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UC Davis Is One of the Most Sustainable Universities in the World

Did you know that UC Davis is ranked number one in the most sustainable universities in the US and number five in the world as of 2020? It is no surprise that this little college town filled with bikers, public transportation, and vast agricultural space continues to be highly ranked by the UI Green Metric World University Rankings every year. UC Davis prides itself on its efforts to reduce energy waste, gas emissions, and water use. Besides setting the bar high based on academics alone, UC Davis does an outstanding job in the field of sustainability and conservation.  [bf_image id="jpss7v4jkpc75fc887ttk6p8"] The GreenMetric holds six major criteria for how they rank universities worldwide. These criteria include setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and educational research. UC Davis goes above and beyond for each of these categories and clearly beats out any competitors. The campus stretches 5,300 acres, most of which is dedicated to agricultural land and the Arboretum that serves as both a reserve and horticultural research area. This gives the campus an open-air feeling that I cannot get at any other university. UC Davis also plans to implement the “Big Shift,” a way to change how the campus heats its buildings and hopefully reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2025. The campus receives most of its power from renewable sources and is committed to reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. If this is not impressive, just wait to hear the rest.

 Although UC Davis faculty does an amazing job in making the campus environmentally friendly, the students play a huge role as well. The Food Recovery Network club was created in 2013 and works to recover pounds of food and donate millions of meals. They partner with Yolo County Food Bank and implement recovery outlets in all the dining commons. I specifically remember as a freshman noticing how big an effort The Food Recovery Network club made in sorting trash, recyclables, food waste, and dirty dishes in the dining commons. Their passion to fight food waste is truly inspiring. Besides clubs like these, students also aid to UC Davis’ GreenMetric rating by choosing more environmentally conscious ways of getting on and off-campus. According to UC Davis’ website, only 30% of students and faculty drive a car alone to campus. The other 70% ride bikes or skateboards, use the Unitrans system, carpool, and even use Amtrak. These alternatives to driving even stretch past the students of UC Davis. I constantly see community members biking as well. This greatly reduces gas emissions and keeps UC Davis and the city free of smog!

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UC Davis’ achievements in sustainability are extraordinary. It is no small feat to stay in the top 5 most sustainable universities in the world year after year. As climate change and global warming become more of a problem, it is important for everyone, especially large colleges, to do their part in keeping our world clean. I hope we can all take a page out of a UC Davis’ book and follow the path they have set. 

Lauren Wharton is a third year UC Davis student majoring in Animal Sciences. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, CrossFit, eating copious amounts of Halo Top, and spending time with her family, friends, and Shiba Inu, Mable.
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