UCI News

Be Green with UCI

At UCI, sustainability is part of everything we do, from the way we operate our campus, to what we teach in the classroom, through community partnerships and our vital climate change research around the world.

Succulent being potted

A Happy New Home

Whether you picked up a succulent from a UCI event or are interested in how to care for the drought tolerant plants, here are tips to help them thrive.

We’d also love to see where you’ve planted your UCI succulent, so share a photo on Instagram and tag us @ucirvine.

  1. Succulents love sunlight – but too much sun and leaves may scorch. Rotate your pot often.
  2. Succulents should be potted in a fast-draining mixture to avoid waterlogged soil. Terra-cotta pots are ideal for beginners.
  3. Water according to season. Water generously during summer. Cut back to once a month during winter.

Commitment to Sustainability

UCI is committed to sustainable practices that minimize the campus’s “ecological footprint” and conserve finite resources for future generations.

  • Sierra magazine has named the University of California, Irvine No. 2 overall in its annual “Cool Schools” ranking of sustainability leaders among U.S. and Canadian universities and colleges, marking the 12th time in a row that UCI has placed in the top 10 of the widely acclaimed list.
  • UCI has 21 new-construction LEED Platinum buildings – the most of any U.S. campus. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
  • UCI joined Bee Campus USA by increasing native plants, providing nest sites and reducing pesticide use.

Cool Campus

30,000 trees make up UCI's "urban forest."
4.2 megawatts of solar power are produced annually via on-campus solar panels - enough to power 2,300 homes.
90% of water used for campus landscaping has been recycled.
3,500 gallons of recycled fryer oil from UCI's dining halls are turned into biodiesel annually.

In every school on the UCI campus, you’ll find people who are looking for answers to the most difficult questions regarding the planet’s climate crisis. From monitoring our local coastal erosion to finding more effective ways to prevent and fight wildfires, UCI’s innovators are tackling the problem from all directions.

Rapid research response, oil spill

Rapid research response

UCI scientists study the effects of an oil spill on Orange County's coastline

Forecasting flooding

Environmental threat is already affecting coastal California, but modeling helps communities develop solutions

Earth guardians

UCI researchers seek solutions to the many effects of climate change

For more on UCI’s all-encompassing, cross-disciplinary approach to climate change studies, visit the Special Report: California’s Climate Crisis and Solutions.

Getting Started

Green tips for sustainable living

Conserve Water

  • Turn off the faucet when lathering up your hands with soap
  • Install low-flow restrictors to faucets. These fixtures can reduce water by as much as 60 percent without compromising water pressure.
  • Calculate your water use
Reduce Waste

Reduce Waste

  • Prepare your own food and help to eliminate single-use plastics
  • Designate your own recycling and landfill bins

Sustainable Transportation

  • Switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric plug-in vehicles
  • Utilize public transportation or walk or cycle instead for shorter trips

Save Energy

  • Try setting the thermostat one to two degrees lower than usual during the winter, and higher during the summer
  • Use LED bulbs in lamps. LEDs can reduce energy consumption by 80-90 percent.

Sustainable Dining

  • Use paper compostable takeout containers versus Styrofoam ones
  • Purchase local, seasonal and responsibly raised, grown and sourced products whenever possible. Check out farmer’s markets in OC