UC San Diego’s Earth Week Underscores Campus Commitment to Sustainable Solutions
Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications
UC San Diego will join people around the world in celebrating Earth Week from April 21 to 25. The theme for the week of events, “Connecting the Drops,” helps illustrate the campus’s water-saving strategies and the need for individuals to conserve water as California faces a severe drought.
This year’s events will include a trash sort, a sustainability awards ceremony, eco faire, e-waste collection, reused clothes sale, tree planting and more. Earth Day is April 22.
“Sustainability is an integral part of UC San Diego’s education, research and campus operations,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Since our founding more than half a century ago, we have built upon that visionary legacy to become a living laboratory of sustainable solutions that benefit UC San Diego, as well as our local and global community.”
The Earth Week theme is in keeping with UC San Diego’s initiatives to reduce water consumption and take action against the drought facing the state.
“At this year’s Earth Week events, we are reinforcing the message that each person can take action against the drought,” said Gary C. Matthews, vice chancellor for Resource Management and Planning. “What each of us does individually can add up to make a tremendous difference collectively. If everyone at UC San Diego reduced their water use by a gallon a day, we would save more than 18 million gallons a year.”
Campus-wide efforts to reduce water consumption underway include: Retrofitting existing irrigation systems with low-flow devices; including water-saving features in the design of new buildings; installing computer-controlled irrigation systems and more.
Furthermore, UC San Diego will install more high-efficiency fixtures and low-flow devices in campus facilities, use reclaimed water at the East Campus Utilities Plant, install an artificial turf at Muir Field and will continue to outline and set standards for the reduction of water use through the entire campus.
These and other projects could further reduce campus water consumption by approximately 200 million gallons per year.
In addition to learning about water conservation, Earth Week event attendees will have the opportunity to participate in fun and educational activities designed to raise awareness about recycling, sustainability and more.
A sampling of UC San Diego’s Earth Week events and details are below. All events are free and open to the public. To view a complete schedule of activities, visit the Earth Week website.
- Trash Sort 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday, April 21, Library Walk—Students and staff will dig through more than 1,000 pounds of trash on Library Walk. The event will demonstrate how ordinary garbage contains recyclable items.
- DIY Makers Day, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, Seuss Room at Geisel Library––The Library and the Environmental Sustainability Group will host a “do it yourself” (DIY) makers day celebrating Earth Week by utilizing sustainable, non-toxic, reusable and recyclable materials. Maker stations will allow attendees to make their own cleaning supplies, create buttons using recycled book covers and make recycled paper craft. In addition, a 3D printer and educational resource will be available. Participants are expected leave with the knowledge of how to make eco-friendly products and reusable consumables on a daily basis.
- Sustainability Awards, 2 to 3 p.m., Monday, April 21, Faculty Club—Chancellor Khosla will recognize individuals and groups that have made the UC San Diego campus more sustainable.
- E-Waste Collection, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 22 to 24, outside the Student Services Center—Everyone is encouraged to bring old computers, stereos and cell phones to the corner of Rupertus Lane and Russell Lane between the Student Services Center and the Music Building. The e-waste will be reused, refurbished or recycled.
- Eco-Faire 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday April 23, Price Center Plaza––Organizations advocating for storm water pollution prevention, water conservation, alternative transportation and more will be spreading awareness of their respective causes through tabling and passing out educational information.
- Thrifty Thursday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, April 24, Porter’s Pub––Attendees can purchase clothes and other items to reuse, repurpose and rediscover. The event is designed to promote a thrift culture among students in the UC San Diego community.