Green Grant Projects

The Green Grant Fund projects completed each year engage students, staff, and faculty in efforts to make Duke a leading sustainable institution.  The fund provides creative and passionate sustainability leaders across campus the opportunity to implement and experience their sustainability vision.

2016-2017 Projects 

  • Divinity School Garden on Divinity Cafe Patio with biblically accurate fruit orchard on the green below the patio (View a full report)
  • Food Recovery Network programming support to increase food recovery from campus vendors, local restaurants, and farms to those in need (View a full report)
  • Live for Life 2017 Farmers Market and implementation of a Fresh Rx program for employees who complete a health check (View a full report
  • Fuqua Day in Durham sustainability orientation event with sustainability professionals panel and activities in Durham (View a full report
  • Physical Education Department water refill station in Wilson Recreation Center to accommodate over 3,000 visitors daily (View a full report
  • Duke Climate Coalition Powershift Conference to hear climate and social justice advocates and attend training seminars (View a full report)
  • Project Wild 2017 Outing to bring together trained Duke student facilitators and students from the Outdoor Education program at Northern High School in Durham (View a full report

2015-16 Projects

  • Community-focused Potato Drop event to sort 40,000 lbs of potatoes for local food recovery organizations (View a full report)
  • Transportation and lunch for a Sustainability Track of Fuqua's “Day in Durham” event (View a full report)
  • Funding for mechanical engineering student to attend conference on energy efficient and sustainable construction (View a full report)
  • Supplies for fun and educational events to attract customers to the Duke Farmers Market (View a full report)
  • Provide bus transportation for experiential outdoor education program for Durham high school students (View a full report)
  • Locally-sourced lunch meal with composting for FoodCon conference focused on farming & agriculture (View a full report)
  • Funding for DCOI intern to attend Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference (View a full report)
  • Materials for graduate student to create native plant pollinator garden at Duke Campus Farm & host pollinator workshop (View a full report)
  • Covered bike shelter for alternative commuters at the Duke University Marine Lab (View a full report)
  • Supplies & rewards for the annual East Campus Eco-Olympics energy reduction & sustainability education competition (View a full report)
  • Snacks & supplies for a “Climate Run” event to raise awareness of United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (View a full report)
  • Funding for Nicholas School of the Environment Student to attend Net Impact Conference (View a full report)
  • Supplies for Spring Dorm Ecoreps projects including single stream, Bull City bus Connector, and Meatless Mondays
  • Branded tablecloth for regularly occurring Duke Free Store events 
  • Conference on economic and ethical analyses of climate change (View a full report)
  • Fund supplies for mushroom inoculation for hands-on educational workshop (View a full report)
  • Funding for sustainable food during workshop to assist faculty in incorporating sustainability themes into their courses (View a full report)
  • Design & implement rainwater catchment system in Madagascar and host on-campus workshop
  • Installations of two water refill stations in academic buildings 
  • Alternative transportation events in partnership with Parking & Transportation (View a full report)
  • Water truck at last day of classes for sustainable hydration & student safety
  • Student alternative Spring Break trip to install solar panels at Native American tribal land on the Arizona/California border (View a full report)
  • On campus bus ads, interactive green space photo contest, and reusable water bottles for LDOC water truck  
  • In partnership with the Nicholas School of the Environment, purchased reusable water bottles for all incoming first-year students
  • Funding to support small projects that help workplaces achieve Duke Green Workplace Certification
  • Funding to support small projects and the cost of high efficiency equipment to help labs achieve Duke Green Lab Certification
  • Expand the edible garden on the Green Roof at Environment Hall and funds for educational tours 
  • Installation of a water bottle refill station at the Duke Marine Lab 

2014-15 Projects

  • Transportation and lunch for Sustainability Track of Fuqua's “Day in Durham” event (View a full report)
  • Funding for two graduate students to attend the national Net Impact Conference (View report one and two)
  • 5th Trillium Workshop to help faculty incorporate sustainability into their courses (View a full report)
  • Facility costs for an annual environmental documentary festival which supports the Nicholas School’s Environmental Internship Fund (View a full report)
  • Funding for supplies and prizes for Environmental Alliance’s annual Eco-Olympics competition between the East Campus dorms (View a full report)
  • Funding for two students to take a training course for the LEED GA exam as background for hosting a workshop  on LEED for 20 additional students (View a full report)
  • "Living Sustainably is Easier Than You Think" bus ad campaign and water truck with reusable bottles at Last Day of Classes celebration (View a full report)
  • Dorm Eco-Reps projects, including GoPass Gala, prizes for Green Dorm Room Certification participants, attending Southeast Eco-Reps Conference and hosting a leadership training  (View a full report)
  • Community reception with author and fisheries expert Paul Greenberg hosted by Duke Fish (View a full report)
  • Funding for student to attend Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference (View a full report)
  • Recycling bin pilot evaluation at the Pratt School of Engineering (View a full report)
  • Annual Earth Day festival open to the Duke community at the Nicholas School of the Environment (View a full report)
  • Expand existing food donation program in partnership with Duke Dining and local food bank (View a full report)
  • Funding for student to attend Clinton Global University and complete water reclamation project
  • Materials to construct a solar-charged, electric-assist, recumbent tricycle
  • Prizes for Unpark Yourself alternative transportation competition
  • Sustainability walking tour of West Campus using a folding pocket map
  • Funding to support small projects that help workplaces achieve Duke Green Workplace Certification
  • Funding to support small projects and the cost of high efficiency equipment to help labs achieve Duke Green Lab Certification 
  • Bins and signage for waste-free football initiative
  • In partnership with the Nicholas School of the Environment, purchased reusable water bottles for all incoming first-year students

2013-14 Projects

  • Funding for small grants to help departments achieve Duke's Green Workplace Certification
  • Support for Students for Sustainable Living's "Living Sustainably is Easier than You Think" bus ad campaign (View a full report)
  • Funding for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to benefit Duke's Environmental Internship Fund (View a full report)
  • Funding for Food for Thought's sustainable dinner at Duke on national Food Day (View a full report)
  • Funding for Farmhand to purchase reusable bags for their food box distribution program (View a full report)
  • Grand prize and recycling shoot out materials for Eco-Olympics (View a full report)
  • Sponsorship of Duke University Energy Conference (View a full report)
  • Supplies for themed Free Store events throughout the year (View a full report)
  • Funding for Dorm Eco-Reps events including a "GoPass Gala", homework recycling event, water taste test, sustainable eating event, and shower timer project (View a full report of Fall projects and Spring projects)
  • Funding to support increased circulation of Eno Magazine (View a full report)
  • Funding for two students to attend the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conference focused on the "Campus as a Living Laboratory" track (View a full report)
  • Funding for five Students for Sustainable Living and Dorm-Eco Reps students to attend the Southeast Eco-Reps Conference (View a full report)
  • Funding for two workshops that promote sustainable food from the Duke Community Garden and Duke Campus Farm (View a full report)
  • Funding to support the Duke Conference on Sustainable Business and Social Impact (View a full report)
  • Digital production of the Environmental Alliance's "Expert Environmentalist" symposium (View a full report)
  • Greening LDOC efforts including a water truck with reusable bottles and prizes for a recycling shootout game (View a full report)
  • Funding to support food and prizes a the Nicholas School's annual Earth Day event open to the Duke community (View a full report)
  • Funding to support the Environmental Alliance's bike powered concert at the Chapel during Earth Hour (View a full report)
  • Funding for alternative commuter appreciation breakfasts (View a full report)
  • Funding for an event focused on teaching faculty to incorporate sustainability into their courses (View a full report)
  • Funding to retrofit three lab freezers to increase energy efficiency (View a full report)
  • Water bottle refilling stations installed in Sanford and Rubenstein to reduce need for disposable plastic water bottles (View a full report)
  • Promotional tote bags for the Duke Farmers' Market cobranded with the Duke Campus Farm (View a full report)
  • Funding for Environmental Alliance to print the Green Book for incoming first-year students on recycled content paper (View a full report)
  • Student research project to study sustainable energy solutions for China (View a full report)
  • Transportation for a three day backpacking trip where Durham students  experience the natural world (View a full report)
  • Funding for a student to attend the Catskill Eco Practicum focused on the global food system (View a full report)
  • In partnership with the Nicholas School of the Environment, purchased reusable water bottles for all incoming first-year students
  • Bamboo utensils to be awarded as prizes for regular participants in the Green Devil Smackdown and food and games for kickoff Smackdown in Cameron event

2012-13 Projects

  • Purchased reusable water bottles for all incoming first-year students
  • Student attended Green Sports Alliance Conference and will perform energy and water audit of athletics buildings (View a full report)
  • Student attended Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference and will design educational demonstration gardens at Duke Campus Farm (View a full report)
  • Funding to support student-organized Wild and Scenic Film Festival (View a full report)
  • Purchase of local food for outdoor ticketed sustainable dinner on National Food Day organized by Real Food Alliance (View a full report)
  • Grand prize & ice cream party for Eco-Olympics, an annual energy and water competition organized by Environmental Alliance on East Campus (View a full report)
  • Support for "Future of Energy" conference organized by graduate school energy clubs and open to Duke community local energy professionals (View a full report)
  • Students attended the UN Climate Change Negotiations, blogged from the conference and gave a presentation on campus upon return (View a full report)
  • Bus ads and creative prizes for sustainability outreach by the Students for Sustainable Living (View a full report)
  • Four students attended the National Real Food Summit (View a full report)
  • Small grants to provide sustainability items to departments completing the Duke Green Workplace Certification
  • Breakfast and bike ride for alternative commuters from the Duke community (View a full report)
  • Two students from the SSL Energy Team attended LEED GA exam preparation course (View a full report)
  • Educational bike powered smoothie event on the Plaza to promote energy conservation and the Earth Hour concert (View a full report)
  • Event on campus with the Scrap Exchange to make crafts from reused items (View a full report)
  • Local/organic food for the Nicholas School’s Earth Day festival (View a full report)
  • Solar kit to power new security gate in Duke Forest (View a full report)
  • Funding for Environmental Alliance to hire two student interns to collect information from Bon Appetit for Real Food Calculator (View a full report)
  • Water truck and recycling games at Duke's Last Day of Classes (LDOC) (View a full report)
  • Transportation for a tour of food spaces at Duke including the Duke Community Garden, Discovery Garden and Duke Campus Farm (View a full report)
  • Supplies for Dorm Eco-Reps re-purposed clothing fashion show, sustainable tips painted on the East Campus bridge, dorm shower timer tracking project and Earth Day event at the Marketplace (View a full report)
  • Retrofit of an existing water fountain to include a water bottle refilling station at the Marine Lab (View a full report)
  • Local/organic food for environmental healthcare speaker event at the School of Nursing to kick-off a new student group (Environmental Health Connections) (View a full report)
  • Local and vegetarian food for the Trillium Workshop in which Duke faculty learn how to infuse concepts of sustainability into their syllabi and curricula (View a full report)
  • Solar compacting trash and recycling bins installed outside of the Admissions building (View a full report)
  • Funding to purchase reusable tote bags made of organic cotton for creative promotions of the Duke Farmers Market
  • Funding for Step Into the Wild, a wilderness trip for 30 Durham high school students led by Project WILD (View a full report)
  • Bike-powered carbon neutral concert during international Earth Hour
  • Building the first free standing covered bike shelter at Duke at the Sanford School of Public Policy (View a full report)
  • Funding for a sustainability photo campaign organized by the Environmental Alliance (View a full report)

2011-12 Projects

  • Funding for five students to attend the first annual Southeast Eco-Reps Conference at the University of South Carolina (View a full report)
  • A screening of the film King Corn and a talk by the director as part of Food Week at Duke (View a full report)
  • Funding for four students to attend the annual Carolina Farm Stewardship Association conference (View a full report)
  • Prize money and materials for Eco-Olympics, a waste and energy reduction competition on East Campus (View a full report)
  • Funding for students to attend UN climate negotiations in South Africa (View a full report)
  • Purchase of shower timers and signs to be installed in some East Campus dorms by the Dorm Eco-Reps (View a full report)
  • Funding for a student to attend 5th Annual Farm Based Education Conference (VT) and the 15th Annual Community Food Security Conference (CA) (View a full report)
  • Materials and instruction for a jam making workshop and vegetarian cooking culinary workshop at Duke (View a full report)
  • Funding for two students to attend the national Real Food Conference (View a full report)
  • Funding to support symposium on local and global food issues hosted by Triangle University Food Studies (TUFS) (View a full report)
  • Funding to support symposium on clean water and energy hosted by the Student International Discussion Group (SIDG) (View a full report)
  • Funding for the Trillium Workshop, which helps Duke faculty incorporate sustainability concepts into their courses (View a full report)
  • Funding for a Durham Liaison to support the Walking Fish community supported fishery

2010-11 Projects

  • The manager of the Duke Campus Farm and two farm interns travelled to the Yale Farm where they toured the farm, met with farm staff and volunteers, participated in a work day and farmers' market, and learned about best practices for operating a campus farm (View a full report)
  • An employee from the Facilities Management Department attended a week-long training on the installation, maintenance, and financial payback of photovoltaic solar systems (View a full report)
  • A student organized "Food Week" that highlighted sustainable food options including local and organic food through film screenings and an "Iron Chef" cookoff event (View a full report)
  • A new East Campus Community Garden outside of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, which serves as an educational garden for first year students, dovetails with the outreach efforts of Student Action with Farmworkers to food insecure communities in Durham, and is a teaching tool for courses, including "Politics of Food" (View a full report)
  • A workshop to help Duke faculty incorporate sustainability into their courses and syllabi (View a full report)
  • An expansion of the reusable eco-friendly to-go container program into The Refectory Cafe at Duke Divinity (View a full report)
  • A breakfast networking event for Divinity School commuters who use alternative transportation (View a full report)
  • A dance performance encouraging reflection and conversations about how faith intersects with issues of ecology, sustainability, and the global economy (View a full report)
  • A screening of the film "Tapped" and student tabling where over 200 people pledged not to drink bottled water and received a reusable bottle (View a full report)
  • The Student International Discussion Group and Duke Global Health Institute hosted a symposium entitled "BEYOND THE BRINK: Addressing Human Health and Security in a Changing Climate" (View a full report)
  • The Environmental Markets Student Group hosted a symposium to discuss role of different market­ based approaches to address both water quality and water quantity concerns at the domestic and global level (View a full report)
  • Funding for two students to attend the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) annual campus sustainability conference in Denver, Colorado (View a full report)

The following are highlighted Green Grant projects from 2005-2010:

2009-10 Highlights

Tammy Hope, Quality Assurance Manager for Duke Dining, received funding to start a reusable to-go container program in the Great Hall and The Loop.  The clamshells are like current to-go containers used at the West Campus eatery, except they’re made of environmentally-friendly polypropylene, a type of hard plastic. The Eco-Clamshells can be washed and reused, as opposed to being thrown away, like other to-go containers.  After using a clamshell, employees and students are asked to rinse it out and return it to a drop station by the cash register at the Great Hall, where it will be cleaned and sanitized. When an owner turns the to-go container in, he or she receives a keychain token that can be turned in for a replacement clamshell.  Tammy purchased 550 reusable to-go containers and gave out the first 200 containers for free as an incentive to join the program.   Read more about the project here.

Cloe Liparini and Sarah Trent, staff members of Duke Engage, received funding to “green” the annual Duke Engage Academy, which is attended by all student participants of Duke Engage.  Meals were nearly 100% vegetarian and featured local, organic and seasonal ingredients.  Instead of providing boxed food to-go, which is heavily packaged, Duke Engage reorganized the schedule and location of events to ensure that breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served in a central location utilizing durable china and silverware.  Pre- and post-consumer composting occurred at all meals.  Duke Engage also partnered with Sustainable Duke to provide two sessions for students on “Going Green During Duke Engage”.  Also, through a partnership with the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, Duke Engage offered students, faculty and staff the opportunity to go carbon neutral with their travel.  Duke Engage has pledged to incorporate these sustainable changes into the Duke Engage Academy in future years.  Read more about the project here.

2007-08 Highlights

Laura Hall, owner of The Refectory, received a grant for the purchase of materials to create a vertical wall garden on the Refectory patio.  The garden would grow fresh, organic tomatoes, mint, cilantro, dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme, onion, oregano, basil, sage, kale and assorted lettuces.  The project tied in with the Refectory's existing goal of minimizing the environmental impacts incurred from farm to fork, and serves to educate patrons about the establishments commitment to sustainability.

Jillian Ziarko (Trinity '09) applied for a grant to initiate a compost program at Duke's Marine Lab in cooperation with the campus's dining-hall.  The nutrient rich humus produced from the composting will be used as a soil amendment in an organic herb and vegetable garden.  Jillian's project brought the Marine Lab Dining Hall one step closer to its existing goal of establishing a sustainable food system on the Marine Lab campus.  Students working with Jillian will also educate Dining staff on separation of food waste, as well as help to grow food in the garden.

2006-07 Highlights

Abhinav Kapur (Pratt '09) received a grant to install a rainwater cistern at the Doris Duke Center.  The project's design was the product of several students' work for Dr. David Schaad's EGR 183: Sustainable Engineering" course.  After installation, students will take turns monitoring how much water is collected during rain events. Specific attention will be paid to measuring fecal coliform and E. coli, to determine the potability of the collected water.

Carina Barnett-Loro (Trinity '09)  used funding from the Green Grant Fund to produce a how-to video on managing Duke's highly-succesful Eco-Olympics competition in the dorms.The film required collaborative efforts from over 20 students and staff, and has been one of the most visited videos on AASHE's video page.  Watch the video here.

2005-06 Highlights

Dr. Charlie Thompson, adjunct faculty member and director of the undergraduate program at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, used  Green Grant funding for his "Food, Farm People and the Environment" exhibit.  The selected photographs and information emphasizes the connections between our food and where it comes from, and focused attention on the frequently overlooked social and economic dimensions of sustainability.

Tom Rose, co-founder of Duke's Smart House, applied for Green Grant funding to send four students to represent the university's commitment to green building at a national conference. Sudha Golapadi (MEM), Josh Sommers (Pratt '09), Tom Rose (Pratt '05), and Ashleigh Thames ('06) attended the GreenBuild Expo in Atlanta along with staff members from Facilities Management Department and the Sustainability office.