Clinton Global Initiative University 2016

Apply now to attend Clinton Global Initiative University 2016 at UC Berkeley, which will take place from Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3, 2016. CGI U is President Clinton’s initiative to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each CGI U student must make a Commitment to Action: a specific plan of action that addresses a pressing challenge on campus, in the community, or in a different part of the world.

The early application and travel assistance deadline is Friday, October 16, 2015. The final application deadline is Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

UC San Diego is a member of the CGI University Network and has funding available for students accepted to CGI U 2016. Students selected for CGI U 2016 may be eligible to receive travel stipends and seed funding to support their projects.

CGI U is proof that young people have the power to make a significant impact by confronting some of the world’s most urgent challenges. To find out more about CGI U, email Ryan Crawford at rcrawford@ucsd.edu, or join CGI U for a weekly webinar.

CGIU 2016 Flyer Early Decision2

Fellowship Opportunity: The California Sea Grant

Application Deadline: September 24, 2015

Application Deadline: September 24, 2015

Have you submitted your State Fellow application yet?
The deadline to submit your application is Thursday, September 24, 2015.

The California Sea Grant State Fellows Program provides an opportunity to acquire “on the job” experience in the planning and implementation of marine and/or coastal resource policies and programs in the state of California. The program matches highly motivated and qualified graduate students and recent graduates with “hosts” in State or Federal agencies in California for a 12-month paid fellowship.

This year, 23 fellowships are available, including new opportunities with the Office of Lt. Governor Newsom, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service – Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP).

The full request for applications with guidelines and host position descriptions are available on California Sea Grant’s State Fellows Program website.

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.

Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) Update Sept/Oct 2015

The UCSD Staff Sustainability Network made popcorn popular with the help of solar energy and Engineers for a Sustainable World at the All Staff Picnic in August 2015

The UCSD Staff Sustainability Network made popcorn popular with the help of solar energy and Engineers for a Sustainable World at the All Staff Picnic in August 2015

Written by Alison Sanchirico, UCSD’s Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) member and staff at the UC San Diego Extension International Programs

At UCSD’s annual Summer Celebration (All Staff Picnic), Tritons had the opportunity to traverse through time by viewing an early 80s DeLorean automobile, and admiring the newly-invented UCSD Solar Roller.  Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), a UCSD student organization, designed and built the Solar Roller, a mobile solar charging station with solar tracking.  For the Summer Celebration, UCSD’s Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) teamed up with ESW to help promote renewable energy by using the Solar Roller to power a movie theater styled popcorn machine that provided popcorn for more than 150 Tritons who stopped by the SSN booth!

At the booth, attendees had the opportunity to donate to SSN by buying a variety of UCSD Staff Sustainability Networknative plants that were grown by SSN member Chris Johnson.  Attendees were also able to make sustainability pledges, enter a raffle for a reusable bamboo cup, and ask current eco-passionate SSN members about the advantages of becoming a member of the Staff Sustainability Network.  SSN also provided several volunteers who collaborated with UCSD Facilities Management to ensure that recyclables at the event made it into the proper receptacle, thus minimizing the amount of waste going to the landfill. In the years to come, SSN hopes to play a larger role in UCSD events with composting efforts to make all future staff events true zero waste events.

A special thank you to SSN’s Events Officer, Yvonne Brown, and all of the hard working SSN volunteers who helped make the event a success!  126 visitors signed-up at the SSN booth for more information, and we hope to see many of you again at our next general meeting!  SSN meetings are every third Thursday of the month.  If you missed us at the celebration, please check us out on Blink!

UC Global Food Initiative Project– Scholarship Program

Are you a videographer looking for some extra money for school? The University Of California Office of the President is looking for video proposals that will help educate viewers and promote sustainable practices and lifestyles. Teams from each of the 10 UC campuses may be awarded up to $5,000 in scholarship funds! If this sounds interesting to you, please read the official notice below for details on the program.

GFI Page2

Email: UCGFIvideo@gmail.com

Please contact UCGFI@gmail.com with questions. Good luck!

The (Unofficial) Guide to Buying Fair Trade Clothing

Right now, it seems like every coffee shop you go to announces that they have Fair Trade coffee, tea, and sugar. This is the product of several years of protesting and government discussion and debate, labor activists finally secured restrictions and guidelines for agricultural workers (including those who work in sugarcane and coffee bean fields). Which is great!

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But agricultural workers are not the only ones who are exploited by big name companies in the goal to make cheaper products in high volume. One of the major industries that relies on this business model is clothing. Most of clothing production happens overseas where there are less laws protecting workers and often the garments are produced in unsafe working conditions, such as using child labor or being housed in buildings that are not structurally sound and/or prepared for fire safety. John Oliver has a fantastic video on this issue which you can watch below.

Pretty bad, right? If you never want to shop at any of those stores again, we definitely feel ya. One of the things the video mentioned is that certain corporations like Walmart say they abide by Fair Trade suggestions/policies but they actually do not. So we’ve decided to make a guide to buying clothing that has actually been produced in fair working conditions.

Fair Trade Clothing Myths

Myth: If company sells Fair Trade products, all their products must be made in fair working conditions.

Fact: Fair Trade USA only certifies products, not restaurants or retailers. Meaning that if Target sells Fair Trade chocolate, it does not necessarily mean that their clothing is also Fair Trade.

Myth: The company wasn’t aware that their products were being made under unfair working conditions because one of their subcontractors (suppliers, facilities management, employment agencies) was the one who was facilitating this work and did not report it to the corporation.

Fact: While this may actually be true, we need to push companies to be more aware of who they are doing business with and what is happening once they sign a contract. Social, economic, and environmental awareness should be adhered to in every part of the supply chain, not just the part with the major corporation’s name on it.

Myth: The companies that are a part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which includes members such as Gap, Target, Walmart, and Nike, abide by Fair Trade policies.

Fact: Though the 2012 creation of SAC and the Higg Index, a measuring system for companies to ensure more Corporate Social Responsibility, are a great step toward Fair Trade, the current Higg Index only covers environmental factors. These include proper disposal of fabric dyes and buying organic cotton to put less of a damper of the environment. Of course environmental sustainability is very important, but it is not the only factor of importance. The Higg Index does not have any social/labor requirements at the moment (though there are plans to add a module for this topic at the end of 2017). For now, labor conditions are still at the discretion of the corporation.

What Can You Do?

So as one person, what can you do to support Fair Trade clothing?

Well, first you can do research. Look into what the labels on your clothing actually mean, go to the website for the stores you shop at and see if they have any sort of Fair Trade policy, and pay attention to news articles about the clothing industry, labor rights, environmental policy, and/or sustainability. Use this information to make informed decisions about what you are buying and share it with your friends and relatives. To jump start your Fair Trade buying, HERE is a list of socially responsible brands.

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If you really want to get involved you can join activist groups such as the Fair Trade Resource Network. You can also come into the Sustainability Resource Center on campus (by PC Theatre) to get involved with the sustainability efforts on campus and/or the Student Sustainability Collective.

Thanks for doing your part, and happy shopping!

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Sources

  1. http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing
  2. http://fairtradeusa.org/what-is-fair-trade/faq
  3. http://www.care2.com/causes/are-your-clothes-fair-trade.html
  4. http://www.greenbiz.com/article/Adidas-Levis-North-Face-sustainable-apparel-supply-chain
  5. Apparel and Home Goods Program | Fair Trade USA