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SMC|Academic Affairs|Sustainability at SMC|Facilities and Grounds

Facilities and Grounds

 Center for Environmental and Urban Studies
This building is the “Hub of Sustainability” on campus.
It houses Sustainable Works (student program) like the sustainable workshops which teaches students how to become more sustainable in their own daily lives. It also conducts academic research on campus sustainability policies and programs like American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The Center also consists of a Living Laboratory for sustainable practices and green building materials. Student clubs meet here such as Eco Action Club or in the Organic Learning Garden such as the Club Grow. The Center hosts events such as the Earth Week and Sustainability Week, and tables at various events on campus.
Organic Learning Gar​​den
The SMC community is excited by the opening of the new Organic Learning Garden facility!
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It's the opportunity to learn, to grow our own food, and better understand food systems and the impact they have on our society. We can make our communities self-sustaining, have access to fresh and healthy food, reconnect to the earth and our traditions, and nourish our bodies. During our first year, we will have about 1,200 square feet of planting space. Several planting options-- raised beds, containers, mounded beds, and constructed herb gardens—that will be available. Plots will be assigned by the OLG Garden Plot Committee (faculty, staff, and students). Before submitting this application, please read the Rules and Regulations and the Guidelines (on the reverse). By planting a garden space during our inaugural year, you will have the opportunity to provide us with valuable feedback and help us develop future policies to insure the maintenance of a thriving garden on a season-to-season and year-to-year basis. We look forward to building a sustainable gardening community at Santa Monica College and hope you will join us in this effort. There are currently 13 plots in the garden. These plots are distributed by the Organic Learning Garden Oversight Committee.  


Native Gardens and Drought Tolerant 

Installed in the late 1990's by the SMC Botany Department, these gardens are maintained by SW volunteers. The Garden Includes only  CA natives (not only drought tolerant, but native). Supports local wildlife, requires little maintenance and hardly any water. Some plants are endangered and all plants have benefits to the local ecosystem like feeding local bees, being fire resistant, etc. Garden / Garden demonstration and education gardens in partnership with the city Education Garden in front of the CEUS.

Drought tolerant​ in quad and throughout campus 

Any Line Any time 
07-08 SMC subsidized 3 lines servicing the highest concentration of SMC students.
08-09 the Associated Students pushed to increase the service to Any Line, Any Time.
Program costs approximately 1.4 million dollars which is split between Associated Students and the "General Fund". All you need to ride a big blue bus with a valid staff or student ID, and ride for FREE, ANY LINE, ANY TIME.

  • ​​SMC dumps 250 lbs. of food waste every week in which 600,000 worms are fed off of
  • In 2009, 3 tons of food waste was diverted from landfill
  • Castings utilized on campus
  • A great example of closing the loop
  • Area for improvement
  • Currently we only collect pre-consumer waste, but are currently discussing ways of making our cafeteria zero waste.
  • New vendors are required to use compostable to go wares.
  • Increase the educational value by increasing exposure to faculty and students
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Recycling and Zero Waste Program
We have reduced our total waste output by 60% 
since 2006Compost Facility 001.jpg
There are approximately 65-75 recycle bins on campus.
On 09-10 the Board of Trustees passed a Zero waste Events Board Policy requiring our events to use compostable wares and produce no more than 10% waste. 
The Recycling and Zero Waste program is managed by our SMC recycling specialist, Madelie Brodie​, and staffed only by student workers.

Greening our Cafeteria Vendors
Recently our food vendors were all selected using comprehensive sustainability criteria. This resulted in Carl's Jr. being replaced with Campus Kitchen, which has robust environmental business practices and healthier choices. Vendors now are more supportive of SMC's recycling, composting and Zero Waste events policy.
Rain Catchment System
75,000 gallon Rain Catchment and filtration system by Storm Water Solutions​ filters the water and percolates it back into our natural aquifer system using tubes and layers of carbon, soil, and rocks. This mimics the natural process which is disrupted in the urban environment.

Green Building
​LEED Silver   ​
    • Use of Natural Ventilation
    • ​​Storm Water Management
    • ​Low Flow Toilets & Waterless Urinals
    • ​Water Efficient Landscaping
    • ​Construction Waste Management/Recycling
    • Use of Recycled Materials for Construction ​
    • Use of Low Emitting Building Materials
    • Control of Indoor Air Quality
    • Use of Daylight in Rooms
    • Motion Sensor Interior Light Controls
    • Light Pollution Reduction
    LEED Silver is the first Community College Instructional Building in SoCal and second in state.
    ​Student Services Building is currently under construction and is designed to be LEED Gold rating (LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, green building standards).
    Greening the Curriculum 
    One of our 4 institutional learning outcomes is related to sustainability: 
    SMC students will take responsibility for their own impact on the earth by living a sustainable and ethical life style. We are the only community college in the nation to have an Ecological Literacy component as part of our graduation requirements. SMC recently developed a Solar Installers certificate and a Recycling and Resource Management certificate. The Two Environmental AA degrees offered at SMC are Environmental Studies and Environmental Science. Many traditional disciplines have “greened the curriculum” by incorporating environmental themes  and examples and/ or offering the Sustainable Works program as extra credit.
    Carport project on Parking Structure C: $3.6 million for structure, an additional $1 million for efficiency, produces 400KW (see additional facts sheet)  CEUS has a 3 kilowatt system. The Student Services Building currently under construction has large solar roof built into the design.
    STATS: If only 15% of U.S. college students used mugs instead of disposable cups every day, we would eliminate more than a billion cups a year. AASHE