Cool Campus Challenge Festival 2019

On Thursday, April 11th at the Campanile, SERC hosted the Cool Campus Challenge (CCC) Festival. From 12-3 pm, organizations such as Epsilon Eta, Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy, and Cal Zero Waste were educating students on their causes and presenting various workshops. CCC Staff Members were also present throughout the event, encouraging students to, of course, sign up for the UC Cool Campus Challenge. (You should sign up too if you haven’t yet; it’s not too late!)

UCB is currently in 1st place, but UCLA is not too far behind! In order to keep the momentum going, events such as this festival have encouraged students to sign up and participate in actions that will allow them to lower their carbon footprint. Here’s some sustainability actions I completed.

Was I going to be the lucky winner of a Cool Campus Challenge T-shirt and Tote Bag?

When I arrived, I was given this sheet.

The task – visit 5 different tables and complete their CCC Action.

The prize – being allowed to enter a raffle.

The unexpected perks – free food, free plant, free water bottle, and free splade. (Splade = spoon, fork, and knife all-in-one utensil. It’s nifty. You should have gone to the CCC Festival for one!)

The first table I went to was Epsilon Eta’s. This environmental fraternity hosted different workshops every hour. Since I was there around 12:30 pm, I was taught about creating my own composter. A member explained how they compost at their home using a stainless-steel ventilated compost bin. I was told how I could make one myself by simply poking holes in the lid of a 5-gallon bucket. Along with some leaves and maybe dirt, I simply had to put food scraps in my bucket to begin my at-home composting journey.

I then went to the Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy table. They were giving out free vegan sandwich samples. A member explained how this organization aims to bring awareness to the public about animal rights. I had not previously known about this organization so I was glad I learned about them at the festival!

One of those cute, little pots was soon to be mine.

Next, I stopped at the SERC table. Here I was able to plant some seeds into my own little brown paper pot. I was told to water it every 2-3 days and, if I wish to, in some weeks it will be ready to place in a larger pot or garden!

Next, I took a short break from visiting tables. Nieves la Unica from Oakland was selling mangoñadas (sliced mangos covered with chamoy sauce and given with a tamarindo candy stick in a cup) and esquites (corn with mayo topped with chili powder and lime) at the event. Just hanging around the Campanile, I talked with some friends and others at the festival, all while snacking on the esquite I had so happily bought.

My friend held up her mangoñada so I could photograph it with the Campanile in frame.

After that short pause, I continued checking out the tables. I landed on Cal Zero Waste; their various items laid out quickly grabbed my attention. With a laptop out and on the Cool Campus Challenge website, they were ready to sign students up and educate them on their Zero Waste goals.

Cal Zero Waste t-shirt, blue splade, reusable water bottle, and laptop.

Blue and yellow splades pictured above the CCC Action.

Here is where I got my splade! I only wished I had this earlier when I bought an esquite and my friends bought mangoñadas (and we used a single-use plastic spoon).

The organization was letting students know about what they provide for campus, such as the sorting bins seen all around labeled compost, recycling, and landfill. They then offered me a splade for listening to their information. In order to receive a reusable water bottle, though, you had to give an example of a zero waste effort you already use. I answered that I bring my own bags when shopping for produce and choose not to use plastic bags for produce if I don’t bring my own bags. As the following picture shows, I answered adequately and got my reward!

My friends and I pose with our newly gifted reusable water bottle and splade. One friend also holds up a “Go Zero Waste!” paddle. Photographed by a Cal Zero Waste Member.

Sadly, I did not have the time to visit 5 tables nor complete 5 of their tasks, but I still took home some prizes!

There are still many events going on for Earth Month and for the CCC. Get involved and earn some points for UCB!

The Cool Campus Challenge ends this Friday, April 26!

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