Solutions Central

Waste

Three simple steps to be a sustainability champion.

1. Reduce

Buy and consume less and make sure to use all of what you take. 

UCLA is a single-use plastic free campus. Bruins bring their own reusable bags, utensils, and water bottles.

Water Refill Stations Across Campus

2. Reuse

After you’ve reduced as much as you can, reuse items rather than disposing of them.

Follow these Reuse Tips to learn how you can make the most of your items and save money.

3. Recycle & Compost

Follow the waste sorting requirements on and off campus. What goes in the bins at UCLA?

Remember, on the Hill, ALL takeout containers are compostable. 

Safely dispose of personal hazardous and electronic waste at the on-campus SAFE Center. For larger pick-ups, departments can complete a Recycling Request Form.


Check out this handy video to learn more about how to sort your waste and why it matters!

Purchasing

If you can’t borrow, swap, or rent, follow these steps for what to buy and where to shop.

What to Buy

Purchase recycled, used, and eco-friendly goods.

Buy in bulk and with minimal packaging.

Where to Shop

Shop secondhand at Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, Depop, and thrift stores.

Buy local, such as at Farmers Markets around LA.

UCLA students can refill cleaning and bath supplies at the CPO Office or Good Clothes Good People. We also encourage everyone to purchase their home goods, cleaning, and personal care products from Refillery LA.


Students

Visit the UCLA Store for textbook rentals and buybacks and the Good Clothes Good People redistribution center in the Student Activities Center for stationery and textbooks.

Faculty and Staff

Purchase office supplies using the UCLA Sustainable Office Purchasing Guide for Office Max.

Consolidate orders to cut down on the number of deliveries.

Look for the “reduce, reuse, recycle” symbol in the BruinBuy catalog.

Choose products that have certifications such as: EPA Comprehensive, Procurement Guidelines, Forest Stewardship Council, Green Seal, and Energy Star.

Food

What you eat matters. The global food system is responsible for roughly one-quarter of the planet-warming greenhouse gases each year.

Eat Less Meat

Reducing your meat intake, especially red meat like beef and lamb, is the single most impactful effort you can take to reduce your environmental footprint, and it’s good for your health as well. There are many delicious, nutritious alternatives to make at home or try at the UCLA Dining Halls.

Aeroponic vertical garden supplements B-Plate produce

Tips for Eating in the Dining Halls

Take only what you can eat and drink.

Go tray-less.

Eat at Bruin Plate, a 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant

Look for green earth symbols on the dining menu for low-carbon footprint, vegan, and vegetarian options. Check out this Guide to vegan-friendly eating at UCLA.

Water & Energy

Overuse of water and energy drains crucial fresh water sources, which make up less 1% of the Earth’s water.

Conserve Water

Take shorter showers with cooler water.

Only do full loads of laundry.

Fix leaky faucets.

Install low-flow fixtures and energy and water efficient dishwashers.

Conduct a water audit to help make UCLA more water efficient.

Changing your diet can also change your water usage. Some foods such as beef are much more water-intensive than others. Refer back to the Food section.


Save Energy

Use less heating and A/C. A good rule of thumb is to set the thermostat to 78° in the summer and 68° in the winter.

Wash your laundry on cold and hang dry.

Turn off everything before you leave. Use power strips and switch them off when they are not in use.

Enable standby or sleep mode on your computer.


See Something, Say Something

Use the UCLA 311 app or submit a Facilities Service Request to report maintenance issues on campus as soon as you spot them. 

Some issues to look out for include:

  • Outdoor Lights that are on during the day (other than parking lights)
  • Leaking water fixtures: sprinklers, faucets, toilets, showers, water fountains
  • Classrooms or lecture halls that are too hot/cold
  • Overshooting water fountains
  • Flickering lights
  • Rodents, pests, or bees
  • Overflowing garbage cans
  • Graffiti or tagging

Transportation

No matter how far away you are from UCLA, there is an eco-friendly way to travel. Transportation generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions.

Walking and biking are often best when traveling less than 5 miles. Driving a personal vehicle should be the last resort.

Public Transit

UCLA Transportation subsidizes transit pass costs for seven transit agencies for eligible UCLA students and employees.

Students and employees new to riding transit may be eligible for a free quarterly Bruin Commuter Transit pass.

Bike

Riding a bicycle is a fun, healthy, and inexpensive way to get to around campus.

Take advantage of the 3,000+ bike racks and lockers and the on-campus UCLA Bike Shop.

Getting to UCLA: 5+ Miles Away

In addition to public transit, UCLA offers the vanpool and carpool programs for getting to campus from more than five miles away.

Vanpool

UCLA Vanpool Program: travel to UCLA/Westwood in a van provided by UCLA with others from the Bruin community.

Carpool

Carpool to or from campus with fellow Bruins to get a discounted UCLA Carpool Parking Permit. Get help finding a carpool.

Green Events

Learn more, network, and have fun.

Check out our upcoming sustainability events!

Make Your Event Green

Use the Green Events Certification for your next event!

  1. Follow the Green Events Certification guidelines
  2. Apply for a UCLA Green Events Certificate
  3. Green catering options and tips

For questions, please contact: zerowaste@ucla.edu

Research & Classes

Conduct groundbreaking research and put a sustainable focus on your curriculum. Combat climate change from the lab and classroom.

Research

Discover innovative solutions as a faculty member or student with Sustainability Action Research and UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.

Refer to the UCLA Library Sustainability Research Guide and Electronic Green Journal.

Faculty: Resources

If you are a PI, apply to conduct research with the Living Laboratory Projects.

Collaborate with the research centers and groups that are partnered with UCLA. 

Green Labs

Utilize the UCLA EH&S Hazardous Waste management resources, pick-up services, and drop off-location

Inventory your fridge/freezer space and use Equipment shutoff stickers.

Adopt the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Additional Guidance

Contact the Hazardous Materials Manager at hazardousmaterial@ehs.ucla.edu or (310) 794-5569.

Learn more about UCLA’s Deep Energy Efficiency Program.

For general environmental safety inquiries: (310) 825-5689


Classes

Students: Learning Green

Take a sustainability related class at UCLA as a student or try free or low-cost online sustainability courses.

Faculty: Teaching Green

Incorporate elements of sustainability into class curriculum. Possible topics include the co-benefits of sustainability (economy, equity, ecology).

Use AASHE for curriculum content by creating an account with your UCLA email.

Student Opportunities

Work together with other students to make a difference. Volunteer, get funding, join a student org, and more.

Funding Through TGIF

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is a $200,000 annual grant-making fund for student-initiated sustainability projects on UCLA’s campus, like installing solar panels at Ackerman and putting on plant care workshops.

Volunteer

Volunteer with the UCLA Office of Sustainability.

Student Organizations

Whether you are interested in beekeeping, climate policy, or anything else, there is a student org for you.

Sustainability Task Force

Join a sustainability task force at UCLA to inform sustainability policies on campus. Contact sustainability@ucla.edu for more information.

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Check out our newest video with quick tips for students!