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Interested in reducing the waste you produce everyday? Try composting, whether in a personal compost pail at the Center for Sustainability (Varsi 202) or in the compost bins posted all over campus! Organic waste makes up about 25-50% of trash, and composting cuts back on that amount of unnecessary waste. An added bonus: you reduce methane gas emission (one of the main greenhouse gases) by composting!

Instead of taking a compostable to-go container from Benson or disposing of glass jars, find reusable containers to hold your food, drinks, and groceries. Use the green, Eco-Trays (reusable to-go containers) to pick up your favorite Bon Appetit food, or give the jam jar a good clean and keep it as an awesome mug or pencil holder for your desk. You can get your Eco-Tray at Benson's Marketplace or Adobe Lodge for your next "to-go" meal. Ask for your food "to-go in a Eco-Tray" and a 5-dining point deposit for joining the program will be added to the cost of your meal. You can get the deposit back at anytime! (For more info, visit the Sustainability - Food & Dining webpage). Re-use boxes from move-in to save money later when you move out! Once you think about what you can really reuse, the opportunities are limitless! For more ideas on how you can reuse day-to-day materials, check out this website.

Challenge yourself to recycle by not only recycling your paper, but also your old running shoes, batteries, and energy bar wrappers by dropping them off at the Terracycle station drop-off area in Malley Fitness Center. Recycling gives a new life to something that would otherwise end up in a landfill. It also avoids using more of our planet's natural resources to make new products, and reduces waste management fees. On your part, this means being conscientious of your waste and placing recyclables in the correct receptacles. This small action, if taken by a large amount of people, leads to the saving of hundreds of dollars as well as a decrease in landfill overflow, which we desperately need. For a horrific example of how our landfills are out of control, check out this article on how recycling provides the livelihood for a group of people in Rio.

Remember that reducing, reusing, and recycling in daily life is not simply to show appreciation for our planet’s limited resources, but also to show respect for the generations to come. Aspire to give future generations the chance to live in a world where landfill overflow is significantly reduced.

Contributed by Keiko Montenegro '16, Sustainability Intern for Residence Life

Waste,Take Action