Sustainability at UCLA brings together a community of students, faculty, and staff
Think Outside the Landfill
The countdown to zero waste starts with thinking outside the landfill
Reducing waste generation and properly sorting trash is the key. Waste bins distributed across campus utilize an easy-to-follow three-stream system to curb environmental damage by redirecting garbage out of landfills. Learn more about waste sorting on our FAQs page or download helpful resources and signage.
For this effort to succeed, the University’s zero waste initiative does not stop at recycling and composting. Bruins can also support the effort by following the Single-Use Plastics Policy, avoiding single-use items, and repurposing items typically tossed when possible.
Rethinking where rubbish ends up is not just about protecting the environment — it concerns people as well. Landfills are often located in lower socioeconomic areas, with waste potentially close to homes. One person’s trash can be harmful to another, making zero waste a social justice issue.
Why should you get involved? Reducing and efficiently managing our waste is one of the ways we can reduce our environmental footprints. We can get closer to our zero waste goals as a community by using lower-waste alternatives and changing our habits. Each of us has the power to make a difference in our everyday lives!
Take the TOTL Challenge!
The Think Outside the Landfill (TOTL) Challenge has ended. Thank you to everyone who participated! Please keep an eye out in the future where we bring back this multi-week challenge aiming to introduce ways Bruins can live and work sustainably and spread sustainable habits throughout our community. It’s up to us to Think Outside the Landfill by reducing waste and increasing landfill diversion.
Stay in the know – Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram to stay in the loop of upcoming events and receive tips
Week 2 (April 3 – 9): Waste Awareness Week – Prizes: UCLA Store Gift Card, Beeswax Wraps
Week 3 (April 10 – 16): Action & Advocacy – Prize: Bite Toothpaste Gift Set
Week 4 (April 17 – 23): Earth Week – Prize: Zero Waste Mega Starter Pack
Week 2 Challenge – Waste Awareness Week
Refill your personal hygiene products at the refill event hosted by Good Clothes, Good People (Monday and Wednesday, 11 – 3pm at Bruin Plaza)
Stop by Bruin Plaza and write your thoughts on what Zero Waste means to you at our table and get some zero waste giveaways! (Tuesday, 11:30 – 1:30pm at Bruin Plaza)
Participate in the Clothing Swap at Sunset Village Plaza on Friday from 12 – 4pm. We encourage you to bring clothing with you but you’re welcome to take items provided by Good Clothes, Good People, Unravel, RefineLA, and Zero Waste UCLA!
Have a conversation about zero waste with a friend or family member
Visit our table on Thursday from 1 – 3pm at Bruin Plaza to leave your thoughts on how to take action on campus
Week 4 Challenge – Earth Week
Attend Unravel’s clothing swap on Monday (4/18) in Royce 162 @ 6pm
Attend Environmentalists of Color’s “Water Warriors” documentary film screening: Tuesday (4/19) in Young Hall CS50 @ 6:15pm
Attend E3’s annual Earth Day Fair on Friday (4/22) from 1-4pm at Dickson Court North/ the Sunken Gardens
Come to Zero Waste Ambassadors’ refillery on Friday (4/22) from 1-4pm at Dickson Court North, open to all! Bring your own container and get shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, laundry detergent, body wash, hand sanitizer, and more refilled!
Take digital notes instead paper notes
Turn off and unplug electronic appliances (computer, lamp, TV, etc.) when you’re not using them
Wash your clothes with cold water
Learn more and read about the history of Earth Day
Take public transportation, walk, bike, or carpool instead of driving solo
Switch out a commonly used disposable for something reusable (ex: swap out bottled water with a Brita Filter and reusable bottle)
Transition to reusable batteries
Reuse something deemed “single-use” over and over (ex: a plastic food container from take-out or a plastic bag)
Unsubscribe from junk mail and catalogs
Go paperless for bank statements
Identify where you can buy household items/furniture second-hand
Join a buy-nothing community online
Shop local instead of online to reduce packaging waste
Find a piece of clothing/cloth at home and use it as a rag (makeup remover, etc)
Grow your own herbs
Propagate green onions or chives, or other propagatable plants
Switch out dryer sheets for dryer balls
Switching body wash/soap to bar soap
Switch to toothpaste tablets or toothpaste in metal recyclable tube
Switch to a refillable floss
Refill your personal hygiene products at Good Clothes Good People (Student Activities Center Basement (SCUBA) 54, open Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm), at your local refillery, or at our pop-up event on March 4th (location to be announced)!
Week 9 Challenge – Fashion
Buy clothes second-hand instead of new
Donate old clothes to Good Clothes Good People or Goodwill
Attend Unravel’s Event
Set up or attend a swap night/Buy Nothing Program for clothing, furniture, accessories, appliances, tools, etc.
Repair a clothing item to get more wear out of it
Conduct an inventory of your wardrobe to see what items you already have
Borrow clothes from a friend
Rent clothes for an event instead of buying new
Care for clothes as per the care label
Investigate a company’s production practices before buying
Upcycle an item of clothing in your wardrobe
Week 10 Challenge – Self Care
Visit the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden (get directions here!)
Register here and volunteer for Spring Quarter at the botanical Garden!
Have a picnic by Tongva Steps or your favorite spot on campus
Water your houseplants/garden
Propagate a succulent or plant your favorite plant