Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering
Surfrider Club Leaders at the University of California, Berkeley have successfully spearheaded the initiative to convert their university dining halls to be Ocean Friendly. The students were inspired to pursue the OFR membership after recognizing that UC Berkeley already met most of the necessary requirements through their campuses zero waste practices and sustainability goals. With a student body of over 45,000 undergrad and graduate students, this is a huge step in reducing single use plastics on a major college campus while providing recognition for positive environmental practices.
Aurora Czajkowski, the president of the UC Berkeley Surfrider club states that the “Success of Ocean Friendly Restaurants on college campuses shows how persistence with fighting for sustainability creates impactful environmental change.” In order to become Ocean Friendly, restaurants must meet a combination of mandatory and optional criteria to increase sustainable choices for our ocean. The overall goal of Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program includes “...building an inclusive community of eco-conscious restaurants, activists, and patrons that support a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and our planet in order to find more joy and peace in our everyday lives.”
When asked if the Berkeley Surfrider Club had any advice for other clubs wanting their campus dining halls to become Ocean Friendly, they said “Reach out to those in charge of your school's dining facilities and get in contact with your school's dining sustainability manager! Then, set up meetings to figure out what sustainability goals the dining facilities already have in place, and how you can help advance those. All of this will help you to better understand the logistics of how sustainability could be implemented at your school. For example, determining the length of a potential contract with companies providing single use plastics on your campus is key information.”
Please click HERE to learn more about Surfrider's Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program
Photo: UC Berkeley Surfrider Club Leaders, from left to right: Aurora Czajkowski, Sophia Jones, Genevieve Aubert, and Sam Torres