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IDEAS For Us - University of Central Florida

Projects To Be Funded

Project 1: IDEAS Butterfly Garden

Objective 1: Allocate a green and educational space for a butterfly – pollinator garden on the UCF campus.

Project 2: Daytona Beach Clean Up

Objective 1: Reduce the plastic pollution in the ocean and on our shores through beach clean ups, and improve sustainable education and environmental action for college students.

  • Goal 1A:  Host quarterly beach clean ups at Daytona Beach.
  • Goal 1B: Make partnerships with other UCF Registered Student Organizations, UCF departments, as well as outside organizations in order to increase our impacts on campus.
  • Goal 1C: Spread awareness to volunteers on how wasteful we can be and how to best reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose for a greener planet.

Project 3: Food Waste Drop-off Location

Objective 1: Make the UCF Downtown campus a drop-off location for food scraps.

  • Goal 1A:  Spread awareness on reducing residual waste via composting and anaerobic digestion mechanisms.
  • Goal 1B: Work with the City of Orlando, as well as UCF departments to not only make the Downtown location a food scraps drop-off, but to also transport food scraps from the main campus as well.

About IDEAS For Us - University of Central Florida

IDEAS For UCF is an integral part of IDEAS For Us serving on the largest college campus in the nation. Our branch is a registered club of UCF that seeks to make our campus sustainable as we educate, engage, and empower our students to become better stewards to the earth.

We welcome you to join the organizing team which now meets virtually weekly or attend one of our monthly meetings called the IDEAS Hive which takes place the First Thursday of every month from 6 pm – 7:30 pm . For more information, please email: [email protected] or [email protected]!

Go Knights and Charge On!

Top Environmental Challenges

  • Nutrient run off on fertilized lawns
  • Lack of awareness on campus about climate change
  • Lack of recycling, repurposing, food and general waste awareness on campus
  • Need for sustainability focused discussions to engage students
  • Decrease in species conservation and deforestation
  • Increase in green space for ecological and educational purposes

Get Involved

Please reach out to [email protected]  or [email protected] to learn more about our upcoming events and see if you can get active by joining our organizing team! Follow us on Facebook , Instagram, or Twitter to learn more and stay updated on our upcoming events.

Branch Leader

Kaisy Prieto is the leader of the IDEAS For Us – UCF branch and with her organizing team, they are able to create monthly action projects, and workshops in the pillars of sustainability consisting of Energy, Water, Food, Waste and Ecology. Contact her directly for ways on how you can get involved with her team: [email protected]

Meet Our International Branch Leader

Previous Projects

IDEAS For Us – UCF focuses on environmental advocacy through education, action, and awareness. First, we work on environmental education by seeking to guide our fellow students on ways to live a wholesome and sustainable lifestyle. We also strive to engage students in environmental action through projects that are based on achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, we wish to create a space for students and teachers to collaborate and discuss on-campus action projects that will bring us closer to our Carbon Neutral and Zero Waste goals.

The IDEAS Hive

The Hive is the IDEAS For Us staple monthly meeting inviting speakers from all disciplines relating to environmentalism to come and give informative talks on their areas of expertise to educate students about specific environmental issues.

At the end of each meeting, we hold a “think tank” where we give the audience a breakout question relating to the topic, and the audience must come up with solutions for the problem at hand.

IDEAS For Us founder, Chris Castro, came to speak at our Hive for Energy month and informed students on how he is working to make Orlando a more sustainable city. He talked about how he has made all new buildings in downtown Orlando LEED-certified, installed solar panels and solar panel covered carports at the Facilities and Operations sites around Orlando, and many more of his current and upcoming projects.

Students were able to see how sustainable cities are essential in the fight for climate justice, and how public service positions such as Chris Castro’s are incredibly important roles for environmental advocacy. These Hive meetings are vital in creating educational opportunities which is one of the IDEAS For Us’s main focus.

 

Fleet Farming Swarms

The IDEAS For Us Swarms are held every 2nd and 4th Sunday at East End Market. Fleet Farming aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger, as it strives to provide accessible healthy produce for people. Swarm rides are bicycle rides through plots of land, tending the micro-farms in the area.

 

Leave No Trace Hike

The Leave No Trace Hike was an engaging opportunity for UCF students to learn how to enjoy outdoor trails and hikes while respecting natural habitat. During this event, two knowledgeable leaders from UCF’s Outdoor Adventure (UOA) taught attendees about the essentials one should carry to stay safe while hiking, followed by a guided tour around UCF’s Arboretum trail. During this event, attendees learned about the Do’s and Dont’s of hiking while learning about their impact on these natural areas. UOA ended this event by providing attendees with a “Leave No Trace” checklist to empower students to use best practices while exploring trails in a sustainable manner.

 

Water Crisis Explained

For our water-focused month, we held an event discussing life’s most precious resources, WATER! We showed a video explaining the water crisis and current situations occurring in other countries with big-name corporations that are leaving already impoverished areas with no water for themselves, as well as no livelihood. The topic of water goes in coordination with the United Nations 6th Goal of Sustainability, Clean Water and Sanitation.

According to the U.N., “Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in and there is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this.” if this is so, then why are millions of people across the world without clean water? With this question is one of the many reasons why we had our HIVE Event, we talked about how we can help minimize water misuse and how we can help create opportunities for others to attain clean water.

 

Bee Hotels

IDEAS For Us partnered with LEAD Scholars in conducting a bee hotel workshop. Students from a wide spectrum of majors and backgrounds came together to help build these hotels, which involved building the frame for the project and then gluing in the wooden straws that allow the bees to nestle into them, and have a means of protection while performing their pollination duties.

The bee hotels came out fantastic, and they will be donated to the pollinator gardens at UCF’s Arboretum, which will ensure the flourishing of these gardens. This workshop satisfies Sustainability Goal number 15, Life on Land, because efforts are being made in order to protect the land’s biodiversity, and strengthen natural resource management.

 

Mangrove Planting

We were invited by Linda Walters to help her team, Coastal and Estuarine Ecology Lab, plant mangroves. During the planting project, we were able to see mangroves that are very young and also ones that are going to be planted in the Indian River Lagoon. We took baby mangroves, put them in soil rich pots and planted them in small pools of water so they can start growing. Once these mangroves get to about five years old Linda Walters’ team will plant them in different parts of the Indian River Lagoon and they will help filter the river, keep our coastlines safe, and become a home for the marine animals.

Partnerships

IDEAS For Us initiates a collaborative relationship between many like minded clubs and organization that work towards achieving sustainability. We have so far obtained symbiotic connections with UCF RSO’s such as Knights for Marine and Wildlife Conservation, Knights for Animal Rights, Pride Student Alliance, Campus Peace Action, and Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity. We also have connections with outside organization such as U-Konserve and ReGrained. IDEAS For Us is open to building a relationship with any group wishing to promote environmental advocacy.

Thank you to our donors, Earth Easy.

Upcoming workshops, eco-actions, and HIVES:

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