Earth-first Clubs & Values at Cal

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Every day is Earth Day!

Want to positively impact the environment during your university experience? Whether you take part in initiatives, engineering, or practice sustainability, there are over 40 student organizations with a focus on the environment. Being environmentally conscious through the organizations you choose to be a part of will have a lasting impact on yourself and the world around you. Here are a few examples of UC Berkeley student organizations working to improve our world.

Engineering-Centered Organizations

Cal’s environmental clubs and organizations include interactive engineering. You don’t have to be studying environmental science to overlap with sustainability. These clubs are geared towards those interested in engineering and the environment:

  • The Cal Environmental Team competes in the annual water treatment competition, crossing engineering design with wastewater treatment. If interested in this hands-on experience and competition, you can contact them at calenviroteam@gmail.com.
  • The Cal Seismic Design Team competes in the Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition hosted by Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. From design to construction, they brainstorm and execute projects. There’s no application required, just email calseismicteam@gmail.com or look at Cal Seismic Design’s website for more information.
  • The Student Association of Fire Ecology is a group of undergraduate and graduate students conducting research on fire ecology and preparing themselves for careers in fire science.
  • Cal Sol is a team of undergraduates who design and test solar-powered vehicles and go on to complete them on an international level. Learn more about what they do in Three Sustainable Student Orgs.

Cal Sol. Photo by Eddie Kang.

Efforts and Initiatives

There are also plentiful opportunities to take part in impactful initiatives. Here are a few educational programs and efforts that create present, action-orientated change:

Cal athletes plant California live oak saplings in Faculty Glade in advance of Earth Day. Photo by Student Affairs Communications.

Programs with an Environmental Conscious Aspect

Other Berkeley-affiliated programs consist of efforts to make their organization more Earth-friendly. These are a few examples of such programs:

  • The Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society’s environmental stewardship family is centered around leave-no-trace ideology and organizes cleanups and volunteer opportunities.
  • The Bay Area Environmentally Aware Consulting Network (BEACN) is a consulting club that works on sustainability projects with its partnered companies. If you’re interested in this intersection of business consulting and the environment, a way to reach them would be through beacn.berkeley@gmail.com.
  • The Berkeley Food Institute is a bridge between the University of California’s resources and surrounding communities with a just food and farm system focused on availability, agroecology, fair employment, and racial equity.
  • EthiCAL Apparel is a clothing business that practices sustainable sourcing and donates profits to local organizations that align with their environment-friendly principles.
  • The Cal Dining and Residential Sustainability Program is a multifaceted team that focuses on waste reduction and sustainable food production. Sustainability Program Coordinator for Residential and Dining Shannen Casey expands on what this program entails in Three Sustainable Student Orgs.

Join a Planet-Friendly Organization!

No matter your area of study or professional goals, integrating sustainability and environment-focused initiatives in your day-to-day will not only benefit the planet but our future. Check out these few clubs and efforts and the Student Environmental Resource Center’s 40+ student organizations about the environment. You can stay connected by signing up for the SERC newsletter or joining the Environmental Community at Cal Slack. At Berkeley, every day is Earth Day!

 

Preslee Vanlandingham is a fourth-year at UC Berkeley majoring in English and minoring in creative writing. Feature photo is the Solutions for a Sustainable and Just Future DeCal; photo by Sam Quiñones.