- Advocate for change: your voice and your vote matter!
- Eat mindfully: vegetarian diets are up to 50% less carbon-intensive than eating meat.
- Commute actively: ride your bike more often or walk to your local grocery store
- Reduce your waste: bring your own bags, if allowed, make your own household items in refillable receptacles and use bar soaps or shampoos.
- Urban garden: grow your own veggies, herbs and plants in your yard or in a porch planter.
- Compost: save those food scraps and create a compost bin for your garden or community garden
- Reduce energy use: upgrade to LED bulbs, turn off lights not in use and open windows.
- Drink from the tap: use a refillable water bottle and don’t buy plastic bottled water.
- Save water: use a timer for your showers and turn off the water while lathering your hands, but wash them often and thoroughly!
- Go paperless: sign up for paperless billing and ask for receipts to be sent via email.
- Conversations with Friends: Talk to your friends to find out how they’re reducing their impact or encourage them to do so!
- Collaborate with your friends to reduce your daily impact!
- Inform your friends on how to reduce their daily environmental impact or learn how they are doing so already!
Make sure to purchase office products that strive for the Preferred Level of sustainability based on the UC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines. Preferred products are labeled with recognized certification labels that can be found on pg 9-11.
- Electronics - ENERGY STAR certified
- Cleaning supplies - at least 75% of purchases are certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Green Seal, UC Ecologico, or EPA Safer Choice
- Copy paper - 100% post-consumer recycled content, FSC recycled, processed chlorine-free
- Paper supplies - 100% recycled content, water or plant-based adhesives, processed chlorine-free, FSC labeled, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) labeled.
- Non-paper supplies - meets preferred specifications of the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC)
- Printer toner - remanufactured and high-yield cartridges
- Indoor furniture - review certifications on pg 11 of UC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines
- Water appliances/fixtures - WaterSense certified
- Foodservice supplies - only reusables or compostables based on UCLA Single-Use Plastics Policy
- No single-use plastic bags, foodware packaging and utensils, or bottles
- No polystyrene (Styrofoam) of any sort
- Acceptable products can be found in this presentation.
- Can order disposable wares via UCLA Coffee Services
When purchasing products please consider the following tips to minimize waste and transportation, and support socially responsible purchasing.
- Request plastic-free packaging when purchasing products online
- On select Amazon products you can choose “Ship in Amazon packaging” for sustainable packaging. You can also search “frustration-free packaging” to see available products.
- When shopping on Amazon, look for Climate Pledge Friendly products
- Consolidate orders among staff and buy products in bulk to minimize deliveries
- Support small businesses and those owned by minoritized identities or that have socially responsible supply chains
UCLA Medical Centers should have centralized waste bins for recycling, composting, and trash. In addition, there are six medical waste management systems with corresponding colors. Non hazardous materials are disposed of in clear bags, bio hazardous materials are in red bags or red cans, sharps materials are in white top sharps containers, pharmaceutical materials are in purple top reusable containers, chemo materials are in yellow containers, and hazardous pharmaceuticals are in black containers. Please make sure to have the infrastructure for these waste streams so that waste can be properly sorted to achieve the zero waste goals outlined in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy.
- Collect waste in deskside bins and sort your waste in a centralized location
- If your location does not have the appropriate waste bins, contact the building manager
- For tips on how to sort your waste, visit Medical Waste Management
- If you would like to request pick-up for specialty waste, such as electronic waste, household batteries, and bulky items, fill out a Recycling Request Form
- Share waste signage and resources with your colleagues
Another important UCLA goal is to reduce waste. Here are ways to reduce waste in your location.
- Go paperless and utilize electronic signature software
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists for unwanted catalogs, magazines, or junk mail
- Encourage reusable products over single-use (ex: water bottles, cups, utensils, white boards)
- Utilize refillable containers and avoid individual packets (ex: sugar packets, k-cups)
- Invest in sustainable water dispensing options
- Encourage minimal use of paper towels and napkins for drying hands or cleaning
- Establish donation area where staff can donate and share office supplies
- Collect reusable items for donation to other departments, campus entities, or non-profits
- Contact the Zero Waste Coordinator at [email protected] to donate
- Establish food recovery/donation plan when you host events with food and beverages
- Switch any desk lamps or individual lights to LED bulbs
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator when possible
- Turn off computer at the end of each day and make sure it is enabled to sleep when idle
- Set printers to eco-mode and default double-sided printing
- Use power strips in common spaces that can be switched off during weekends to prevent vampire energy loss
- Set thermostats to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter and wear layers
- Use the UCLA 311 app or Facilities Trouble Call to report or request the following:
- Changes to temperature if you do not have access to thermostat
- Lights not turned off at night
- Flickering or broken lights
- Leaking water faucets
- Encourage sustainable commuting options such as biking, public transport, or carpooling when staff need to commute to work
- Establish telecommuting for staff who can continue remote work successfully
- Apply for the Air Travel Mitigation Fund for any business-related air travel
- Use the Staff Shuttle Service when commuting between UCLA Health facilities
- Utilize the Green Events Guide when planning events
- Choose plastic-free and reusable decorations and ethical “swag” items
- Go paperless with invitations, tickets, marketing, and other printed materials
- Provide reusable or locally compostable foodware and utensils in accordance with UCLA Single-Use Plastics Policy
- Serve organic, plant-based, fair-trade, and/or other sustainable foods
- Establish plan to donate excess food to the Community Programs Office (CPO)
- Provide appropriate waste bins by submitting a Facilities Service Request (FSR)
- Pricing can be found under “Temporary Receptacles” under the Grounds Products & Services Rate List
- Encourage attendees to use sustainable forms of transportation (possibly provide incentives)
- Utilize spaces with natural lighting to avoid using electricity
- Post waste signage and the Sustainable Practices Policy infographic in common areas to inform and remind staff about sustainable practices
- Provide in different languages if they are spoken in your workplace
- Hold a staff meeting, orientation, training, or lunch & learn to educate staff
Health and Wellness
- Encourage staff to avoid elevators if able and organize moving meetings
- Provide healthy, vegetarian, and vegan food and drink options
- Provide times and spaces for stress relief and mental health support
- If you have natural lighting, grow indoor plants that purify the air and create relaxing workspaces
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Invest in continuous learning resources on diversity, equity, and inclusion for staff
- Encourage staff to complete a departmental self-assessment
- Take active steps to create an environment of inclusion in the workplace