Have you seen people walking around with funky green plastic containers? Well, those are part of Cal Dining’s new Chews to Reuse system. Not only do you get to giggle over the adorable pun (or snort, whichever you prefer) but you get to save money while being told you’re saving the environment — one fabulous, innovative to-go box at a time.

Chews to Reuse

Here’s how it works. You walk into Crossroads, or any other dining hall for that matter. When you tell the cashier you want it to-go so that you can take food back to your room and chow down while watching Glee, she asks if you’d like regular or reusable. What’s this? Shiny new boxes that don’t look at all like the boring cardboard to-go containers you’re used to. Say you want the exciting shiny stuff and you’ll be charged three dollars instead of the usual seventy-five cents. But don’t worry, you’ll get that whopping investment back at the end of the semester. This is the part most students might actually care about, no offense to all avid recyclers.

Pay once for the box in the beginning, and every time you go back for food you simply drop the box off in bins by the cashier and pick up a new one. Then, once you’ve made your last drop off of the semester – most likely in a well-deserved jubilee of exams being over – you get that money back. So instead of wasting more valuable meal points/dollars (since, believe it or not meal points do stand for actual monetary values) and killing landfills with boxes that apparently take ages to decompose into healthy, sustainable gunk, you reuse! You have to clean the thing before giving it back instead of just tossing it in the trash like you used to, but hey, the Earth thanks you.

Next time the dining hall depresses you too much to actually want to eat within its hallowed halls, Chews to Reuse! Grab that pretty green box and bolt as far away as you can.

Image source: Erum Khan, Daily Cal

sustWatch out, Bears — Cal has a lean, green, pro-sustainability machine. And it’s got some teeth. Last Friday marked the grand opening of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC), a brand-new project led by ASUC Senator Nolan Pack and funded by the Green Initiative Fund (TGIF? Clever!). Currently housed in an interim location adjacent to the campus bookstore and the SLC, the SERC strives to strengthen and expand the sustainability efforts of the Cal community, offering information, services, jobs and research opportunities to students and student groups interested in environmental justice, natural resource management and every facet of sustainability in between.

Interested in becoming involved with SERC? Or just plain curious? Friend them on Facebook!

Looking for more green opportunities? Check out the TGIF blog!

Stay green, you Bears.

Original image source: photologue_np under Creative Commons.

It ain't easy being green ... Ah, finally some external validation for Berkeley’s environmental self-righteousness. Nah, we’re kidding (mostly), but Berkeley is legitimately one of only 15 universities that received a perfect 99 score in the Princeton Review’s second annual “Green Ratings.” According to the Princeton Review people, the ratings were based on schools’ “commitment to promoting environmental sustainability, academic preparation for green jobs and support for green building projects.” And probably also being the former headquarters of the Secretary of Energy.

Green with envy yet, Harvard? Oh wait, they made the list, too. Well, whatevs, we takes what we can gets.

Image Source: Lost Albatross under Creative Commons
UC Berkeley Recognized on List of Top 15 ‘Green’ Universities [Daily Cal]
Green Colleges [Princeton Review]


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Some graduates decorate their caps to spell out their sororities’ names. Other people, like Roland Saekow, create a green residential lot on theirs.

Complete with grass paper (astroturf probably causes global warming or something), a solar panel, a wind turbine, a small house and a mechanical rising sun, Roland’s hat made  statement. You, too, can have a green cap. What for? Don’t be silly.

Though normally we’d be jerks and point out that you don’t actually have to power your cap in the first place—let alone construct a sustainable way to do so—we won’t do that today. Instead, hats off to Roland, who showed us how graduation gear no longer has to depend on pollutants like petroleum any more. Oil kills!

Green Graduation Cap, solar and wind power [YouTube]
Green Graduation Cap [AP Community]Agent Cody Banks movie

Green greeny green green! Monday was the fifth annual Sustainability Summit, organized by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (a.k.a. CACS, you know, in case you were curious). The Earth Week event started off with a few people talking about how awesomely their green projects have been going this year–and then they started handing out the green for green from green, if you know what we’re saying.

CACS announced the 2008 recipients of Green Fund Grants, “supporting innovative campus sustainability projects,” and presented the Berkeley environmental equivalent of The Oscars (for whatever they’re worth), Sustainability Awards.

And the winners are …

read more »


We all know it, we all love it … it’s the environment! No one cares about the environment more than UC Berkeley (except maybe Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio), and this week will provide dozens of opportunities for us to show it. Yes, starting on Monday and raging through Friday is Cal’s Earth Week, our one and only chance to give Mother Earth some sugar.

Or could it be Berkeley’s one and only chance to stroke its own ego and congratulate itself on its green superiority? We’ll be sure to check out a few of the many summits, “faires,” and Memorial Glade shin-digs to get the real 411, and keep an eye out for Tommy Lee. Just remember: Only you can prevent Earth Week from going down in a blaze of apathy.

UC Berkeley Earth Week Calendar of Events [Website]