UC Merced undergraduate student Andrew John De Los Santos didn’t realize the difference that one person can make until he started sorting through trash as a recycling and composting intern last fall.
He fanned that initial spark into a proposal to improve sustainability knowledge on a campus already known for its commitment to being green. In the spring, De Los Santos took first place in the first-ever Chancellor’s Advisory Committee’s Sustainability Proposal Writing Contest and won top prize. His entry, “Continual Growth Toward Sustainability Education,” is a three-phase program aimed at increasing awareness of sustainability among undergraduates.
De Los Santos said he’s excited to win the competition and to further the cause of sustainability through his ideas.
“That would be my legacy here, and that would be something I would be really proud of,” said De Los Santos, who is from North Hills in the San Fernando Valley.
The proposal includes: providing information on Move-In Day at the residence halls; the addition of a sustainability session at the ASCEND New Student Success Conference; and the introduction of “Triple Zero” workshops. The Triple Zero Commitment is UC Merced’s pledge to consume zero net energy, and produce zero waste and zero net greenhouse gas emissions, all by 2020.