Monthly archives: February, 2015

UIC Heritage Garden Summer 2015 Internship Application

The UIC Heritage Garden Student Group is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Summer 2015 paid internship program with the UIC Heritage Garden!

The UIC Heritage Garden provides educational spaces on campus that relate diversity to quality of life issues that benefit both people and nature.

The satellite gardens use an integrated approach that links environmental and social concerns to promote social change. The overarching goal of the UIC Heritage Garden is to provide an experiential learning space where students in collaboration with faculty, staff, and community members can engage in hands-on horticultural activities while expanding their knowledge of sustainable practices that include culturally diverse and environmentally friendly traditions and values.

The internship will be from May 18 – August 14, 2015 with a one week break from June 29 – July 3rd. Summer interns will be expected to work 20 hours a week, from 9am-1pm, Monday through Friday. Interns receive a stipend of $2,400.

Applications are due Friday, March 20th by 5pm. You need to turn in a paper copy of your application and resume to the Latino Cultural Center offices (lower level of LC B2).

For more details about the internship, please find it on the front page of our website at

If you have any questions about the internship and/or application, feel free to email us at

We look forward to working with you!

EPA Recognizes Chevrolet with Climate Leadership Award

WASHINGTON – Chevrolet’s efforts to help U.S. colleges further reduce their carbon footprint earned a Climate Leadership Award for Innovative Partnerships from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Center for Corporate Climate Leadership. The award recognizes organizations working collaboratively on leading-edge climate initiatives.


The Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign engaged hundreds of stakeholders spanning the education, energy, carbon, auditing, and nonprofit sectors to develop a way for campuses to draw on a new source of funding – carbon credits from the voluntary carbon market – to help further their large-scale energy efficiency efforts.


Hundreds of campus leaders have learned about the program through webinars and workshops. Dozens of students participated in the clean energy conversation and even successfully engaged their campus leaders to secure funding.


“I am proud to recognize the Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign and all of our Climate Leadership Award winners for their actions to reduce the harmful carbon pollution that’s fueling climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Our winners are providing the leadership, commitment, and solutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet the challenge of a changing climate head on.”


The fourth annual national awards program is a partnership with the EPA, Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry. It recognizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.
The Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign is part of the brand’s voluntary initiative to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon emissions – the equivalent to the annual carbon reduction benefit of a mature forest the size of Yellowstone.


“To make a significant impact in reducing the effects of climate change, we need to work together,” said David Tulauskas, sustainability director, General Motors. “The Clean Energy Campus Campaign is just one example of how a mix of different perspectives and talents can lead to new pathways to greater carbon reductions.”


Primary campaign stakeholders include the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment managed by Second Nature; the U.S. Green Building Council; the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education; Bonneville Environmental Foundation; Climate Neutral Business Network; Verified Carbon Standard; Det Norsk Veritas; and 11 colleges including Ball State University, Valencia College, Portland State University, Spelman College, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Boston University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Grand Valley State University, and Southern Oregon University.


Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

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Sharon Basel

GM Energy, Environment and Sustainability Communications




Urban Agriculture Internship

Gardeneers is a new nonprofit organization that sustains school gardens, mostly in low-income communities in Chicago. We go to schools every week from spring through fall to teach students about nutrition, community, and the environment through garden-based lessons while we grow organic food with students. Currently, we sustain 9 school gardens, and we will be expanding to serve 20 schools by spring of 2015.

Gardeneers would love to connect with UIC students to work in exchange for college credit. This is a great educational opportunity and a way to get you career started in urban agriculture!  

We have internship opportunities available for spring, summer, and fall. If interested, please send an email with your current résumé and a brief cover letter explaining why you are interested. Please put “GARDENEERS INTERNSHIP” in the subject line. No experience is necessary, but you must have a cando attitude, a good work ethic, and a passion for making the world a better place. Also, you must be able to pass a background check.

Main responsibilities

  • Work together with lead Gardeneers to prepare for and assist with school garden lessons for students grades preK-8
    • Arrive early (~30 mins ahead of schedule) to prepare tools, assess garden maintenance needs
    • Work together with students to ensure that garden lessons run smoothly o Keep track of number of students we work with, harvest, etc.
  • Assist with program development, ideas for lessons/activities, etc.
  • Assist with office/administrative needs
  • Media: Take photos and post to social media/google drive
  • Meet weekly with team

Length of Internship: Late March – Late November Time commitment: ~10 hrs/week (may be less during the school year or more during the summer depending on availability) Vehicle not required, but is a plus.

See the flyer:


RecycleMania 2015 Recognition Awards for Building Service Workers (BSWs)

As part of the national RecycleMania 2015 competition that we compete in annually, we are honoring Building Service Workers (BSWs).  A fillable PDF form for managers or co-workers to use to nominate a BSW as a RecycleMania 2015 superstar is available by writing Joe Iosbaker, Recycling Coordinator, at

As the Recycling Program at UIC has become a part of their job, more BSWs are taking ownership and pride in their efforts.

Here are some of the work habits of superstar BSWs as strategic partners for the Recycling Program:

BSWs should know their roles – and the roles of others

Office Staff

The Recycling Program has a role for everyone. Office staff are to sort and empty their own desk side waste and recyclables.

  • BSWs do not empty any trash or recycling containers within office spaces.
  • Office staff should correctly prepare cardboard. The cardboard should be flattened and placed behind the hallway bins.
    • If the boxes are not flattened, then BSWs should do it, of course, otherwise dock space will become unmanageable.

If office staff don’t know their roles, the BSW should notify their supervisor to inform the Office of Sustainability.

Laboratory Personnel

BSWs must still go inside of laboratories and/or clinics and empty the trash, bio hazardous waste, and/or boxes of broken glass, as long as the box is secure and nothing is sticking out.

Pipette tip boxes are collected in the 35 gallon wire frame containers. BSWs should tie off the bag once it becomes about 50% ‐ 75% full (or whenever you are able to comfortably lift the bag) and take to loading dock and place in blue tote with other glass/metal/plastic recycling.

BSWs and Hallway Bins

BSWs are expected to pull bags from the hallway bins – non-recyclable waste (landfill) every day, recyclables as needed – and take these to the proper 95 gallon totes for recyclables, dumpster for cardboard or compactor for trash. The green totes for paper and blue totes for bottles/cans are usually on the dock, where they are picked up by the Recycling Drivers.

  • Be on the lookout for contamination. Use the 10% rule. If there’s less than 10% garbage in a bag of paper, bottles/cans, or pipette tip boxes, it’s acceptable. If it’s more than 10%, it’s all trash.
    • If there are problems with contamination in a department or a building, the BSW should notify their supervisor to inform the Office of Sustainability.
  • Hallway bins are mostly in sets of three. The tops and the bins should match. BSWs should make the switch if there’s a mismatch.

Recycling Drivers

If the green and blue totes are full and aren’t picked up in a timely way, the BSW should notify their supervisor to inform the Office of Sustainability.

RecycleMania 2015 continues through March, so we’ll collect the nominations in the first week of April and announce the winners as part of Earth Month (AKA April).  Winners will receive gift certificates for Café Descartes.  Yum!


Contact:  Joe Iosbaker, Recycling Coordinator, Office of Sustainability 312-996-2517


UIC’s RecycleMania 2015 Website:

Warning:  Do not be surprised if you see a gorilla on campus emphatically encouraging recycling during February and March.

Click our mascot, the Recyclemania Gorilla, to find out all about 2015 Recyclemania!

Schedule a Green Tote Parade during March as part of RecycleMania 2015!

Schedule a Green Tote Parade during March as part of RecycleMania 2015!

UIC is one of hundreds of schools nationally taking part in a competition to promote recycling – RecycleMania 2015 – and, historically, we are among the best!  In the Gorilla Prize category for total weight of recyclables, UIC placed sixth in 2013.

Help us break into the Top 5 in the Gorilla category in 2015!

Is your department planning any office clean outs? Now’s the time!  #SpringCleaning  Contact us at and we’ll schedule the Recycling Drivers to arrive with Green Totes to take away any paper, including files, journals, hardbound books, and newspaper. Up to 10% of the load can be cardboard.  However, if you have more cardboard, flatten it and have your Building Service Worker (BSW) take it to the dock/dumpster behind your building.

This combo of cleaning, Green Totes, and excitement are the ingredients of a Green Tote Parade.  

What’s a Green Tote, you ask? In this video, explaining the basics of UIC’s Recycling Program, you can see two of the Recycling Drivers on the paper recycling truck moving Green Totes out of a building at 2:23.

By scheduling an office clean out/Green Tote Parade in March, the added weight of paper could push us into the fifth position in the Gorilla category – or even higher!

You fill ‘em, they tote ‘em!

Green totes

Green Totes


Contact:  Joe Iosbaker, Recycling Coordinator, Office of Sustainability 312-996-2517


UIC’s RecycleMania 2015 Website:

 Warning:  Do not be surprised if you see a gorilla on campus emphatically encouraging recycling during February and March.

Click our mascot, the Recyclemania Gorilla, to find out all about 2015 Recyclemania!

Why Green Labs? #1 Reason- SAFETY!

If there ever was a reason to promote green labs practices in your lab, it is this. Nitric acid is not only harmful to the environment, but dangerous to use. Read this excerpt about a chemical bottle explosion at the University of Rochester on 10/18/2014:

This occurred in the Chemistry Department. It involved a 4 liter amber colored glass bottle which was rinsed with a mixture of acetone and ethanol. The bottle was then used to collect 50% nitric acid waste. There seems to be conflicting accounts regarding how much residual solvent was left in the bottle. Apparently the procedure was to collect the rinsate in an organic waste container, then allow the contents to fully evaporate to remove any residue. It sounds like that procedure was not followed, and 100 ml of 50% nitric acid was added to the bottle which was still contaminated with acetone/ethanol rinsate. The cap was then put in place and tightened. After a few minutes, one of the students heard the bottle hissing and he approached the bottle to adjust the cap, at which point it exploded injuring him and two other students in the lab. Thankfully, none of the injuries were serious.  Needless to say, the Department is rewriting their procedure to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. The use of plastic waste collection bottles for nitric acid (which has a tendency to react with just about everything) has been recommended, as well.

 There are alternatives to harmful chemicals such as nitric acid. Check out MIT’s Green Chemical Alternatives Purchasing Wizard for ideas. Also, check our Green Labs page for other ways to make your laboratory operations more sustainable.