Solar Cart

Student driving the electric cart

Solar Cart

Fall 2012 + Spring 2015 - Transportation + Energy
Easton Coleman and Kevin Gilford

Project Overview

The Office of Sustainability has weekly tasks that take students and staff from the Office of Sustainability to most of the locations on campus.  Over the course of this (Fall 2013) semester, students have logged over 30 miles of travel on campus, some on foot and some in one of several gasoline powered vehicles furnished by Campus Facilities Services. One of the major practices of this office is ‘Zero-Waste’ events, these require students and volunteers to transport compost bins to locations such as Berger Hall, and weather permitting, West Lawn, among many other event sites on campus.  Our practice of sustainable waste diversion requires that we transport collected compost to the compost collection sites behind the UC, and return to Campus Services Building. Another practice is recycling cardboard, this is a weekly practice, and a quarterly practice during student move-in and move-out. As of July 2013, the Office of Sustainability has taken to collecting the cardboard that comes onto the University Campus, and goes for disposal at the end of its life-cycle. We, of course, recycle this material, and even greater, we prepare cardboard for recycling by baling the material and selling them direct to a paper recycling company.  This practice has decreased the amount of pick-ups by gasoline powered Waste Management trucks, and created an avenue for monetary return for sustainable actions. We have been utilizing two early nineties model flat-bed trucks that are powered by gasoline, student staff have driven 27 miles in these trucks, and spent around 25 hours picking up cardboard on campus every Friday since the inception of the program in July. All of this is to say, the Office of Sustainability asks student staff and student volunteers to accomplish tasks that involve inter-campus travel nearly every day. Thusly, the purpose of this project is to eliminate the use of fuel burning power sources for all inter-campus travel, and create an educational experience for students who see the amount of work a solar powered vehicle can do. The goal is to stop using fossil fuels, and majoritively use the sun as our power source, along with electricity, as this machine will have dual power sourcing.

Another sustainability related program on campus is the UCCS Green House, which delivers produce to the UC kitchen area once a week. They too have relied on gasoline powered vehicles to make this delivery from the green house to the UC loading dock and back. Driving towards the goal complete reliance on renewable energy sources, the UCCS Green House would come closer to this goal by having a solar/electric vehicle to deliver their produce to the dining facilities.