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October Newsletter 2020

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


COVID-19 and the 2020 Transit Revolution

Over the last year, people around the world have been navigating the challenging landscape of COVID-19 precautions. Looking at the news, most of what is shown relates to the frustrations of these measures: uncomfortable masks, tricky zoom calls, social distancing, etc. However, simultaneously, there has been a silent revolution going on in Houston transit of which telecommuting is only a small part. In fact, this revolution is possibly one of the most substantial shifts towards sustainable transit Houston has ever seen. All one needs to do to begin to grasp the shifting bedrock is try to visit a local bike shop.

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Sustainability in the news

Office of Sustainability Discusses Links between Pandemics and Climate
Throughout the spring and summer, local climate action groups have not let the uncertain times curtail their efforts to keep up the fight against climate change. In fact, many groups like the Climate Action Team (CAT) at Unitarian Universalist Church see the world’s response to COVID as a kind of “pop quiz” for the coming hurdles of addressing climate change. To fully unpack the connections, they invited Gabriel Durham, UH Sustainability Coordinator, as a discussion moderator and presenter for their monthly teleconference. “If you look throughout human history, changes in the environment and climate are linked with the emergence of novel diseases.” Durham said in his opening remarks. “On top of that, our environmental quality is also a major factor in how well one can recover from disease.”

Houston Botanic Garden is Now Open!

The Houston Botanic Garden will officially open its gates to an oasis of learning, discovery, and horticultural beauty on Friday, Sept. 18, kicking off a series of opening season weekends with special educational opportunities that will showcase Houston's cultural richness and biodiversity. Come take a stroll among beautiful plants and trees as you engage your senses while discovering the unexpected in Houston's new living museum for plants. Join the Garden Sept. 18-20 to see and learn more about how Latin American cultures use a variety of plants from the region -- in cooking, crafting, and more -- that are featured in its global collection.


Cullen Boulevard Improvement Project Update

The construction schedule has a 32 month duration with an estimated completion date of May 2023. A Traffic Control Plan is in place. This will assure the safety of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic during construction. Harris County’s goal is to maintain one lane of traffic in each direction and access to Entrance 14 as much as possible. However, the County anticipates a multi-month full road closure from Wheeler to Cougar Place. Harris County and the contractor are committed to working with the University to minimize disruptions and schedule closures around university activities.

New Data Shows How Underwater Channels Facilitate Antarctic Ice Melt

Ice melt into the Amundsen Sea from Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica accounts for about four percent of the world's sea-level rise, according to researchers. Scientists want to know how soon we could expect an even higher rise in sea levels if the glacier were to collapse.



   Food for Thought

Corgar Woods Dining Open!

Cougar Woods Dining Commons is home to the all-you-care-to-eat dining commons located at the corner of Cullen Blvd and Wheeler Ave, across from the Quadrangle. Cougar Woods is proud to be a Level 1 Certified Green Restaurant®! Find out about Green Restaurant Association here. Pay with Cougar Cash, and receive a 10% discount

'I'm hungry all the time': How hunger has reached crisis level on college campuses

When Isabella Moles started the 2019-20 school year at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., her grades were rising. She was a leader in her sorority and on her campus. She had two jobs and a car. The school had found scholarship money to address her most vexing problem: food and housing costs she couldn’t afford because of rising tuition and inadequate financial aid. Then came the coronavirus.




The Health & Nature Symposium
Date: Oct 7
Location: Virtual

Low Carbon Energy Summit
Date: Oct 8
Time: All Day
Location: Virtual

Sustainability in Outdoor Learning
Date: Oct 10
Time: 10 - 11:30 am
Location: Virtual

Trivia Night; Water World
Date: Oct 14
Time: 6 - 7:00 pm
Location: Virtual

Wild About Houston Green Film Fest"
Date: Oct 21
Time: 7 - 8:30 9m
Location: Virtual


Run in the Park
Date: October 3rd
Time: Register for slot
Location: Hermann Park

Texas Pollinator BioBlitz
Date: All October
Time: All Day
Location: Mercer Botanic Gardens
Adventure: Texas Prairie Grasses
Date: Oct 4
Time: 4 - 5:30 pm
Location: Katy Prairie Conservancy
UH Community Garden Volunteering
Date: Register
Time: Register
UH Main Campus
Houston Botanic Garden Volunteer
Date: Register
Time: Register
Location: Houston Botanic Gardens

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

Citizens Environmental Coalition Internships
We are excited to welcome out interns for Fall 2020! More than a dozen new interns are joining returning interns Ashley Odstrcil, Tooba Narejo, and Hannah Guyton this fall, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish!

World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council Application 2020
The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Councilhelps develop World Oceans Day into a uniqueopportunityin Juneto connect and unitethe worldfor a healthier ocean and amore sustainable society.The primary goal is to develop youth engagement and leadership for our shared ocean that covers 71% of our planet and connects us all.

2020 AASHE 2020 Conference - Student Attendance
Any individual is welcome to apply. In an effort to increase the diversity of attendees and perspectives, priority will be given to attendees, presenters and students of color. We especially welcome applications from individuals associated with minority-serving institutions. Please use a separate application for each person applying.

Green Jobs

Apply for a Horticulture Internship with the Houston Botanic Garden


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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