America Recycles Day

Did you know that this week, on November 15th, the country held America Recycles Day?
This day was declared by Keep America Beautiful in 1997 to highlight the critical need for both homes and businesses to recycle. This year’s theme was “I Recycle” – and I encourage you to take the pledge! In honor of this important day, lots of companies and organizations held “Going Green” festivities to encourage people to get more serious about recycling.

The truth is: Recycling is pretty easy. Like everything else it’s a habit, and once you get into it, you’ll never throw a coke bottle into the garbage again. Most university campuses are pretty committed to recycling, which is a good thing, considering how much paper comes out of the printer and how many bottles of drink college students consume! In honor of America Recycles Day, this is the time to check out what kind of recycling programs your college has.

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For inspiration, did you know that the Recycling & Refuse Department at Ohio University participates in the annual RecycleMania national competition, sponosrs the Trash Dance held during RecycleMania, and ensures that recycling is available at campus events? On the Univesrity of California @Davis campus, there is a zero waste coordinator for campus events. The University of Minnesota has developed the SMART (Self Managed Activities for Recyclables and Trash) system which has resulted in a significant increase in recycling on campus, while the University of Michigan provides lots of information on their site to guide both students and college staff in how to most efficiently recycle the waste that results from students moving in and out of campus. Humboldt State University used their years of experience – they’ve had a campus waste reduction program since 1987 – to create a guide called “Recycling and Beyond: A Model for Campus Communities.” You can access the link on the college website.

So, if your college campus is not recycling enough – take the initiative to improve and increase recycling at your university. Check out the websites of these colleges and follow their good example.

Go Green at College

Going Green at CollegeCollege students are always looking for ways to change the world. One of the best ways to “change the world” is to work on changing the planet. Within the university campus there are lots of opportunities for “being green.”
Here are a few suggestions to make your dorm more eco-friendly:
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: How much paper comes out of the printers at your school’s computer room every day? Take the paper you use and drop it in the recycle bin – not in the garbage. In your dorm, recycle plastic, newspaper, glass and cans, as well as paper. If your campus doesn’t have a recycling program – start one!
2. Change the Light: Is your dorm lit by an old incandescent bulb or with a fluorescent light bulb? If you don’t know, ask. And if fluorescent is not the answer you get then request a changeover.
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3. Turn it Off: Look around your dorm room. There’s the Ipod, BlackBerry, laptop, shaver, TV… When you’re not using them, turn them off. And remember to turn off the water when you’re not using it too.
Remember! You can make your dorm, your campus – and our planet – a greener, better place for all of us to live.