When thousands of University of South Florida students walk across the stage to receive their diplomas this week, they will be helping to reduce environmental waste.
USF Student Government voted this year to use caps and gowns made from 100 percent recycled materials. Each set is made from about 23 plastic bottles.
With more than 6,300 students in the USF System graduating this week, that translates into the recycling of 150-thousand bottles.
Patricia Medina is graduating with her master's degree in public health. She says taking care of the environment is great, but she's not sure she needs recycled regalia.
"I don't think of my cap and gown as something that I'm going to throw out. It's just a piece of clothing that I'm going to pass to other people to reuse it. So I don't really see the importance of it,"said Medina.
But the cost of being good stewards of the earth has a higher price.
The basic undergraduate cap and gown costs about $65, about $20 more than it cost last year.
There's also a major cosmetic change as well - bachelor's degree recipients will wear green caps and gowns that feature USF seals on the front. Previously, the regalia was plain black.