Prepared by the UK Office of Sustainability
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March 2017 Sustainability eNews
The school year may be winding down, but the sustainability scene isn't. March was a big month and there's more in April. Check it out!
Cash in on your commute with new incentive program
UK Transportation Services is launching a pilot “cash out” incentive program for employees who choose to forgo bringing a motor vehicle to campus for one year. Read more here.

Earthdays in the Bluegrass is almost here!

Join us for a full month of workshops, community service, films, presentations, and more—organized by a wide variety of campus and community organizations. Read more here.

Wood from campus trees to be used in Student Center
The wood harvested from the construction site in Lexington will be treated and used in furniture for the new building. Read more here.

UK CAER Receives $1.2 Million Grant for Carbon Utilization Project

Originally printed in UKNow.

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research’s (CAER) Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group has received a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant for their novel work in utilizing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants to develop bioplastics.

The DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected seven projects to receive $5.9 million to focus on novel ways to utilize carbon dioxide. All of the selected research projects will directly support FE’s Carbon Storage program’s Carbon Use and Reuse research and development portfolio. This portfolio will develop and test novel approaches that convert carbon dioxide captured from coal-fired power plants to useable products. The projects will also explore ways to use captured carbon dioxide in areas where high-volume uses, like enhanced oil recovery, may not be optimal or the use could partially offset the cost of carbon capture technologies.

The UK project is led by Mark Crocker, CAER associate director and chemistry professor, and is entitled “CO2 to Bioplastics: Beneficial Re-Use of Carbon Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants Using Microalgae.”

The UK CAER team has become a global leader in developing technology to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas using microalgae, with subsequent conversion of the resulting algal biomass to bioplastics, chemicals and fuels. This DOE funding, which totals $1 million from DOE and about $250,000 in non-DOE cost share, will allow the CAER team to investigate a combined photobioreactor/pond cultivation process to decrease the cost of algae cultivation while developing a strategy to maximize value from the algal biomass.

The #RecycleBlue Challenge Continues through the Month of March


Throughout the month of March, the UK Recycling program has promoted recycling participation across campus by recognizing all the different staff members, offices and students that recycle at UK through their social media outlets.  It is part of UK’s participation of Recyclemania, a national recycling competition among universities and college in North America.  This is the second year that UK is participating, and the I Recycle at UK promotion is to celebrate those who recycle and encourage others to take advantage of all the recycling opportunities throughout campus.  The promotion includes the campus as well as UK Healthcare.
You can see more of the promotion, who has been featured, and follow UK Recycling through their social media outlets:
Snapchat: UK_Recycling
Instagram: @universityofkentucky_recycling
Anyone that posts a photo of themself and/or a group of friends recycling at UK using the #recycleblue hashtag will get a prize from the UK Recycling office.
For more information on what is recyclable through UK’s All-in-One recycling containers, visit the recycling website, and click on “What is Recyclable” option.
Related:  UK Recycling up 8% in 2016
Opportunities & Resources:
  • The application deadline for the Sustainability Intern program is approaching. Applications are due April 7th. Learn more or apply here.
  • A student group is coordinating a pollinator health project. They are recruiting student groups to help plant seeds and are offering monetary incentives to participating organizations. Email for more info.
  • The Big Blue Cycles lottery is open for residential students willing to leave their car at home for the 2017-2018 school year. Learn more or apply here.
  • Live Green Lexington is sponsoring a Citizens' Environmental Academy. Participants will receive training and an allowance to pursue projects relating to the content of the academy. Learn more here.
**If you have a story that you want included in Sustainability eNews, please email
Copyright © 2017 University of Kentucky Office of Sustainability, All rights reserved.

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