Solutions Central provides the UCLA community with ways to take action in creating a more sustainable world.
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.
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.
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.
What to Buy
Look for products with key words such as recycled, reusable, compostable, biodegradable, or eco-friendly to steer you in the right direction.
Purchase products with labels such as the ones pictured below to ensure they are sustainably-made.
Buy in bulk and with minimal packaging.
Where to Shop
Shop secondhand at Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, Depop, and thrift stores.
Buy local at Farmers Markets around LA.
UCLA students can refill cleaning and bath supplies at the CPO Office and get stationery and textbooks from the Good Clothes Good People redistribution center. We also encourage everyone to purchase their home goods, cleaning, and personal care products from refill stores or bulk sections from retail stores.
Faculty and Staff
Check out the UC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines for specifications on purchasing office supplies, furniture, electronics, cleaning supplies, foodware, and water appliances.
Consolidate orders to cut down on the number of deliveries and prevent congestion and pollution on campus roadways.
Eat Less Meat
What you eat matters. The global food system is responsible for roughly one-quarter of the planet-warming greenhouse gases each year.
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. There are many delicious and nutritious alternatives to make at home or try at the UCLA Dining Halls.
Tips for Eating in the Dining Halls
Take only what you can eat and drink.
Go tray-less to save water.
Eat at Bruin Plate, a 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant.
Water & Energy
- 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.
- Use less heating and A/C. A good rule of thumb is to set the thermostat to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter.
- Wash your laundry on cold and hang dry instead of using a dryer.
- 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.
- Replace bulbs with LED lights that can save up 80% more electricity.
See Something, Say Something
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
Public transportation is one of the most cost-effective and reliable forms of sustainable transportation regardless of how far you live from campus.
UCLA Transportation subsidizes transit pass costs for seven transit agencies for eligible UCLA students and employees. Those who are new to riding transit may be eligible for a free quarterly Bruin Commuter Transit pass.
Walk or Scooter
For those who live on or near campus, walking, skateboarding, or scootering around campus is the most popular and effective way to get around.
UCLA has partnered with Lyft, Bird, and Wheels to bring e-scooters to campus.
Adopt the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry to create a more sustainable lab space.
Inventory your fridge/freezer space to save energy and space
Use equipment shutoff stickers to conserve energy by identifying equipment that can be turned off when not in use.
Learn more about UCLA’s Smart Labs and Buildings Program.
For general environmental safety inquiries: (310) 825-5689
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.
Join Sustainability Action Research (SAR) and participate in a student-operated program where students team up with campus stakeholders to research and implement actionable solutions to sustainability issues.
Participate in the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (LAGC) which pairs faculty, researchers, students, and collaborators to pursue innovative research projects aimed at addressing energy, water, and ecosystem health in LA County.
Apply to become a volunteer intern with the UCLA Office of Sustainability and help on a variety of projects around campus.
Whether you are interested in beekeeping, climate policy, or environmental justice, there is a student organization for you.
Sustainability Task Force
Join a sustainability task force at UCLA to inform sustainability policies on campus. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.