Featured Projects

Over its 75+ year history, the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) has accomplished many sustainability projects. The following is a list of featured sustainability projects at the BSC:

Home Composting at Cloyne
Cloyne produces compost at home to nourish their beautiful garden. 
Their garden managers built wooden compost bins in their side yard, and add weeds from the garden and select kitchen scraps to decompose into compost. The worms come from outside to the bins, according to their garden manager. 

Worm Bins at Davis
After making a worm bin last semester to begin home composting, Davis continues to take care of their worms. About 1 lb of worms were added to a bin with shredded newspaper, a bit of compost, non-acidic kitchen scraps, some water for moisture, and a closed lid. This created a warm, dark environment to support happy worms and to aid in decomposition. It's not all about the worms--there are many important micro-organisms in there too.

"It only took a couple of weeks to see worm castings (that's the rich soil-like stuff forming at the bottom of the bin). But we have been working through a few challenges: like what happens over winter break when there isn't really anyone available to care for or feed the worms, or how to encourage house members to divert specific food scraps into a separate kitchen bin," said Natalia, the Davis Garden Manager. "The most exciting part for me is when someone asks about the worms, wants to come see them out on the patio, and we can sift through and see the process happening right there."

Chickens at Kingman Hall
Kingman Hall produces its own eggs from its own on-site chicken coop. This allows Kingmanites not only to collect fresh eggs daily (and more cheaply than purchasing them), but also to reduce the environmental footprint of the rearing, collection, and shipping of their eggs. Finally, residents learn more about the food cycle and sustainable agriculture from this project!

Organic Produce
Much of the produced purchased by the co-op system is organic- a healthier and more sustainable alternative to conventional produce.

Hot Water Solar Panels
Many houses at the BSC have reduced their hot-water heating bills by installing solar hot water heating panels on top of their houses. Andres Castro Arms, Casa Zimbabwe, Cloyne Court, Davis Hall, Euclid Hall, Kidd Hall, Hoyt Hall, Stebbins Hall, and Wolf House all have solar hot water panels.

In order to produce their own produce and herbs, a number of houses have organic gardens. These gardens produce valuable produce that saves the co-op system money, reduces waste by composting food scraps in the houses, and reduces the carbon footprint of house's food consumption.

Lothlorien Solar PhotoVoltaics
Lothlorien House financed the installation of solar PV panels on its house in order to generate a portion of the house's energy use.
Lothlorien sets the example for other houses to follow.  Here is the report from the first year of power generation.

Free Piles
In an effort to reduce waste production and encourage sharing material goods among residents, the BSC has implemented free piles in the houses. These piles are maintained by houses and apartments and allow residents to deposit reusable goods and gather materials they need- whether for school, a party, or an art project.

CK Recycling
Central Kitchen (CK) supports an expansive recycling program. The Waste Reduction Coordinator (central-level), Reuse Coordinator, and Waste Reduction Managers (house-level) manage free piles, recycling programs, compost projects, and other waste reduction projects. At the BSC you can recycle everything from paper to bottles & cans to grease and batteries. Please contact the waste reduction coordinator (wrc@bsc.coop) or your house-level manager for more information on how you can dam the waste stream!

ME2 Projects- Wilde & Davis House
The BSC won $41,655 in grants from the City of Berkeley to introduce high-efficiency heating systems in Wilde and Davis House in 2011. This funding, part of a package of stimulus funding received by Berkeley from the federal government, was matched by the BSC in order to maximize returns for both the City and the BSC.