Mission Statement: Together we can make change happen.
Description: CALPIRG is an independent, statewide student organization that works on issues such as environmental protection, consumer protection, and hunger and homelessness. For nearly 35 years students within their campus CALPIRG chapters have been making a real difference in people's lives and winning concrete changes to build a better world. CALPIRG gives students the skills and opportunity to practice effective citizenship and in turn mobilizes them to investigate pervasive social problems, come up with practical solutions, convince the media and public to pay attention, and get decision-makers to act.
Current Eco-initiatives: CALPIRG is currently working on a number of campaigns:
Energy Service Corps - Energy Service Corps is a joint program of the Student PIRGs and AmeriCorps that works to educate and engage communities around energy efficiency. The goal is to reduce energy use. This is accomplished through two strategies:
Education: Reducing energy use in people's homes and daily lives is actually relatively simple and inexpensive. This includes the more advanced improvements, where many existing government programs can help allay financial costs. The education program informs people of how they can decrease their energy use, what programs are available to help them, and effectively demonstrates how reducing energy consumption can help their financial bottom line as well as the environment.
Service: In addition to education, CALPIRG also works to implement energy saving measures in people’s homes right away. This has an immediate impact, and also allows more people in the community to experience the immediate benefits that come with energy efficiency.
Protect the Oceans - Californians use 160,000 tons of styrofoam every year – less than .1% of which is recycled. Styrofoam is extremely expensive and difficult to recycle, and yields a low grade product when it is recycled. As a result, styrofoam ends up on our beaches and in our oceans. It is so prevalent that it comes in the top 3 items found on beaches during beach clean-ups. Not only is it an eyesore, but marine animals confuse it for food and it impacts marine ecosystems.
Banning styrofoam takeout containers will prevent tons of trash from polluting the oceans and make California a leader on this issue as the first state to take such action. By signing a ban on single use Styrofoam take out containers, California can be the first state in the country to ban single use and make a real dent in reducing plastic pollution. So far, 37 municipalities in CA have done this. Right now, CALPIRG is working to pass more municipal bans in the short term, and to pass a statewide ban in the long term.
Past Eco-Accomplishments: Say No to Dirty Energy - USC's CALPIRG effectively campaigned to the students to Vote No on Prop 23 by signing pledge cards and assisting them in registering to vote. This allows California's Global Warming Solutions Act to remain in effect and will allow the state to create more clean energy jobs and continue reducing dependence on oil and shrinking its carbon footprint.