The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

78° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Dorms recycle more in ’10

Residence Life recycled 6.9 more tons of material than last year during this year’s Recycle Mania competition.

While the UA, as a campus, ranked lower than last year for Recycle Mania, placing 27th, Residence Life efforts have  gotten stronger.

“”We were most pleased with the Recycle Mania results,”” said Jill Ramirez, coordinator of sustainability education. ””The students really came together to show their support for sustainability in very tangible ways.””

Residence Life’s sustainability efforts don’t stop with the end of Recycle Mania. This is the student Eco-Reps’ second year holding an elected position on the Residence Life Hall Council executive boards.

Eco-Reps work year-round, brainstorming new ways to raise environmental awareness on campus.

Eco-Rep President Jake Turner says he finds inspiration in a quote from Gandhi: “”Be the change you want to see in the world.””

“”I’m fulfilling my life motto to be the change I want to see in the world. I believe that this world can be a better place for mankind, and everyday, as an Eco-Rep, I’m striving to fulfill this belief through direct action,”” Turner said. “”I hope to accomplish as many positive environmental projects and actions that are feasible while in Eco-Reps.””

One new initiative that began last semester is TerraCycle, which is an organization that collects and reuses materials that would normally be dumped in a landfill.

The money gained from TerraCycle is used to help fund sustainability programs like the Eco-Rep program, according to Recycling Field Coordinator Kenneth Armstrong.

“”Recycle Mania was a great success, and we saw massive increases in the amount of TerraCycle materials that residents are recycling,”” said Sean Ross, marketing director of Eco-Reps.

TerraCycle at the UA has kept almost 2,000 pieces of trash out of landfills, Ramirez said.

This semester, residence halls began working to collect plastic grocery bags.

Ramirez said 10,000 bags have been collected.

“”Residents accumulate massive amounts of these bags, and they all would normally be thrown away, taking years and years to decompose and introducing toxins into the environment along the way,”” Ross said. “”The fact that we can collect so many of them is fantastic.””

In addition to working on reusing and recycling, Eco-Reps are working to combat deforestation by collecting money to plant trees for the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

Eco-Reps are working with one of the campaign’s sponsors, mokugift.com, which allows tree costs to be subsidized. For each dollar donated, a tree is planted.

Turner said, so far, they have been able to plant a little over 400 trees through donations.

“”People have been incredibly generous and willing to plant a tree for so little money,”” Ramirez said.

Eco-Rep Cierra Crawly said she thought it was important for students to begin to realize the importance of sustainability.

“”I think it is important to understand that our Earth does have a carrying capacity and limited resources. It is important that people begin to recognize this and actively take a part in making these resources last as long as possible,”” Crawly said.

More to Discover
Activate Search