Thursday, January 31, 2008

UCLA Sustainability Efforts

Today Focus the Nation has taken UCLA by storm. For more info look here:
The events today will focus attention on climate change.

Is UCLA a "green campus"? How do you know a green campus when you see one? Adopting solely an energy consumption criteria; UCLA faces some challenges.

Our total gasoline consumption for commuting to and from campus =

where N = number of commuters = students + faculty + staff
P = probability commute by private car
M = mile distance from residence to UCLA
E = Gallons per mile (or inverse of Miles per gallon)

UCLA is quite big so N is quite big.
Nobody takes public transit to UCLA so P is big.
UCLA is in westwood and this town is quite expensive so urban economics predicts
that most people who bought housing recently live far from campus so M is big
While some people drive hybrids, the parking lot is filled with fuel inefficient cars so E can be big.

How can UCLA incentivize its members to reduce N*P*M*E? I'm trying to think about this and I'm trying to get some people on campus to allow me to run some field experiments. To encourage a smaller E, smaller M and smaller P.