Whether your goals this year are simply going to school or also include going green, it is probably easier than you think to contribute to recycling efforts on your campus. Recycling bins are typically strategically placed near trash cans. Is it really so hard to toss your pop bottle into the recycling bin rather than the trash can? Furthermore, many on-campus residence halls across the country are encouraging residents to recycle by placing large recycling bins in or near the buildings, and in Spring 2011 Kansas State University placed blue bins in each student’s room, to make recycling simple and easy.
Tag Archives: recycle
Well…here we are…starting yet another year of school. I know it can seem a little redundant over the years, especially when entering that final stretch of college, so here’s a challenge for you in hopes of making things a bit more interesting.
I dare you to attempt to “go green” this semester. What do I mean by that? Well, let me enlighten you…
There is a lot of talk nowadays about helping the environment and enhancing the overall quality of the world. So, what’s stopping you? I know that statements such as “Save the Whales” may cause this whole phenomenon to sound like a lot of work or beyond your control, but that’s where you’re wrong. There are many things you can do this semester in order to do your part for the environment. Just in case you’re drawing a blank, here are some ideas to help get you started:
Springtime can be the beginning of a fresh start for the environment and for college students. There is so much growth everywhere and you are settling back at home after another year of hard work and fun!
But moving back home from college can remind me about just how much stuff I have. And most of my stuff, I don’t even need. I’m sure you have felt the same way.
I wish I could just ditch it all in the trash. However, I know where my stuff is going if I throw it in the trash. And the landfills are the last place I want to put my junk because having these spaces for trash and chemicals is not good for the environment. I try to reduce my accumulation of trash year round. But when it comes to spring cleaning, it can be more difficult. So I really ask myself, what’s the best use for this stuff? Read More
Something’s been on my mind lately. It’s the fact that the word “recycled” is being used over and over to describe anything that’s been diverted from the waste stream. But in truth, “recycled” refers only to things that have been produced from remanufactured recycled material. For other things that are being diverted from the waste stream, there are more accurate terms like “reclaimed”, “reused” or “composted”. Here’s my interpretation of what all these terms mean:
If something is “recycled” it’s been newly manufactured with a percentage of recycled materials. “Recycled material” is a formerly whole material or product that has been recovered and broken down (e.g. pulverized or melted) to create a second (or third or fourth…) generation raw material which is then used to produce a new material or product. Examples include deck boards made with the plastic from HDPE milk jugs and paper made from recovered waste paper.
Something is considered “reclaimed” when it has been either accidentally or deliberately found and recovered with the intention of diverting it from the waste stream and making use of it elsewhere in either its current or a refurbished state. Examples include building materials and architectural pieces (i.e. brick, moldings, countertops, light fixtures, etc.) that are salvaged during demolition projects and reused as-is or repurposed.
Many durable goods are being made with reclaimed materials too, such as handbags made from reclaimed seatbelts, snack bags or newspaper. Anything reclaimed is also reused, but something reused is not always reclaimed.
“Reused” is a broad term. Basically the “green” definition of reused is anything that is passed from one user to another–as in the case of hand-me-downs–or diverted from the waste stream for extended use, such as when using the same plastic Ziplock bag over and over again. Substituting permanent products for disposable products is also reuse, such as when electing to use a steel thermos instead of a paper cup to hold your coffeehouse beverage. The reason reuse is not recycling is because reuse involves using something in its current form or deconstructing something to make use of individual parts.
Something is “composted” if it started as organic material and decomposed in an aerobic environment. Composted food or yard waste is not “recycled” since the process happens naturally. (See “recycled above.)
Crissy Trask is the founder of GreenMatters.com, a green lifestyle coach, and the best-selling author of It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living. You can follow her on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to her blog.