Sunday, August 26, 2012

Zero Waste Orientations at UCSC

By focusing their efforts over the past five years, the UCSC Orientation Office has made significant progress towards making orientation programs zero-waste events. These efforts help introduce new UCSC students and family members to a culture of sustainability on the campus.

For example, all 7,000-8,000 participants receive reusable canvas bags with support from the Student Environmental Center to avoid using plastic bags, and students’ nametags double as reusable luggage tags. Also, four years ago they purchased colored flags to help new students navigate the campus, which eliminated the use of balloons. The reusable flags are much more functional and are loaned throughout the year to a least seven different offices on campus for various programs.

During all meals served during summer orientation, they have 6 to 7 zero-waste stations. Each station always has one to two Orientation Leaders present to help educate new students and families on how to best dispose of what was on their plates. During summer 2012 Orientation more than 3,000 pounds of waste were composted, compared to about 200 pounds of trash. 

Great work, UCSC Orientation Office and welcome to all of this year's new Banana Slugs!


Zane Hovell said...

Great advocacy! Back home, in support of the greening projects of the central business district in Australia, commercial cleaner in perth were instructed on garbage segregation, as well as where to dump electronics that are no longer functional.

Tristan Fidler said...

They did a great job in distributing all of those reusable bags. I am hoping to see more volunteers in the future.

Teresa A. Tanner said...

When we talk of sustainability in the academe, we can understand it in the terms of the academic population. The challenge for us was to make stay-at-home moms aware of the concept of sustainability as a starter. We did a good presentation of how furniture can be a legacy to their children by choosing the right ones. Ain't that sustainable, eh?