Going Green is Simple, for Tritons Old and New

    ON CAMPUS — This year new students to UCSD’s Sixth College moved into thoroughly green-friendly dorms. Instead of the customary paper move-in forms, freshmen will be filling out their housing info online. Their new rooms are decorated with carpet and furniture made from recycled materials, equipped with low-flow showerheads to conserve water and energy-efficient lighting. And along with the Gilman and Hopkins Parking Structures, the Sixth residence halls were outfitted with photovoltaic solar panels.

    A number of groups have come together on this project; upon moving in Sixth students will receive a reusable plastic water bottle and Housing, Dining, Hospitality will provide discounts for students who use the bottles, and interns from Green Campus will be providing compact fluorescent light bulbs so that students can cut down on their energy use.

    But the Sixth College renovations are just a few of the many steps UCSD has taken this summer to propel its campuswide green goal. An increased number of recycling bins are available around campus, in addition to new compost bins. Many dining commons campuswide have introduced eco-friendly dishware and sustainability-minded products.

    Though Sixth may have recently renovated its living accommodations to assist in the university’s green effort, there is no reason students across campus can’t make similar changes to help the environment. Green Campus interns, for example, will be making their rounds to all of UCSD’s college to distribute energy-saving CFL bulbs. And by spending a little more now, students off campus can cut their yearlong energy bills significantly by also making the switch to CFLs.

    Students can also follow Sixth’s lead by carrying Nalgenes, stocking their new digs with eco-friendly cleaning supplies, grabbing some super-cheap reusable grocery bags to cut down on plastic-bag waste and making a conscious effort to recycle the paper, plastic and aluminum products they use. All these changes are small, but imagine the difference 22,000 undergrads could make.

    And simple adjustments such as these will have a tremendous positive impact on the environment, and it’s great to finally see a systematic transformation taking place. UCSD has taken steps in the past to reduce its carbon footprint, but by calling upon students to take an active role in conservation and environmentalism — with orientation initiatives, dorm changes and green seminars — the university is helping to create a generation of eco-aware citizens. .

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