In 2006, students at UCSB voted in favor of creating The Green Initiative Fund to finance environmental projects.

The fund, which costs each student $2.60 a quarter, is now in its second year and is currently accepting proposals for potential sustainable projects on campus for the 2008-09 year.

TGIF – the first “green” fee in the UC system – allocates money to projects to reduce the university’s impact on the environment. The fund has a budget of approximately $160,000 a year and students, staff and faculty are all eligible to apply for a TGIF grant.

The application is due Jan. 26, with final funding decisions announced in early April.

Last year’s projects included waterless urinal installation, the Gaucho CarShare Program and Green Chemistry Initiative, which seeks to reduce the impact of chemistry labs and courses on campus.

Jill Richardson, campus sustainability coordinator and TGIF grants manager, said the ideal project would encompass multiple sustainability goals.

“The ideal project would be something that reduces UCSB’s impact in a quantitative way, such as measurable energy reduction, water conservation, or waste minimization, while also providing an educational component for the UCSB community,” Richardson said.

Katie Maynard, sustainability coordinator, said one example of successful use of a TGIF grant is Laboratory Research and Technical Support, a program that aims to improve research opportunities while using environmentally friendly practices.

“TGIF funding has been critical to the development of the Green Chemistry Initiative, a program of LabRATS,” Maynard said. “They supported a very new idea and gave us the ability to pay our student interns, developing student leadership and making our internships available to more diverse students. I highly recommend that all members of the campus community, especially students, submit their project ideas to TGIF.”

After the Jan. 26, 2009 deadline, the TGIF Grant-Making Committee will review the applications during winter quarter and make decisions about the grants in early spring quarter. Additionally, last year’s project leaders will offer presentations in late spring to update the campus about their work.

The TGIF Grant-Making Committee consists of a student majority, with representatives from Associated Students, Graduate Students Association, the Bren School, EAB and one to two campuswide undergraduate representatives. The other two non-student committee members are the Associate Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Donna Carpenter and a faculty member representative from the Academic Senate.