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February Newsletter 2020

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


UH RecycleMania 2020: Recycling Events Every Week!

Each spring semester, the UH Office of Sustainability facilitates RecycleMania, a friendly recycling competition for universities to promote waste reduction to their campus communities. Along with auditing recycling information, the Office of Sustainability also holds weekly events to help fellow coogs be better recyclers, or just get started in the first place. Below is a list of all the events you can take part in this coming spring. The more events you attend, the better your chances are of winning awesome zero waste prizes!

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Sustainability in the news

University of Houston Student Center Earns Green Gold!
Last month, the University of Houston Office of Sustainability gave out the first ever Green Office Awards to campus offices that have made efforts to cut waste, reduce consumption, and generally make their offices more sustainable. Now, to kick off 2020 right, the UH Student Center has become the first ever GOLD ranked UH Green Office.

"Sustainability started as a pretty hard sell." Said Andrea Trevino, Student Center Program Manager and Sustainability Committee Chair. "But when we showed how it tied into the vision of the SC, we saw we had the opportunity to become a role model for the rest of campus."

Your Comprehensive Guide to Living Sustainably for the Spring 2020 Semester

Spring is a time of renewal. It is the season of blooming flowers and budding trees. Want to take Nature's lead? Here are all the ways this Spring you can make the campus and yourself more sustainable.

Between Saturday, February 1 and Tuesday, March 31, the University of Houston will participate in RecycleMania. The goals of this friendly competition are to encourage campus communities to reduce, reuse and recycle and to generate attention and support for recycling overall. As part of the competition, the Office of Sustainability will be hosing weekly games and events. For a full list of everything planned, visit the official UH RecycleMania Page.

Student Team Achieves Top 5 Placement in Sustainability Challenge

The students received their invitation to the summit in September and had a month to prepare for the case study competition, which tasked them to create breakthrough innovations that would address sustainability issues faced by the hotel and travel industry. The invitation-only event, hosted by Hotelschool The Hague on Nov. 18-22, brought together 16 of the world's best hospitality schools for several days of competition, learning and networking. Sponsors included Yays, an urban tourism company that specializes in concierge boutique apartments, and Smart Travel Lab, a company with a mission to turn the travel industry into a leader in sustainability.

The Global Kitchen at The Health Museum

The John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Science's exhibit The Global Kitchen, in partnership with the American Museum of Natural Science in New York, offers visitors insight into just how big a problem food insecurity actually is.

Gabriel Durham, University of Houston Sustainability Coordinator, discussed the agricultural side of food sustainability, including urban pocket gardens and regenerative agriculture, in which farmers use the microbes, bacteria and protozoa in the soil to create a healthy growing environment for plants instead of a man versus nature approach that dominates much of our agriculture. He also talked about the University of Houston Office of Sustainability's Campus Garden which has produced over 900 pounds of produce for residents of the Third Ward. Durham attributes his degrees in anthropology and interest in sustainability to his having been 'raised by hippies.'"


   Food for Thought

UH Cougar Cupboard to Fuel Student Success

College students have enough to worry about - paying for textbooks, tuition, transportation and supplies. For many, those expenses take precedence over food. Food insecurity, or the inability to afford enough nutritious food to fuel a regularly healthy lifestyle, is a growing concern on college campuses nationwide.

In an effort to address this significant barrier to student success, the University of Houston has opened the Cougar Cupboard in partnership with the Houston Food Bank's Food for Change market network. The cupboard is available to all enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who may need access to additional food.

This refugee family fled Congo. In Houston they grow organic vegetables.

Nestled on a seven acres in the historic Sunnyside neighborhood is Hope Farms, an urban agriculture project owned by Recipe for Success, a nonprofit founded in 2005 by Gracie and Bob Cavnar to combat childhood obesity through healthy food educational programs. Though today it is immediately recognizable as a farm, the journey began with an abandoned lot left vacant after the demolition of Carnegie Vanguard High School. Inaugural Farm Manager Justin Meyer took the compacted clay soil and painstakingly worked it into fertile loam in which a diverse assortment of vegetables, fruits and herbs now thrive.




UH RecycleMania 2020
Date: February 1 - March 31
Click the link for specific times and dates on all upcoming events!

UH Energy Presents "Transportation Revolution"
Date: Thursday, Feb 18
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: UH Student Center South - Houston Room 4455 University Drive Houston, TX 77204

Houston Green Film Series: "The Need to GROW"
Date: Wednesday, Feb 19 Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Rice Cinema, University Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Houston Youth Climate Summit
Date: Saturday, Feb 22
Time: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Texas Southern University 3100 Cleburne Street, Houston, Texas 77004

UH Energy Presents "Environment, Social, and Corporate Governance"
Date: Thursday, Feb 27
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: UH Hilton Hotel - Shamrock Ballroom 4450 University Drive Houston, TX 77204


Spring 2020 Habitat Work Days
Date: Every Tuesday, until May 26
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 am
Location: UHCL Environmental Institute of Houston 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, Texas 77058

Buffalo Bayou East Trail Ride & Picnic
Date: Saturday, Feb 15
Time: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location: Guadalupe Plaza Park, 2311 Runnels St, Houston, TX 77003
Volunteer Day on the Farm
Date: Saturday, Feb 15
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Finca Tres Robles 257 N Greenwood St, Houston, Texas 77011
Gardens in Starlight Open House
Date: Thursday, Feb 20
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Hermann Park Conservancy 1700 Hermann Dr, Houston, Texas 77004
Free Holistic Gardening Classes by UTHealth SPH Nourish
Date: Wednesday, Feb 26
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Location: UTHealth School of Public Health 1200 Pressler St, Houston, Texas 77030

Farmers Markets
Rice University Farmers Market
Date: Tuesdays
Time: 3:30 - 6:30 pm
Location: 5600 Greenbriar Dr. Houston, TX 77005
City Hall Farmers Market
Date: Wednesdays
Time: 11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Location: City Hall
901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Central City Co-Op Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 9:00 - 6:00 pm
Location: 2515 Waugh Dr.
Houston, TX 77006
Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market
Date: Saturdays
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: 3000 Richmond Ave. Houston, TX 77098
Memorial Villages Market
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: 10840 Beinhorn Road Houston, TX 77024
The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan's Mill
Date: Saturdays
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
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

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship
The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.

Deadline: 5 March 2020

2020 International Essay Contest for Young People
This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

Deadline: 15 June 2020

Impact on the Community Scholarship
If you've made a positive impact on your community, we'd like to hear your story. We believe there are many ways to make an impact, because even the smallest actions can make a difference. Whether that is starting a community garden, volunteering at an animal shelter, helping kids with their homework or donating supplies to a homeless shelter.

Deadline: 30 June 2020

Green Jobs


The Office of Sustainabilty is interested in what you think of the newsletter and what else, if anything, you'd like to see more of. Send your thoughts and feedback to!


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