2011-2012 GIFT Grant Recipients

Sustainable Fitness

The Sustainable Fitness Project is an independent student initiative with the aim of promoting sustainable energy solutions and raising awareness of energy consumption in the University community.  This group received GIFT funding to install electricity-regenerating bicycles at the University’s Aquatic & Fitness Center.  Additionally, they designed, developed, and installed a novel and interactive user interface to allow gym-goers to track the amount of energy they generate.  The bike machines allow users to produce energy during their workout, offsetting some of the facility’s consumption.  They also raise awareness of sustainable behaviors through interactive gauges showing energy production.

Dorm Recycling Update

The GIFT Committee funded the replacement of 2,000 recycling bins for first-year housing, Lawn rooms, and language houses. The new recycling bins are easier to carry and fit more manageably in dorm rooms.

On Grounds Solar Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Station

The GIFT Committee provided funding for the purchase of an electric vehicle charging station powered by a solar panel.  This station is located in the Book Store Parking Garage, providing owners of electric vehicles with the ability to re-fuel.  The charging station not only encourages use of alternative energy sources, but also serves as an educational tool.

Enjoy Engineering Summer Camp

The GIFT Committee provided funding of educational materials for a weeklong summer camp for rising 8th and 9th graders.  The camp, put on by the University’s Center for Diversity in Engineering, encourages STEM courses and addresses sustainability in recycling, public transportation, alternative energy, water quality and watersheds, and green buildings.  For more information about the summer camp, visit http://www.seas.virginia.edu/admin/diversity/pre_college/enjoy.php.

Greek Recycling

Greek Recycling started as an initiative to bring recycling to fraternity houses.  The GIFT Committee funded the purchase of recycling bins that were fitted with lids containing holes sized for quick disposal of plastic and aluminum beverage containers.  Members of Greek Recycling make weekly pick-ups to collect and recycle materials from the fraternities.

Green Grounds Rain Barrel and Composter for Fine Arts Café + Herb Garden

Green Grounds received GIFT funding for a rain barrel and composter to support the Fine Arts Café’s Herb Garden.  The composter allows for the use of disposed food material from the Café as organic fertilizer, and the rain barrel serves as an environmentally-friendly way to divert water from storm runoff into garden production.

Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Composting

The Phi Delta Theta Fraternity received GIFT funding for the purchase of a composter and rain barrel.  Both items are used to supply the fraternity’s garden.