Shoemaker Green


Green Fund for Green Ideas at Penn

October 16, 2017

Members of the Penn Community with ideas to improve the University’s environmental performance and reduce campus emissions can seek financial support for their ideas from Penn’s Green Fund. Since 2009, the Green Fund has helped students, faculty and staff conduct more than 50 pilot projects aimed at reducing energy consumption, reducing waste, and more. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be considered for amounts up to $30,000. Guidance from the Sustainability Office is recommended for those considering applying for a Green Fund grant – contact with Green Fund in the subject line.

A list of past Green Fund projects can be viewed on the Green Campus Partnership website. Two more projects were recently approved and are scheduled to come on line during the 2017-18 academic year:

StairWELL UPenn: Reducing Energy and Improving Health is designed to increase the use of stairs on campus. Project participants suggest that one of the reasons employees/students may not use the stairs at work/school is because they perceive them as unattractive and/or unsafe.  The project team will use Green Fund support to make physical improvements to a stairwell in the Anatomy Chemistry Building using vinyl wall graphics and motivational signage along with refreshed painting and lighting. The success of this pilot project – determined through measures of stairwell use – will determine if this project could be expanded to other campus buildings. The related sustainability goals include energy conservation through reduced use of elevators, in addition to the obvious health benefits that come with exercise. This initiative is supported by Healthy Penn, a cross-sector partnership at the University of Pennsylvania between CPHI, Human Resources, Campus Health, Penn Recreation and Penn Athletics, and the Green Campus Partnership.

Project sponsors of the Penn Closet hope to foster an economy of reuse and shared resources, as well as provide everyday essentials to students at a lower cost.  Founded on the principles of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” Penn Closet will help divert perfectly usable items from landfills while encouraging students to think differently about consumerism and waste. Penn Closet will be run through Penn Student Agencies on a model similar to Williams Cafe and Quaker Corner. Project leaders also envision Penn Closet as a space for events centering on sustainability, and a space that will facilitate learning and community around sustainability issues.

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