Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Diane Lallemand, the Principal Analyst for Records and Policy Coordination and organizer of Disposition Day, the campus-wide event that encourages safe and secure destruction of confidential files through recycling.
What is your title on campus?
I’m the Principal Analyst for Records and Policy Coordination. I oversee the Chancellor's administrative archive and act as Campus Records Manager, providing guidance to campus business offices on system-wide records management policies and practices. Other side of my job is the policy coordination. I work with campus leadership in the vetting and approval processes of administrative policies that have broad application to the local campus community.
What does “sustainability” mean to you?
I think sustainability is an emerging field of study that is too often pigeon holed into topics like recycling or saving kilowatt hours. Those things are extremely important and excellent starting points. But broadly, the word “sustainability”, for me, encourages an understanding of all ecological relationships with the goal of reaching a stable equilibrium between the interdependencies of living things and life providing resources.
Sometimes sustainability can come off as “what are the set of actions that would ensure humans stay dominant in the future”. But, I like to focus on what we can do to the balance factors.
On a personal behavior level, it means always looking for ways to improve efficiency, reduce consumables, fix rather than replace, encourage my family to think critically about their behavior, and support the visionaries who can lead actual change. What it doesn’t mean to me is running out and getting the hottest “green” product and putting my old one in the landfill.
What made you interested in sustainability?
It feels good (laughs). I mean, it’s the same feeling I get after spring cleaning. The largest role that people play in the issue is one of “consumer”. Over consuming is actually stressful. Taking only what I can use and using what I take leaves more time and energy for me to be wholly engaged with my family and friends.
Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
My favorite moment comes one a year; the day my office makes its biggest impact, Disposition Day. Each year we reach out to departments and ask that they go through their files and dispose of records that have passed their retention date according the UC Records Retention Schedule. On Disposition Day, we provide a service to pick up the confidential records for secured shredding free of charge. This year we removed 5,034 pounds (or 2.5 tons) of paper from the campus. To understand the impact paper can play in the workplace, we created this infographic based on the last year’s results.
Are there sustainability practices you’ve picked up specific to your background or culture?
I have always been especially mindful about water use, and I guess it is because I have heard stories about my grandfather in the Philippines. He was the first in his village to construct elaborate water catchment systems from bamboo stalks. The water he collected helped his family sustain the long hot dry seasons and water their farm. Hearing and seeing first-hand the amount of invention and effort it took makes me cherish every drop.
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.