The University of San Diego has already made its commitment of reaching zero waste by the year 2020. That means that at least 90 percent of campus waste will be averted from landfills or incineration. The college grounds has already been working its way toward their final goal by integrating themselves into innovative programs all for food waste elimination, as well as to help students who struggle with food insecurity at the same time. UC San Diego has already instituted several programs such as the installation of hydration stations and implementation of switching to a single-bin recycling system. UC San Diego has made their pledge to securing at least 20 percent of sustainable food products by the next year for campus and medical food service operations, as well as to certify at least one foodservice facility on each campus as a green business. The university has already received the achievement of opening a Farmers Market to bring fresh, locally grown produce on Tuesdays, allowing for students to learn about healthy green cooking opportunities during weekly demonstrations at UC San Diego’s lounge for student well-being and health, The Zone. UCSD has also started on another project, the Triton Food Pantry, which offers discreet service to the campus students who struggle with the lack of available foods. UCSD has shown persuading determination to constantly influence campus students to purchase organic and locally-grown food to reduce transportation emissions, which would include food coming from out of state areas.
UC San Diego in La Jolla has dedicated to attaining zero waste by the next year through reducing the entire metropolitan solid waste generation, as well as ending the sale, procurement and distribution of expanded polystyrene, which is essentially a rigid cellular plastic that which is found in a multitude of applications such as electrical consumer goods and fish boxes. In other words, it is more commonly known as ‘Styrofoam’. A few means for reducing the amount of disposable materials used by students on the campus are from by stopping the distribution of plastic straws at dining facilities and instead switching to paper straws. Another way would be refilling reusable water bottles or canteens at water refill stations across the university. Aside from the distribution and encouragement of locally grown foods, since composting is extremely beneficial for the environment and directly related to UCSD’s sustainability goals, resigning from their responsibility to compost is unacceptable at the time.
Until recently, the University of San Diego publicized their goal of becoming and having 100 percent reliance on the usage and distribution of clean electricity supplies across its campuses and medical centers by the next twenty-five years, completing the university’s prior pledge to becoming solely carbon neutral. This would mean that a large majority to all of the vehicles and buildings would produce net zero greenhouse gases by 2025. The university has already begun its commitment to conserving energy with cooperation with other statewide load-reduction initiatives and university standards. The university already generates at least 85% of its own clean electricity through the uses of a resourceful cogeneration plant, the globe’s largest commercial fuel cell, as well as solar panels. The benefits with using solar panels is that it is renewable, environmentally friendly, widely available, and comes from reduced electricity costs, which would definitely favor in the weight of supporting an entire university. The university’s Energy Innovation Park holds numerous advanced energy systems, include the usage of 2.8-megawatt fuel cells, 2.5 megawatt/5 megawatt-hour advanced energy storage system, as well as the operation and usage of compressed natural gas fueling stations that deliver renewable CNG to public vehicles, including the campus’ very own. This 2.4-megawatt solar network comprises of a range of carport, rooftop, and ground mounted systems, and also includes multiple ones already combined with advanced energy systems. The university frequently seeks out opportunities to expand their solar infrastructure, one example being a 300-kilowatt solar water-heating system installation, achieving to be one of the largest solar-thermal projects at a university.
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