University of California
Zero Waste 2020 #MyLastTrash

Our goal is get everyone on campus to ask themselves: Could my next piece of trash be #MyLastTrash?

To do that, we need to get people thinking about waste and what they can do every day to help UC reach its goal of zero waste by 2020. We want to engage UC campus communities with fun activities and events. We want you to share stories, experiences and lessons learned. The mini-grant fund, supported by UC vendors and the Global Food Initiative, is designed to support grassroots campaigns on your campus. For the concept and the delivery, we’re relying on the creativity and passion from you.

Application deadline for the NEW round of mini-grants: March 19th, 2018

Why focus on waste?

Global challenges like climate change and food insecurity are huge and complex, and they can be daunting to even think about. You might not be able to change federal, state or local policies by yourself, but there are simple actions we can all take to reduce our impact and make a real difference. Waste is an area where we can all do better, but most of people don’t spend much time thinking about it. We can change that.

#MyLastTrash brings together the University of California’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative, Global Food Initiative and zero waste goal into a single call to action for the university community: Let’s work together to reduce our waste and show what can be done through collective action.

What we’re asking is simple: Take only what you need, avoid single use products and unnecessary packaging, and dispose of what you can’t reuse thoughtfully. 

Can you help us get your campus community on board?

Getting Started

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements
  2. Explore our priorities
  3. Review the award types
  4. See what we will fund
  5. Check out the dates and deadlines

Have any questions? Contact:

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for mini-grants, parties must be one of the following:

  • University of California part- or full-time staff
  • University of California part- or full-time faculty
  • Affiliated with University of California Registered Student Groups, or have a campus or department or office act as the fiscal sponsor who can hold the funds and reimburse expenses
  • Affiliated with CNI or GFI Fellows

For the purposes of this grant eligible entities include all 10 UC campuses, 5 medical centers and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Our priorities

Collaboration: Projects should be as inclusive as possible, engage with people from your campus (or, other UC campuses) from different disciplines and affiliations.

Engagement and reach: Projects should aim to engage either in person or using social media.

Physical outcomes: The aim of #MyLastTrash is to create a healthier environment for current and future generations. As such, we are looking for outcomes that demonstrate physical outcomes that support the UC’s Global Food Initiative, Carbon Neutrality Initiative, zero waste goal and/or Healthy Campus Network themes.

Links to: Zero Waste, CNI, GFI and Healthy Campus Network Priorities and themes.

Creativity: Surprise us! See below for ideas to get you started.

Award types

There are two award tiers:

Tier 1: Grants of up to $3,000 are available for projects with UC students AND staff or faculty on project teams. These funds are for projects aiming to knock it out of the ballpark and do something that either engages internal and external stakeholders or has measurable results supporting Global Food Initiative, Carbon Neutrality Initiative, zero waste and/or Healthy Campus Network themes. It is noted that UC campuses are different sizes and as such, engagement projects will be targeting different sized groups. Grant allocations will reflect the size and boldness of the project and the numbers expected to be reached by the project.

Tier 2: Grants of up to $1,000 are are available for UC student groups, or teams involving GFI or CNI Fellows. These funds are to assist in student led and delivered UC projects.

What we will fund

  • Event costs (catering, room bookings etc.)
  • Speakers
  • Software tools, website development, license fees etc.
  • Posters and marketing materials
  • Graphic design
  • Art installations
  • Student salaries or time
  • Maximum of two grants per campus, per tier, per grant cycle

Dates and deadlines

2018 Spring Grant applications will be accepted up to March 19th, 2018.

March 19

Applications are due by midnight on March 19th, 2018.

March 26

Award notifications will be made on or around the week of March 26.

May 1

Funds transfers: Funds from UCOP will be transferred to campuses on the 1st of the month.

Ideas to get you started

Here are two example of what has been done so far at UC campuses:

  • Students at UCLA created a video series on how to reduce waste
  • UC Irvine organized a reusable campaign with a #MyLastTrash photobooth and raffle

What else can you do?

Events, trainings, talks, art installations, competitions, tabling for pledges, research projects, data collection and analysis, social media drives…

We want you to be creative, so, as long as the idea speaks to waste reduction, follows University policy and standards, and uses the #MyLastTrash campaign tagline or visual elements, it can be considered for funding.

How will we decide?

A grant committee will review applications and decide upon awards based on a competitive process. The grant committee will consist of UCOP staff and CNI or GFI Fellows. 

Follow-up grant requirements

Grant recipients must complete grants and grant projects within 90 days of fund receipt. In the case of uncontrollable delays, grant recipients may request a formal change request or return the funds. A report is due back to the grant committee within 90 days of grant funds transfer to the participating campus.

90-day progress report form

Project reports will be required from successful grant applicants 90 days after funds transfer. Projects should aim to be completed within 90 days of funds transfer. Projects not completed within this time frame will be required to submit a change request. Unapproved change requests or incomplete projects that do not request a change approval will be required to return funds to UCOP.