Green Corner: Reduce your use throughout Recyclemania

You’ve just finished drinking a bottle of water on your way to class, leaving you with an empty plastic bottle that you need to get rid of. You look around to see if there are any recycling receptacles for you to put it in, but there are none in sight. So, instead of doing the right thing and holding onto it just a little bit longer, you simply throw your plastic water bottle into the normal garbage can and go to class. Does this scenario seem familiar to you?
As a student here at Rider, it most certainly should not. Inside every single building here at Rider there are plenty of waste receptacles that are separated into three parts: plastic and cans, paper and waste. These are helpful in more ways than one, especially during Recyclemania.
Recyclemania is an eight-week-long nationwide competition in which Rider participates. The main goal of the competition is to increase recycling awareness across campus, increase the recycling rates and to change the idea of recycling into something that you can easily fit in to your everyday routine.
In an effort to help students understand the importance of the Recyclemania competition and how to help Rider come out on the top of the scoreboards, Rider’s Eco-Reps will hold weekly themed information sessions in Cranberry’s. Each week there will be new ideas and information about recycling; for example, this past week finished the theme on paper.
It is sometimes hard to keep track of all of the things that we use every day. That’s why it may be surprising to find that the average student goes through up to 320 lbs. of paper per year, according to greenanswers.com.
Fiveminutesforgoinggreen.com states that forests around the world are being torn down for the use of paper at the rate of 100 acres per minute. With this in mind, it is alarming to think about the price that we are paying, considering all the things that trees do for us. If you are breathing right now, you can thank a tree. Trees provide oxygen to the earth, as well as absorb carbon dioxide. Trees also serve as habitats and shade for wildlife and prevent erosion.
With an unbelievable amount of trees being felled for our use every single day, it is imperative that we think twice about the things that we consume and how we use or dispose of them when they’ve served their purpose. There are plenty of ways that you can reduce the amount of paper that you use — you just have to be aware of how much you are consuming in order to change your habits.
With the amount of technology that is buzzing around us, it should not be too hard to make the simplest of changes. By taking notes on your computer instead of a notebook, paying attention to packaging or buying online versions of textbooks and printing double sided — which all printing stations at Rider are set up to do — you can cut down the amount of paper used each semester.
Trees take years to grow, but only minutes to be cut down and taken away to produce paper. Be considerate not only to the environment, but also yourself, keeping in mind that trees produce something essential to life here on Earth.

-Danielle Campanella
Lawrenceville Eco-Rep
Printed in the 2/15/13 edition.

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