Earth Day 2014, EcoMotion at the University of California Riverside. The Emissions Time Bomb set up in the Tomas Rivera Library quad, a profound complement to the University’s 161-foot tall bell tower. And for the first time, the Emissions Time Bomb was inflated using solar power, thanks to UCR’s mobile renewable energy generator. Streams of students flow by, many taking photos of the Bomb… taking stock of the magnitude of their monthly carbon emissions.
The sun breaks through by noon; it’s a glorious Earth Day on campus. UCR’s food truck offers free Earth Day tacos with vegetables from farms nearby. Students are quizzed on carbon emissions; they tour the campus’s sustainability projects on foot and bikes. They plant vegetable seeds in small flats marked with their names so that they can watch their plants grow and flourish in UCR’s community garden. Our six-person. Save a Ton team engaged with students, talked carbon, and about the students’ goals and aspirations. We were pleased to be part of the University’s Earth Day and to bring the Emissions Time Bomb to UCR.
UCR’s Director of Sustainability John Cook is “all over it,” with administration support, a formal sustainability committee, 16 LEED certified buildings, a STARS Silver rating, a 4 MW solar farm in partnership with SunPower, and best of all, a group of dedicated students eager to delve into the application and integration that the study of sustainability adds to their environmental engineering. John had seen the Emissions Time Bomb at the Los Angeles Convention Center and saw it as a logical way to publicize UCR’s 99,000 metric ton greenhouse gas footprint. Proud to be one of Princeton Review’s top green colleges, UCR is growing fast with 21,000 students and a new medical school that opened in 2013.