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May Newsletter 2019

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

Sustainability Fest Celebrates 6th Year

Over 300 guests attended the 2019 UH Sustainability Fest, held by the Office of Sustainability on Tuesday, April 16th, in Butler Plaza.

Celebrating its 6th year, guests engaged with over 30 vendors and partners on topics representing the full spectrum of sustainability from across the state of Texas. Attendees could watch live bees making honey in a glass hive, learn about Texas Central's quest for America's first bullet train, and hear the City of Houston's climate action plan, just to name a few of S. Fest's activities. Themed zones of the event included energy, wellness, inclusion, the natural environment, and transportation to represent the systemic nature of university sustainability practices.

"It was a really great turn out!" said representatives from the City of Houston's Sustainability Office. "Really great to see so much energy at the event."

"I take notes, and it just keeps getting better every year!" Said one of the presenter's from NASA.

Sustainability in the news

A Sustainable Entry: Five UH Students Created an Art Car to Promote Sustainability

None of the students had ever been to the Houston Art Car Parade, but as it turned out, that wasn’t a problem. “I thought, ‘this is my thing,’” said Tygene Fox, who will graduate next month with an art degree. “I haven’t designed a car, but I’d like to.”

And so he and four other students set to work, chosen to design and build an art car as part of a project sponsored by CenterPoint Energy and organized by UH Energy. The team included students from the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts.

Help Houston-Galveston Area Council Improve their Report Card

Have you heard of the Houston-Galveston Area Council report card? Do you think report cards are effective in general? Help H-GAC, and the UH School of Policy know your thoughts by participating in the linked survey above! YOu can win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Fulbright Scholar's experience will enrich smart buildings research
Soumaya El Barrak, a doctoral student from the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi, National School of Applied Sciences of Tangier (ENSA-Tanger) in Morocco, is visiting the University of Houston College of Technology as a Fulbright Scholar. Her major field of study is telecommunications and networking engineering. The 12-month Fulbright program will allow her to deepen her knowledge in cognitive radio sensor networks for smart buildings. Her research project in the College of Technology focuses software-defined radio (SDR) and the collection of heterogeneous sensor data that will be used to determine how to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

TSoumaya's mentor is Dr. Driss Benhaddou, associate professor, computer engineering technology, computational health informatics, and network communications. They met during the US/Morocco Workshop on Sensors and Wireless Networks for Smart Cities in January 2016 and again in Rabat-Morocco during the International Conference on Smart Digital Environment (ICSDE'17). Benhaddou served as the principal investigator and organizing committee chair for the conference workshops.

Why You Should Start a Pocket Prairie in Your Yard
Summer is just around the corner, and the fear of having your perfectly trimmed lawn turn as yellow as an abandoned wheat field under Texas's scorching heat is likely looming overhead. But with lawn maintenance contributing to groundwater pollution, adding to the infernal din of leaf blowers on our city streets, and perhaps offering its own perils-hundreds of thousands of Americans are injured by lawn mowers each year-isn't it time to start thinking about your lawn in a new way?

Gabriel Durham, a sustainability coordinator at the University of Houston, certainly thinks so. Durham believes that prairie grass is the key to maintaining a more cost-efficient yard while also contributing positively to our flood-prone environment. But before you picture all our high-end neighborhoods and suburbs looking like wild grasslands, consider the benefits.

   Food for Thought

New Healthier Vending Options Now at UH

Choosing a healthier snack from a campus vending machine just became a lot easier for University of Houston students, faculty and staff.

In addition to the usual fare, all snack machines will now contain Canteen's Choice Plus product line of "better-for-you" items, which will make it easier to know which snacks are better ones to choose.

According to Stein, the effort is really about "making the healthier choice the easier choice."

UH Dining Launches One Million Acts of Good Campaign

University of Houston Dining Services has partnered with Chartwells Higher Education, MATTER and General Mills Foodservice to engage students at UH and 99 other campuses and provide healthy snacks and nutrition education to fight food insecurity.

The Cheerios One Million Acts of Good campaign calls on people to spread kindness and fill the world with good.

Chartwells Higher Education, together with MATTER, a Minnesota-based global nonprofit with a mission to move people forward by giving them a chance at a healthier life, and General Mills are encouraging students to improve the health of their communities with a turnkey process that promotes volunteerism.



Houston Climate Action Plan Community Meeting
Date: Wednesday, May 8th
Time: 6:00 pm to 08:00 pm
Location: Metropolitan Multi Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston, TX 77019
Houston Climate Action Plan Presentation by Lara Cottingham
Date: Thursday, May 9th
Time: 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Location: St. Stephen's Pecore Hall, 1805 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

2nd Saturdays Monthly Meeting & Vegan Potluck
Date: Saturday, May 11th
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Houston Community College Conference Center, 3100 Main St, 3rd Floor, Houston, TX 77002

Woodlands Vegan Meetup
Date: Saturday, May 18th
Time: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Location: Flower Child, 1900 Lake Woodlands Dr Suite 100, The Woodlands, TX

Kinder Institute Forum: Maurice Cox
Date: Wednesday, May 22nd
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet Street


Terry Hershey 5K Parkrun
Date: Saturdays
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Terry Hershey Park, 989 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77077

Wednesday Wellness Walk with Urban Paths
Date: First Wednesday of every month, until Dec 4
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: 105 Sabine St, Houston, Texas 77007
Art on Wheels
Date: Saturday, May 11th
Time: 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Location: 105 Sabine St, Houston, TX 77007-8322, United States
Spring 2019 Habitat Work Day
Date: Tuesdays, until May 28th
Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Location: 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, Texas 77058
Bike to Market Day!
Date: Tuesday, May 7th
Time: 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Location: 5600 Greenbriar Drive, Houston, Texas 77005

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

Energy and Sustainability Scholarship

The Energy and Sustainability Scholarship application is open to students at the University of Houston who are completing a minor in Energy and Sustainability.

AASHE Sustainability Awards
The AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement. With the help of volunteer judges from the community, the awards program raises the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects, pioneering research, and student leadership, helping to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward environmental, social and economic health.

9th Annual Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy
So, you know you want to change the world. You know the issues. You have an idea of what needs to change. But what's your plan? How do you move a mountain? Well, for starters, you have to get your hands dirty, and that's exactly what we're doing this year. Find out more about our 2019 program.

Green Jobs

sustainability logo

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