Education Technology Services Donates Trike to Sustainability Resource Center

IU6A3723Over the summer, Education Technology Services (ETS, formerly ACMS) donated a trike (pictured above) to be used at the Sustainability Resource Center.

Educational Technology Services is part of IT Services. They provide a wide array of services to the UC San Diego campus in support of faculty, students, and staff including instructional technology resources like TritonEd, student computing environments, podcasting, and media services. Many ETS employees practice sustainability by using alternative methods of transportation to commute to campus, including public transit and bikes.

The initial hope for the use of the trike was as a test to see if electric cart usage by electronics technicians and computer lab operators could be replaced by human powered vehicles. Unfortunately, the weight of the trike with the large cargo box required very low gearing for the hills, and even with the low gearing, staff had a difficult time getting up those hills, such as from Geisel Library to AP&M.  The next step was to add an electric motor to assist with the hills, but that effort never materialized.  While not cheap, it would still represent a significant savings over electric carts. Another consideration was the adoption of a wider range of gears to allow for a sufficiently fast pace on flat ground (to match electric cart pace), without requiring electric assist.

Paul Jamason, Supervisor at ETS, says “it would be great to see the trike used to carry items to SRC meetings/events and for general visibility.  Perhaps a big SRC logo on the trike!”

The trike will be used at the Sustainability Resource Center for transporting dishware as part of the Student Sustainability Collective‘s  Reusable Dishware Program, food recovery efforts and composting.

Profile in Sustainability – Thanh Tran

IMG_0231.jpgThanh Tran | B.S. Environmental Systems (Evolution, Behavior, & Ecology), Business Minor | Class of 2015

Why is sustainability important to you? 

Sustainability is important to me because I believe everyone should be responsible for their own actions; this includes the environmental impact one has on the planet. Everyone has contributed to Climate Change in one form or another and has been, or will be, affected by it. Sustainability allows us to be accountable for our actions and help mitigate the effects of Climate Change so that we can create a better planet for future generations.

Could you talk about your role with the Student Sustainability Collective and Inter-Sustainability Council? What are some things you learned from these experiences? 

During my time as the Director of Community & Outreach with the Student Sustainability Collection (SSC), I spent a great deal of my time working with other organizations, on and off campus, on events and campaigns throughout the campus. One of my greatest accomplishments in this position was establishing the Inter-Sustainability Council. My goal for the Council was to have a centralized community where organizations could collaborate and support one another. What I learned from these experiences is that a little help can go a long way. The support I received from the SSC and Inter-Sustainability Council allowed me to continuously work towards my professional goals and assist others in theirs.

Could you talk about your current position as the Sustainability Coordinator at CR&R? What do you enjoy about having a career in sustainability?

I currently work in the Solid Waste and Recycling Industry as the Sustainability Specialist for CR&R Environmental Services. The State implements laws, such as Assembly Bill 341 (Mandatory Commercial Recycling) and Assembly Bill 1826 (Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling), that require businesses that generate a certain amount of waste to have recycling programs. My role is to work with cities and sanitary districts to promote recycling and organics to business owners and residents. What I enjoy most about having a career in Sustainability is being surrounded by colleagues with a similar passion and mindset. Even though we work for a corporate entity, we always have the environment’s best interest in mind.

Profile in Sustainability – Gayle Ta

photo.pngGayle Ta | Management Science Major | Class of 2001 | Director, Student Financial Solutions at UC San Diego

How did you become interested in sustainability?

I previously worked at a supply chain organization on campus and during that time sustainability was a relatively new concept in that department.  No one in the organization had true ownership or oversight in that area so I volunteered to take it on as part of my regular job responsibilities.  Learning more about what sustainability is, I reflected on my own behaviors and was shock how wasteful I was from how much food I threw out to how much energy I consumed.  I ended up being one of the early adopters of the Nissan LEAF electric car when it came out!  I’m proud to say I have been driving an electric car since 2011.

What sustainability organizations were you involved with at UC San Diego? 

I am one of the founding members of the Staff Sustainability Network.  We came together because there weren’t any sustainability resources for staff on campus and we felt that staff wanted to be more sustainable but didn’t know how.  There were several student groups but nothing that was targeted for staff. The association was created to provide a network of resources and empower staff to make an impactful change on campus.  The idea came about during a town hall meeting related to sustainability when the Chancellor was developing his strategic plan.  During the first year of the association, I served on the executive board as the treasurer.

Could you talk about your projects at Procurement? What were some of the most valuable things you gained/learned from those experiences? 

Departments can purchase supplies through an e-commerce site called UC San Diego Marketplace.  One of my earlier projects was to create different sustainability attributes such as recycled content, energy star, and a green flag to help users identify more environmentally friendly products.  What I learned from that project is that most staff want to do the right thing but you have to make it easier for them to buy the right products.

 

North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood Groundbreaking 

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In conjunction with the build-up to the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood (NTPLLN), a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Living Lab was held on UC San Diego’s main campus, between the Winter and Spring quarters of the 2017-2018 school year. In this LEED Living Lab, the primary instructors, HKS Architects‘s Tommy Zakrzewski and Saurabh Shrestha, taught a total of 37 UC San Diego students about various LEED credits that were utilized in making the NTPLLN a LEED Platinum project; in fact, the class itself contributed to the project’s LEED platinum rating, as a show of innovation in promoting sustainability. The NTPLLN also drew on LEED credits that were established in US Green Building Council (USGBC) Student’s LEED master-site, a largely student-lead project which pin-points LEED credits that apply to all of UC San Diego’s main campus. The lab ended in a networking event between students and green building professionals, where professionals explained why they entered the green building industry, and encouraged students to become green professionals themselves.
To get involved with the UC San Diego USGBC student organization, please contact ucsd.gbc@gmail.com.

Profiles In Sustainability – Sarah Heim

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Sarah Heim | Staff Sustainability Network 

How did you first become interested in sustainability and saving our oceans? What are the current problems being faced by the oceans and what’s being done to solve them? 
I think the root of sustainability started at home as a kid. I grew up on a small farm in Minnesota. We recycled and grew a lot of our own produce and meat. So I like having a connection with my food, which I now buy most of my produce and some products from local farmers market, and enjoy having a relationship with the farmers there. And I try to give thought to how I get my food: how and where was it grown, who grew it (small farm vs corporation), water usage, how far it traveled.
I studied computer science and geography at MN State University, Mankato. And while studying abroad in Australia, I fell deeply in love with the ocean. I wanted to have a job/career with GIS (Geographic Information Systems), but loved the idea of using it on a topic I’m passionate about, like conservation and science.
There are numerous issues with the ocean: pollution (runoff, plastics, oil drilling), ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing, et cetera. Various laws can be helpful, but I think it really helps when people are able to practice sustainable living in their everything lives. For example, single-use plastic is a serious problem. And while they passed laws to ban plastic bags, companies just made them thicker. So its incredibly helpful when people take the initiative to bring their own bags, utensils, plates, cups, as well as refusing plastic straws.
Could you talk about your involvement with SSN and the SIO for Sustainability group? What are some things being done in these groups (events, cleanups, etc) and how can others get involved? 
I became co-chair of the Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) fairly recently. I’d been coming to SSN meetings for years (they have monthly meetings with a range of topics and presenters), and wanted to help bring up topics I’m interested in. I was excited to bring in Klean Kanteen cups for our fundraising efforts. I have an extensive collection of stainless steel bottles (because I’m very athletically active), for my water, tea, and coffee, but I love using a Klean Kanteen cup for when I go camping or order a drink from somewhere and save using a single-use cup.
SIO for Sustainability (staff, students, and faculty) has been a little more spaced out, but we’re hoping to make it more regular and organize more events like beach cleanups and so on. There were some bike enthusiasts in the group so I was able to organize some electric bikes for people to try for Bike to Work Month.
Both groups have Facebook pages which they post their events. SIO for Sustainability has a new webpage with a lot of information!: scripps.ucsd.edu/sustainability
Could you share some sustainable lifestyle tips that you use? What are some small changes you would encourage other people to make in order to be more sustainable?  
I mostly commute now by electric bicycle, and years of taking public transportation, which I love both for so many reasons. I even managed to paddleboard to work a couple days when I lived in La Jolla. What I like most about e-biking to work is that I don’t have to break a sweat if I don’t want to, and its really affordable in the long run (compared to car expenses, maintenance, insurance, gas, etc). I really hope people give more thought to their commutes; the time they sit in traffic, the frustration it can cause, the lack of daily exercise. Living closer to your work (or telecommuting) can reduce your carbon footprint, but also greatly improve your quality of life. I’m hoping to be more involved with having more incentives and partnerships for UC San Diego staff for alternate modes of transportation.
I’m a re-use/upcycle junkie. I regularly pull things from the alleys and garbage bins to save them, as well as things around my home (clean up and/or repurpose). I.e. Reusing old hairbands to tie cords. I wish people could give a quick thought before they throw things out: Can I reuse this for something else? Can it be donated? Can it be fixed? Can it be recycled?
I continue to make a lot of personal sustainability goals. I started composting this last year, and have made so many worms happy. I’m hoping to get solar panels and expand my edible potted garden soon.
I hope people become more conscious of their impact on Mother Nature. She is very powerful, but she is getting exhausted by being taken for granted. But we rely heavily on her, more than most know or give her credit.

Profile In Sustainability – Nancy Moya

 

nancy moya - Copy.jpgNancy Moya | Sustainable Business Practices & Screenwriting | 2018

What got you interested in sustainability and drove you to pursue a career in the field?

Allow me to begin by outlining my motives for entering the sustainability field. My passion in sustainability was sparked in 2010, while living in Germany. There, I had the opportunity to fully understand environmental issues and concerns, along with the influence of green businesses in creating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives for the benefit of its stakeholders – which did not resort to greenwashing.

After college, I dove right into a career as a reporter for various local newspapers and magazines, reporting and writing news and feature stories in English and Spanish related to immigration and business topics in the borderlands. Five years ago, I expanded my freelance experience in Europe by writing feature stories in Spanish for El Ibérico, the only Spanish newspaper located in London. I also acquired international experience at Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, where I started writing articles about sustainability issues and their impact on German companies in Latin America.

Could you talk about your current work in sustainability? 

I am currently an environmental freelance journalist for a national business magazine in Mexico, Mundo Ejecutivo. My focus is squarely on business/environmental angles (e.g., Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR], sustainable development and climate change) involving multinational and small-and-medium-size businesses located mostly in Mexico City. I also attended the Paris Agreement signing ceremony in New York, where I wrote a special report focusing on the importance of national parks – something former Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned as part of his speech during the event.

My experience in sustainability abroad expanded when I completed part of my master thesis in Bonn, Germany, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). There, I was able to carry out a quantitative and qualitative study of UNFCC’s publications in international media outlets. I also gained experience in Mexico City, where I started my consulting work as a co-editor of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reports for PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) clients. These kinds of sustainability reporting assist organizations to measure, understand and communicate their economic, environmental, social and governance performances, and then set goals and manage change more effectively.

I recently moved to San Diego, where I have had the opportunity to be an external consultant for the National City Chamber of Commerce (NCCC). For five months, I undertook a sustainability report, which included a waste management and energy audit that will assist the NCCC to achieve its LEED certification under v4 for O+M (Building Operations and Maintenance). As part of this study, I also conducted a transportation survey, which is arguably the most important credit in the LEED for Existing Building (LEED-EB) Rating System.

Additional information:  

In addition to my career in journalism and work as a sustainability consultant, I also bring three years of experience dealing with small businesses as a public relations and business development Manager. I have also written press releases which turn technical documents into interesting news stories on construction and engineering projects. I consider myself to be hard- working and a self-starter, who quickly understands exactly what a project requires and how to complete it quickly and effectively.

UC San Diego has earned a STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

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UC San Diego has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. To date more than 400 institutions have earned a STARS rating, making AASHE’s STARS program the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements through over 860 questions in five overall areas: 1) Academics, 2) Engagement, 3) Operations, 4) Planning & Administration, and 5) Innovation & Leadership.

UC San Diego’s STARS report is publicly available here.

This is the second time UC San Diego has received a STARS Gold rating, having received its first in 2013 under STARS version 1.2 and now its second under version 2.1. The university joins its sister institution UC Irvine in getting an updated STARS rating this year. UC Irvine recently received STARS Platinum, the first UC campus and one of only four institutions in the world to receive this highest STARS rating.

The very first university winner of the National Laboratory Freezer Challenge last year, UC San Diego has received recognition for its sustainability efforts from additional organizations like the USG National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation Awards, San Diego Gas & Electric, Nature magazine, the San Diego Association of Governments, the San Diego Regional Clean Cities Coalition, and others. Highlights of our sustainability initiatives include innovative academic programs in climate and marine science, along with hundreds of courses related to sustainability; over 30 student organizations working on sustainability; completion of over $100 million in energy efficiency projects; a highly innovative energy park consisting of a microgrid, fuel cell powered by directed biogas, and an integrated energy storage system; 3.1 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generating capacity installed on and off campus, with plans to install more; the largest university electric vehicle (EV) charging system in the country; certification of all Housing, Dining and Hospitality restaurants and markets under the Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) program; and campus programs in everything from green laboratories to health and wellness to diversity, inclusion and support for underrepresented faculty, students and staff.

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.

Profile in Sustainability – Dana Gibson

Dana_Sustainbility Profile Image 20180605.jpgDana Gibson |AS AVP Environmental Justice Affairs and Inter-Sustainability Council Finance Chair | Class of 2021 | Structural Engineering major, Real Estate and Development minor

Why do you think sustainability is important and what are some ways you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?

Environmental Justice and Sustainability are important to me because I appreciate biodiversity, to me, this can be best understood and connected by understanding sustainable socio-ecological optimization (SSEO).

Sustainability, or in my terms sustainable socio-ecological optimization (SSEO), is the ability to continually improve the survival capacity of diverse life forms considering social and ecological constraints.

Sustainability and Environmental justice are interrelated and provide/advocate for the equity in any ecosystem; all places are located or are a part of an ecosystem which requires healthy functionality in all its diverse interdependent elements and all these elements merit equal access and support to maintain healthy functionality for the micro and macro environments.  

I incorporate sustainability into my life by reducing the amount I spend on products that are processed, packaged with unrecyclable materials, or produced by harmful or oppressive methods.  I also focus on waste reduction through self-sufficiency, like making my own hair and skin care products, and focusing on mostly plant-based nutrition as well as seeking out the best locally and organically sourced products.

Could you talk about your role and involvement with the UCSD Associated Students Office of Environmental Justice Affairs (ASEJA)? 

As the Associated Student Environmental Justice Affairs Outreach Intern I made every effort to increase collaboration with other sustainability groups that seek to achieve similar goals, host impactful and intentional events for the student body, and establish a good foundation for Environmental and Social Justice in the community at UC San Diego. With ASEJA, I’ve hosted events like Thrifty Thursday, a pop-up thrift store event, and Earth Week programming events supporting food justice and education on the history of environmentalism.

I am an Environmental and Social Justice Advocate with a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC), and I am very passionate about holistic sustainability research and development.  I’m also an Entrepreneur in the sustainability science, research, and redevelopment industries. My hope is to significantly advance sustainability in integrated ways taking into account social, economic, ecological, and technical challenges.  Therefore, as the AVP Environmental Justice Affairs, I will be advancing sustainability engineering and be focusing efforts toward education, engagement, and outreach for sustainability as well as environmental and social justice.

What other sustainability organizations/ projects are you involved with? 

I’m also involved with the Inter-Sustainability Council (ISC) and will begin GreenCORP, an initiative to provide volunteer and internship opportunities for hands-on engagement in Sustainable Living and Sustainability Thinking. Also, I will be expanding The Association for Women in Sustainability Engineering, Research, & Development (SE R&D), a pre-professional student organization passionate about environmental and social justice advocacy for disadvantaged communities and the development of software and products for establishing resilient food production systems through Sustainability R&D.  

As a sustainability science, research, and redevelopment entrepreneur the Resilient Redevelopment Project is an in-progress project focused on property maintenance, remodeling, and restoration with cost-efficient sustainable infrastructure powered by sustainability science and engineering.  

Please feel free to reach out to me if you’re interested in getting involved with GreenCORP, SE R&D, or The Resilient Redevelopment Project!

Profile In Sustainability – Kristi Sobol

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Kristi Sobol | Class of 2015 | B.S. Environmental Engineering 
What made you want to pursue an Environmental Engineering degree?
Growing up in Southern California, I took up surfing at a very young age and have always spent as much time as possible in the ocean. I began to notice the effects litter, pollution, overdevelopment, offshore drilling, etc. has on the ocean and beach communities. I knew I wanted to pursue a career that could further prevent the deterioration of our environment and preserve it for future generations – so they too can enjoy outdoor activities like surfing. I chose to pursue a degree in Environmental Engineering because it is a vast and versatile field, where the ultimate goal is to improve and protect the environment, as well as create a better quality of life for human beings. Environmental Engineering includes, but is not limited to, waste management, water treatment, air pollution mitigation, alternative energy development, sustainable building, public health improvements, etc. Studying Environmental Engineering at UCSD was one of the most rewarding experiences!
What area of sustainability are you most interested in and why? 
The area of sustainability I am most interested in is green building and the sustainable development of communities. This interest sparked while I was an intern for the Southern California Gas Company, working out of the Energy Resource Center: a model energy-efficient building, using sustainable technologies to minimize its impact on the environment and natural resources. I had an eye-opening experience of how much waste buildings generate – everything from building materials, electricity, water usage, trash generated by the occupants, transportation to buildings, etc. As human beings, we need shelter; there will always be buildings and community development. I’m passionate about working towards solutions to make our buildings and communities more sustainable, smarter, and providing the most comfort for people. My interest in green building eventually led me to become a LEED GA (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Associate).
What sustainability organizations were you involved with while at UC San Diego?
While I was at UCSD, I was part of the Student Sustainability Collective (SSC), where my role was the Director of Finance and the Green Initiative Fund. I was responsible for approving and tracking funds for all SSC events and campus sustainability initiatives. I also managed the Green Initiative Fund, which is money given to student projects that promote sustainability on campus. Some of the projects I worked on during my time with the SSC include Solar Chill, expansion of the community gardens, and installation of hydro stations around campus.
Could you talk about your current and previous sustainability-related work experiences and what were some of the most valuable things you gained/learned from those experiences? 

I mentioned some of my previous sustainability-related work experiences above. Previously, I was also an intern for San Diego Gas & Electric and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, implementing company-wide sustainable initiatives, practices, and technologies. I currently work in the Public Works Department for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, working on installation development and construction; ensuring it protects natural resources, minimizes facility footprints, and enhances the quality of life for the military community.

From all these experiences, I have really learned the importance of teamwork and creating positive relationships. Many of my accomplishments are due to a team supporting me – whether it was my family, engineering senior design team, SSC directors, fellow interns, my coworkers, etc. A lot more is accomplished when people work together and help each other. In terms of sustainability, it is going to take a group effort to mitigate the damage to the environment and make efforts together to preserve it for the future.
UC San Diego Wins Keep America Beautiful Recycling Grant

Left to right: I Love A Clean San Diego Executive Director Pauline Martinson, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning Gary Matthews, Chief Procurement Officer Ted Johnson, undergraduate students, and Facilities Management Housekeeping staff celebrate the university’s win of a 2017 Keep America Beautiful recycling bin grant by — what else? — recycling! Photo credit: Rhett Miller, UC San Diego

Recycling just got easier on campus thanks to Keep America Beautiful and 150 new recycling bins!

UC San Diego is one of 48 recipients nationwide of a recycling bin grant from Keep America Beautiful, which has been working since 1953 to end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities.

Staff have already begun placing 150 new bins across the university inside buildings like the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CaliT2), several engineering buildings, and its iconic Geisel Library.

To celebrate, Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning Gary Matthews and Chief Procurement Officer Ted Johnson welcomed I Love A Clean San Diego Executive Director Pauline Martinson to campus on Friday, April 13. A local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, I Love A Clean San Diego leads and inspires the San Diego region to conserve and enhance the environment through example, outreach, and local involvement. VC Matthews, CPO Johnson, and ED Martinson had the chance to interact with a few of our dedicated Housekeeping staff from Facilities Management staff, the “boots on the ground” who make sure recyclables go into our blue bins and, from there, into the outside larger bins that will be emptied and taken to off-site sorting facilities.

They also had the chance to meet a few of our inspiring students, all of whom are currently interning for offices on campus like Planning or Sustainability,  learning about and assisting with green building or environmental planning efforts. ED Martinson also got a tour of the Sustainability Resource Center, where our center manager and students have developed a number of recycling collection centers and educational displays — all part of UC San Diego’s zero waste initiative.

This is a milestone year for Keep America Beautiful and its corporate sponsor, Coca-Cola. With the help of Keep America Beautiful and many other partners and communities across the country, The Coca-Cola Company achieved the 1 million mark for recycling bins donated to communities this year.

A very big thank you to Keep America Beautiful for this generous grant. We are already putting the bins to good use making sure we recycling more and send less to the landfill!

PS Want to know what to put in one of those new blue bins you might see in a building on campus? Print a recycling sign for your residence hall or on-campus apartment, office or laboratory!

Sara McKinstry, Campus Sustainability Manager, on behalf of lots of staff and students who help move us towards zero waste

Recycling just got easier on campus thanks to Keep America Beautiful and 150 new recycling bins!