Highlighting Local Action: Sustainability at UCR

The University of California, Riverside has heavily invested into promoting sustainability on their college campus. For starters, they established GCAP, which stands for the Green Campus Action Plan. This program is “a committee of undergraduate students committed to increasing sustainability on campus that organizes activities and events that promote and educate our student body about sustainable practices.” By providing UCR students with the funding and resources implement their own sustainability initiatives, they have fueled impressive levels of innovation.

One such example of student innovation can be found on GCAP’s instagram page, which shows the results of a design competition, which helped create sustainable bricks suitable for smaller designs. These bricks were made out of tightly packed recycled plastic, and this innovative solution demonstrates the program’s ability to spark student creativity and encourage environmentally friendly alternatives. Moreover, GCAP has also established easier access to bike pumps and a tool station to promote sustainable forms of transportation. 

Furthermore, GCAP also uses their social media platform to highlight many concerns within movements towards sustainability. For example, their instagram page often tries to encourage people to take long-term actions to reduce their carbon footprint, rather than short-term actions that are often performative. GCAP also hosts eco-friendly initiatives on campus, such as lab coat recycling, thrifting events, and other upcycling events.  

Ultimately, GCAP serves as a blueprint for local environmental action through incentivising eco-friendly innovations and spreading awareness through social media. Its success highlights the power of student engagement and demonstrates how collaborative efforts can lead to a more sustainable future for the campus community and beyond.

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