Starting in Spring 2015, California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) will be providing mini-grant funding for innovative, student-led projects aimed at eliminating waste on college campuses.
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded for projects expected to last from January 1 to June 30, 2015. Short term projects will also be accepted “as long as they have measurable goals that track progress.” Students are encouraged to merge with existing community and campus projects already targeting the zero-waste goal, or fund an entirely new project. Sample projects include grey water systems, recycled art installations and sustainable foodware.
“For over a year, I had been thinking of launching a CSSC mini-grant program to support innovative student-led campus sustainability solutions,” said CSSC Development Director, Zen Trenholm. “After floating the idea at our Winter Leadership Retreat, students requested that we build out a pilot program for this year.”
World Centric is funding these grants. “We normally do not collaborate with companies but World Centric’s business practices and authentic recognition of our student-driven autonomy makes them a great partner,” said Trenholm. “I’m excited to continue building out this relationship.”
CSSC is not alone in the quest for zero waste, which according to the Zero Waste International Alliance is defined as “designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.” For example, UC Berkeley and Cal Dining have both made it a goal to reach zero waste by 2020.
Before working at CSSC, Trenholm helped co-found the University of California (UC) Berkeley Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC). “We founded SERC to be an institutionalized hub for students to develop high-impact, far-reaching, and radical campaigns that combat the status quo and deliver sustainable solutions to our biggest issues,” said Trenholm. “This is the philosophy and mission of CSSC and why I joined the organization in 2009.”
“We will be helping our candidates put together strong applications as we want to train students on how to design for success and secure funding for their vision,” Trenholm continued. “I want students to have the tools and willingness to create their own solutions and to think strategically about how we can have the strongest impact with the effort we put in.”
Applications are due to Zen Trenholm at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 16, 2015 and recipients will be notified of the Grant Advisory Committee’s decision by early February.