UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, March 2014

UCSF Launches Drought Emergency Task Force:  How You Can Help


On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency for California.  To respond to this crisis, UCSF has created a Drought Emergency Task Force.  UCSF is ahead of the curve (link) in reducing water consumption (click here to learn about steps we have already taken to reduce water consumption).  But due to the drought emergency, UCSF believes a collaborative and organized effort to address enhanced attention to water conservation efforts across the University is critical. 

Task Force Details

The Task Force includes representatives from the following organizations: Campus Life Services (Housing, Transportation, Fitness & Recreation, and Facilities Services), each of the Schools, Research Services, and also the Medical Center.  A Task Force meeting will be scheduled in early March and will be co-chaired by Jon Giacomi, Deputy Director – Facilities Services and Gail Lee, Sustainability Manager. 

How You Can Help

There are opportunities for you to do your part.  See below for details on these six water-saving tips:

*  Install faucet aerators
*  Join the Race to Certification and get your office certified
*  Report water leaks (and ask for free stickers)
*  Participate in the Pipette Wash Rack Program (offer expires 3/30/14)
*  Tips for reducing at home
*  Win a $50 gift card!  Post your water saving suggestions on Bright Ideas in a contest for the best ideas! 

Install Faucet Aerators

DripsAn easy and low-cost way to conserve water is to install faucet aerators for every sink in your work area. Most faucets have a water flow ranging from 4 gallons per minute (gpm) to 6 gpm. By installing a high efficiency aerator, this can be reduced to either 1 gpm or 1.5 gpm, saving thousands of gallons of water per year.  Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to have aerators installed for free and earn 4 points in the Race to Certification.

Join the Race to Certification and Get Your Office Certified

step1All offices, labs and units at UCSF can now be LivingGreen Certified. Join the Race to Certification, a friendly competition that rewards more sustainable practices at your office, lab or clinic/unit, and your office will get a free energy, waste and water audit, with specific suggestions for how to reduce your water and energy use. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to get started.

Report Water Leaks

LeaksYou can also do your part to LiveGreen by reporting water leaks to facilities management by calling 415-353-1120 at the medical center and 415-476-2021 on campus.  They will come at no charge to repair the leak! 

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to get some free stickers to post in appropriate locations.

Participate in the Pipette Wash Rack Program

rackIf your lab is using glass pipettes, Steris racks will allow you to wash your pipettes in a glass washer.  Switching over to this method from the Nalgene system will save water and money.

If Genentech Hall installed 25 new Steris racks, it is estimated that over 11 million gallons of water per year would be saved, resulting in cost savings of over $51,000 per year.  With UCSF’s initial investment of $1,600 per rack, this is a great deal for everyone involved.

Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to find out how you can get your FREE pipette wash rack and save millions of gallons of water! Hurry!  This offer expires March 30, 2014! 

And keep your eye out for outdated equipment that is ready to be replaced.  Newer equipment wastes less water and less energy.

contestWin a $50 gift card for your best water saving suggestion!

Post your water saving suggestions on Bright Ideas in this contest for the best ideas! Contest will end June 30!

Tips You Can Do At Home

Other ways you can do your part at home include:

*  Save 1,000 gallons/month by keeping showers under five minutes(try using a timer)
*  Save ten gallons/day by using dishwashers and glasswashers -  hand washing wastes water!
*  Save four gallons/minute by turning the water off while you brush your teeth.