Trash talk

When you’ve finished reading this issue of the Record, please remember to place it in one of the black, metal newspaper recycling stands. Though this may seem like a silly request, incorrect waste disposal practices have hindered the Paresky Center’s recycling operations.

Recycling in the building, according to several administrators and environmentally-inclined students, has become a serious concern. This issue lies within its trash and recycling receptacles, where some Paresky-goers have been placing items that don’t belong. The College has provided us with clearly marked, color-coded receptacles for trash, paper and cans and bottles. Most students have gotten the message, but that doesn’t fix the fact that even one student’s misplaced coffee cup can ruin 30 students’ recycling efforts.

In recent months, some administrators have drawn attention to the fact that while the campus is excited about sustainability, it isn’t always ready to make the sacrifices for it. Turning off lights, taking shorter showers and shutting down computers in the name of eco-friendliness are small concessions students can make. But disposing properly of trash and recyclables isn’t even a concession. Composting and recycling are simple exercises that should be performed automatically.

As we’ve heard repeatedly, students are eager for the College to reduce its emissions and save energy. Administrators have been proactive in seeking alternative sources of energy, incorporating sustainable buildings into long-term construction projects and looking at ways to reduce energy consumption in standing buildings. Students have affected administrative decisions through their involvement on committees such as the Campus Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC) and Thursday Night Group.

This engagement is certainly laudable, but we as students need to do our part by considering sustainability not only on a macro but on a micro level. We’ve seen in the past weeks that we have our eyes on the larger environmental issues; hopefully we won’t lose sight of the simple solutions right in front of us.