Zero Waste Research Center at UC Berkeley
For our fourth episode of the Fairware x Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) video series, we visited UC Berkeley to learn all about their Zero Waste Research Center, aimed at transforming its recycling and waste systems so that the campus sends zero waste to landfills by 2020.
UC Berkeley’s attention to world-changing environmental research and efforts to green campus operations is clear when you visit their campus and chat with students. It’s no surprise that they’ve recently earned themselves a Gold award from the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), used by more than 900 colleges and universities around the world. They’re on a mission to foster a culture of sustainability at Berkeley and around the world! They do this by integrating best practices for reducing energy use, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production into daily operations. Plus, they also provide information about these methods, strategies, and data for others to do the same.
During our visit at Berkeley, we met with students Serena, Yu-Shien, Courtney, Rebecca, Lauren, Ella and Madelein, who are all involved in the Zero Waste Research Center, which is tasked with researching and implementing upstream strategies for reducing campus waste, with a focus on purchasing, redesigning products, creating behavior change incentives, and instituting closed-loop circular economy waste systems. The students we connected with in particular were involved in the Student Environment Resource Center, Plastics Recycling and Research Facility and the Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates areas of the Zero Waste Research Center.
We so enjoyed meeting with these students and learning all about the many programs they have helped move forward, and walked away feeling inspired by our conversations. Every day they are having a sustainable impact on their campus, while also serving as an example to other students and schools across the nation. Check out the video below to meet these student changemakers and learn all about their zero waste programs firsthand.
Once again, a big thank you to our friends at PLAN for connecting us and assisting students with the development of zero waste programs on campuses across the United States.
Keep an eye out for our next and final episode of this series coming soon!