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5 Tips to Move in and Live Sustainably in Isla Vista 

1. Buy recycled furniture 

Whether you are moving in or moving out, a great way to obtain and dispose of furniture is by buying or selling it to local thrift stores and Isla Vista residents. During Move Out 2020, 702,000 pounds of material were collected from Isla Vista streets. That is down from 1.2 million pounds in 2019, and over 1,100 mattresses were diverted for recycling. To keep our community clean and environmentally conscious, you can purchase used high-quality furniture through local second-hand stores and help prevent furniture from being dumped in public spaces. Please refer to our move-in page detailing the locations of local thrift stores and the information for the free and for sale Facebook page to obtain furniture.  

2. Compost! 

Composting benefits the environment by recycling organic resources, helping conserve land, and replenishing our community soil. In Isla Vista, this is a sustainable easy way to help reduce waste in our community. The IVCSD offers this through the Isla Vista Compost Collective, a free compost service for all residents. You can sign up here and receive a five-gallon bucket picked up each week by Dirtriders. They will transport the compost to local gardens via bike.

3. Buy local fair trade sustainable groceries 

Purchasing from local groceries and farmers markets preserves our local farms and businesses. It reduces food miles to help alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels and cut back on greenhouse emissions. Isla Vista offers the Food Co-op, a community-owned grocery store that provides local fresh produce at low rates. The market accepts both EBT and Cal-fresh, and additionally caters towards college students and their budgetary needs. Another way to shop locally and sustainably is to attend the farmers market every Thursday from 3-6pm and Sunday from 10am-2pm at Camino Real Marketplace. This is a nonprofit initiative in Goleta to provide local farmers a space to sell their produce while providing the freshest and most nutritious seasonal produce. 

4. Go carless and use alternative methods of transportation 

The transport sector burns most of the world’s petroleum and is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. To help contribute to better air quality, Isla Vista residents are encouraged to use alternative transportation such as bicycles, the public bus system, and Amtrak trains for long-distance travel. The Santa Barbara metropolitan transit district (MTD) offers a bus system between northern Goleta and Montecito. UCSB students ride the bus system at no cost with a valid student ID. For those traveling longer distances, Goleta has a local Amtrak station, as well as a rideshare app called Zimride

5. Use reusable products and go plastic-free 

Globally we produce over 380 million tons of plastic every year, with half of all plastic items being single-use. Single-use plastics are primarily produced using fossil fuels and are meant to be disposed of right after use. They are commonly plasticware, bottles, wrappers, straws, and bags. Cutting down single-use plastic use can be as simple as only using reusable stainless steel water bottles, bringing a reusable cup when visiting coffee shops, using reusable bags when market shopping and buying produce primarily in glass containers. These steps can drastically help our environment combat pollution and lower our high levels of plastic waste.