Scripps Institution of Oceanography is committed to UC San Diego's mandate to become a zero-waste campus by 2020. Staff, students, and faculty at Scripps formed the "SIO for Sustainability" group in order to translate Scripps's world-renowned research on climate change, ocean health, and global conservation into tangible daily sustainable practices on our campus. Simple changes to our daily routines can add up to a significant impact and make Scripps a leader in conservation as well as ocean, earth, and atmospheric research.
Please read below for information on waste collection (recycling, compost, special items), zero-waste projects, upcoming sustainability events, and ways to get involved.
Monthly Sustainability Highlight
December 2018: Caroline's Seaside Cafe
Caroline's Cafe only offers paper straws and has eliminated all in-house disposable cups
Caroline's Cafe has implemented numerous steps to make it a sustainable and ocean-friendly restaurant in line with overall Scripps ocean health goals. Caroline's has been composting all pre-consumer food waste since March 2018, diverting an average of 10-15 gallons of waste per day. Caroline's also recently switched to only offering paper straws (and only upon consumer request) and no longer providing disposable cups for any in-house beverages. On the takeout front, Caroline's only gives disposable utensils upon request and uses non-expandable polystyrene takeout containers. Caroline's also sources foods locally and from sustainable sources, and provides numerous vegetarian options. To help support Caroline's mission of waste reduction, please bring your own coffee mugs for a discount on coffee!
Waste Collection Programs
Five-gallon buckets are located in most building kitchenettes and common spaces (see bin locations map).
- ALL food
- Napkins and paper towels
- NO plastic or metal
- NO compostable containers or utensils (the composting facility cannot process them)
GENERAL: Blue bins are located in every building for recyclable items.
SPECIAL ITEMS (see map of locations):
Writing instruments - ballpoint pens, highlighters, whiteout pens, markers
E-waste - Small items can be dropped off with Allyson Long in the Scripps Admin building. Collection bins for larger items are available in several buildings on a bi-monthly schedule.
Note: Coffee cups, No. 6 plastic ‘to-go’ boxes, and food-contaminated recyclables, are NOT recyclable. See the full list of non-recyclable items.
Campus recycling guide (PDF)
Although UC San Diego is a smoke-free campus, cigarette butts still make their way to Scripps. Our top goal is to keep butts from going into the ocean. Please use our butt disposal containers (see map of collection locations).
Water Bottle Refill Stations
Water bottle refill stations are available in the following locations: Eckart 2nd floor (next to restrooms), Deep Sea Drilling West (next to restrooms), New Scripps Admin building (lobby). In addition, every building has drinking fountains.
IT IS ESSENTIAL to follow COMPOSTING and RECYCLING GUIDELINES. If non-compostable items contaminate the compost, the program will be fined or terminated.
Compost bins are emptied 1-2 times per week into green 32-gallon collection bins located in the Ritter Hall Service Yard.
SIO for Sustainability currently maintains the program via a volunteer network. Our ultimate goal is to integrate composting into the overall Scripps waste collection system.
As part of UC San Diego's goal of zero waste by 2020, we are working to reduce single-use disposables at Scripps meetings and events. We recognize the challenges of catering to large numbers of people without using disposable products, but we have several options help you reduce your disposable footprint when you host events. Contact Allyson Long (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Laura Lilly (email@example.com) to arrange any of the following:
- Dishware and mug-share set available for check-out (meetings up to 20 people. 48 hour notice required to reserve)
- Compost/recycling bins and signs for food events
- Reusable champagne glasses at Surfside
- Dishware set for larger meetings
- Dishwasher available to Scripps community for post-meeting clean-up
- Sustainable catering options
Green Labs Certification
UC San Diego's Green Labs program helps laboratories reduce their environmental footprint without compromising research or safety. This program was formed in 2013 to engage laboratory faculty, staff, and students in performing assessments, reducing waste and improving recycling, replacing inefficient equipment, and transitioning to more sustainable practices.
UC San Diego has joined the California Climate Action Registry and is committed to reaching carbon neutrality. Please consider becoming Green Certified through the Green Office and Green Labs programs. Both certifications only require a brief initial online survey to get started.
Congratulations on the following Scripps certifications!
- Director's Office
- Bowman Lab
- Gerwick Lab
- Moore Lab
- Jensen Lab
- Human Resources
- CA Sea Grant Office
- Bartlett Lab
- Deheyn Lab
- Hastings Lab
- Hildebrand Lab
- Vernet Lab
- Fenical Lab
- Norris Lab
- Scripps Geological Collections
Scripps Bike Group
The Bike Commute Support Group encourages and facilitates biking as the most fun, healthy, economical, and sustainable way to get to Scripps. The group provides a forum for bikers to meet, ask for help, and organize events. The group collaborates with SIO for Sustainability on sustainable transportation advocacy, notably Bike to Work Month in May.
A recent TG event hosted by SIO for Sustainability and the Staff Sustainability Network (SSN) featured an electric bike demo.
Contacts and Resources
Join the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list
SIO Bike Commuting Guide: summarizes reasons to bike and advice on overcoming barriers to bike commuting (e.g., how to buy a bike, best routes to Scripps, showers at work)
SIO Bike Ambassador List: friendly people available to answer your biking questions
SIO Strava page: maps of suggested bike routes to Scripps from nearby
Free bike maintenance classes and check-ups with local mechanics
Contact the Bike Group with any other ideas! Potential future activities include: advocacy for local bike infrastructure/safety, fun community rides, Bike Trains (example)
Reducing Environmental Footprints at UCSD
Scripps Coral Garden at Eckart Building
Nina Rosen and Brant Chlebowski, alumni of the Scripps MAS Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Class of 2017, developed the idea to build a drought-tolerant succulent garden evoking underwater coral reefs outside of Scripps's Eckart Library building.
The garden is part of the Scripps Coastal Meander, which makes up a portion of the California Coastal Trail. The pair has worked with numerous collaborators from Scripps, including the Facilities and Management Division and the Jennifer Smith and Stuart Sandin Labs at Scripps, to construct the garden to accurately convey an underwater coral environment.
Specific succulents were chosen for their similarity to coral species, and the garden is separated into zones that mimic an actual reef crest, fore reef, and lagoon.
Scripps Beach Cleanups
Beach cleanups are hosted by SIO for Sustainability and the Birch Aquarium several times per year, often in conjunction with Scripps-wide events. Recent cleanups have occurred during Scripps Day (June 2018), Staff Sustainability Network summer meeting (August 2018), and Scripps Safety and Sustainability Day (October 2018). We are working to organize a regular monthly beach cleanup. Stay tuned for upcoming dates!
Scripps and Birch Aquarium team up for a beach cleanup during Scripps Safety and Sustainability Day (Oct. 17, 2018)
Upcoming Sustainability Events
Join the SIO for Sustainability listserv ('sio-sustainability-g', https://groups.google.com/a/ucsd.edu/forum/#!forum/sio-sustainability-g) to stay up-to-date on sustainability activities and ways to help out.
Sustainability Resources and Media
"Walk the Talk" - a video about sustainability efforts around the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Created by MAS MBC alumni (Class of 2018) Hillary Eggers and Lori Mendez.
"Bending the Curve" by UC San Diego Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan.