Do students entering U.C. San Diego this year have any idea what awaits them? Those who read Pat Jacoby’s article in UCSD News will learn how the green movement has transformed the school into a “next generation array of green innovations ranging from Econauts and drought tolerant bio-swale landscaping to organic foods and ‘hydration stations’ that eliminate the need for disposable water bottles.”
“UC San Diego is a living laboratory for climate change solutions,” said Mark Cunningham, the school’s director of Housing, Dining and Hospitality, adding that “if we show these citizens of tomorrow they can live without plastic, air conditioning and other unnecessary amenities during their life on campus, they’ll take these good consumer habits out into their future world.”
Furthermore, Krista Mays, sustainability manager for Housing, Dining and Hospitality, reports that UCSD “dining halls and markets will offer cage-free eggs; fair trade coffee, tea and sugar; organic food, and locally grown fruits and vegetables.” Next spring, one of the dining halls will be re-born as an organic bistro.
In case anyone is wondering what an “Econaut” is, seven of them have been hired to educate their fellow students about “ways to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce “water consumption by 20 percent and achieve zero waste by 2012.”
Each student will receive a personal electricity bill to build “awareness of the cost of energy for activities such as all-night gaming, and use of plasma TV, stereo and play stations.”
Here’s something else to look forward to:
This year, “Housing, Dining and Hospitality Services will continue a system tested last year that removed all disposables (take-away plastics and Styrofoam) and replaced them with compostable plastics and reusable china and silverware. Students who want food-to-go can use permanent dishware and leave it at drop-off spots throughout the campus known as “Toby’s Spots.”
Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.