Last week, a group of undergraduate students announced that they would be piloting their recycling initiative on Fraternity Row. When you begin to dig into the issue (and live it firsthand), you realize that there is more to this dilemma than meets the eye.
In a sustainability initiative aiming to produce less waste at parties, several fraternities and other student groups have joined together in an effort to use recyclable cups instead of red Solo cups.
The Office of Sustainability is refocusing its public outreach efforts to promote greater recycling success following last spring, when the highest percentage of rejected waste in years was sent to the landfill. Fifty percent of Washington University’s recycling last spring was rejected.
Students walking by the Clocktower this week may be surprised to see giant bins of trash lining their path. The trash bins, deemed “Mount Trashmore,” are a part of Recyclemania, a two-month-long college competition consisting of more than 400 universities to see which school is able to recycle and compost the most of its trash.
Water is like an oasis on our campus: I can never seem to find it, except in the fountains where its weak metallic flow is unpredictable at best. The drink machines on campus are filled with drinks that are incredibly high in calories and sugar (check the label on the sugar lemonade drink in some of the machines, for example).
In the past year, Washington University’s recycling program has gotten a new design that makes it simpler for students to be environmentally responsible. The University’s recycling program has been streamlined to feature a more efficient single-stream recycling method.
Garbage compactors have been placed in two locations, Stanley’s Cafe and Whispers, as part of a pilot program. The compactors, which were designed by a Washington University alumnus, are meant to decrease the volume of the University’s trash.
A few days ago, while fulfilling my mandatory daily quota of procrastination courtesy of Facebook, I came across an event entitled “One Day without Shoes.” Intrigued, I clicked “attending” and waited for the event page to load. I’m a sucker for ostensibly hippy happenings, and this event had “Stick It to the Bourgeois Footwear-Donning Establishment” written all over it—or so I thought.
I’m relieved to see finally the Wash. U. sustainability plan, but it isn’t good enough. I appreciate the administration’s efforts to adopt broad policies that will help reduce the University’s impact on nature. The fact that our university acknowledges the serious threat climate change poses to the nation’s natural resources (which is probably more than coal and energy executives on its board are willing to admit) is refreshing.
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