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UCLA goes green

Cattle-raising is a major source of greenhouse gases across the globe: Forests are razed for range land, thus losing carbon-absorbing trees, and cows belch methane.

Now UCLA dining services is doing its part to prevent global warming by starting out the spring quarter with an initiative known as beefless Thursdays. It is removing  beef from dining hall meals once a week.  According to Robert Gilbert, the sustainability coordinator for housing and hospitality services, removing beef just once a week from the dining hall menus can save about 1,000 pounds of beef and 1,500,000 gallons of water and promote healthier dining alternatives.

Waste Watchers, a subgroup of UCLA's student group E3, is also spreading environmental awareness by weighing all the wasted food in the dining halls. By organizing volunteers to measure the amount of uneaten food in garbage bins, the group hopes to educate students about the amount of waste they create every meal and encourage them to change their habits.

With about 50 sustainability experiments on campus this year alone, UCLA is joining a widespread green movement on campuses nationally and encouraging students to help out with the university's climate action plan. The 10 UC campuses are aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  UCLA hopes to meet that goal by 2012.

-- Stephanie Chang

Comments () | Archives (6)

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too many preppies at ucla...with too much time on their hands.....real greens don't pose and signify...they clean up their personal life...uva65

Also, it should be recognized that this move has gone along with everything else they have started on the campus, and they are working toward their climate neutrality goal, along with many other colleges and universities across the country.

To the person above,
Have you ever worked within the bureaucracy of a school system? I'm surprised that they managed to get one day a week off of one type of meat. If they tried for every day they would have been laughed at. The point is to show students how much water is wasted just by a school cafeteria's days-worth of beef; I'm wondering how they're letting their students know that this is happening and why. It would be great if they gave the comparison of how much water is needed per person for basic necessities, how much is used by the average person by country, you know the drill. The schools are trying to move forward as much as possible without stepping on too many toes, and better they do something than nothing at all. Hopefully they also publicly acknowledge that this isn't the entire solution, I don't think they are naive enough to say that it is, but that it is a beginning step toward their goal.

Great. UCLA is contributing to the knee-jerk soundbyte culture instead of to REAL reform based on good research and creative solutions. What are they hoping to teach their students? That all solutions come from "top-down" policies instead of grassroots organizing and personal responsibility based on informed choice?

I'm no apologist for eating animals, especially excessively, but we need to dig deeper than this if we want to get the planet and our political and economic systems onto sustainable tracks. Continuing to purchase Big Corn-Fed Cows is the actual problem, so they ignore that, and say "we will continue to pour tens of millions of dollars each year into this cruel, unsustainable, incredibly toxic system six days a week instead of 7." duh.

No doubt, UCLA has provided their students with copies of the article in the current issue of Mother Earth News proving that row crops are the biggest problem with agriculture, erosion, depletion, flooding, water depletion and poisoning, and with unhealthy cattle feed, and if we would simply restore healthy, natural grasslands and graze them in harmony with nature, we would have almost NONE of the problems that people are yammering about?

So, instead of engaging in real conversations about real solutions, they just "forbid beef" one day a week, and keep poisoning the planet the other 6 days, then pat themselves on the back for "going green." No wonder our leadership is able to get away with all their stupidity and corruption if this is the level of education and engagement our "best and brightest" are getting.

Idiots. CO2 feeds plants. Killing plants does not make you green!

UCLA's been green for a while.


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