BERKELEY (KCBS) – Volunteers made their way along Cal’s Greek Row Sunday, upgrading 29 fraternity and sorority chapter houses with a number of energy efficient perks.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

The upgrades were made possible because of a partnership between the university and community organizations.

The California Public Interest Research Group, CALPIRG, trained the UC Berkeley students on ways to reduce energy consumption.

“We’re going through and we’re doing weather stripping around all the windows, because a lot of these houses are really old and they have single pane windows,” explained Jordan Hemingway, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. “And they’re the ones that kind of slide up and down and there are a lot of cracks around the edges and stuff and a lot of heat gets out that way.”

Hemingway added that being an eco-friendly fraternity meant putting a greener spin on social activities, like recycling after parties.

“We have all these blue recycling bins, collecting cans, collecting beer cans, collecting you know, whatever remnants of parties that we have. And really, really reducing the waste stream and reducing the energy,” he explained. “We take all the cans down to the transfer station and we’ve made upwards of $500 or $600 and that’s revenue that just comes right back in and it’s diverting waste that would have gone into the waste stream beforehand.”

Next door, members of Pi Lambda Psi welcomed the help.

“I’m pretty sure that our sinks, they keep on dripping a lot of water. And our showers should be replaced,” said Christian Lopez.

In all, 100 volunteers helped make upgrades on Sunday. They hoped to eventually tackle all four dozen fraternities and sororities at UC Berkeley.

Local merchants donated many of the supplies, including weather stripping, caulk, and low flow shower heads.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  1. Nicole says:

    I love it! Thanks so much for covering this story.

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