UC San Diego News Center


Eco-Friendly Events Scheduled for UC San Diego Earth Week Celebration

Theme “Making Zero a Reality” emphasizes campus target of zero waste by 2020, climate neutrality by 2025

Students, staff and faculty at UC San Diego will celebrate environmental sustainability and the drive to create a healthy planet for future generations during the campus’s annual Earth Week celebration April 17 to 24. The theme for the series of planned events is “Making Zero a Reality,” illustrating the campus’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint to have zero impact on the environment. Events will include a campus cleanup, documentary screening of “Bag It,” trash sort, sustainability awards ceremony, volunteer gardening opportunity and more.

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

“Earth Week at UC San Diego is an enduring tradition that exemplifies the campus’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Environmental sustainability is in UC San Diego’s institutional DNA; it is an integral part of our history and a top priority in our education, research and campus operations.”

Many of this year’s events are led by student sustainability organizations, including a guest appearance—sponsored by the Student Sustainability Collective—by Van Jones, former special advisor for green jobs in the Obama administration. Jones will be appearing with activist, environmentalist and former vice-presidential candidate Winona LaDuke; the two will discuss how issues relating to sustainability and social justice intersect.

Other student events include a trash sort, sustainability organization fair and campus cleanup.

“The ambition of our students is incredibly impressive,” said Kristin Keilich, sustainability manager at UC San Diego. “They continue to carry out the legacy of Roger Revelle and Charles David Keeling, whose work helped shape climate change research as we know it today. Our students are true examples of believing in and pushing for a better and more sustainable future by educating and developing innovative solutions.”

The campus community is invited to participate in all Earth Week events, which include the following. For more details, go to

  • “Bag It” Screening, noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, April 18, the Seuss Room at Geisel Library—This story follows Jeb Berrier, an average American guy who doesn’t consider himself as an environmentalist. He makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags. This simple action gets Jeb thinking about the many ways plastics are consumed. He embarks on a global tour to unravel how the use of plastics can be stopped.
  • “Reduce your Waistline” Trash Sort­­, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, April 18, 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.
  • Campus Clean Up, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 19, begins at Town Square—San Diego Coastkeeper invites the UC San Diego community to help maintain the health of their campus and watershed, which drains to the La Jolla Shores, a state designated Area of Special Biological Significance.
  • Pre-Earth Day at the Garden, 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, April 21, Roger’s Community Garden—Roger’s Community Garden will hold special volunteer hours where anyone can come work on a unifying project that will contribute to the garden’s mission to green up the campus without using more water. This event will also feature gardening workshops where volunteers can learn about potting, soil selection and how to start seedlings.
  • Van Jones and Winona LaDuke “Zero Injustice: Redefining Sustainability,” 7 p.m., Monday, April 22 (Earth Day), Price Center Ballroom East—Winona LaDuke and Van Jones will gather for a discussion on how sustainability is more than the development of clean technologies and business practices. The speakers will focus on how to redefine sustainability as a movement that addresses both environmental destruction and social inequality.
  • E-Waste Collection, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, April 23 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.
  • Sustainability Awards, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, the Loft—Chancellor Khosla will recognize individuals and groups that have made the UC San Diego campus more sustainable.

UC San Diego has gained a reputation for its sustainable efforts. The university was named as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada by The Princeton Review and received an A- grade in the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s “Sustainability Report Card.” In addition, UC San Diego was named the first college in California to earn a “gold” sustainability performance rating in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) survey.

For more information, go to

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