Trash to Treasure: A DIY Book Aimed at Reducing Home Waste

Project Leads: Carli Baker, Claire Porter, Perwana Nazif, Gwen von Klan

Sponsors: Berkeley Student Food Collective & ReUSE

TGIF Mini-Grant: $880

Project Theme: Waste Reduction

Project Location

2012 Mini-Grant Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: Collaboration with ReUSE to create a "Do It Yourself" Book. The book will provide creative ideas for reusing materials and be publicized to students as an educational tool in order to reduce waste in the local community. The book itself will be a fun, informative, and interactive experience in basic DIY projects, along with recipes featuring lesser known products, advice, personal anecdotes, and concrete environmental data about food and home waste.

Goals: The book will provide an educational tool that can empower the UC Berkeley community to take active steps in reducing their household waste. The book will encourage people to look at the ways that they buy products, use household items, and the patterns of their waste which can be reduced. Through a multifaceted physical and online media campaign the BSFC and ReUSE will build awareness about the product and about the impacts of household waste on the environment, in hopes that people will understand the ease in which waste can be reduced effectively.

2012 - 2013 Accomplishments

  • The project leaders chose 30 DIY reuse projects out of 100-200 potentials to feature in the book.
  • The project leaders added a student designer, Perwana Nazif, to the team. The designer has begun some basic designing that will expand after the full book layout has been determined by the editorial team.
  • After successfully completing the first few tutorials, the Trash to Treasure editorial layout is coming together. With a theme that attempts to bridge all points of collegiate life with projects for students living in the dorms, fraternities & sororities, apartments and co-ops, the emphasis of this book is the plentiful ways to reduce personal college waste and remain within a budget. 
    • Tutorials will include making the most out of free shirts students get from campus, how to make an easy vegetable stock using the waste ends of vegetables, making glasses out of wine bottles, and more. 
  • The project team expects the full outline of the book to be done by the end of summer 2013, with the design happening in phases as tutorials are completed.


2013-2014 Timeline

  • The project leaders recruited 11 BSFC members to join.
  • The project team collected all the project ideas, took project pictures, and wrote step-by-step instructions for the majority of the projects.
  • By March, the project team had designed the general layout for project pages and finished editing five projects
  • The project team drafted introductions to the book and to the BSFC, and started gathering information for the "Resource Guide" section.
  • The team has contacted Greenerprinter – an environment-friendly printing company - and set up appointment to discuss the size of book, number of copies and specific materials to be used as inside and cover pages.
  • Printed the book in April and published online: http://issuu.com/berkeleystudentfoodcollective 

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.