The UCSB Green Initiative Fund will distribute a total of $177,080 to 18 projects over the next year as part of its ongoing environmental sustainability efforts on campus.

The committee initially received 37 fiance applications and allocated the majority of the grants toward installing new LED light fixtures in Isla Vista Theater, subsidizing the Student Food Collective’s Sustainable Food Cart and purchasing solar panels and a new pool cover. The organization is a student-majority governing body, created in 2006, and draws its funding from student lock-in fees for sustainability projects to reduce UCSB’s impact on the environment.

According to UCSB’s grants manager Jasmine Syed, the committee chose projects based on several criteria, including potential reductions to university expenses and waste production.

“TGIF looks for projects that will give UCSB the greatest savings in terms of waste management, energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions – those are some main factors,” Syed said. “Also, the projects need to directly benefit the students so they can see how the funds are being used and projects need an education and public outreach component.”

The $37,604 I.V. Theater project will reduce electrical costs and includes removing the facility’s 1,000 watt halogen lights, which last about 2,000 hours, and replacing them with eco-friendly 50 watt LED lights, expected to last ten years, TGIF committee member Allan Robles said.

“The new lighting would replace highly inefficient halogen lighting with 36 LED lighting fixtures,” Robles said in an e-mail. “They will provide us with calculated energy savings over the next year when they start to monitor the energy usage, but we can easily speculate that the savings will be large.”

Robles said the LED project is expected to reduce energy waste to nearly one-tenth its previous output.

“The I.V. Theater project especially will have huge energy savings,” Syed said. “In 2009-2010, the lights burned 2,791,500 watts of energy. They estimate with the new LED fixtures they’ll only expend 225,125 [watts].”

Additionally, the Student Food Collective will receive $30,000 to offer healthy and affordable food on campus, according to Robles.

“Local food is an innovative idea that hasn’t been successfully funded in the past, to my knowledge,” Robles said. “Although there aren’t necessarily any energy savings, per se, access to local [and] organic food in a largely health food-vendor-deprived campus made so much sense. Also, the proposed cart included the installation of solar PV arrays to help power the cart so that it would not use more energy than it could produce.”

TGIF also provided $21,000 for solar panel installation at the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration and $15,000 for a new pool cover at the Recreation Center to cut the building’s energy consumption in half and save the university $48,750 a year, respectively.

Kevin Vielbaum, TGIF chair for the 2010-2011 academic year, said teh pool cover is an example of how TGIF can provide funding for smaller projects that will allow significant improvements.

“The pool cover is such a simple thing to do,” Vielbaum said. “It is just a pool cover for a pool that’s been around since World War II, but it is going to save the school a lot of money, so it’s pretty cool that TGIF can do that.”