Facade of the International Center.

Learning English in a Green Building

Efforts to develop a sustainable community have granted UC Davis position #3 in the world ranking for campus sustainability. In April 2017, the International Center made its debut as a LEED Certified Gold building. But, what does LEED Certified Gold mean? The United States Environmental Protection Agency created the LEED rating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to promote the constructions of buildings –from residential to commercial– that positively impact the well-being of people and the planet.

You can find our LEED certification stamp on the main entrance of the International Center.

LEED certification imprinted in the International Center's main entrance.

The building offers resources for students to engage in sustainable practices. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of these practices and participate in the UC Davis sustainable community.

#1 Bring your own bottle! The IC has several filters that dispense clean and delicious water. This will help avoid buying plastic bottles and save you money.

Reusable bottle


#2 Compost your trash! Compost is a natural process that turns waste into soil booster. On the first floor you will find the trash bins with landfill, compost and recycling. If you are not sure what is or is not compostable, the flyers above the bins are a simple guide to clear up confusion.

Trashbins with labels at the International Center


#3 Use hand dryers instead of paper towel. They are more environmentally friendly!

Hand dryer in the restrooms


#4 Ride your bicycle every day! The International Center has spacious bike parking, as well as a repair station on the west side of the building to fill up your tires or tighten any loose screws.

Bicycle racks at the International Center


#5 Rent books from the ILC...even textbooks! If you enjoy reading but prefer to rent instead of buy, the ILC offers a variety of fiction novels that you can enjoy. Also, they let you borrow the textbooks to improve your English skills.

International Learning Center


#6 Sustainability in the classroom! Christina Gifford is one of our English instructors, and she integrates technology into her classes as a teaching tool instead on relying on wasteful paper materials. According to Christina “In my classes, I use a lot of app-based learning tools like Kahoot! and Quizlet because they are fun, engaging, and have zero environmental impact! It is important to be sustainable in the classroom because it sends a message to students that the instructor cares about the environment".

Students in classroom


Taking advantage of the resources the International Center has to offer will benefit everyone in the long run. We invite you to make a difference, practice these habits and share them with your classmates. At UC Davis IP, we hope you not only improve your English skills, but also adopt the values of the UC Davis community.

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