The Library Sustainability Committee

about-header.jpgBackground of the Library Sustainability Committee (LSC):

In 2009, a few Library staff members who were deeply involved in the sustainability movement both on campus and beyond proposed that the UC San Diego Library have a green group of its own. Library administration agreed, and the Library Sustainability Committee (LSC) was born. We currently have 7 staff members dedicated to greening the workplace and lives of the library’s 435 staff and student workers, as well as promoting sustainability for all of our library users.

What are the advantages of having an officially sponsored group?

While many of us work to promote sustainability as individuals, collective action with institutional support is an ideal model for ensuring that sustainability initiatives are kept on everyone’s radar. Over the years, the membership of our group has changed, but our work has continued uninterrupted.

From the beginning, the library’s administration has supported the work of our group. They haven’t always been able to give us what we want (that first year, during a time of drastic financial cutbacks, a proposal that LSC developed with a student group for LEED-EB certification for the Geisel building was tabled), but they have always given us what we need–dedicated time to work on sustainability issues, support for key projects and events, and an unwavering commitment to making sustainability a priority in the library. Sustainability is even written into the library’s mission statement.

What kinds of projects have been most successful for you?

LSC has always been a little group with big ideas.  Over the years, we’ve gotten better and better at pursuing projects on a scale that our group can sustain and also developing collaborations that allow us to leverage our efforts.

Since that first LEED-EB proposal, LSC has collaborated with student groups to implement a lighting and energy use study in Geisel, as well as to obtain Green Office Certification. Geisel’s first water refill stations resulted from a collaborative project with funding provided by a student organization. The stations were such a success that the library installed one in a staff area and will add more as renovations of Geisel continue.

As the sustainability goals of the campus and the library have aligned, the campus and library are taking on some of the larger projects that our staff group envisioned. UC San Diego has committed itself wholeheartedly to sustainability. Because of campus mandates, planned renovations to Geisel’s bathrooms and the eighth floor will meet LEED-EB standards.

LSC’s primary focus is fostering green practices within the library. Our group worked with Imprints, the library’s printing vendor to test and then implement the use of 100% post-consumer recycled paper at all of the public copiers and printers in the library.  We collaborate with our administrative assistants to ensure that the library orders the greenest available cleaning and office supplies whenever possible. Last year we inventoried cleaning supplies used in our staff kitchens, researched green products, then removed and safely disposed of our old supplies which have been permanently replaced by greener options.

Each year we take on a larger project (this year it is improving recycling practices within the library) and continue successful initiatives from previous years. We continually work to eliminate waste, facilitate recycling, and promote green buying practices.  Each year, we create and update educational materials and sponsor a variety of events and that have become popular library traditions. Some staff favorites include a free Summertime Swap, fruit & veggie exchange, green office training that includes treats and trends, and earth week celebrations with lots of hands-on opportunities for creating green items from cleaning products to cosmetics.

Over the years, we’ve built on earlier efforts, retaining the best of what has been done, while seeking out new opportunities to green library practices and adding fresh materials and events to our green offerings.

Your group has been around for almost a decade now. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned over the years?

  • Dream big and plan big, but know that if you can’t do it all right away, keep taking smaller steps toward your larger goals. Institutional support, campus collaboration, patience, and persistence will keep you on the right path and are essential for making your own efforts sustainable as you strive to create a greener world.
  • Be flexible and persistent. If something isn’t feasible or isn’t working, don’t be afraid to let it go for the time and devote your energy toward areas where you can make a difference.  Understand that you will be revisiting projects and possibilities and building on your successes for a long time to come.
  • We need one another.  Reach out for help and inspiration. Other people in the sustainability world can offer you guidance and also benefit from what you have to offer. Share your knowledge and experiences freely.
  • Share your accomplishments. Let your supporters know what you’re doing. The library takes pride in LSC’s work and accomplishments and LSC is fueled by the support of our administration and staff. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without one another.

Presentations & Publications

To learn more about our beginnings and to get some important tips on starting a sustainability group of your own, check out this article written by some of our first members:

“Using the University of California (UC) San Diego Library’s Environmental Sustainability Group as a case study, this chapter walks readers through establishing a need for sustainability efforts within an academic library, communicating that need to the library’s administration and other stakeholders, and launching an official library group to work on those issues. It also describes sustainability activities an academic library can undertake, and the resources needed—or not—to accomplish them and measure their success. This chapter is aimed at libraries just starting to plan environmental sustainability activities, or those who want to formalize their current endeavors into their library organization.”

  • From the Ground Up: Promoting Sustainability in Academic Libraries. Poster presentation. American Libraries Conference, 2014.
  • Going Green Together: Promoting Sustainability & Campus Collaborations. Poster Presentation. California Association of Research Librarians, 2016.

Want to connect with us?

The easiest way to reach us is via email at: LSCUCSD@ucsd.edu

We are also working on a webpage and will have various resources posted there soon!

Friends Resale Shop

The Friends Resale Shop, located at UC Building 214 on Library Walk, is an on-campus thrift store. They offer a wide range of gently used clothes (contemporary, designer and vintage), household items, books, and a wonderful music selection (tapes, CDs, and LPs). Proceeds from the sales help fund scholarships and activities related to international education. Volunteers and donation of gently used items are welcome.

The Friends shop has existed for over 40 years. They recently moved to a new location across from Center Hall and are continuing to expand. All of the items in the shop are donated by on campus faculty, staff, and students, or local residents in La Jolla. The resale shop offers a wide variety of items including professional attire, designer clothes, and one-of-a-kind treasures. All of the proceeds go towards Friends of the International Center scholarships and the shop is run entirely by volunteers. There are currently 18 volunteers consisting of students, staff, and others from our local community. Each volunteer brings different talents to help run the shop. The name “Friends” came about because they support and encourage friendship. The volunteers at the resale shop come from many different backgrounds. Some days, you can walk into the shop and hear conversations in Spanish, French, or German!

The resale shop is working towards becoming Zero Waste. They recycle and reuse the boxes and bags that donations come in. When there are items that are difficult to sell, like toys for children, they are donated to the Monarch School for Homeless Youth, the Mommy Daddy & Me group on campus, Goodwill, or Father Joe’s Villages, a charity in San Diego that provides programs and housing for the homeless.

Stop by the Friends Resale Shop from 10AM – 3:30 PM Tuesday through Friday, or drop by to make a donation between 11am-3pm. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to hear about sales and new items! Interested in volunteering?  Contact Marion Spors (shopFIC@ucsd.edu) by email, or by telephone at the Resale Shop (858) 534-1124 during regular Resale Shop hours.

New bikeshare program on campus!

UC San Diego is excited to launch a new, campus bikeshare program with Spin Bikeshare, one of North America’s leading stationless bikeshare companies.

The preview begins with 50 orange Spin bikes in key campus locations. An additional 250 bicycles will be available on campus during the pilot as of the mid-January kick-off event.

From now until December 17, 2017: All registered campus users get free Spin rides under 30 minutes!

Test Drive the Future Dec 6 – Jan 4!

UC San Diego community members over the age of 21 and with a valid driver’s license are invited to test drive Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle — the Mirai — for FREE! — between December 6, 2017 and January 4, 2018.

Visit Fleet Services (Campus Services Complex) any time between 8am to 4pm week days (not including Dec 25-Jan 2 when the university is closed for winter break). Any Fleet Services staff can set you up to test drive.

Please bring a valid driver’s license. Toyota just asks for your feedback via a 2-minute survey.  No personal information is collected.

Sponsored by UC San Diego Fleet Services (Facilities Management, Resource Management and Planning)

UC San Diego is launching a new Real Estate & Development Major and Minor!

Situated in the Urban Studies and Planning (USP) Program, the new real estate and development (RED) major at UC San Diego is one of the most comprehensive undergraduate programs of its kind in the country. It recognizes that the next generation of real estate development innovators will need to understand the nexus between real estate finance and development, data analysis, urban planning and design, environmental regulations, global demographic trends, and new technologies. It recognizes the importance of supplementing classroom instruction with professional development opportunities and uses the San Diego-Tijuana city-region as a living laboratory for hands-on, project-based learning.

One of the outstanding features of the real estate and development major is the upper-division capstone studio requirement. In their senior year, all RED majors must complete the Capstone Studio Sequence: USP 185A in the fall, and USP 185B in the winter.Each team will prepare a final written report and presentation drawings. The studio will culminate with a public presentation of the students’ work at the USP Program’s annual Urban Expo held every March to showcase undergraduate research


Interview with Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, Ph.D. | Urban Studies and Planning Program

Sustainability is infused into the program, preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed to take on the challenges of land use and development. Students will learn how to plan efficiently/ sustainably, taking into account transportation patterns, mixed use of land, innovation, equity and social justice, green infrastructure, and more.

UC San Diego is the first campus in the UC system to have a minor like this. In the next 5 to 10 years, we hope to be one of the top ten with this minor/major. The minor starts this year, and in fall 2018, the major will be launched.

This major/minor is beneficial for students pursuing any career path, especially those interested in sustainability. This is a great opportunity to network with people working in the local real estate area. The capstone project allows students to gain real-life experience by putting together a real estate and development plan from idea to implementation, learning about the process of design, land use and entitlements,  finance, research, marketing, demographic analysis,  how to bring in tenants, etc.

The program began after tracking what UC San Diego alumni were doing. It was found that over 1,000 of them were working in real estate and/ or development and had very successful careers as attorneys, developers, construction managers, etc. More students were also requesting courses on real estate and development, so a few courses were offered and they proved to be popular.

Through one of our alumni, UC San Diego was invited to compete in the prestigious NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Annual University Challenge with San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. Each team of students had to prepare a development plan (both the design and the finances) for a selected site in San Diego and in the 2nd year of the competition, UC San Diego won. The UC San Diego team was able to bring something different through what they learned from the classes now offered as part of the Real Estate and Development program. Our students had the critical thinking and ability to look at land not only from a land use perspective, but also the user’s perspective, taking into account the social, and economic issues. Last year’s competition involved the land with the old courthouse downtown where there is a large homeless problem. The UC San Diego team was the only team to address the homeless issue head-on. They reached out to social services to see if they could partner to help the homeless in the area. Through the classes offered by the Real Estate and Development program, students are able to gain these valuable skills applicable to real-life situations.

 

GFI Fellows & Ambassadors

Presentation1From left to right: Belinda, Fatima, Tricia
(Kara not pictured )

 

The University of California President’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated research, related projects or internships that focus on food issues.  All 10 UC campuses, plus the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory participate in this program.  UC San Diego Sustainability is proud to announce the 2017-18 GFI Student Fellows: Belinda Ramirez, Fatima Alcantara-Valadao, Kara Kirkpatrick, and Tricia Dutton.

Belinda Ramirez – Belinda’s effort as a UC GFI fellow will bring a critically constructive anthropological perspective into understanding and improving urban gardening and farming in diverse, disadvantaged communities of Southern California. In particular, Belinda will examine community gardens and food forests as unique spaces where knowledge is produced, learned and shared. She will play an active role in UC San Diego’s GFI project titled: Getting Neighborhoods EQUIPPED (Engaged thru Quality University-Community Infrastructure for Participatory-Research and Popular EDucation). Belinda will use her ethnographic, linguistic and cultural skills to help carry out, evaluate and improve the Getting Neighborhoods EQUIPPED project –a place-based project designed to improve food literacy & security especially among Hispanic and African-American residents. This effort aims to enhance the role of research universities and science in public reasoning and interventions aimed at eradicating root causes of food insecurity and unhealthy living conditions in disadvantaged neighborhoods.Belinda is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in sociocultural anthropology. Her dissertation research builds off of her work as a GFI Fellow, exploring the intersections of race, politics, and place among urban gardeners and farmers in San Diego County.

Fatima Alcantara-Valadao – Fatima will serve as a student leader of an Edible Plant Sampling and Analysis Program–a collaborative effort of UC San Diego’s UC GFI and Superfund Research Center. Testing edible plants for toxicants on and off campus addresses public concerns about health where people are growing fruits and vegetables on land that may be contaminated. Fatima will continue work she already has underway: collecting samples from gardens across campus and San Diego including the Ocean View Growing Grounds (an urban garden located in a food desert in Southeast San Diego). Her tasks include weekly upkeep of the soil lab/plant tissue greenhouse located at Roger’s Community Garden on campus. The Edible Plant Sampling and Analysis Program aims to improve the safety and health of gardeners, and in the process, promote community gardening as a way of increasing the consumption of nutritious, locally-grown foods. Fatima will help build teaching and learning modules for UC GFI and San Diego’s Bioregional Center that highlight the importance of this work.

Kara Kirkpatrick – Kara will build on her successful efforts working with private industry partners to determine the most efficient 21st century growing techniques for soilless urban agriculture. Kara is a project leader doing experimental hydroponic food growing in Roger’s Community Garden located on the UC San Diego campus. Her investigation is comparing water usage in a system that is growing edible plants in a traditional garden plot versus water usage in an alternative hydroponic system growing similar plants. Kara’s tasks will include guided tours of Rogers Community Garden for students and volunteers, and logistical support for the design and creation of signage for that space and similar spaces off campus –inparticular the Ocean View Growing Grounds, a community garden and food forest in Southeast San Diego. Her effort will draw attention to the importance of bidirectional education andlearning in
public-private sector partnerships, socialentrepreneurship and innovation.

Tricia Dutton – Tricia Dutton will serve as UC San Diego’s UC GFI Student Ambassador. Ambassadors help connect local GFI fellows with people and activities across the UC system’s GFI network statewide. Tricia’s tasks include writing blog posts, video production and management of social media highlighting student research, group activities, events and workshops on and off campus. Tricia aims to improve communication and interaction among the UC GFI fellows and UC Carbon Neutrality fellows. As the Social Media Chair of UC San Diego’s Undergraduate Communication Society, Tricia will use her organizing and technical skills to facilitate GFI efforts that bring local community leaders, neighborhood residents, students and researchers together. She will actively participate with GFI leadership, the Bioregional Center, and the Global Action Research Center in co-creating narratives, stories, multimedia and community asset maps to both inspire and enable civic engagement in policy and planning for healthy placemaking—especially efforts to reduce food disparities and increase food justice in green and climate friendly ways.

We Are Still In at UC San Diego

A few weeks ago, US President Trump announced that that US would be backing out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

“At what point does America get demeaned?,” President Trump asked during his public press conference announcing the withdrawal. “At what point do they start laughing at us as a country? We want fair treatment. We don’t want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore.”
Ironically, withdrawing our national commitment to join the rest of the world in lowering our greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperature increases under a 2 C limit (after which it’s much harder to turn back) and transitioning to a clean energy economy is our being unfair to the rest of the world. And hurting our own economy and national security in the process.

I’d say instead of laughing, the rest of the world is crying with many of we Americans as our national leaders stick their heads in the sand.

We Are Still In climate pledge logo

But we are now turning those tears to action.

Over 1,000 mayors, governors, CEO’s, and higher education leaders — including our own UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla — stated loud and clear in response that we are still in to meeting our commitments under the Paris accords. Along with the Chancellors of our sister UC campuses and UC President Janet Napolitano, Chancellor Khosla joins climate leaders like California Governor Gerry Brown, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio, and the leadership of companies like Starbucks, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Amazon, Gap, and Facebook, among others.

We are still in to lower our greenhouse emissions, lead the world in climate science and technological research and innovation, and collaborate with the rest of the world in slowing the warming that will hurt our health, our economy, and our environment — especially for the most vulnerable among us.

“Climate change is a fact of life that people in Los Angeles and cities around the world live with every day. It is a grave threat to our health, our environment, and our economy — an urgent challenge that requires unprecedented collaboration,” LA Mayor Garcetti explain of his signing the pledge. “The President may be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, but L.A. will lead by committing to the goals of the accord — and working closely with over 200 other Climate Mayors as well as governors and CEOs across the U.S. to do the same.”

This weekend we are welcoming His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to campus as our 2017 Commencement keynote speaker, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect or more powerful. He promotes environmental protection and sustainability alongside and in harmony with the promotion of human values, social integrity, compassion, interreligious dialogue, and ethical leadership.

“A man of peace, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama promotes global responsibility and service to humanity,” Chancellor Khosla explained. “These are the ideals we aim to convey and instill in our students and graduates at UC San Diego.”

And the ideals we are still all in to model ourselves as a public university.

Now that is no laughing matter.

Sara McKinstry (@sarajmck)

 

UC San Diego Sports Facilities Earth Cube Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On April 27, 2016, Sports Facilities Department and the SFAB Sustainability Committee celebrated the arrival of their new composting “Earth Cubes” with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  In this inaugural composting program, the Sports Facilities Department aims to vastly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill from the RIMAC Annex building. They have been composting the green waste from Peet’s Coffee & Tea and the paper hand towels in the building’s restrooms. As the first department on campus to incorporate composting into their on campus operation, they hope to demonstrate that composting is easy, and encourage other departments to follow their lead.   Click here to watch a video of the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Importance of Reporting Leaks at UC San Diego

It may sound dramatic, but you’re essentially flushing money down the toilet if you ignore a water leak.  The reason why leaky faucets keep you up at night shouldn’t be the drip drops down the drain, but rather the environmental impact they have.  To illustrate, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology, “a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day.  That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason.”  Therefore, reporting leaks is our civic responsibility.

Saving water is critical for today’s environmental welfare.  California is already in a drought.  Jay Familglietti, a water scientist at NASA, stated in March 2015 that there is only one year of surface water left and when that runs out, California will begin using underground water to supply its 37 million residents. However, ground water is hard to replace because it takes a very long time for this natural process to occur.

We also need to conserve water because there will be ecological consequences.  We will have difficulty feeding animals, which will devastate livestock and endangered species.  Even more, California produces the most vegetation in the United States, and this affects all of America economically and agriculturally.

conserve-water

Fixing leaky plumbing is one of the most effective ways to save water with the least amount of effort from the campus community!  Be sure to report your leak to the right place.  For those in housing and dining areas, contact HDH Maintenance and Custodial. Leaks in sports facilities areas, contact Office of Sports Facilities. Report leaks in University Centers, contact FixIt, and anywhere else on campus, contact Facilities Management via email at wsc@ucsd.edu. Make sure to state your location, the type of leak, and contact details when reporting a leak.

Check out the UC San Diego Sustainability website for tips and tricks for conserving water.

Credit: Connie Li, UC San Diego Student Sustainability Communications Volunteer

 

UC San Diego’s ESW Wins Big at National Conference

Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is a project-based non-profit organization whose mission is to develop, implement, and share sustainable technologies and practices worldwide. This past weekend at the ESW Nationals Conference, the UC San Diego chapter was awarded 135Outstanding Chapter of the Year out of 50 chapters nationwide in recognition of their work this previous year, which includes finalizing an intensive on-campus project (Solar Chill), forming a partnership with Global TIES, and representing five projects at the recent Clinton Global Initiative University. In addition, their outgoing chapter president, Jimmy Luong, was presented with the Chapter Leader of the Year Award for his dedication and for overseeing the success of the organization.

This year, the ESW Nationals organized a Resilient CommUnity Design Challenge where a dedicated group of students, aptly named CommUnity Growth, One Garden at a Time, is focusing on working with community partners in City Heights, specifically at Hoover High School, to propose and implement improvements on the local scale. In the near future, they will help construct an urban, community garden and establish after school STEM programs at the high school with the funds awarded. Out of 19 chapters that participated, UC San Diego’s group ranked 2nd place after a culmination of many phases and a final presentation. The chapter also submitted five photos to the Community Category for the Photo Contest and won based off of various photos that demonstrated student involvement and community efforts.

UCSD ESW was also just recently awarded the 2016 UC San Diego Sustainability Awards for Outstanding Student Group by the UC San Diego Sustainability Office. ESW is entirely grateful to receive these accolades and will strive to continue to make a positive difference in the UC San Diego community as well as in other local and international areas.