Thurgood Marshall College Residential Life Office Receives Green Office Certification

Earlier this week, the Thurgood Marshall College (TMC) Residential Life Office was certified by the Green Office Certification (GOC) Program.  This program seeks to help campus offices promote resource conservation and receive recognition for their leadership in sustainability.  The program partners with office staff to identify opportunities to implement or improve existing sustainable practices and earn points toward certification.

The ReUntitledsidential Life Office was awarded Silver Certification Level.  Receiving this designation has motivated the Residential Life Office to plan how they can continue mitigating their resource consumption  within their office.  They are even more driven to earn additional points toward their certification level, as they will be seeking to apply for a Green Grant, which is sponsored through Housing, Dining and Hospitality.  With this Green Grant, they are hoping for further sustainability projects that might include recycling, energy efficiency and other resource saving measures.  Prior to the certification, the office had made the initiative to shift a majority of their work documents over to electronic use by purchasing iPads for the staff, reducing their paper usage.

Congratulations to the TMC Residential Life Office for their leadership in sustainability by becoming certified!

For more information on how your office can become certified, please visit us on our website or email us at

2015 UC Cool Campus Challenge

UC San Diego Sustainability Recognizes Top Participants, Teams and Winners of Opportunity Drawings

Protecting the environment and its valuable resources from climate change is a social responsibility each one of us can contribute towards individually.  Together as a community we can make a much bigger impact.  President Napolitano has committed the University of California to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025.  This commitment will require all of us to work together in an effort to conserve energy, reduce waste, and preserve our resources.  We have proven to be an institutional leader in research and teaching, and we can also lead the way to a more sustainable future.

The UC Cool Campus Challenge was designed as an online educational outreach tool intended to encourage behavioral change by motivating and rewarding the UC Community as we take steps towards reducing our carbon footprint.  Over a ten week period starting October 6 through December 10, participants were asked to pledge and verify actions, such as using a power strip, turning off lights when not in use, or carpooling.  Points were earned upon pledging, verifying and uploading photos illustrating sustainable actions.  Additional points were earned for inviting others to join and attending events.

Twelve UC campuses competed to earn the most points.  UC San Diego finished in 9th place, behind Riverside and Berkeley.  First place was awarded to UC Irvine.

UC San Diego would like to recognize and congratulate the top participants and teams on our campus!

BFS Team for web

(L) Dan Ronquillo, Team BFS Members (R) Eric Del Rosario, Gayle Ta & Ana Portlock

Dan Ronquillo, Core Bio & Lab Support
Eric Del Rosario, Business & Financial Services
Ana Portlock, Business & Financial Services
Dan Ronquillo, Core Biology & Lab Support
Collette Moura, Eleanor Roosevelt College
Margaret Ryan, Family Medicine & Public Health
Business & Financial Services
Muir College


And our opportunity drawing winners are… 
Bicycle & Safety Gear: Amanda Loeper, Environment Health & Services
Extension School Course Certificate: Angela Lee, Revelle College

Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) Update February/March

UCSD’s Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) is excited to soon review applications for their second annual Staff Project Grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide introductory funding for on-campus projects with a sustainability focus. SSN hopes that in doing so the Network will empower UCSD staff employees to be proactive regarding sustainability efforts on campus.

Last year’s grant was awarded to a seed project proposed by Chris Johnson of the Landscape Services Department. With the money from the grant, Chris bought seeds, soil, containers, and heat mats to begin his vision of UCSD growing its own trees on-site, rather than purchasing them from an outside vendor. Along with the help of others in his department, Chris has been able to grow about 200 plants with the seed money, and has more seeds and containers to work with this spring.

Chris_Grant Plants

Chris Johnson with a display of plants grown from seed at UCSD.

Due to a lack of a controllable environment, such as a greenhouse or shade house, some of the seeds that were planted were destroyed by water or wind, or dried out. This is one of the reasons that Chris and his colleagues (Mike Scarry and Andre Leon) are currently proposing that an arboretum be established on campus, as many other UC campuses already have. An on-campus arboretum of course would support plant propagation, and has the potential to provide education and research opportunities, aesthetic appreciation, food production, a platform for sustainability efforts, such as composting, water conservation, and more.

To learn more about the proposed arboretum, Staff Project Grant, or get involved with other sustainability efforts on campus, come to an SSN meeting  or sign up to join the SSN e-mail list. Remember that any UCSD staff member is eligible to apply for the Staff Project Grant!

Saving Water During El Nino

A plethora of news stations have been reporting on the conditions of El Nino, stating that Southern California is going to receive heavy rainfall for the next few months. Many people believe that the rainy days ahead will reverse the serious drought California has been in the past four years and, regretfully, this is not the case.

‪Unfortunately, meteorologists were only able to predict El Nino’s forthcoming a few months before it hit Southern California. Our state government and certain, private businesses have not had sufficient time to build new reservoirs or other infrastructure which truly harness the rainwater to help combat the drought.

Rather, much government spending has been extended on trying to educate people about how to prepare for and prevent landslides and flooding, which are highly likely to occur since landscapes have been dried out during the drought. Certain infrastructure to collect and utilize rainwater has been set up, such as rain barrel installations. Nevertheless, a few months of heavy rain is not enough to counteract four years of extreme drought.


So where does this leave us? Firstly, you should prepare for the possible natural disasters heading our way due to the dry landscape and increased rainfall. The Red Cross has created a list of individual actions that you can do to prepare your household and increase your awareness about this issue.

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Secondly, remember to keep saving water. California is still in a state of water emergency and we need to continue to be mindful about our water usage. Re-visit our article on water saving tips to increase your conservation, and also take extra steps during the rain to harness the water from the rainfall, rather than from your faucet. Turn off your sprinklers completely while it’s raining and for a few days after the rain ends; place a bucket on your balcony or outside your house to catch rainwater and use it to water your plants and bathe your household pets or wash your car. Anytime you can stop yourself from turning on the sink and wasting water is an incredible way to help us recover from the draught and ensure a supply of water for the future!



Campus Highlights: Solar Chill

Solar Chill Site RenderingSolar Chill is one of multiple ongoing student-run projects as part of UC San Diego’s Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) organization. ESW’s mission is to bring communities together to develop, implement, and share sustainable technologies and practices worldwide. The Solar Chill team saw the need to create a unique safe haven for students to de-stress. Built upon a passion for sustainability and campus unity, the team pitched the concept of delivering a solar charging station that would capture solar energy and provide shading, while incorporating sustainable seating for students to recharge both their bodies and electronic devices.

They are currently designing an off grid 1.5kW solar panel system that enables students to charge their electronics for free without pulling energy from any other sources except the sun. The UC San Diego community can relax under our beautiful structure by sitting upon our two rock-filled gabion benches that are topped with reclaimed Torrey Pinewood planks.

Solar Chill is the first student engineering project approved to be constructed on campus at UC San Diego! A pilot project is currently being implemented at UC San Diego North Campus (in between the Village and Eleanor Roosevelt College). The site is designed to be ADA compliant so that all members of the UC San Diego community are welcome. The team also has a portable 2.0 design in progress and can be implemented in nine other possible sites all around campus.

Solar Chill is the ideal combination of both sustainable and functional engineering in a convenient setting. The project’s purpose is to show that UC San Diego is a living laboratory where students can create the change they wish to see on campus. If anyone is interested in getting involved or following Solar Chill’s progress, please email the team at or view their website. Solar Chill and other student organized project information can be accessed through the Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) website.

UC San Diego’s “Pay It Green” Direct Deposit Campaign pays off for Students!


Sara McKinstry (Sustainability, left) and Cheryl Ross (Business & Financial Services, right) present student winner Absaala Joseph with a grand prize


Each year Student Business Services (SBS) conducts a Direct Deposit Campaign and Contest to encourage and educate UC San Diego students on the benefits of direct deposit. Direct deposit is the safe, secure, and environmentally friendly method of refunding money to students. 90% of our students are refunded via direct deposit as opposed to receiving paper checks.

In collaboration with  UC San Diego Sustainability, SBS randomly selected three students as grand prize winners of the Direct Deposit Contest. The student’s names were randomly selected from the currently enrolled direct deposit recipients.

On November 9, Cheryl Ross, Controller and Assistant Vice Chancellor of Business & Financial Services and Sara McKinstry, Sustainability Manager, presented Absaala Joseph, Daniel Rey, and Sara Goico with a $100 Visa gift cards. In addition to the grand prizes winners, four UC San Diego students won a set of San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park tickets.

Congratulations to the winners!

Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) Update November/December

UCSD Roger's Community Garden

In October, the SSN toured Roger’s Community Garden.

In October, members of the Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) were impressed by a tour of Roger’s Community Garden (RCG).  This student-run, organic garden, located behind UCSD’s Theatre District, serves the University as well as the local community.  In addition to leasing garden plots to UCSD affiliates, the students at RCG are working on composting projects and developing workshops on sustainable agriculture and nutrition.

RCG members Ben Baker, Jose Diaz, Zack Osborn, and Ismael Ramirez shared a plethora of information with SSN during the tour.  The tour weaved its way through the quarter acre of RCG, admiring successful harvests of passion fruit, three varieties of guava, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, a variety of herbs and succulents, and more.  One of the unique highlights of the tour was learning about RCG’s aquaponics system.  Simply put, water from the fish tank provides nutrients to the plants and is then recirculated back into the tank, providing an opportunity for a symbiotic relationship between fish and the hydroponically-grown vegetables.  RCG’s system yields many leafy greens, including chard and lettuce.

Based on their collections from Art of Espresso, RCG members estimate that 500+ pounds of coffee grounds are disposed of at UCSD every day.  The coffee grounds that RCG collects are used to fertilize the garden’s succulents and benefit the compost.  In the future, RCG also hopes to use the grounds to grow oyster and shitake mushrooms.  RCG has regularly-scheduled pre-consumer waste pick-ups from Yogurt World on campus and use that waste to feed their compost, red worms, and black soldier fly larvae in the garden.  They hope to partner with more University eateries in order to increase their impact of waste reduction.

If you want to get involved with or support Roger’s Community Garden, consider volunteering, renting a garden plot, donating money or materials, or attending a meeting.  You can also buy a CSA box from them!  Roger’s CSA program brings local produce to the UCSD community.  They deliver boxes in a carbon-free manner, anywhere on campus, and can work with individuals to meet their produce needs.  In the future, RCG hopes to expand their CSA program to include collecting compost from participating members- when RCG delivers the CSA box, they will also collect compost buckets for the garden.  Contact their current garden coordinator at with questions about the CSA program or for more information regarding garden involvement or support.

Photos and a video of SSN’s garden tour are available on SSN’s website.  The tour was so popular that SSN plans on coordinating another one.  If you want to join us, please come to a SSN meeting or sign up to join the SSN e-mail list.

Written by Allison Sanchirico, Membership Chair of the Staff Sustainability Network

Campus Highlight: Roger’s Community Garden

We’re kicking off our Campus Highlight series where we will be giving shout outs to different places, departments, or individuals on campus who are going above and beyond for sustainability on campus! First up is Roger’s Community Garden!


Rogers Community Garden is a student-operated garden located in Revelle College. It is a space for students to learn about sustainable agriculture and food systems as a whole. They have an aquaponics system, a form of soil-less agriculture, that uses fish and water to grow some of their crops more sustainably.  The garden is currently working with University Centers to take their pre-consumer food waste and divert it from the landfill to the garden, which will decrease its carbon footprint and help UCSD reach its goal of Zero Waste by 2020 and Climate Neutrality by 2025. This Compost Program will take food waste from Price Center and turn it into usable biofuel and food! They also encourage help to facilitate many research projects that take concepts from the classroom and apply them to real life like researching biofuels, food justice, off-grid greenhouses, and water neutral gardening.

If you have a passion for gardening, sustainable food, or just want to learn more, the garden is located in Revelle under the dance studios (near the Che Cafe). Come meet their gardeners every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-Noon. If those days don’t work for you, the garden is open 24/7 and is a great space for students, staff, and faculty to relax and take a break. All levels of gardening experience are welcome and anyone who wants to get their hands dirty is definitely encouraged to come. They also have plots open for undergraduates, grad students, staff, faculty, and members of the community for individual gardening to grow your own food and test out gardening. We hope to see you at the garden!

For more about Roger’s Community Garden please visit their Facebook, website, or email them at!

Know a lab, club, office, professor, student, or staff member who’s doing great work in Sustainability? Send an email to Carly and have them featured in a Campus Highlight!

14 Ways to Save Water in College

Most tips online for water conservation are for homeowners or offices and/or require some sort of really expensive water-saving gadget. Here are ways students can help conserve the world’s most precious resource with little effort and no cost!


In Dining Halls/Restaurants

1. Bring a reusable water bottle to dining halls to decrease the amount of cups that need to be washed.


2. Avoid food trays when possible.

At Home

3. Wash only full loads of laundry or combine with a roommate or friend.


That’s right, we’re giving you a legitimate excuse to put off doing laundry

4. Use a dishwasher (if you have one) instead of hand washing to use less running water.


This also works.

5. Only run the dishwasher when there is a full load. We’re also giving you an excuse for not doing dishes. Basically conserving water is an excellent way to save the environment and put off chores.

6. When thawing frozen foods, leave them on the counter or in the refrigerator instead of using running water. Just make sure you do it in advance!

'Thaw for 24 hours. They should have told me that yesterday.'

‘Thaw for 24 hours. They should have told me that yesterday.’

7. Use “leftover” water from a drinking glass or from washing fruit and veggies to water plants.

8. Water plants in the early morning/late evening to decrease the amount of evaporation.

9. Have a leak or drip? Fill out an HDH Fix-It Request maintenance for your apartment (if you live off-campus) ASAP.

'I know we asked for a room with running water,but...'

‘I know we asked for a room with running water,but…’


10. Try to shorten showers by at least 60 seconds. 


Find a less wasteful place to contemplate life!

11. Wash your face in the shower.

12. Schedule showers for post-exercise/before bed to avoid taking multiple showers in a day.


13. Use a commercial car wash (they use recycled water!) rather than using your hose.


Water conservation often means you get to sit down and relax and let machines do the work for you.

14. Report leaks on campus and in your neighborhood.

If you’re interested in learning more about water conservation or getting involved in water-saving on campus, check out AQUAholics Anonymous!

“This Is How We Treat Mental Illness Vs. How We Treat Physical Illness” Original Article By: BuzzFeed

“Just because you can’t see the pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

1. Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

3. Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

4. Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

5. Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

6. Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

7. Physical Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Mental Illness:


Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Remember, everyone experiences mental illness differently, and the way we talk about it can have a significant effect on someone’s well-being. Be kind and empathetic, regardless of a person’s diagnosis.


Original Author: Kirsten King, BuzzFeed Staff

Original Artist: Haejin Park, BuzzFeed Web Artist Fellow

Original Source: “This Is How We Treat Mental Illness Vs. How We Treat Physical Illness”