Mia Farago-Iwamasa ‘18

Staff Writer

The Sustainability Committee, or the President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, is a place where representatives from different branches of our community can collaborate to work toward improving Scripps’s sustainability. In the past, the Committee has assessed the College’s efficiency (you can see our STARS report from 2013 here: and pushed the College to implement physical changes to our campus and address the sustainability in our community. Our past efforts include getting New Hall built to LEED Gold Certification standards, solar panels on the Performing Arts Complex (Garrison), replacement of lawns with native and drought tolerant alternatives, and improvements to our residence halls to reduce water and electricity use.

The main way the Committee works is by proposing ways to implement these initiatives to the President and/or Board of Trustees. The Committee itself does not have any budget or direct power, other than making recommendations. In the past, this has hindered the Committee’s efficiency, which is why many of these projects take many years before they come to fruition. Nevertheless, the Committee feels that it is essential to making the administration and our community accountable to the environment.

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This year, one of the Committee’s main goals is revising its mission, goals and structure. This is especially important with the installment of new senior staff members, a new president of our college, and a new president of our country. It is essential that the Committee maintains its ability to advocate for environmental sustainability, make progress toward reducing Scripps’s local and global impacts on climate change, and incorporate the views and concerns of all those within the Scripps community.

The Committee strives to work for and with the community, thus transparency of the issues discussed and projects we are working on is extremely important. We also want YOUR input on what you would like to see change on campus and we would love your help to enact that change together. Because of this, I would like to share with you a list of projects we are already planning on working on this year.

Short term objectives

(to complete this year):

-Get more Elkay water bottle filling stations

-Get visually distinct recycling lids for outdoor recycling bins for easy identification

-Continue coordinating annual events like the Olive Harvest, PowerDown, and Sustainability Fair

-Increase transparency by updating our website, display boards on campus, and community building

Long term objectives

(will take longer than this year):

-Make detailed energy metering and utility use information accessible to students so they can keep track of what they are using and try to reduce their consumption

-Create a “Real Food” commitment for ideal sourcing of dining hall food to come from sustainable, local, ethical suppliers and allow students to make good, informed choices

-Decrease our campus waste

-Re-assess and report on Scripps’s campus sustainability through STARS

If you are interested in collaborating with us on any of these initiatives or have suggestions about how the Committee can improve, please contact one of the representatives from your branch of the community, or Crystal Weintrub.