-friendly idea could be funded by the WWU green energy fee

February 1, 2011 |
Western Today
The Associated Students Green Energy Fee grant program is now accepting proposals for new eco-friendly projects to better Western's. Over $250,000 will be available to Western students, faculty and staff to fund innovative, student-driven environmental solutions on Western's campus.

Time to put the Green Fee money to use

January 31, 2011 |
The AS Review
The name may sound strange at first, but an anaerobic digester is not a contraption straight out of science fiction. In fact, it is a machine that would use the waste and scrap food generated by Western's three dining hall locations and turn it into methane gas to help power the university or create organic compost for Western's landscaping.

It sounds ambitious, but with the help of Western's Green Energy Fee, this idea and many others could become a reality.

Green Energy Fee Committee seeks sustainable ideas

January 21, 2011 |
The Western Front
Beginning Friday Jan. 21, students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to take action and put the Green Energy Fee to use.

Energy fee to increase less than expected

May 17, 2010 |
The Western Front
Eighty percent of Western students approved an increase of the current $4 Renewable Energy Fee to a possible $9 fee known as the Green Fee. However, the Associated Students Board of Directors may only increase the fee to $7.

WWU Students Re-Approve 'Green Fee' to Keep University Powered by Renewable-Energy Sources

May 10, 2010 |
University Communcations
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University students have voted overwhelmingly to approve a new, expanded "green fee" which will continue to finance WWU's purchase of renewable-energy certificates and keep the university running on sustainable sources of energy.