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May 
2022
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To our graduating seniors - Congratulations!

Help us celebrate graduating seniors involved in sustainability work by following our Instagram and Facebook posts. We know they will go on to do great, green things!

ACADEMICS

EJC Recommended Courses, Plastic-Eating Enzyme Study

A pile of plastic waste.
The Campus Environmental Center's Environmental Justice Collective (EJC) has put together a list of courses based on student feedback that expose students to social justice topics and include the cultures of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color. Check out the list of recommended courses here.

An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin can break down environment-throttling plastics that typically take centuries to degrade in just a matter of hours to days. The enzyme has the potential to supercharge recycling on a large scale that would allow major industries to reduce their environmental impact by recovering and reusing plastics at the molecular level. Read more about the study here.

ENGAGEMENT

Texas Electric Vehicle Charging Plan Feedback

Hand plugging in electric vehicle charger.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is developing a comprehensive framework to enable passenger EV travel across the state and spur economic development. This network will give drivers confidence and flexibility when traveling for work, recreation, or exploration regardless of distance traveled or weather conditions. TXDOT is requesting feedback on your needs and concerns related to electric vehicle use. Send in your feedback here.

OPERATIONS

Trees to Treasure Collection

An oak diploma frame with a degree inside.
Now, you can own a piece of the Forty Acres with an artisan diploma frame. Made from wood sourced from campus, each diploma frame is a unique piece of art made through sustainable practices. The Texas Trees to Treasures Collection is a partnership between the Texas Exes and UT’s Landscape Services and Office of Sustainability. The products are handmade in Austin and vary by wood grain and texture. Learn more about these artisan diploma frames and shop here.

EMISSIONS

Texas Can Get to Net-Zero by 2050, ‘Flash Droughts’ Coming on Faster

The Texas flag along with different sources of energy, like wind and oil.
According to a report done by scientists at the Cockrell School of Engineering, Texas could eliminate its carbon pollution in less than 30 years while strengthening the economy.  Texas risks losing its economic footing unless it embraces new approaches to energy production, the report says. Read the press release here.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Texas Tech University found that although the number of flash droughts has remained stable during the past two decades, more of them are coming on faster. Globally, the flash droughts that come on the fastest — sending areas into drought conditions within just five days — have increased by about 3%-19%. Read more here.

EQUITY

John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building Grand Opening, Sustainability Venture Partners Join UT Sustainability Investment Group

Chase family members show their Longhorn pride with UT President Jay Hartzell.
Last Friday, the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) hosted the grand opening of the John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building—bringing together alumni, community members, students, faculty and staff for an evening of fellowship and celebration. View photo highlights from the Center for Community Engagement's big grand opening event here.

A team of twelve Social Venture Partners (SVP) joined students from UT's Sustainability Investment Group (SIG) to help six company founders develop impact metrics for DivInc Austin’s Spring Social Justice Innovation Accelerator. The Accelerator, which began in February, is a 12-week intensive program for early-stage companies with innovative solutions addressing inequities in society caused by institutional bias and racism. Read more here.
Graduating senior smiles in graduation ceremony regalia.

Senior Spotlights

 

We are so excited to highlight the work of graduating seniors for this month's social media posts!

Follow along to learn about the incredible sustainability work of graduating UT seniors!

Check it out here.

Trash to Treasure


Participate in the Trash to Treasure donation drive from May 11-18! 

Pick up donation bags at the front desks of participating residence halls and fill with gently used and unwanted donations. Leave your donation bags in the donation bins in the residence halls listed. Next year, Trash to Treasure will sell the donations back to the campus community for $1 through pop-up thrift sales. Sales proceeds will support the Campus Environmental Center.

Blankets, comforters, and hygiene products will be donated to local organizations that provide support for people experiencing homelessness. Food donations will be sent to the UT Outpost.

MAY EVENTS

5/3 - 11:30am - 1:00pm - Sustainability Staff Lunch. Info
5/3 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm - Accelerating the Energy Transition. Info
5/3 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm - Controversy and Conversation Virtual Film Discussion: Fruits of Labor. Info
5/6, 5/9 - 10:00am - 4:30pm - 2022 Faculty Fellows Symposium: The Humanities and the Environment. Info
5/7 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm - Controversy and Conversation: Above All Else. Info
5/11-18 - Trash to Treasure Donation Drive. Info
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The Office of Sustainability at The University of Texas at Austin collaborates to advance
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