October, the Energy and Waste Month

by Jared A Muscat and Annie Le

This lovely fall month of October is designated by the SSC as Energy and Waste Month, a month centered around the ever-important issues of environmental responsibility: how we get our energy and where our garbage goes.

This is an opportunity for our community to recognize the alienating influence of convenience-addiction and over consumption – the forces that cause us to accept privatized bottled water, plastic bags, disposable coffee cups and Styrofoam containers and allow us to keep our electronics plugged in after use, actions that disregard the health of ourselves, our neighbors and our environment by polluting the air and waterways.

We must become critical of our personal actions that affect the Earth and its people and, more importantly, speak out against the actions of the institutions that reinforce default depletion of finite resources and creation of toxic pollutants.

This October, the Student Sustainability Collective is mobilizing against Prop 23, the Dirty Energy Prop, which is set out to destroy California’s course for clean energy by repealing AB 32. In 2006, a Bi-Partisan California State Legislature worked to pass the monumental Global Warming Solutions Act or AB 32. The bill set incredible precedence for our nation by bettering California’s energy practices, cleaning up big corporations’ pollution, and creating a job market that not only provided a living but strengthened the economy.  Because of AB 32 over 500,000 clean energy jobs have been created in California; the green jobs sector is growing 10 times faster than any other job market in the state.  However, on November 2nd these major accomplishments are in danger of being reversed by Prop 23 – 97% funded by oil companies. We must stand up for the environment, jobs, and our state now.

This is why the Collective is thoroughly dedicated to bring the election, energy conservation, and waste elimination efforts to our campus  this month. Join us for workshops (on LEED certification, freeganism, efficient laundering and more), awareness efforts, and screenings all of October! Check back on our website for the list of events every week.

It all starts this coming Friday 9 October at 1:00 pm in the SRC at the Potluck for Progress, where student org leaders will collaborate on both social justice and environmental action as well as become leaders on a campaign for clean energy.  The Potluck is followed short after by the Sustainability Kick-Off on Monday 11 October from 5-8pm, an event showcasing UCSD’s sustainability organizations with free food, community art projects, and a jammin’ concert featuring the bands TONS and Skavolutionary Orchestra… not to mention some prizes!

When we demand energy off the grid, we get ourselves off the grid to become visionary about the world we desire! Let us work together throughout the month of October toward a sustainable future.

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