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Funding Opportunities

Supported by the UT Student Green Fee

The Green Fee, officially known as the Student Environmental Initiatives fee, was established by SGA vote in 2005 to provide funding for campus sustainability and clean energy projects. It is administered by the Student Environmental Initiatives Committee (SEIC), a representative body of students, faculty, and staff.


Green Fee Proposal

Choose from one of the established project types below or use this box to submit an original proposal. This could include anything that will contribute positively to the university’s sustainability goals. Find the proposal form and some guidelines by clicking the button below.

Submit a Proposal

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Design & Research

Propose a student-led research or design project that will benefit the university.

Design & Research Proposal

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Conference Funding

Attend a sustainability-related conference or workshop.

Conference Proposal

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Water Bottle Refill Station

Propose adding a new refill station to an existing water fountain in your favorite campus building.

Refill Station Proposal

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Assistance Program

Supplemental funding for electric and alternative fuel vehicles/equipment.

AFVAP Proposal

Previous Project Highlights

UT and the City of Knoxville jointly introduced Pace Bike Share as one of the many goals to reduce environmental impacts of the transportation system. To fully understand the impacts of the existing shared mobility services and any future shared mobility opportunities such as electric bicycle sharing, there is a need to collect information on what trips are being replaced by bike sharing.This project consisted of a quick and low-cost survey among Pace Bike Share users at UT and in Knoxville as starting point to understand the impacts of current and potential future shared mobility services regarding their use patterns.

In FY 16, the Office of Sustainability conducted a Hand Dryer feasibility study to provide insight into whether Building Services should switch from paper towel use to hand dryers in high traffic areas. The results of the study showed both a cost savings and workflow efficiency improvement opportunities for Building Services, with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions resulting from reduced transportation of paper towels to campus and then to individual buildings. In May of 2018, the decision was made to use a portion of the rollover money from the Facilities Services FY 18 operating budget to remove the majority of campus paper towel dispensers and replace them with hand dryers in high traffic areas.

The Arboriculture Team at Facilities Services enhanced the University of Tennessee tree inventory database by upgrading to a cloud based tree inventory management software that provides the University access to the tree inventory database through any web enabled device such as tablets and smart phones. This Enterprise version of the software also includes a Community Viewer that allows the public to have read-only online access to the tree inventory database via a web browser.

The Grounds team within the Building Services unit in Facilities Services requested funds to purchase a weather station and supporting software, in addition to running a dedicated electric line to the station. Their findings have resulted in a preference to utilize a weather station that communicates with the Rain Bird irrigation system to ensure no over-watering occurs and excess water is no longer an issue on campus.

Sam Adams, the UT Arborist, requested the Green Fee to fund a purchase a 16″ capacity brush chipper, for the purpose of doubling the amount of wood and brush that can be chipped and used on campus wide composting projects, reducing wood waste going to the landfill by approximately 60%.

With labor donated by the Facilities Services Department, this four-year, $384,000 project supported the installation of new lighting fixtures and controls that use about one-third less electricity and eliminate the need for excessive lighting in the Stokely Management Center (SMC). In addition, the project added daylight harvesting technology to the building so that the lighting dims as sunlight enters a space. These improvements have saved $56,000 a year based on 2003 electric rates.

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The new Drone Project is an effort to further understand our campus and how to make it the most efficient it can be. By flying drones on campus, we are able to do a geothermal analysis on an entire building and see where heat is leaking out. From this data we can than assess where upgrades need to be made on insulation and sealing the buildings.

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The Green Database Project is a program that aspires to connect all sustainability-interested students on campus. By making a profile and filling in your interests, you will be able to see all individuals on campus who share similar interests with you, thereby furthering the connections and strengthening overall environmentalism on campus.


Students gardening in the Grow Lab

The Grow Lab is a new campus garden that started in Spring 2018. As a living laboratory, the Grow Lab promotes experiential and service learning, demonstrates ecological food production methods, and encourages community engagement. Half of the plots will be designated for specific academic courses, research, and university groups. The remaining plots will be maintained by staff and volunteers with produce donated to hunger-alleviating causes.

To learn more about the Grow Lab visit the official site page. 


Sponsored by the Green Fee and Visit Knoxville, Pace Bike Share was launched in Spring 2018. By downloading the free application on your phone, users are able to reserve bikes in 30 minute increments. Memberships are also available, where included in the UT discounted monthly rate of $14.50, members can reserve the bike unlimited times for rides under an hour. After that, rides cost $1 for every 30 minutes. Bikes can be “parked” anywhere around Knoxville, with roughly 20 official Pace Stations in the city, including 3 on campus.

A 78-foot long boardwalk now spans the middle pool of a created wetland at the UT Gardens. Wetlands are a natural filter for water moving through the landscape. The created wetland receives runoff from an uphill parking area as well as the surrounding manicured gardens, helping to protect the Tennessee River against nonpoint source pollution originating from these areas. For more information, visit