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.