6 ways CSULB grads can celebrate a green 2024 Commencement season

Published April 22, 2024

Commencement is an exciting time for Cal State Long Beach graduates and their loved ones. It's also an opportunity to practice sustainable habits, raise awareness about the environmental impact during celebrations and encourage others to do the same. The Class of 2024 can lead by example and inspire others to adopt eco-friendly practices in honor of Earth Day during Earth Month at The Beach! 

First, you can become a Green Grad, take the Green Graduate Pledge and learn how to incorporate sustainability into your future career after college. 

In addition, here are six ways to make commencement season as green as possible:  

1. Rock eco-friendly attire

Illustration of graduates
  • As a Beach grad, you have a head start on sustainable attire since the caps and gowns in the Beach Shops bookstore are eco-friendly and crafted from 100% post-consumer recycled textile material made from plastic bottles. 
  • If your friends and family want to give you graduation leis on the big day, ask them to choose ones made from organic materials like flowers, seeds and recycled material that can be composted afterwards. 
  • Opt for recycled or biodegradable materials when decorating your cap. Consider using recycled paper, fabric scraps or natural elements like dried flowers.

2. Spread joy, not litter

  • During your grad photo shoots and celebrations, avoid metallic and plastic confetti and balloons. They are litter and harmful to the environment. Instead, use eco-friendly alternatives, like dried flowers, bubbles and confetti made from biodegradable materials. Read more about glitter's harmful impact.  

3. Green your commencement commute

Illustration of carpooling students


4. Request mindful grad gifts

Illustration of students holding gifts

  • Ask your friends and family for gifts that won’t create more waste or harm the environment. Request items made from eco-friendly materials or, instead of physical items, request gifts of experiences such as a spa treatment, tickets to an event or a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant! 

5. Digitize announcements

  • Instead of printing and mailing graduation announcements, which produce waste and carbon emissions from mailing, create a digital announcement. You could include photos from your time at The Beach, your graduation photos or even a video with a thank you message to those who supported you during your time at CSULB. 

 6. Make your graduation party a zero-waste event

caps illustration

  • Use compostable or reusable plates, cups, and utensils to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste generated during your celebration. 
  • Set up recycling and composting stations with instructions to encourage attendees to properly dispose of their waste. 
  • Opt for a reusable water bottle, rather than bringing a water bottle. 


Remember, small changes can make a big difference! Together, we can make this commencement season a sustainable and memorable one.