Overview & Metrics

TGIF Program Overview

Since its inaugural grant cycle in spring 2008, TGIF has awarded more than $2 million in grants to 146 grant projects. These projects have included the funding of 244 student sustainability internships and student interns have worked an estimated 16,200+ hours on TGIF-funded projects.

As of August 2015, 91 TGIF projects have successfully concluded and 49 are currently in-progress. Only 6 projects have been discontinued.

Concluded Projects:

  • 2015 Spring Grants: 0 projects
    2014 Mini-Grants : 1 project 
    2014 Spring Grants: 3 projects
    2013 Mini Grants: 12 projects
    2013 Spring Grants : 4 projects
    2012 Mini-Grants: 10 projects 
    2012 Spring Grants: 20 projects
    2011 Spring Grants: 12 projects
    2010 Grants: 14 projects
    2009 Grants: 7 projects
    2008 Grants: 8 projects 

In-Progress Projects

  • 2015 Spring Grants: 15 projects
    2014 Mini Grants: 7 projects
    2014 Grant projects: 9 projects 
    2013 Mini-Grants: 2 projects 
    2013 Grants: 9 projects
    2012 Mini Grants: 2 projects
    2012 Grants: 2 projects
    2011 Grants: 2 projects 
    2010 Grants: All completed 
    2009 Grants: 1 project  
    2008 Grants: All completed 

TGIF Project Metrics 2008 - Present

Project metrics are calculated using the TGIF Metrics Spreadsheet. Thank you to our green fund colleagues at McGill University who assisted TGIF in developing a new metrics sheet!


  • TGIF awarded Strawberry Creek restoration enthusiasts a 2008 grant to build UC Berkeley's first Native Plant Nursery.
  • The Berkeley Student Food Collective received a 2009 TGIF Grant to open UC Berkeley's first student food cooperative at 2440 Bancroft Way.
  • TGIF provided BicyCAL with a 2009 grant to open UC Berkeley's first student-run bicycle cooperative.
  • PowerSave Campus and TGIF developed a How To: Organize and Run a Greek House Energy Savings Competition Guide.
  • Campus Recycling and Refuse Services won a 2012 TGIF Grant to establish UC Berkeley's first Zero Waste Research Center. The grant also allowed for UC Berkeley to become the first university in the world to join the Plastic Disclosure Project.
  • A 2012 TGIF Grant established UC Berkeley's first Student Environmental Resource Center.
  • TGIF has the provided funds via the Recycling at Cal grant and the Wurster Hall Waste Management grant to design and implement UC Berkeley first outdoor and indoor standardized recycling systems.


Education, Outreach, & Behavior Change
The BERC 2011 Energy Symposium hosted 800 attendees.

From 2009-2012, the Berkeley Student Food Collective provided education and outreach to 32,780 people.

The Cal Habitat Restoration Leadership program hosted restoration events with 250 volunteers from November 2010 - March 2011, clocking in 11,600 hours of restoration work for the removal of Periwinkle, Chilean Red Current, English Ivy, Algerian Ivy, and invasive grasses.

The Campus Bicycle Initiative
 hosted Campus Bike Day in 2011, which had over 500 attendees.

Compost Alliance
 educated and connected with more than 1500 people during its 2011-2012 program.

Custodial Staff Outreach established sustainable custodial practices in 6 campus buildings.

EcoMovie Nights
screened six environmental films with 150 students in attendance during the 2012-2013 academic year.

For its 2010 campaign, End the Cycle conducted sustainable laundry educational outreach to 1200+ res hall residents.

During Food Day 2012, an estimated 1000 event attendees enjoyed educational activities organized by 11 food-related student groups and ate samples from 4 sustainable food companies.

Learning and LEEDing at Cal
funded four student interns to achieve professional LEED accreditation. The Learning and LEEDing interns also drafted a specialized renovations checklist for UC Berkeley by sampling other building renovations checklists from organizations such as StopWaste and USGBC. The checklist will increase incentives for smaller, cost-effective, campus sustainability projects.

In 2008, the Lower Sproul Eco-Development project hosted a Sustainability Design workshop with 40 students and staff in attendence.

Since opening in May 2011, the Strawberry Creek Native Plants Nursery has hosted 100 students per semester who use the nursery as a learning resource.

The Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) acquired a temporary office space in Lower Sproul (Fall 2012) and then in 337 Mulford Hall (Spring 2013 - present), which served as a meeting space for 11 student groups and hosted 75 walk-in students over both semesters. SERC helped pass 2 bills through the ASUC: one that establishes the long-term durability of the Center, and one that supports the ASUC's divestment from fossil fuel endowments. SERC co-hosted the 2013 California Student Sustainability Coalition Spring Convergence, which had over 700 attendees, and during spring semester 2013 hosted or co-hosted 7 other events and workshops that involved an estimated 150 students. Finally, SERC taught an "Environmental Student Organizations at Cal" Decal in the Spring semester to 25 undergraduate students.

Talking Louder About Sustainability hosted 2 sustainability forums in 2011-2012 with an estimated 100 students in attendance.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, Teaching, Learning, and Change Green-Certified 57 events, which hosted approximately 19,300 people total.

Energy Conservation & Efficiency
Air Handling Unit Transmitters (Differential Pressure Switches Project) has installed:

  • 2 filters at California Hall
  • 2 filters at Koshland Hall
  • 2 filters at Bechtel Hall
  • 1 filter at Barker Hall

In 2008-2009, Building Sustainability at Cal worked in a total of 20 campus buildings, generating 17 audits and implementing 13 education/outreach projects and 5 infrastructure projects. Through the infrastructure projects alone, students were able to save 3 million gallons of water and divert 350 lbs of waste, resulting in a reduction of over 9000 kg of CO2. Students also replaced 312 sink aerators with the most efficient 0.5gpm aerators in 13 buildings on campus. These water savings have the potential to save 8794 kg of CO2 emissions on campus (estimated in 2009). 

In 2009-2010, the Center for Latin American Studies became a Blue Certified Green Department (a sustainability certification from the Berkeley Office of Sustainability) because it cut electricity use by 30% to save UC Berkeley $70/month. They also eliminated two 5-gallon water jugs, estimating that the energy necessary to make a month's worth of water jugs is equal to the energy needed to run a laptop for 144 hours or a clothes dryer for 17 hours.

The Green Cup Competition has saved an average of 143,883.885 kWh and 3580.82 therms per semester (Fall 2011 and Fall 2012), resulting in total cost savings of $27,725.31.

Food Justice & Sustainability
The Cal Dining Sustainability Team formulated and implemented the "Chews to Reuse" pilot program in Fall 2012, which was then expanded to all Cal Dining dining halls in Spring 2013. An estimated 77,947 kWh and 2,660 therms of energy are saved per year by opting for the Chews to Reuse containers. These results will save Cal Dining a minimum of $46,369.03 annually. Students can potentially save a combined $65,658.00 a year by participating in the program.

Food Day 2012 was successfully hosted by the Cal Dining Sustainability Team, during which an estimated 1000 event attendees enjoyed educational activities organized by 11 food-related student groups and ate samples from four sustainable food companies. Food Day will now be an annual event executed by the Cal Dining Sustainability Team.

Habitat Restoration
Composting at Blake Garden built three opened ended compost structures out of inter-locking block material, allowing staff to use a front-loader to turn compost on-site, rather than turning by hand, therefore saving 250 hours of labor/year and $3000/year of green dumping fees.

Lawns to Meadows converted grass lawns on 3 campus sites to regionally appropriate plant meadows, including creating a new native plant and drought tolerant landscape at Anthony Hall.

The Strawberry Creek Water Quality Probe purchased a water quality probe that will assist with sediment and erosion research along Strawberry Creek and also promote environmental stewardship. The probe can test for the traits of total coliform, turbidity, chloramines, and pH in creekwater. Training sessions for using the probe were held from November to December 2012.

Strawberry Creek Planting (Filling the Weed-Shaped Hole):

  • Engaged over 250 student and community volunteers in urban creek restoration, through coordination with the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program (SCRP). These volunteers served over 450 volunteer-hours over the course of 11 educational volunteer events.
  • Removed ivy (and other invasives) from and sheet mulched over 100 m2 of riparian habitat along Strawberry Creek.
  • Propagated approximately 2000 individuals of 60 native plant species in the Strawberry Creek Native Plant Nursery.
  • Planted 348 native plants in four focal areas along Strawberry Creek, and approximately 500 plants in other sites along the creek.

BicyCAL has assisted with an average of 250 bike repairs per semester of operation. Considering that BicyCAL's storefront has been operating since Fall 2010, BicyCAL has repaired about 1500 bicycles in its six semesters of being open.

Break the Mode has signed-up 37 University Hall employees for customized trip planning and 14 employees for a BearPass. If these 51 staff are guided towards choosing an alternative form of transportation from home to Berkeley other than driving, it will save 11,220 driving trips per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 115,015 kg annually.

Waste Reduction
Over 600 BYOM Klean Kanteens have made it into the hands of UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty.

The Compost Alliance worked in 2012-2013 and:
  • Rolled out 17 composting bins at EBB.
  • Rolled our 8 composting bins at Hearst Gym and Hearst Annex.
  • Rolled out 1 composting Peet's Coffee at Crossroads Dining Commons.
  • Converted 59 existing bins into paper towel compost bins at International House.

As of 2013, Compost Alliance has operations in 18 campus buildings. Compost Alliance's continued support of buildings with composting has diverted over 35 tons of waste from landfills between June 2012 and March 2013. This has saved the campus over $4,550 and has reduced campus carbon dioxide emissions by over 5,110 kg. Compost Alliance's current buildings will continue to divert over 3.6 tons of organic waste from landfills every month as long as they continue to compost, resulting in monthly savings of over $468 and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 525.6 kg monthly.

Over the course of five home games in 2010, GO! Team members worked 120 hours and diverted 15- 50% of the total waste stream per game, the equivalent of 2-9 tons of recycled material per game, or 24 tons total over five games.

Greening the Berkeley Science Review shifted the printing of its issues onto 60% PWC paper, which diverted an estimated 2 tons of wood (14 trees), 6839 gallons of water, 7 million BTUs, 534 lbs solid waste, and 1530 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions from 2 issues.

Minimizing Hazardous Waste at UC Berkeley developed a proposal for the creation of an online chemical exchange program for the reuse and recycling of campus chemicals. The proposal was presented to and accepted by EH&S, who will implement the proposal and develop the program. To date (2013) the program has collected 300+ chemicals for reuse rather than disposal.

Through No More Down the Drain, the Art Studio collects 15 gallons of glaze and 300lbs of clay every six week session – enough material to make 100 small flowerpots. By the end of the 2010 academic year, the project had captured 40 gallons of reusable glaze (reducing glaze waste to almost zero) and 900 pounds of reusable clay — enough material to glaze 3,840 coffee mugs or mold 900 coffee mugs.

Recycling on Campus Tennis Courts installed 8 recycling bins at Hearst Tennis Courts and 8 recycling bins at Channing Tennis Courts. The Zero Waste Research Center and Cal Women's Tennis Team are working with Project Green Ball and ReBounces recycling to reuse the tennis balls through a re-pressurizing machine or recycling the material into other surfaces such as equestrian turf.

Recycling at Cal designed and installed 56 new outdoor recycling bins (28 Bottles & Cans and 28 Mixed Paper).

Wurster Hall Waste Management has served as a test pilot for the campus indoor bin standard, purchasing bin sets from Forms & Surfaces for Wurster Hall's hallways and custom-designed bin sets from max-R for Wurster's high-volume lobbies and design studios.


Water Conservation & Tap Water
End the Cycle helped promote more efficient laundry habits in the dorms in and acheived estimated Annual Projected Savings (2010) of:

  • 965.8 Therms
  • 1,984.89 kWh
  • $1,182 Saved
  • 13,034.54 CO2 (lbs) Avoided

In 2011, Fight the Flow installed 124 UZLOW valves in two Unit 1 residence halls. An estimated 40% of 2000+ residents used the valves, saving over 571,000 gallons of hot water and 1,875 therms over the 2-year project lifespan. These savings equal $4,445 saved in water and heating costs and 26,408 lbs. of CO2 emissions diverted.

In 2010, GO! Team conducted water audits for 6 bathrooms in the Gardner Stacks of Doe Library. The team identified 8 problem fixtures and leaks and made recommendations for plumbing solutions and sink aerator installations. Potential savings were up to 8 gallons per minute x 3 hours per day = 1400 Gallons per day.

In 2010, the Bottle Refill Station Installation and Design Guidelines for Existing Buildings installed the first bottle refill station in Dwinelle Hall. The Dwinelle station has eliminated waste from over 120,000 disposable plastic bottles as of May 2013.

The I Heart Tap Water campaign decreased campus sales of bottled water by 48% from 2006 - 2011.

Installation of Bottle Refill Stations (2011) installed bottle refill stations in Evans, Stanley, Boalt, University, and Barrows Halls in 2011.

Installation of Bottle Refill Stations and Fountain Retrofits funded the installation of three bottle refill stations and sixteen bottle refill retrofits in 2012. Bottle Refill Stations were installed in Wheeler, Kroeber, and Sproul Halls. Bottle refill retrofits were completed in VLSB (2), LSA (2), Evans Hall 2nd floor, Wheeler Hall 2nd floor, Cory Hall, Doe Library Annex, GPB, Latimer, LeConte (2), Pimentel, and Tan.

As of May 2012, Water-Metering and Conservation installed or upgraded 67 water meters in over 21 campus buildings.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.