Image of UC Davis grad in cap, gown and stole waving blue and gold streamers in front of the brick UC Davis monument.

Glitter is litter: Grads Asked to Use Eco-friendly Photo Props and Backdrops

To create the perfect graduation photo, many students and photographers take advantage of props like plastic confetti and glitter. The problem is that these micro-plastics end up abandoned on campus grounds, get in the storm drains that discharge to the Arboretum Waterway, and then eventually the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay.

“We want all our grads to get that perfect photo,” says Nina Suzuki, waterway steward for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. “We also want to make sure the photos don’t degrade our water quality or affect the health of our wildlife. We know both can be accomplished!”

Consider these Eco-Friendly Supplies

Get creative by shopping reuse stores for these or other eco-friendly supplies, then share them with friends and grads.

  • Ribbon wands
  • Bubbles
  • Signs (funny grad hat, mini blackboard, diplomas, etc.)
  • Fallen leaves
  • Graduation leis
  • Large grad photo frame
  • Grad banner

Photogenic Locations

Or, simply take advantage of the many photogenic spots founds throughout campus!


We wish our new graduates the best and hope they’ll find eco-friendly photos and celebrations just as fun and festive!

Share your eco-celebration photos via social media using these hashtags
#UCDavisEcoGrad #GlitterIsLitter

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