Greening the Berkeley Science Review

Project Leads: Sebastien Lounis, Anna Schneider, Ally Berke, Chris Smallwood, Anna Goldstein, Mary Grace Lin, Dennis Zhao

Sponsor: Berkeley Science Review

TGIF Grant
: $1,152

TGIF Mini-Grant: $2,000

Project Theme: Waste Reduction

Project Location

2012 Application Submission

Application Metrics



Project Description: The BSR will use the TGIF grant to reduce the environmental impact of the magazine and demonstrate leadership in sustainability amongst student publications.

Goals: Use the grant to cover the difference in costs for the BSR to print its magazine on 55% recycled-content paper. Actively expand BSR's online presence through the BSR blog and explore ways to reduce the overall number of printed offerings, such as offering the option of a digital copy for paid subscribers or better integration of the magazine with tablet readers. Purchase carbon offsets from to cover delivery costs of the BSR. Fund a workshop to share general green printing practices and BSR's grant results with the other 40+ ASUC publications and possibly develop a unified plan for the sustainable printing of all student publications.

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of our magazine and demonstrate leadership in sustainability among student publications, the proposed project set out to:

  1. Shift the printing of our issues to 55% recycled paper.
  2. Purchase carbon offsets to displace the greenhouse gas emissions generated by production and shipping of the magazine.
  3. Organize a sustainability workshop for campus publications to share the results of our project.
  4. Update the BSR website to allow articles to be displayed in HTML format.

TGIF Blog Posts about the Berkeley Science Review

Project Timeline

  1. Fall 2012: BSR Issue Release – copies printed on 60% PCW recycled paper
  2. January 2013: Posted job opening for Web Publishing Intern
  3. February 2013: Hired Dennis Zhao for intern position and began work on IssueM articles
  4. April 29th, 2013: BSR Sustainability Workshop
  5. April 29th, 2013: BSR new online article format unveiled
  6. May 1st, 2013 BSR Issue Release – copies printed on 60% PCW recycled paper


2013 Project Poster

2012-2013 Accomplishments and Results 

  • The BSR Team successfully applied for 2012 TGIF Mini-Grant Greening the Berkeley Science Review: Phase II.
  • The BSR Team shifted the paper source for all of its issues to greater than 55% post-consumer waste (PCW) paper.
  • The BSR printed the spring 2012 issue of the BSR on 55% recycled paper (30% PCW), and the fall 2012 and spring 2013 issues of the BSR on 60% PCW paper.
  • Using a Wordpress plugin called IssueM (, the BSR released the Spring 2013 issue in an HTML format, with an easily-to-browse table of contents.
  • The project leads hired an undergraduate intern to import the past four issues from the archives. The new format for the online magazine articles was unveiled with great success on April 29th.
  • The project team held a workshop at the Graduate Assembly on April 29th to share our experiences with the wider publishing community. The workshop served as a springboard for future plans and discussions regarding sustainable publishing at UC Berkeley. 

  • For the fall 2012 issue, the BSR printed 1,375 pounds of 60% PCW paper, which saved 1 ton of wood (or 7 trees), 3,535 gallons of water, 4 million BTUs, 276 pounds of solid waste, and 791 pounds of greenhouse gasses.
  • For the spring 2013 issue, the BSR printed 1,285 pounds of 60% PCW paper, which saved 1 ton of wood (or 7 trees), 3,304 gallons of water, 3 million BTUs, 258 pounds of solid waste, and 739 pounds of greenhouse gasses.
Values were calculated using the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator, Version 3.2.

Challenges and Changes to the Grant Proposal
  • In switching from standard paper to the new 60% PCW paper, the BSR Team decided to switch to a smaller paper supplier, and therefore, printing costs accordingly went up by 35-50%. Because of this financial increase, there was not enough money in the TGIF grant to purchase the proposed carbon offsets.
  • Due to the limited number of hours available for the intern from the mini-grant, the BSR was only able to import the archives since fall 2010. The 18 previous issues remain in PDF format until a future time when resources are available to complete this project.
  • Although the workshop served as a starting point for discussing sustainable publishing in the campus community, attendance was limited to BSR members and official representatives from the Graduate Assembly, TGIF, and the LEAD Center. The LEAD Center Publications Advisor will work with the BSR to hold the workshop again, with more attendance from the publications community.

On-going Benefits
Comparing the Spring 2013 issue release to the previous semester, the use of the IssueM plug-in seems to have made a marked difference in the amount of web traffic to the BSR site. In the first week after the release, there were 4,299 total page views, compared to 2,521 page views during the first week of the Fall 2012 issue. The BSR Team expects the web traffic to continue to grow over time as they develop a loyal readership of both the online magazine and the blog, thanks to the consistent format delivered by IssueM.

Final Report

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.