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The Clog's Earth Day quiz: How sustainable are you?

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APRIL 22, 2018

Here at UC Berkeley, we all know we could be a little greener. At a university where sustainability is practically a competition, where do you meet the mark? We at the Clog have created a little quiz to help you figure out just how green you are this Earth Day.


  1. You just finished your lunch and you have about 10 minutes to get to your next class in time (Berkeley time still counts as “on time”, right?) and you have to throw away your Pepsi Max and the container that had recently held chicken and rice you got at The Golden Bear café. Do you:
    1. Toss both in the nearest trashcan. (It’s all trash, right? And besides, you’ve seen people with plastic bags come to dig out soda cans in their spare time)
    2. Throw the takeaway box in the compost divider (It’s biodegradable!) and put the soda bottle in the recycling.
    3. Put both in your backpack to figure it out later. So what if it smells a little like chicken and rice later? Teriyaki is great!
  2. You’ve seen the signs in the dorms that read, “Don’t waste water,” “We’re in a drought,” blah, blah, blah. What do you think qualifies as “wasting water”?
    1. Anything longer than it takes for you to re-enact both acts (or CD’s) of “Hamilton” to your shower head. C’mon, even Aaron Burr would agree you can’t beat these acoustics.
    2. Anything longer than a five-minute shower is pushing it. That’s why using leave-on conditioner can help cut your regular shower time in half.
    3. Any amount of water that lasts longer than it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice in your head. (“Even for showering?” someone may ask.) Any. Amount. Of. Water.
  3.  You know we should be saving energy in some way too. What can’t you live without?
    1. My room is not complete without my space heater, seven strands of string lights, and chocolate and nacho cheese fountains.
    2. I do need a lamp for reading and studying, but I’m sure to turn off all the lights before I leave and when I go to sleep at night.
    3. You wanna know how energy-saving I am? I don’t even use electricity. Candles are where it’s at, baby. Party like it’s 1799.
  4. Its laundry day, and you have a huge pile of clothes. You may have been going commando for a day too many, but you can’t put it off anymore. Do you:
    1. Split all of your clothes into three separate piles (whites; darks; mediums; hey, maybe even delicates), and then dry each pile separately in a dryer?
    2. Wash as many clothes as you can together in a full cold load, and, if possible, dry them on a clothing line or at least in one dryer?
    3. Have three pairs of clothes and you wash in Strawberry Creek? Doesn’t get much more sustainable than that.
  5. How do you get to work and school?
    1. Okay, so I do drive, but commuting from North Berkeley is no joke.
    2. I try my best to walk as much as I can, although I do take advantage of the bus system and the Night Safety Shuttle.
    3. If you can’t hoverboard, you might as well stay at home.
  6.  What’s one way you make sure to save energy?
    1. I don’t throw trash on the ground. … Does that count?
    2. I try my best to limit my paper consumption by taking all my notes digitally.
    3. I wear solar-paneled jewelry wherever I go.
    1. It looks like it’s time for you to really cool your jets before “Captain Planet” is renewed in the Year of Our Lord 2018 just to tell you to stop. Here’s an easy way to start: Unplug your power strips when you’re not at home, especially the devices you’re not currently using.
    2. Wow, it looks like somebody might just be in the College of Natural Resources. Cutting down your meat intake (specifically beef) and getting in the habit of bringing a reusable water bottle or coffee thermos with you are some great habits to have to help make the Earth a little greener.
    3. It sounds like you might be a little confused by the fine line between sustainability and not taking care of yourself. Why don’t you start small: five-minute showers and turning off all of your lights when you leave your apartment is a great place to start.


Contact Lauren West at [email protected].

APRIL 23, 2018