“Antioch University Santa Barbara prides itself on being environmentally conscious and fostering an atmosphere of openness and respect. Each of us plays an important role in caring for our campus and community.”
The Santa Barbara campus of Antioch University is a fine example of green building. Bob Kupiec of Kupiec Architects, the designers of the building located at 602 Anacapa Street, was very conscious of the project’s environmental impact. Bob focused on procuring materials from eco-friendly manufacturers as well as utilizing recyclables. Taking advantage of Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean climate, Bob also incorporated low energy lighting and ventilation systems in his design.
While the building itself is green, it’s inhabitants are often not. There are many simple everyday habits that we at Antioch; the students, faculty, and guests can change to reduce our impact on the environment.
In-classroom Trash and Recycle Bins – The blue bin is for mixed recyclables materials seen below in the guide. Everything else is trash and belongs in the Grey Bin. These bins are often found containing both in each. If you find a bin overflowing with refuse, don’t pile your trash on top of a already overflowing bin, use one of the larger hallway cans and let the front desk know which room requires attention from the janitorial staff.
Cigarette Butts – Many of the students at Antioch smoke cigarettes. This article is not an anti-smoking piece, however it is anti-littering. Students smoke cigarettes before class, on break, and afterwards, often leaving their toxic butts on the sidewalk, where they remain until the rains wash them to the ocean where they harm marine life.
Whether it’s cultural differences, general disregard for environment, or just plain old ignorance, this must stop. While I’m sure Antioch does not want to encourage smoking near the campus, it’s a reality and this problem must be addressed by providing cigarette butt receptacles.
Bring your own Mug – Here at Antioch University Santa Barbara, we are lucky enough to have the wonderful Book Ends cafe on campus. Also in close proximity is the French Press. If you’re a coffee drinker, you know it, and there is no reason to not bring a reusable mug. Using a disposable cup and plastic lid everyday just isn’t cutting it. Stroll 2 blocks to REI and pick up an insulated mug. I recommend writing you’re full name on it so that it can find you when you inevitably lose it.
Compostable Food Containers and Food Scraps – Book Ends Cafe offers compostable containers for their condiments, which is a good thing especially if they end up in a compost like their supposed to. This problem can be addressed by providing a bin just for compostable materials and certain food scraps. Here’s how it works.
Bike Parking – Quite simply there is very little on Campus. Unless you’re bike is worth under a $100 bucks, the sidewalk is generally not a safe to leave it, especially at night. There are two handicap access ramps at the entrance of the campus. One of these could be replaced with a bicycle parking area that would now fall under the supervision of security at the front desk.
Bonus Tip: There is a $60 Tuition rebate for students that pledge to use carless transportation to class.
Edible Landscaping – The patio area of the Antioch campus is one of the most beautiful rooftop spaces in downtown Santa Barbara. How can we make it better? Veggies and Fruits… for FREE! Imagine grazing on tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, and fresh herbs while walking between classes or on break. Won’t it be nice to pluck a fresh tangerine from a dwarf citrus tree when you realize that you forgot to eat breakfast before class again? We’re students, we’re broke, we’re hungry, and we all want to be healthier.
The Antioch Santa Barbara Community is already a green community, however we must implement these simple changes in our behaviors and habits to take it to the next level for ourselves and the planet.