De Anza College named 2019 Sustainability Champion

Bryan Vo, Staff Reporter

The city of Cupertino honored De Anza College on May 30, naming it a 2019 Sustainability Champion for efforts in preserving the environment and being self-sustained.

Different parts of De Anza helped contribute to this award including the custodial operations and the Kirsch Center.

Manny DaSilva, manager of custodial operations, said the contributions to sustainability included eliminating hazardous material, recycling paper and removing the graveyard shift, which kept the lights on from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“Our materials are green, which means our storage area is no longer a hazmat area,” said DaSilva.

The custodial operations department carts are electric and charged through De Anza’s solar panels, said DaSilva.

Mehran Karimi, lab technician at the Kirsch Center, said the Kirsch Center played its part, utilizing solar energy for “a high percentage of its usage,” as well as providing education on sustainability.

“We should bring in students who have the same mindset as us and to get involved and learn more about the sustainability and energy innovations,” said Karimi.

Karimi said future steps that the Kirsch Center can take to make De Anza more sustainable would be to have a 100% drip system around the gardens, including their sustainable organic food garden.

This system would use the minimum amount of water needed for the plants to grow, said Karimi.

DaSilva said this award benefits De Anza and the environment.

“(The Earth is) one home we have, and we’ve got to take care of it,” said DaSilva. “ We are all in it together.”