Sunday, May 29, 2016

Move-out program, garage-sale weekend – Earn FREE pizza from Woodstock’s

As you know, it has been a tradition at UC Santa Cruz to lower our impact on the environment.
When you move out at the end of the quarter, it may seem generous to leave your items on the sidewalk with a “FREE” sign. Unfortunately, this material often ends up in our waterways, the bay, or in landfills. To minimize our impact we ask that you do the following 2-3 weeks before you move:

  • Take it home early: If you’re going home over the weekend, start taking some of your items home with you.
  • Join the citywide garage sale: Participate in the citywide garage-sale weekend, June 4-5. The event will be publicized to city residents by both the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC’s Community Relations office. Register your garage sale at If you register your garage sale online, you will receive a coupon for a free large pizza from Woodstock’s pizza.
  • Donate your items to a local charity: Only do this if your items are in good condition. Many charities are unable to take items that are ripped, stained, broken, bent, frayed or worn looking. This is especially true for bulky items such as couches, mattresses, desks, dining room tables and other large items. For more information check Goodwill’s site at or Hope Services at
  • As an absolute last resort, for bulky items that can no longer be reused, you can schedule a pick-up with the city of Santa Cruz in June.  These pick-ups are only for large bulky items that will be taken to the landfill. This includes mattresses, box springs, couches, and living room chairs. To arrange a bulky item pick-up, please register at If you register for a bulky item pick-up, you will receive a coupon for a free large pizza from Woodstock’s pizza.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in keeping our environment and landfill free of items that can be reused.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

June 2016 Green Tip: Graduation Weekend - Plan Ahead and Avoid the Headaches

It is always a treat when the most sustainable option is also the most comfortable, and this is certainly the case for graduation weekend! With commencement ceremonies and celebrations with family and friends, keep these tips in mind to make the most of your weekend.

Consolidate Travel

Getting from point A to point B is never as simple as you might like. Graduation weekend is the busiest weekend of the whole year in Santa Cruz. Family coming from out of town will most likely get caught in the inbound traffic on Highway 17, and parking for commencement ceremonies on campus can be a frustrating experience. Reduce stress and be part of the solution by carpooling as much as possible. Minimizing the number of vehicles 


As your loved ones are watching you walk at graduation, the last thing you want is for them to feel parched and dehydrated as they sit under the cruel Santa Cruz sun. While some commencements will have bottled water available, you can reduce your group's waste footprint and keep everybody happy by making sure to fill up your reusable water bottles before going to the ceremony. Drinking out of a disposable water bottle may not result in an immediate punishment at the hands of Mother Earth, but making your own mother sit through ninety minutes of "Pomp and Circumstance" without water just might!

Off the Beaten Path

Going to the Boardwalk and other such "tourist" activities can be fun to do with visiting friends and family, but consider taking the time to enjoy the natural wonders of Santa Cruz. For a more extensive look at these activities, check out this classic Green Tip!

How are you planning on making your graduation weekend a greenuation weekend memorable one? Let us know in the comments!

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this story, the author made a terrible pun. He has been appropriately punished. We give our sincerest apologies to all those affected.

Friday, May 27, 2016

June 2016: Adriana Renteria

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month we are featuring Adriana Renteria, the programs coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective. 

Position Title(s): Program Coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective

What is PoCSC?
The People of Color Sustainability Collective is an initiative that aims to make UCSC a leader in environmental justice by raising awareness about the contributions that people of color have made towards the environmental movement. We create opportunities for critical dialogue about environmental justice through student discussion spaces, student of color caucuses, social media awareness campaigns, workshops, and speaker presentations. PoCSC is an Ethnic Resource Centers’ initiative that works in collaboration with College Nine, College Ten, and the Campus Sustainability Office.

What does “sustainability” mean to you?
To me, it means living in a way that always stays true to my roots and honors my ancestors who paved the way for me. It also means living in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the ability of my future generations to live a healthy, safe, and happy life.

Why did you get involved with sustainability?
My dad was a farmworker and growing up I remember not being able to hug my dad when he got home from work until he changed out of his work clothes and into clothes that were not covered in chemicals. Growing up I always wondered why my dad would work in a place that could cause harm to himself or his family’s health. Once I got to college, I started taking courses and doing research that helped me better understand the causes of environmental injustices. I got involved with student organizing so I could learn more and help support communities like my own.

How has sustainability related to your role(s) at UCSC?
As an undergrad at UCSC, I was involved in several sustainability spaces: Take Back the Tap, Student Environmental Center, Education for a Sustainable Living Program, and IDEASS. I am currently the coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective and as a part of this initiative, we host events, workshops, and speaker series where students can have dialogues about the intersections between race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, culture and the environment. Through these events we also work to challenge the mainstream definition of sustainability to be inclusive of underrepresented communities.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
I try to practice sustainability in everything that I do. When I wash dishes, I’m conscious of the water I use. I try to keep track of my leftovers so I don’t waste food and I try to share rides when I can. In the winter time, I take out my Mexican blankets before I even think about turning on the heater.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
For me, I loved the 2016 Inter-Org retreat. It was great to meet new people and participate in such awesome workshops.

She asked the PoCSC interns about their favorite moments and this is what they shared:
Geena Talley: “My favorite sustainability moment was the PoCSC “Art Tools for Environmental Justice” chalk event-- I felt a huge sense of community as well as pride in our artwork and our goals."

Catherine Alfaro: “My favorite sustainability moment was going to camp Campbell and sharing a space of learning & growth with many different people all working towards different aspects of sustainability.”

Cristal Gonzalez: “My favorite sustainability moment was going on the InterOrg retreat that encompassed different perspectives and aspects of sustainability. It was great being surrounded with other folks with similar life experiences in a space that is not always reflective of that in my opinion. I also enjoyed our “Art Tools for EJ” event, in particular the aspect where we were able to create our own art. It was a very empowering experience.”

Raymond Lebeau: “I enjoyed co-facilitating Art Tools for Environmental Justice and learning about the history of the environmental justice movement.”

Are there sustainability practices you’ve picked up specific to your background or culture?
Yes, so many! When I think of sustainability, I think of “rasquachismo,” a term used in Chicanx art to describe a style that’s rooted in creativity, survival, and resourcefulness. Dr. Tomás Ybarra–Frausto who coined the term says it’s rooted in the saying “Hacer de tripas corazón” ––make do with what you have.

My mom practices rasquachismo all the time. She loves going to quinces/baptisms/weddings because it means she usually gets to take home the centerpieces that she then repurposes into a wide variety of things. She even re-gifts them sometimes! Whether it’s reusing plastic cups and utensils for parties or using old rags to stuff pillow cases, my family’s always instilled the importance of finding as many different purposes for something as possible.

If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email at susted[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Green Office Certification Program: My Experience

This post was written by the Sustainability Office Green Office Certification Program Coordinator, Rissy Mathias. 

Working within the Sustainability Office has been an amazing experience that has shed light for me onto the inner-workings of the campus-wide plan of sustainability. UCSC is a campus that truly strives to integrate sustainability through student-led initiatives backed by staff involvement. Working in the Green Office Certification Program, I have enjoyed interacting with the staff and faculty of UCSC. This experience has helped me acquire skills such as interacting professionally and effectively outside of just my classroom experience.

My time at the Green Office Certification Program has allowed me to creatively tackle sustainability issues within this sector. My co-worker, Alana Mandrick, and I were able to integrate the evaluation of water practices into the certification program. Currently, we are finding a more efficient way to evaluate the energy practices of the offices on campus. We have done this by creating self-evaluation questions to receive perspectives from participating offices and by creating a system to check water systems within the office. This picture included shows some of the questions we ask office members on the self-evaluation calculator that they fill out during the certification process.
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Photo courtesy of UCSC Green Office Certification Program

This was an important addition to the Green Office Certification Program, especially when the recent drought is taken into account. None of this would have been achievable without the promotion of creativity and the culture of innovation within the Sustainability Office.

Monday, May 23, 2016

June 2016: Internships, Employment & Volunteering


California Conservation Course Field Logistics Intern
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is seeking an undergraduate intern to work with the field logistics coordinator during the summer portion of its field course from June 16th through August 14th. More information can be found here.

Summer Internships with Sustain Magazine
Sustain: Northern California’s Green Living Magazine, based in Santa Cruz, is poised to launch its its first issue this summer. Sustain is seeking 1 to 2 interns for the summer interested in the intersect of art and environmental issues. More information can be found here.

Intern with Pie Ranch: Applications due June 5
Pie Ranch seeks a summer intern interested in becoming involved in ground-level food system change on an organic farm. This position includes working with Pie Ranch's Chef Educator and student interns preparing farm grown healthy meals. More information can be found here.

Communications Intern with Open Government Partnership: Applications due June 15
Open Government Partnership aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective, and accountable to citizens. OGP is currently seeking a Communications Intern to generate and promote materials for a variety of social media and briefings. More information is available here.

Climate Corps Bay Area Fellowship Program
Climate Corps Bay Area’s Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for 40 opportunities in California with local governments and organizations including Capital Corridor, Kaiser Permanente, UCSF, and SunPower. As the host site with the largest cohort of fellows, Alameda County is recruiting 6 Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows to work in Oakland on exciting topics such as electric vehicle charging, engaging new audiences in composting, and greening preschools! Find more information about various openings in Alameda County here and apply online here.

CivicSpark Fellowship and WaterCorps
CivicSpark and WaterCorps are looking for recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, start their career in the sustainability and climate change field, and make a lasting impact! More information about the CivicSpark Fellowship can be found here. Learn more about CivicSpark and WaterCorps by attending a Fellow Recruitment Webinar and by visiting the CivicSpark website.

Naturalist Internship with Sierra Outdoor School
Interns will teach 4th through 6th-grade students science concepts and lead team building activities in an outdoor setting in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This position involves leading small and large groups in day classes, field trips, and night program activities. For more information, click here.

PolicyLink Summer Internships
PolicyLink interns are highly qualified emerging professionals and leaders who are committed to racial equity and social justice and interested in PolicyLink's "lifting up what works" approach to policy change. Each intern plays an integral role in helping the organization further policy impact through a commitment to research, communications, capacity building, and advocacy. More information is available here.


The Sustainability Office is Hiring!  
The Sustainability Office is now hiring for the positions of Campus Sustainability Outreach Associate (ER 4289), Website Assistant, and Carbon Neutrality Initiative - Engaged Scholarship Fellowship. More information can be found here. The deadline for the Provost's Sustainability Internship Program has also been extended until all positions are filled. interested applicants should apply as soon as possible here.

Sustainability Programs Manager for the Sustainability Office
The University of California Santa Cruz Sustainability Office is excited to launch a recruitment process for a Sustainability Programs Manager! To find out about this position, search for job number 1606431 under Search Postings here.

Take Back the Tap Seeking Coordinator
Take Back the Tap is looking for a student campaign coordinator for the academic year of 2016-2017! This is a paid position to work with social justice and environmental issues in a hands-on way! If you are interested in getting involved, come to our meetings on Fridays from 2:00-3:30 in the Kresge Common Ground Center or email us at tbttucsc-group[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Jobs in Community Relations & Development with the Museum of Art & History
A variety of opportunities are now available at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History! The Community Relations and Development team is seeking applicants interested in building community with donors, creative collaborators, and volunteers. More information and opportunities can be found here.

Positions with the Bioneers Conference
Bioneers currently seeks applicants for the positions of Indigenous Knowledge Program ManagerCustomer Service and Administrative Assistant, and Communications Manager. More information can be found at the positions' respective links.

Biology Laboratory Coordinator with the Keck Science Department
The Keck Science Department is currently seeking a Biology Laboratory Coordinator, to begin work immediately. Coordinator duties include training undergraduate teaching assistants and teaching two laboratory sections per semester. For more information, see the full post here.

Program Coordinator for the Oil and Gas Program with the 11th Hour Project
The 11th Hour Project, a Palo Alto-based program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, is seeking applicants for the position of Program Coordinator for the Oil and Gas Program. This program is focused on reducing fossil fuels and their associated environmental and health impacts. The Program Coordinator will maintain, review, analyze, and assist in the creation and processing of grants. More information about the position can be found here.

Director of Education with No Bully
No Bully is seeking an innovative and entrepreneurial Education Director to scale adoption of the No Bully System® by schools across the United States. Click here for more information.

Center for Biological Diversity: Numerous Positions Available
The Center for Biological Diversity is a 501(c)3 nonprofit conservation organization with 991,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. They have more than 100 staff in offices in Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida;, New Mexico; Oregon; and Washington, D.C. The Center is hiring for 10 different positions throughout their offices. For more information, visit their website.


Bike Valet Volunteers Needed
Bike Santa Cruz needs volunteers to assist with the bike valets at the Japanese Cultural Fair at Mission Plaza Park on June 4 from 10am-7p, and at the Pleasure Point Street Fair in Pleasure Point on June 25 from 10am-5:30pm. Shifts last from 2 to 3 hours; snacks and training are provided.. Contact Amelia at director[at]bikesantacruzcounty[dot]org or (831) 425-0665 to sign up.

Join the HEY! (Healthy Eating Youths) Team
The HEY! team juices fresh local fruits and vegetables at elementary, middle, and high schools in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County to educate young locals about healthy eating. The team provides fresh, organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables to thousands of kids across seven partner districts in the Central Coast through juicing demos. For more information about the position, please email CDFA Cohort Juicing/Tasting Coordinator Yanelly Alonso at yalonso[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Volunteer with Sea Slugs, an Ocean Conservation Org
Sea Slugs is an ocean-minded campus organization dedicated to environmental stewardship. It is an excellent opportunity for students (both undergrad and grad) to engage in the greater community through public service while making a positive impact on the local environment. For information about meeting times and opportunities, contact Sea Slugs at seaslug.ucsc[at]gmail[dot]com or visit their website.

Arboretum Volunteer Gardening Opportunities
The Arboretum has volunteer gardening hours throughout the week. Visit their website for details.

Opportunities with the Homeless Garden Project
The Homeless Garden Project is seeking volunteers for the roles of Social Work Volunteer and Chef and Food Coordinator. To find out more about becoming a Social Work Volunteer, click here; click here to learn more about the position of Chef and Food Coordinator.

The Bike Church Community Repair Shop Seeking Volunteers
Have a knack for cycling, biking and learning to maintain bikes? Interested in learning to divert bike parts from the waste stream? Then this is the opportunity for you! Click here for more information.

Volunteer with Coastal Watershed Council
The Coastal Watershed Council invites you to join its efforts to protect and preserve local watersheds! If you are interested in volunteering on the San Lorenzo River, doing water quality monitoring through programs like Snapshot Day, First Flush, Urban Watch or any of CWC’s other events and programs, please visit their website.

Call for Applications: Sierra Youth Coalition’s Executive Committee 2016-2017
Sierra Youth Coalition is currently recruiting dedicated, empowered and proactive youth leaders for a seat on its Executive Committee. The official decision-making body, the committee is comprised of nine youth from across the U.S and is responsible for shaping the Sierra Youth Coalition's direction, organizational governance and supporting the staff team.

June 2016: Classes, Training, Community

California's Presidential Primary Election: June 7, 2016
Remember to vote in the presidential primary this June! You have to be registered as a Democrat or No Party Preference (NPP) in order to vote for the presidential candidates, and if you are registered as NPP, you have to request a democratic ballot, otherwise you will not be able to vote for a presidential candidate. The deadline to register to vote was May 23rd. You can vote early, M-F 9-5pm at the Santa Cruz County Government Center, 701 Ocean Street, Rm. 210. Additionally, there will be polling places on campus from 7-7pm on June 7th. For more information, click here.

Climate Ride Summer Session: June 17 - July 10, 2016
The Climate Ride has a new program designed to engage young adults (ages 18-24) in the bike advocacy, conservation and sustainability movement. The 2016 inaugural ride is a 24-day, 1200-mile van-supported bike trip from Portland, OR to Santa Barbara, CA through some of the Pacific Coast’s most beautiful locales. In order to participate, riders must fundraise a minimum of $3,500 for the Climate Ride beneficiary organizations of their choice. There are more than 100 beneficiaries to choose fromSpace is limited to 20 participants. For more information and to register click here.

The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy Program: Deadline July 1
The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) is a two-week intensive workshop and lecture series for students and professionals at the University of Illinois at Chicago. From August 4-16, a diverse body of participants will engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability-related topics through daily presentations, collaborative projects, mentoring activities, site visits, and networking opportunities with leading research institutions and companies in the digital technology and energy sectors. They will accept applications through July 1st. Application information, program information, and more can be found at their website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Aláan uic.sise.admissions[at]gmail[dot]com, SISE Program Coordinator.

ENVS 15: Natural History of the UCSC Campus: Enroll now for Summer Session 2!
Looking to get to know the plants and animals of the campus and to see the natural world through new eyes? This will be taught during Summer Session 2 by Alex Jones, UCSC Campus Natural Reserve Manager. This class provides an excellent opportunity to increase your skills of observation and interpretation out in the field while also having a great time with your fellow students. Each week focuses on a different topic, from plants to birds to reptiles and amphibians to mammals and more. In addition to in-class exploration, you will deepen your relationship with the natural world through weekly individual journal exercises at a particular spot on campus that you'll use to anchor your learning. For more info, email Alex at

Wildlands Studies 2016 Summer Programs: Spaces Still Available! 
Wildlands Studies still has a few spaces available in their upcoming summer programs and they encourage students to apply soon.  You could join them in Belize, Australia, Yellowstone, Big Sur and the Channel Islands in California, and Vancouver Island in Canada.  All their programs provide hands-on, applied learning and direct research experience to students while living in a backcountry wilderness setting.  Their courses offer between 5-15 quarter credits provided through Western Washington University. Check out their website or this post to learn more!

Produce Pop-Up Stand in the Quarry Plaza
Come and enjoy the UCSC Farm Produce Pop-up on Thursdays from 10am to 3pm at the Quarry Plaza! FSWG will have a variety of vegetables and flowers from the UCSC CASFS Farm and select fruit from the Downtown Farmer's Market. They are now accepting EBT/CalFresh so please come by and use your benefits! They are also looking for an intern to help support and run the Pop-Up in Fall Quarter 2016. The purpose of  the pop-up is to bring the Farmer's market to UCSC for students and to increase access to healthy and affordable food for all. If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa Billys at abillys[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Demeter Seed Library
The Demeter Seed Library will be hosting office hours this quarter in Oakes 307. Come by to borrow or donate seeds and learn more about seed saving and campus gardening efforts! Office hours are Tuesdays 2-3pm or by appointment.

Sustainability Studies Minor
The minor incorporates courses offered by College Eight and departments across campus, student-initiated classes through the Education for Sustainable Living Program, and an interdisciplinary capstone. The minor is open to all UCSC students. For more information, click here.

Collaborators for UCSC Biodigester Grant Proposal Needed
UCSC Sustainability Studies Student, Nick Kush, is developing a proposal for a grant to purchase a biodigester for UCSC. A biodigester is a container about the size of a medium trash can where you put in food scraps, and then after digestion by bacteria, get out methane gas which can be used to cook on a barbecue. His goal is to have it installed by the end of the year at PICA. He is looking for fellow collaborators or people who are interested in making this happen. Click here to look at the desired unit. For more information, contact Nick at

Divestment Student Network People Of Color Caucus
The People of Color Caucus is a place for organizers of color in the divestment movement to meet, collaborate on shared projects, and support each other to build the Climate Justice movement the world needs. Check out their Purpose, Principles and how to get involved here. Divestors of color who are interested in learning more can fill out this quick membership form to be shared on their listserve, membership contact page, and Facebook group.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


This post was written by Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team Associate Bella Montez. 

My project this year with the UCSC Sustainability Office’s Zero Waste Team was to plan the Second Annual UCSC Campus Cleanup. My first thought was “I need some help.” I gathered help from the Sustainability Office, my fellow Zero Waste Team members, some Student Sustainability advisors and some gracious volunteers I found on facebook. We formed a committee and met every week starting in the winter quarter to plan two winter cleanups and the big spring cleanup. 

For the two winter cleanups, we used the Student Sustainability Advisors home turf. We did our first  “Cleanup Hour” at College 9/10 and another at College 8/Oakes which drew in about about 10-20 students for each cleanup. The two smaller cleanups were really helpful because they allowed us to understand how we could improve, expand, and plan a successful spring cleanup. 

To plan for the big cleanup, we contacted Grounds Services who helped us with waste management, Environmental Health and Safety who gave us helpful tips on how to keep everyone safe, and Save our Shores who donated buckets and grabbers that made the cleanup possible. In total, we were able to recruit 155 volunteers from all the colleges on campus through facebook and flyering in dorms & at bus stops. 

On May 1, 2016, the Campus Cleanup Committee gathered supplies and brought them to Quarry Plaza at around 9:30AM. At 10AM, volunteers began to gather at the Quarry plaza for bagels, fruit, and other snacks, and everyone was given a t-shirt with the Campus Cleanup logo. At around 10:30AM, I thanked our sponsors and introduced our volunteers to the crowd. We then split everyone into cleanup crews and dispersed to various locations around campus! By the end of the day, we collected 255 pounds of trash including 5.6 pounds of cigarettes. The trash, recyclables and compost were all sorted to the correct bins and the cigarettes were sent to TerraCycle to be made into recycled products. It was a huge success and everyone left with a cookie from the Pacific Cookie Company in their hands, feeling very tired but accomplished! Overall, it was so amazing to see how much spirit people had to keep our campus beautiful.