Friday, April 28, 2017

May 2017 Sustainability Profile: IDEASS

Impact Design Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS)

What current projects are you working on? 
Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS) and Bay View Elementary Low Impact Development (LID)

How do you incorporate sustainable practices within your projects?

We incorporate a few different methods of sustainable practices into our project designs, for the current project at Bay View Elementary we are implementing Bioswales, Rain Gardens,  permeable paths and a playground surface, and a Rainwater Harvesting System. Not only will these methods supply sustainably sourced water and help prevent pollutant discharge to our oceans, they will be incorporated in a way that is aesthetically pleasing as well.

How do you collaborate with community organizations in order to reach your goal?

The DROPS grant is a joint collaboration between UCSC, the City of Santa Cruz Department of Public Works, and the City of Santa Cruz School District. There will be both a 5th grade curriculum developed to teach the LID concepts, and a public/outreach portion that will include seminars and a documentary.

How does water conservation support a sustainable community? 

Reducing the demand on potable water supplied by the City of Santa Cruz means less water pumped from the Graham Hill Treatment Plant, which means less energy used for transportation. This will be achieved by installing five separate rainwater storage tanks with a total capacity of 20,000 gallons. Reducing pollutants by filtering through vegetative Bioswales is a great way to enhance the aesthetics of a property while removing harmful pollutants such as hard metals and oil that would otherwise end up at our local beaches.

What are some green tips around sustainable water strategies that you can practice at home?  
  • Collect rainwater
  • Save shower water as it warms up and use for watering plants, flushing toilets, etc.
  • Be aware of water use: short showers, don’t let faucets run, fix leaks
  • Learn to read your water meter and calculate your daily/weekly/monthly usage
  • Try to keep all the rain falling on your property and keep from running onto the street by catching it (rain barrel), slowing it down and sinking it (bioswales and rain gardens)

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