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Green and getting greener: It's all in the planning

By Dave Jones on February 11, 2011 in University News

UC Davis is living green and planning green.

The planning part is the focus of next week’s Plan Green Conference and Showcase, presented by Conference and Event Services. The organizers said Plan Green will provide university event planners with tools and information to plan sustainable events.

And, the more sustainable UC Davis can make its events, the more the university can live green.

The living part has to do with what the campus is already doing to be more sustainable. In fact, UC Davis has been so successful that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sending a representative to the Plan Green conference to present two awards:

• One is from the EPA’s 2010 WasteWise Game Day Challenge, in which UC Davis competed against dozens of other colleges and universities to see which of them could be the best in putting on green football games.

UC Davis ran its Game Day Challenge on Oct. 23, when 6,835 people attended the Aggie game against South Alabama. UC Davis scored first place in the diversion category — for diverting nearly 90 percent of all of the stadium waste to recycling and composting, and thus keeping it out of the landfill. Read more about UC Davis' WasteWise win.

• The EPA says the other award recognizes UC Davis’ success in getting rid of nearly 250 pounds of lead weights from car and truck wheels. Wheel weights often fall off, littering highways and roads, and the EPA says such weights — when made of lead, a toxic metal — can contaminate the environment. Which is why the EPA advocates the transition to lead-free alternatives.

Under the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities, UC Davis embarked on a project to remove and replace lead wheel weights as vehicles and equipment came in for maintenance. Read more about "Getting the Lead Out."

Fleet Services on the Davis campus expected to eliminate 80 pounds of lead weights in 2009, and exceeded that estimate by 19 pounds. In 2010, UC Davis got rid of an additional 144 pounds of lead weights — bringing the two-year total to 243 pounds.

“This recognition is for successfully following through on our commitment and meeting (actually exceeding) our projected two-year lead weight elimination-reduction goals,” said Richard E. Battersby, director of Fleet Services.

With more than 1,000 cars, trucks, trailers and other wheeled vehicles to take care of, Fleet Services expects to have all the lead weights removed — and replaced with steel weights — by the end of 2011, Battersby said.

Conference program

Tom Huetteman, an associate director in the Waste Division in the EPA’s San Francisco-based Pacific Southwest region, is scheduled to present the awards and provide an overview on new directions in the EPA’s work to advance sustainability.

He also is expected to discuss new efforts by the federal government to incorporate sustainability practices into meetings and conferences, and related efforts by the EPA to promote sustainability in the hospitality sector, and at sports and conference venues.

The conference program also includes three UC Davis speakers:

Lin King, program manager, Waste Reduction and Recycling — green washing

Andrew Larson, art director, Repro Graphics — green conference material

Danielle Lee, sustainability manager for Dining Services — green food and beverages

Other speakers: Molli Milner of Small Blue Planet Events and Consulting, and Dean R. Parker of Peppermill Spa Resort Casino.

Plan Green is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16. The conference is set to run from 8 a.m. to noon in MU II at the Memorial Union, and the showcase from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Freeborn Hall. Registration and more information. For more information, call (530) 752-4426.

Read more about Plan Green on the Sustainable 2nd Century blog.




Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,