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August Newsletter 2018

The Sustainable Coog: Your monthly source for green strides with red pride

PolarPanal - Solar-powered Refrigeration and the "Cold Chain"

Solar-powered refrigeration has been a winner at business plan competitions across the country, driven by a team from the University of Houston, the team created a business plan to commercialize a technology developed by NASA.

PolarPanel is a renewable energy startup that's using the NASA developed technology to transform the cold chain, or the system of production, storage and transportation of goods that must be kept refrigerated. The PolarPanel business plan targets refrigerated railcars and retrofits them with solar panels to avoid the need for diesel fuel and the resulting harmful emissions.

The PolarPanel team competed in nine competitions, winning five and taking home more than $45,000 in cash prizes, money that they will use to fund building the third-generation prototype and testing. The business plan project is part of the curriculum at the nationally ranked Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the C.T. Bauer College of Business and pairs teams of students with technologies that may be ripe for commercialization.

Sustainability in the news

Video: Understanding Prairie Ecology: Field Studies at the UH Coastal Center
Vitamins and minerals aren't just important for human health, but also play a role in maintaining prairie ecosystems. A University of Houston researcher is working on a large-scale experiment that examines the role of micronutrients in prairie herbivore populations, which include insects such as grasshoppers and aphids.

UH Law Center launches new post-Harvey relief program
The University of Houston Law Center received a $205,000 grant from the Greater Houston Community Foundation on July 12 that will allow the law center to launch its Hurricane Consumer Assistance Program. This program will provide assistance to people who were affected by Hurricane Harvey and have legal issues related to the hurricane and its damages, including landlord/tenant disputes and contractor problems.

What's in the Air? We Need a Comprehensive Approach to Managing Pollution
When a waterway is deemed too heavily polluted, there is a federal protocol that state and local authorities can follow to measure pollutants, evaluate and enforce cleanup of the waterway. When air becomes too heavily polluted in an environmental "hotspot," there is no similar mechanism. And people living in these hotspots too often pay the price.

Grant Provides Cullen Performance Hall with Recycling Bins
Scattered strategically throughout the historic Cullen Performance Hall are 15 newly installed blue recycling bins, courtesy of a 2017 Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Recycling Grant. UH is one of numerous universities and organizations across the United States who were selected to receive bins through the grant.

   Food for Thought

United Health Foundation, UH Expand Obesity and Diabetes Program

Midway through a three-year, $2 million grant from the United Health Foundation, University of Houston's Project TOUCH (Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities) has impressive numbers to report. Based on its success in Houston's Third Ward, the effort for preventing and treating obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other ailments will move into Houston's East End in the fall.

Four of the world's largest food companies have a new plan for fixing food and farm policy

A year after America's powerful food lobby began to implode, four of the world's largest food companies are launching an association of their own. The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, unveiled Thursday by the U.S. divisions of Danone, Mars, Nestle and Unilever, says it will fight for progressive food policies - from conservation programs to prominent nutrition labels - that have long been eschewed by major food-makers.



Orientation for New McGovern Centennial Gardens Volunteers
Date: Wednesday, August 15
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Hermann Park
UH BYOBottle Social Media Competition (Win Prizes!)
Date: Aug. 20 thru 31
Time: All day
Location: University of Houston

Sustainability at Rice University
Date: Sunday, Aug. 26
Time: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church

Sustainability Meetup: Soil Biology and Conservation
Date: Thursday, Sept. 6
Time: 3 p.m - 4 p.m.
Location:Student Center South Room 565

Energy Career Fair
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 12
Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Student Center South, Houston Room


Bayou City Adventures Surfing Class
Date: Saturday, Aug. 11
Time: All Day

Location: 310 Ocean Village Dr.
Surfside Beach, Texas 77541
Turtle Patrol
Date: Friday, Aug. 17
Time: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Galveston Island State Park
Docent Naturalist Open House
Date: Thursday, Aug 23
Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Location: Houston Arboretum
Outdoor Tai Chi
Date: Saturdays in August
Time: 10 a.m to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Fleming Park
1901 Sunset Blvd, Houston, TX 77005
The Legend of Drums-Drumming the Sky and Earth
Date: Friday, Aug. 31
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Miller Outdoor Theatre

Farmers Markets
Rice University Farmers Market
Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Location: 5600 Greenbriar Dr.
Houston, TX 77005
City Hall Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m.
Location: City Hall
901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Central City Co-Op Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 2515 Waugh Dr.
Houston, TX 77006
Urban Harvest Eastside Farmers Market
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: 3000 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77098
Memorial Villages Market
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Location: 10840 Beinhorn Road
Houston, TX 77024
The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan's Mill
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: 7 Switchbud Pl.
The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information on ongoing Farmers Markets or new, upcoming ones, check out the sites below:

Campus Community Garden

Learn more about our Campus Community Garden and our mission. Email us to schedule a time to volunteer.
Like us on Facebook for weekly garden updates!

Scholarships & Opportunities

Development Studies in Latin America: An Interdisciplinary Program
Jointly with Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, ICDS offers the opportunity to build your own semester according to your interests. This program will help you acquire in-depth knowledge on sustainable development through a variety of courses on sustainability, the environment, and human rights. The program includes a service-learning core course with two weekly sessions of community work, as well as a trip to a neighboring country for contrast purposes.

Call for abstracts Caribbean Energy Policy, Society, and Law
This conference offers a unique opportunity for academics, researchers, industry executives, regulators, members of civil society groups, and students to gather and reflect on the past, present, and future of energy production use in the Caribbean context. Participants will share their knowledge, experience, and research findings through a series of panel presentations, and two keynote speeches will be presented.

Green Jobs

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