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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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Take Action: Aggie Green Pledge

Your challenge: Pledge to take action for a more sustainable campus.

Food icon  Water icon  Waste icon  Energy icon  Commute icon

Aggie Green Pledge is a program designed to encourage sustainable actions on campus. This year we have pledges in five categories: waste, energy, commute, food, and water. Click on the icons above to learn about the pledge options in each category.

Stop by our table at campus events throughout the school year to make new pledges, collect prizes, and learn about the latest campus sustainability news. 

2014 - 2015 Tabling Schedule

How does the program work?

Each time you stop by our table during a campus event you'll have the opportunity to make a pledge. Each time you make a pledge we'll give you a button for that pledge category. After you've made pledges in three categories you'll get a medium prize. After you've made a pledge in all five categories you'll receive a special large prize. 

When you make your first pledge, we'll give you a mini notebook to record notes about your pledges. You can also post pictures on social media of your pledges in action and hashtag them with #aggiegreenpledge

Who can participate?

All faculty, students, and staff!

Other logistics

You can only make one pledge per tabling event.

You'll keep track of the pledges that you've made on your pledge card.

The prizes will be given out as long as supplies last so check this page and our Facebook page regularly to see when our next tabling event will be!

Tips and more information about the pledges


Start with small steps, like passing on processed meats one day a week. Then cut down on your processed meat consumption during the other days of the week. As you adjust your diet for less meat you can start cutting back your servings on all meat consumption. Read some more tips here: 5 Easy Ways to Cut Down on Your Meat Consumption.

Why is "Fair Trade" important? "Fair Trade" means that the coffee farmers were working under safe and humane conditions and that they were paid a fair wage for their work.

Why is shade-grown important? Shade-grown coffee is grown under a forest canopy, which means that plant and animal habitats are preserved. Non shade coffee is produced through an "intensive" process that involves clearing forests, which decreases biodiversity, and planting trees more densely, which increases the rate of soil depletion. A 2014 study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin found that although the global production of shade-grown coffee has increased since 1996, the global production of non shade coffee has increased at a much faster rate.

According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2010, "31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices." The USDA found that the number 1 food group wasted was dairy products. When ordering food be conscious of dietary restrictions (for example, gluten or lactose intolerance). Read the full USDA study here: The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States.

If you still end up with unwanted leftovers, put them in the compost bin instead of throwing them away. Visit our Host a Green Event page to learn how to request compost and recycling bins for campus events.


You can save about two gallons of water just by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. To calculate how much water you're using all you need to know is the gallons of water used per minute (GPM) by your showerhead or faucet head. Standard showerheads use about 2.5 gallons per minute whereas water-saving showerheads are 2.0 GPM or lower. Save our Water has water conservation information and stories from people who have cut down on their water usage. Check our Save Water page for additional tips!

Students in the dorms should notify their RA or submit an online service request if they see a leak or other water waste. 

Best practices for reducing lab water use include water-sparing dishwashing techniques that will still get your labware clean, and potentially save you money. UC Davis has adopted a number of the UC Santa Barbara green lab best practices for our campus Green Lab program. Among those are “greenwashing” techniques that involve using wash basins instead of leaving water running, which has documented efficacy over an old-style practice of setting labware under running water. Learn more ways to save water in your lab.


Read about what to recycle and in which bins on our Take Action > Go Zero Waste > Recycle page.

To reduce your paper use print double-sided, print only the pages you need, and send information electronically whenever possible instead of printing. For more tips on reducing your paper use, check out CalRecycle's Office Paper Reduction Quick Tips.

A good rule of thumb is to purchase items that have at least 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content, such as 30% PCW recycled paper (the UC Sustainable Practices Policy mandates that paper purchased by the UC's must contain 30% PCW content paper). Post-consumer waste means that the waste came from a consumer and that it was not waste from the manufacturing process (read CalRecycle's definition here). It's important to purchase post-consumer waste products because that creates incentive for consumer product recycling programs. 

We'd love to hear from you! Have tips of your own? Want to share photos of your zero waste lunch? Tag them on social media with #aggiegreenpledge


Why is this important? Reducing your energy use saves fossil fuels and saves you money! Replace your incandescent bulbs (if you haven't already) with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and turning off lights if you'll be out of the room for longer than 15 minutes. Turn off your computer monitor or laptop display if you'll be away from your computer for longer than 20 minutes. Turn off your computer or laptop if you'll be away from it for longer than two hours. For more tips from the U.S. Department of Energy, visit Energy-Efficient Computer Use and When to Turn Off Your Lights.

Overhead lighting is inefficient when you don't need light in the entire room. Angle your desk light so that it shines directly on what you need to see. Read more about saving energy on our Conserve Energy page.

Facilities Management's webpage, Before You Get a Space Heater, has helpful information about using a space heater. Facilities Management's Energy Conservation Office runs the Campus Energy Education Dashboard (CEED), which collects energy usage data from buildings. If your office is too hot or too cold, use the Thermal Feedback tile to let them know!


In addition to lowering your carbon footprint by using sustainable transportation, as a member of the goClub you'll automatically be entered in six drawings throughout the year for prizes like lunch at the Gunrock Cafe and ARC memberships. Depending on your commute choice, you'll also get complimentary parking permits for the days when you need to drive to campus, access to bike lockers, discounts on Unitrans bus passes, and access to the Emergency Ride Home program.

Although not all are available for rental, Fleet Services has a total of sixty-five gasoline-electric, non-plug-in hybrid cars, twenty-two plug-in hybrids, and eighty-two 100% electric cars. They also run the UC Davis/UC Berkeley shuttle, which is an easy and affordable option for traveling to and from the Bay Area.

On any given school day there can be up to 20,000 bicycles on campus so bike safety is really important! In addition to watching the video you can also go to TAPS' website for more information about things like bicycle licenses, bike maintenance classes, repair stations, and lockers. If you want to take the free online bike safety course, visit bikesafety.ucdavis.edu. Once you've completed the course you can stop by the TAPS office during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30am - 4:00pm) to get a FREE t-shirt!

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