Celebrate Ride Share Week TODAY!!!

Try carpooling, vanpooling or taking transit to support National Rideshare Week.

Free Ride Day, Wednesday, Oct. 2 (TODAY): Ride free on any fixed route, like the Trolley, bus or COASTER.

With the Waze Carpool app, all carpool trips starting or ending in San Diego County during Rideshare Week cost $1. Learn how to get started.

Enjoy 20% off two Lyft Shared rides during Rideshare Week with promo code SDRSW19.

Purchase discounted Lyft FLEX Shared credit packages for use during Rideshare Week, and the rest of Fall Quarter 2019.

Learn more

Courtesy of UC San Diego Transportation Services

2019 Plastic Free July Exhibit at Geisel Library

This month, in honor of Plastic Free July, the Library’s Sustainability Committee has created a single-use plastic exhibit in Geisel 2 East. Go check it out anytime this month and find out more about the exhibit here!

Additionally, the Library’s Sustainability Committee invites you to sign up for the challenge. Plastic Free July started in 2011 in Australia, and it has quickly become a global movement.  Help make a difference!

Confetti = Litter

The past few weeks, Giesel has been surrounded by graduating seniors trying to snap an iconic portrait – we’ve all seen them. They’re a great way to commemorate the accomplishment of graduating college! But, many people have also noticed the leftover glitter dotting the grasses on the 3rd floor of Giesel and around campus.

Although confetti-throwing pictures may be entirely instagram worthy (and show how you feel now that graduation is FINALLY here), confetti comes with a dark side. Confetti litter can have detrimental impacts on our local environment because it runs into our waterways and can also confuse wildlife that might think the colorful pieces are food.

Here are some confetti alternatives to use this graduation season:

  1. Flower petals: Flower or rose petal confetti is a great alternative to paper or plastic confetti that will make for some absolutely gorgeous grad photos while also keeping our campus clean.
  2. Plant or bird seeds: Seeds are an eco-friendly option that can either lead to more flowers being planted or provide a snack for local birds.
  3. Vanishing confetti: You can take the DIY route by creating this vanishing confetti that disappears when it gets wet.

When you’re taking grad photos this year, remember that confetti is litter and although it might make for one or two fun pictures, it’s negative effects remain in our local environment for much longer than the couples of minutes it takes to make a photograph.

UC president recognizes students for outstanding leadership!

UC San Diego student, Enid Partika (pictured left), was recently honored with the annual President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. Partika, a fourth-year environmental chemistry major, has been building an anaerobic digester, which works to turn food waste into fertilizer and biogas, on campus in partnership with Roger’s Community Garden. Over the course of the academic year, her team collected more than 41,000 pounds of food waste, succeeding in sequestering the equivalent of 6,637 pounds of carbon dioxide!

Read more about the award here: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-president-recognizes-students-presidents-award-outstanding-student-leadership

Read more about her work with the anaerobic digester and her recent recognition for the Lemelson-MIT Prize for novel technology here: https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/feature/putting-a-dent-in-food-waste?utm_source=This+Week+Subscriber+List&utm_campaign=6603364ba7-THIS_WEEK_2019_05_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_db568fca07-6603364ba7-92836485

UC San Diego averts 1.4 Million Pounds of Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Cool Campus Challenge

By Sara McKinstry, Campus Sustainability Manager

UC San Diego announced its top point-earning individual, team and residential college for the April 2019 Cool Campus Challenge at its annual sustainability awards ceremony held May 9 at The Loft. 

The University of California’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative and the Center for Sustainable Energy sponsored the Cool Campus Challenge. During the four-week online competition, students, faculty and staff from every UC campus and the Office of the President logged actions that they were taking to reduce their carbon footprint, including things like washing laundry in cold water, going meatless at mealtime, shutting fume hood sashes when not in use, biking, walking and taking transit. 

Left to right: Allyson Long (representing team winner Scripps Institution of Oceanography), individual winner Sarah Ji ’19, and Vanessa Le (representing college winner Eleanor Roosevelt College). Photo by Rhett Miller, UC San Diego.

More than 22,000 students, faculty and staff from all UC campuses and locations participated in the challenge. UC Berkeley won the competition based on total points, followed closely by UCLA and UC Irvine, the first winner in 2015. UC Merced had the highest overall participation rate. At UC San Diego, more than 1,250 students, staff and faculty, including the Preuss School, joined in the fun, preventing nearly 1.4 million pounds of greenhouse gases emissions, the equivalent of removing 135 passenger vehicles from roadways for one year. Tritons came in seventh place overall.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Eleanor Roosevelt College team leaders found that uniting their peers in a fun spirit of competition helped reinforce their existing sustainable behaviors. “I think when SIO peers started seeing how even small actions made an impact on the challenge, it became an easy and all-encompassing spirited competition,” said Allyson Long, SIO Safety and Sustainability Coordinator. “Really, most people were doing these things already, so it was a matter of getting into the team spirit and collaborating as a group, which ultimately proved victorious.” Vanessa Le, ERC Student Council Sustainability Advocate and ERC Cool Campus Challenge team lead organizer, expressed a similar sentiment. “Our victory in the Cool Campus Challenge sets ERC on the right path to UC San Diego’s zero waste and carbon neutral goals. We could not have done it without the collaboration of ERC council members, residents and students.” 

The larger impact of the Cool Campus Challenge is what excited Long, Le and Ji most about being involved. “I think working towards UC-wide, statewide and nationwide change is the most important thing to do, and showing that individuals truly care about and support sustainable practices is the first step to tackling the main contributors to climate change, like corporations and big institutions like the UC system,” Ji said. 

“The challenge for all of us now is to keep taking action even though the competition has ended,” said Michelle Perez, UC San Diego’s Interim Director of Sustainability and Carbon Neutrality. “The climate we depend on is now depending on us. So let’s keep up the great actions we saw Tritons taking during the Cool Campus Challenge.”

UC San Diego Ranks Among America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy!

Environment America, a partner organization to CALPIRG here at UC San Diego, recently released a report detailing how college campuses rank in clean energy. UC San Diego ranked among America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy!

While some campuses are well on the way to 100 percent renewable energy, others are leading the renewable energy transition by purchasing their electricity from off-campus renewable energy projects — an important option for campuses without the space or resources to make on-campus renewable energy viable. Below are the rankings released by Environment America, listing UC San Diego at #4.

Top Five Schools for Renewable Electricity Purchased from Off-Campus Sources per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student

RankSchoolElectricity per FTE Student (MMBtu)
1George Washington
2American University7.5
3Luther College5.1
4University of California,
San Diego
5Skidmore College3.4

The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., leads surveyed campuses nationwide for purchasing renewable electricity from off-campus projects. In conjunction with American University and the George Washington University Hospital, the university purchases electricity from large, off-campus solar arrays to cover 53 percent of its electricity consumption.

For UC San Diego, these are some exciting statistics as the UCs continue to strive to be more sustainable campuses.

2019 UC San Diego Sustainability Awardees

On behalf of the Advisory Committee on Sustainability,

UC San Diego Sustainability proudly announces the

2019 UC San Diego Sustainability Awardees


Luke Vickrey


Pinpoint Café


UC San Diego Health Facilities Engineering


Dr. Keith Pezzoli


Zack Osborn


Quiana Stodder


Food Recovery Network

The Sustainability Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 9 at The Loft.

Doors open at 3pm.  Ceremony begins at 3:30pm.  Reception with refreshments at 4:30pm.

Formal invitation to follow.

Below is a complete list of all 2019 nominees.  Congratulations to all!


Lou Shrinkle

Luke Vickrey

Ravi Bajaj


Amazon@UC San Diego


Caroline’s Seaside Cafe


Jamba Juice

New England Biolabs

Pinpoint Cafe

Thermo Fisher Scientific


Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design

Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions

Library Sustainability Committee

Scripps Institution of Oceanography Department

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Marine Sciences

UC San Diego Health Facilities Engineering Building & Plant Operations


Carolyn Kurle

Jan Kleissl

Keith Pezzoli

Sarah Stockwell

Ram Ramanathan

Fonna Forman

Samantha Murray


Allyson Long (2018 Award Recipient)

Anthony Singleton

Ben Frable

Carissa McMasters

Chris Johnson

Colin Moynihan

Ian Nicastro

Jonathan Biltucci

Kyle Haines

Mark Ortiz

Matthew Correia

Mona Powell

Paul Roben

Risa Farrell

Sarah Heim

Yudell Reiz

Zack Osborn


Alexus Carter

Angela Berti

Bryant Jew

Christy Schultius

Hung Nguyen

Enid Partika

Jenni Brandon

Jerry Zhu

Kaitlin Creamer

Katie Oberman

Laura Lilly

Maggie Zhu

Quiana Stodder

Roxy Montalvo

Tanner Gillialand-Swetland

Will Tanaka


Alternative Breaks: Sustainability

Engineers for a Sustainable World

Food Recovery Network

Green Building Council at UCSD

Sustainability Ambassadors Program

Student Sustainability Collective

Warren Grow