Cool Davis has teamed up with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (“OLLI” pronounced like “holly” without the “h”) for a one-time free-to-members course titled “Living Lightly Strategies for Everyone” to be held Thursday, February 9 from 10:00am to 11:30am online. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers a wide array of courses and events to address the continuum of life experience and a diversity of interests for active minds, age 50 and up.

Click here to view all OLLI courses currently open for enrollment.

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Learn more about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Davis.

Living Lightly Stragies for Everyone (FREE with OLLI Membership)

What motivates you to be more sustainable? What gets in your way? In this interactive presentation from Cool Davis, you will learn details on climate change, including greenhouse gas emissions, climate impacts and the highest sources of emissions in our region. We’ll explore what you can do as a renter or homeowner to lower your household impact on the environment, starting with energy, then consumption and transportation. Other topics will include opportunities for advocacy and fiscal greening. We’ll take barriers head on and solve problems together. Celebrate what you’ve already achieved, accept where you’re at on the path and take your next steps forward into a sustainable future.

Instructor: Leslie Crenna serves as both communications manager and household engagement campaign manager for Cool Davis. She majored in linguistics at UCSC and holds a teaching credential from San Francisco State University. Leslie is experienced in a wide range of “living lightly” strategies spanning the domains of energy, transportation and consumption, including greywater systems.

More cool OLLI classes currently enrolling

How to Green Up Plastics

Plastics are a major problem: They persist in the environment, recycling them is expensive, and worst of all, they are made from petroleum—meaning when they are burned or decompose in landfills, they produce greenhouse gases. But there is hope on the horizon! Scientists are busy tackling these issues, and a laboratory at UC Davis has developed a technology that makes it possible for recyclable plastics to be produced from plant biomass (agricultural waste, forestry waste, municipal waste). Learn more about these plastics, which are indistinguishable from their petrochemical equivalents and are “net-zero carbon.” This means that they only give off as much carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) as they took from the plants, thus creating a natural cycle. The technology was the recipient of a 2022 EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

Pollinators We Never Talk About

Most discussion of pollination focuses on the importance of honey bees as pollinators, but this is really only true for crop plants and other exotic plants. Honey bees are not native to the Americas and there are literally thousands of other bees and insects that are important pollinators of native plants. This talk is a brief overview of different kinds of pollination, what it is, why it’s important to plants and the animals that pollinate them. Class will include a discussion about all the different kinds of pollinators other than honey bees.

The Honey Bee Superorganism

Honey bee societies display complex organization that has been compared to that of an individual organism, like us. William Morton Wheeler called insect societies, such as the honey bee, ‘superorganisms.’ He enumerated three fundamental activities in his definition, namely nutrition, reproduction and protection. We will explore this concept. Is a honey bee superorganism an entity, or just a metaphor? How did it evolve and how does it function? There is no social set of genes that can be modified by selection. Instead, the genes of the colony reside in the nuclei of cells inside thousands of individuals, each with a unique set. And how can it function without any central control system?

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education leverages the expertise and resources of UC Davis to serve adult learners across their lifetimes. A major emphasis of our programs is workforce and professional development for individuals and organizations. CPE maintains one of the University’s most extensive educational portfolios, offering academic and non-credit professional certificates, massive open online courses (MOOCs), contract training for government and corporate clients, conferences and boot camps.