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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

UC Davis and UC Berkeley compete to see which campus is greener

The sustainability challenge runs from April 3 to April 28 on both campuses  


By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org


UC Davis and UC Berkeley students and faculty will soon have a chance to participate in the ultimate sustainability face-off to claim the title of “greenest campus” in the upcoming “Cal vs. Davis Cool Campus Challenge.”

From April 3 to April 28, students and staff from both campuses can record their “waste and emission-reducing actions” on the Cool Campus Challenge website, according to the event flyer. They will earn points for their school based on their recorded actions, and at the end of the competition, the school with more points will win. 

According to Mateo Alliende, a fourth-year environmental policy analysis and planning major and the co-developer of the project, this event takes inspiration from previous Cool Campus Challenge events that involved all 10 UC campuses. 

“The Cool Campus Challenge is a program that existed in the past,” Alliende said, “I thought that I could kind of incorporate that into my own project. And since I was talking to my friends at Berkeley, we were like, ‘Let’s just create an inter-campus competition, Davis versus Berkeley, and really build engagement that way.’”

Alliende worked alongside UC Berkeley student Garrett Kitahata to develop the project and bring it to both campuses. Kitahata could not be reached for comment as of March 26.

Reducing shower times, using public transportation, turning off lights when they are not in use and watching educational environmental videos are just some of the actions that participants can record on the Cool Campus Challenge webpage during the event, according to Alliende. 

“It’s kind of like a social media page,” Alliende said. “When you complete an action, you take a picture and post it and just say what kind of action it was, and you get points for your school that way. At the end of the competition, the school with the most points wins; it’s a pretty simple format.”

Alliende hopes students and staff from both campuses will get involved. Participants can work as individuals or as groups to earn points.

“Our intention is going to be education and empowering individual action,” Alliende said.  “If I change a habit, or a group changes a habit, how does that scale over time? Our message is really just about learning about our personal impact on the environment.”

The competition ends on April 28, and one campus will be declared the winner shortly after. 

“It’s definitely going to be Davis [that wins],” Alliende said. “We are the most sustainable university — it’s not even a question.”

To sign up for the challenge, you can go to www.coolcampus.org/UCDvsUCB2023/login or scan the QR code on the @coolcampuschallenge Instagram.


Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org