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Padrón Campus Sustainability Committee: About Us

Earth Day, Every Day: Enhancing Learning and Changemaking Related to Environmental Sustainability and Earth Literacy



To assist with environmental sustainability efforts at Padrón Campus, please complete this survey and share it with your Padrón Campus colleagues (students, faculty, staff, alumni etc.).


Empty Pill Bottles

​Please help us collect empty pill bottles (and other First-Aid items) for use in Haiti. Look for drop-off points on Padrón Campus (Single Stop, etc.).

For more details, please contact Nathalie Cajuste


This 4 That (T4T) Thrift Center

This 4 That (T4T) Thrift Center is a project and online platform created by student Patricia Ruiz that provides MDC students a way to exchange clothes they don't use and develop other more sustainable clothing habits. Look for drop-off points on Padrón Campus (Honors College Lounge, etc.).



UrbanaSpace (Pine Rocklands Habitat)
Located at the corner of SW 6th Street and SW 25th Avenue.

Pine rocklands are a globally imperiled ecosystem native to Southeast Florida, with plant and animal species found nowhere else. After winning a Public Space Challenge offered by The Miami Foundation, Padrón Campus transformed part of its landscaping into pine rockland habitat.  

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

Miami Dade College (MDC) is a proud member of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Please see the AASHE calendar for other events.

About Us 

Padrón Campus Sustainability Committee is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and administrators dedicated to enhancing learning and changemaking related to environmental sustainability and earth literacy. Team members represent different disciplines and areas of Padrón Campus. Current members are listed below:


This Committee is supported by: Padrón Campus GSELS Faculty, Campus Learning Community (CLC) Committee and IMPACT Committee members, as well as by MDC Institute for Civic Engagement & Democracy (iCED), Learning ResourcesMedia ServicesSingle Stop and the Honors College.

Environmental Challenge

Water Conservation:

  • Save up to 8 gallons of water each day by turning off the faucet when brushing teeth.
  • Start a compost pile or bin and refrain from using the sink disposal.
  • Save up to 20 gallons of water each day by taking 5-minute showers.
  • Invest in water saving appliances like shower heads, faucets, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.

Energy Efficiency:

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs to save energy.
  • Turn home and/or office thermostat up 3 degrees when using air conditioning.
  • Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. Remember to do this in conference rooms, bathrooms, etc. 
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not using them (or use a switch outlet plug), as many will still draw electricity even when they are turned off. 
  • Disable screen savers; put the computer to sleep or turn it off instead.


Sustainable Food Options:

  • Cut food waste by planning a weekly menu, and only buying the ingredients needed.
  • Purchase foodstuffs from farmers' markets or other local farmer/grower-to-table sources.
  • Get involved with food recovery.

Alternative Transportation:

  • Bike or walk for trips when possible.
  • Minimize car trips by “chaining” together errands instead of making separate trips.
  • When possible, use public transit or carpooling rather than a personal car. Emissions from motor vehicles are the largest source of air pollution in Florida, causing reduced air quality and contributing to global warming. By carpooling or using public transportation, you could reduce your carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds of CO₂ each year.

Waste Reduction:

  • Save paper by switching from one-sided to two-sided printing (when you must print).
  • Bring your own water bottles, reusable mug/thermos, cutlery and grocery bags when  on the go; stop purchasing bottled water.
  • Adopt a "Needs Vs. Wants" or minimalist approach when making purchases.
  • Refuse, reuse, and recycle whenever possible.

Civic Engagement:




Miami Mango Season 2021 #mdcmango #foodrecovery. What's your mango story?

Celebrating Mango Season in Miami! June is National Mango Month

Native to southern Asia, mangoes apparently were first attempted to be introduced in the US (from the Yucatan) via Cape Sable, Florida in 1833 -- more success was had cultivating mangoes in Miami from seedlings shipped from the West Indies in the 1860s. Mangoes eventually became a popular domesticated tree in South Florida (and other humid and semi-arid lowland areas), ending up in many yards and properties. The mango tree is an evergreen that can grow to approximately 30 to 90 feet tall. Today about 83% of Florida’s mango acreage is located in Miami-Dade County.

Help celebrate our local mango season -- as well as National Mango month -- by sharing YOUR Miami mango stories: memories, recipes, ideas, finds and random encounters. 




Dr. Mark Tirpak - Program Professional (part-time), Earth Ethics Institute (EEI)


YES! Club
Padrón Campus YES for Environmental Sustainability (YES!) Club is a student organization (sponsored by Earth Ethics Institute) whose mission is to highlight the importance of sustainability and biological diversity while educating others about the function of natural ecosystems and their intrinsic value.

Advisor: Albert Lenel


Engineers for a Sustainable World
Padrón Campus Engineers for a Sustainable World mobilizes students and professionals through education, technical projects and collaborative action to impact local and global sustainability challenges. We envision a world in which engineering fosters environmental, social and economic sustainability to improve both the quality of life and the condition of our planet.

Advisors: Jykro Correo & Adolfo Mendez

David McGuirk Memorial Zen Garden

David McGuirk Memorial Zen Garden
Located across from the employee parking lot.

Associate Professor David McGuirk (English, Literature and Sociology), who passed away in 2014, had a particular concern for environmental sustainability. Along with leading Earth Day and Sustainability Committee activities at Padrón Campus, he assisted faculty and staff in developing co-curricular learning opportunities for students in sustainability and earth literacy, as well as with efforts to create and maintain a ‘green’ campus environment.

GSELS Classes & Student Scholars

Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy Studies (GSELS) classes at MDC -- which are part of different academic programs -- acknowledge the interconnections and interdependencies that define our world. Students can earn GSELS Scholar recognition at MDC, in part by doing well in GSELS classes (see the requirements).

Joyce DiBenedetto-Colton Earth Literacy Scholarship Award

Named for our friend, longtime supporter, past director, and current EEI board member, this annual Award celebrates a student's superior achievement and action in support of Earth and Earth Literacy.

Mariana Ruiz received this Award for Padrón Campus in April 2021, as nominated by Professors Albert Lenel and Emily Sendin (Communications, Arts & Philosophy).



Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) at Miami Dade College (MDC): Fostering earth literacy at Miami Dade College and beyond