Sustainable Event Planning
The Office of Sustainability has developed a series of sustainability tips for student groups that are planning events at USC! Check out the Sustainable Event Planning Guide to learn how your organization can reduce the environmental impact of its events.
The Sustainable Event Planning Guide was originally developed for USC Undergraduate Student Government to distribute during student organizations training. This resource will expose 5,000 undergraduate students to tips on planning a sustainable event.
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ESA programs events promoting the green culture, sustainability, and environmental awareness at USC; creates environmental and sustainable initiatives, programs for the USC community through year-long advocacy campaigns; and unites, represents, empowers, and serves as a resource to members of the assembly and member student organizations with the same purpose.
Goal: To increase the number of composting and recycling bins on campus, meeting the Sustainability 2020 Waste Diversion Goal of reducing waste diversion by 25%.
- Meat Reduction
Goal: To reduce the amount of meat served in dining halls per week by 14.3% (equivalent to 1/7, one day, or a “Meatless Monday”).
- Pre-Enrollment Sustainability Training
Goal: To educate USC students about the importance of sustainable living practices and reducing carbon footprints through a pre-enrollment module
Past Projects and Accomplishments
ESA signature events include VegFest during the fall semester which is a free vegetarian and vegan food festival for students and Earth Month during spring semester. Previously, Earth Month events have included visits from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbara Boxer, and Bill Nye. ESA has helped with the removal of straws from campus dining halls and hosted the university’s first ever Climate Rally. ESA periodically hosts Sustainability Forums that bring together major players in campus sustainability in order to foster transparency and collaboration. Finally, ESA supports the Green Engagement Fund, a$30,000 fund created to support student sustainability initiatives on campus.
3607 Trousdale Parkway
Tutor Campus Center, Room 224
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3107
USG Sustainability Affairs Contact Info:
Main Line: (213) 740-5620
Fax: (213) 740-9860
2019-2020 Director of Sustainability Affairs: Isabella Caltabiano (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2019-2020 Assistant Director of Sustainability Affairs: Laura Pearson (email@example.com)
USG seeks to make the undergraduate experience the best it can possibly be. From advocating for policy change on campus, programming educational and entertainment events, passing resolutions to pass on to administration, and funding our students in their various pursuits, each of our six branches does its best to make a positive impact on student life at USC. USG’s Sustainability Affairs division works within the Advocacy Branch and is specifically concerned with, but not limited to, maintaining and increasing sustainability on campus.
The Sustainability Affairs Advocacy team, alongside the Environmental Student Assembly, plans to share news about composting and how to appropriately place items in new multi-stream bins in residential halls. Additionally, we plan on creating refrigerator magnets to be placed on all USC Housing fridges which state how to correctly recycle, compost and place waste. The Sustainability Affairs Advocacy team also plans on working with Greek Life to make The Row and Greek Life as a whole more sustainable.
Last year the former Director of Sustainability Affairs worked on a composting pilot project within USC Housing, which was successful in showing that residents of USC Housing are interested in composting.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, USG’s Advocacy Branch and Sustainability Director made great steps towards creating a more environmentally-conscious campus and community. They hosted a “Do Better SC” Rally, worked to expand composting in dorms, distributed a sustainability survey, hosted a sustainability forum, funded the Green Engagement Fund, reduced receipt usage on campus, and started a dining hall food waste campaign which resulted in the phasing out of plastic straws starting Fall 2018.
Main Campus (UPC)
3607 Trousdale Pkwy SKS 410
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Hours: M-F 9am-6pm
Health Sciences Campus (HSC)
1969 Zonal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Hours: M-F: 12-1pm
The GSG mission is to enhance the University of Southern California graduate and professional student experience by serving as the face of the student body. To accomplish this, GSG is responsible for managing student resources efficiently, providing a voice for the student community, building a community that fosters interdisciplinary exchanges, and informing students about their rights, resources, and opportunities.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, GSG hosted a variety of sustainability-focused events, including a No Straw Pledge for the month of April and a Beach Clean-Up. Additionally, GSG offered the U-Pass Pilot Program in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The reduced-fare transit pass offered graduate students unlimited rides on Metro’s rail and bus lines for a given semester.
In the upcoming 2018-2019 year, GSG will continue to support programs and host events that promote sustainable practices, including renewal the U-Pass Program and hosting a GSG Sustainability Workshop at the Health Sciences Campus in late Fall 2018. Furthermore, we hope to partner with other student and university organizations for joint advocacy on behalf of the USC student population.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media: Facebook
The USC Chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists was founded in spring of 2016 with the purpose of exploring and promoting a wide array of academic and career opportunities related to the fields of environmental engineering and environmental science. Through this exploration, we hope to connect those interested in such fields with other like-minded students, faculty, and professionals beyond USC. The AAEES at USC further aims to showcase and make available all the National AAEES resources, as well as USC Viterbi resources, to USC students, which may include but are not limited to the following: professional and student networking, mentoring opportunities, speaker events, training workshops, off-campus career exploration, and joint events with other USC organizations.
Last year we were able to host five different events ranging from fun, social events to academic and career-centered panels to engage our members and show them the possibilities of what an environmentally-related degree can give them. We ‘re really excited for our 2019-2020 events as we hope to take more USC students off campus to give them real-life experience inside factories and plants, such as Reformation’s sustainable clothing factory or local municipality water centers. Our main goal this year is to use our funding to show students the limitless possibilities behind a degree in environmental engineering or science.
We held a tour of the OCWD treatment plant, Grad Panel, Bee Outreach, Internship panel, and resume workshop. Next year we will be doing a tour with LADWP and have other professional events.
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Bloom Boutique is a funky, thrifty resale boutique run by a team of USC students united by our love for fashion and for the planet. It was born out of a desire to bring sustainable fashion to our community and cut down on waste caused by the fast fashion industry. We firmly believe that getting dressed should be an expressive, creative and empowering endeavor and strive to reflect this in everything we do. We keep prices low and donate 100% of our profits to local charitable organizations because we know that fashion has the power to strengthen communities.
Bloom Boutique has collaborated with a wide range of other USC student groups like Environmental Student Assembly, Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment, Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation, KXSC, and Photography Club to participate in VegFest, FemFest, RESIST, and Art Fest. We have held 9 Pop-Up Sales within the USC area and have spent time packing lunches for and volunteering at LA’s Downtown Women’s Center.
Contact Info: 213-740-7770
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media: Website
EcoBright is dedicated to providing quality environmental education for K-12 students in schools near the University Park area. By connecting USC students with youth in these schools, EcoBright educates young students about the state of environmental affairs, engages them using hands-on activities, and empowers them to become stewards of their local and global environment.
EcoBright operates on the belief that providing an early foundation in environmental sustainability is crucial to cultivating an environmentally literate and conscious society. With the efforts and enthusiasm of USC student volunteers, the club is engaging the next generation of citizens, voters, policy-makers, and activists.
This semester EcoBright is working to bring guest speakers to campus who can discuss the importance of early environmental education, as well as working to host a tree planting event in collaboration with LA City Plants.
In fall of 2017, EcoBright became a Recognized Student Organization, and in the following spring, the group applied for and was awarded membership organization within the Environmental Student Assembly, providing us greater access to funding resources and enabling us to collaborate with other environmental organizations on campus.
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USC FRN is an organization dedicated to reducing food waste and addressing food insecurity among students on campus. We hope to create a coalition of all existing organizations that aim to improve the quality of life for all students. FRN will do its part by partnering with businesses on- or near-campus to recover food and reinvest it into the community.
USC FRN is a new chapter of the national non-profit, the Food Recovery Network, and we have yet to make our impact. In the Spring Term, we have a set of goals we hope you will join us in. The first is to establish a food donor, then a partner agency, and finally successfully complete at least 2 food recoveries. We are also committed to creating a community within our network by frequent excursions that endorse businesses that give back to the LA community.
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USC garden club seeks to be a collaborative and educational model of sustainable agriculture and self-sufficient lifestyle that is accessible to all students and members of the surrounding community. The garden is an interdisciplinary space that fosters connections between people and encourages a deep re-connection with nature and each other. The garden is located behind Parkside A&H dormitories. It includes an aquaponics system powered by solar panels, traditional growing beds with drip irrigation, and an extensive composting system featuring black soldier flies and vermiculture. Garden club meets every Wednesday morning from 10am-1pm.
This year, we plan to host a series of events to increase student awareness and involvement in the garden, launch an educational campaign to better knowledge about composting techniques and resources on campus, and connect with surrounding K-12 schools to bring students into the garden space and introduce them to relevant concepts about food and gardening. We also plan to donate fresh produce to the USC food pantry, create partnerships with local nonprofits like LA Compost, OurFoods, and Community Services Unlimited, and host educational gardening workshops, including cooking demonstrations, aquaponics construction and maintenance, composting systems, planting techniques, pest control, and incorporation of native plants. We ultimately aim to establish the garden as a permanent space recognized and funded by USC.
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Peaks & Professors is a student organization that aims to unite USC’s top professors and students in the great outdoors by organizing outdoor adventures in the California wilderness, with a variety of activities ranging from day hikes to multiple-day backpacking trips.
Past projects have included trail cleanups to maintain the network of trails that continue to serve us so well. We also lead Peaks & Professionals trips, such as one with a professional from a water conservation non-profit to not only showcase an intersectional career but also to learn about how Trojans can support healthy oceans.
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The USC Science Policy Group brings together undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty with a shared interest in incorporating sound science into policy decisions. SPG aims to engage diverse disciplines in a discussion about science and policy, while providing a platform to learn from one another’s backgrounds and experiences. SPG hosts discussion groups, informational sessions, speakers, monthly advocacy days, fun debates, movie screenings, and more. We are a member of the National Science Policy Network, a network of US university groups interested in science and technology policy.
Last year we had monthly dinner discussions on a range of topics: privacy concerns in personal genomics, gerrymandering, science and social media, misuse of science in marketing, NASA’s budget issues, and more. We invited the previous CA Citizens Redistricting Commission to discuss voter district boundaries and had a panel with the former director of the California Council on Science and Technology, who runs a science policy fellowship and advises CA State Senate on matters of science policy. Currently working on policy papers on Southern California water issues in coordination with other chapters of NSPN Western Hub.
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SC Outfitters is USC’s 100% student-run outdoor adventure organization. Our mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive outdoor community, while connecting as many students as possible with the wilderness of Southern California, the West, and beyond.
Last year, SC Outfitters guides put together over fifty trips, visiting and exploring wilderness as far as Utah and Hawaii. In addition, we continued our partnership with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies with a service trip to Catalina island to help with trail restoration. We look forward to another year of outdoor exploration and more chances to share our passion for the outdoors with USC’s student community.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media: Website
The Sustainability Project is USC’s green business club. We focus on issues at the cross-section of sustainability and business. Our mission is to educate other students on the importance of sustainability in business, advocate greener policies and projects in our community, and connect people who are passionate about the cause.
The Sustainability Project held a beach clean up and invited numerous speakers. One of them was an engineer that worked for a company that is trying to 3D print the world’s first supercar. We also held a panel of green business to learn more about how those entrepreneurs focused their efforts on building not just a sustainable product but keeping their businesses sustainable as well.