Campus encourages new green initiatives

By Ashley Miller

Contributing Writer

The “green” movement has been big on campus during the last few years. This year, the University has a new plan to make the campus even more eco-friendly.

Upperclassmen will remember that last year, Bostwick Marketplace provided trays for student use every day except “Trayless Tuesdays,” when trays were only available upon request. This was meant to conserve water and contribute to the University’s green initiative. But even if students did not use trays during their meal, they still had to use one to put their dirty dishes on the belt back to the kitchen to be cleaned. As a result, a lot of water was wasted to clean trays that were scarcely used.

This year, Bostwick Marketplace has gone completely trayless. It is estimated that this will save five tons of post-consumer waste in addition to gallons of water and soap. The new trayless belt will make meals much easier to clean up. Upperclassmen surely remember the huge lines that would accumulate at the dish drop-off area. I remember how much of a hassle it used to be to bring cups and plates back to the station and get them on a tray. There were more than a few dropped dishes. I believe that the cafeteria going trayless is both environmentally savvy and easier for students. Of course, for those who do prefer trays, some will still be available upon request.

Another green initiative is the Flex Your Power competition. This is the second year that the competition will take place. Each residence hall will be asked to cut back on as much power as they can, which can be achieved by simply turning off lights during the day, unplugging a phone charger, or keeping the air conditioner on the lowest setting. All of these are easy to do and help the environment. Whichever hall cuts back on the most power during the competition will win a prize for its common room. Last year, Kress Hall won a flat-screen TV. This year, the competition will take place from Sept. 15 to Oct. 21. Where is the harm in trying to see how much power you can save? You might just win a TV.

Some other small things have been put in place to help this movement. On the back of my dorm door, there’s a flyer that reminds me what to switch off or turn down the lights or air conditioning before I leave to conserve energy. In some bathrooms, there are fliers that remind students of how much water can be saved by cutting back shower time by just a few minutes. The University’s showers use two gallons a minute, so if you cut back by even two minutes you can save four gallons of water. Not so hard, right?

If everyone pitches in, not only during the Flex Your Power competition but throughout the year, we can save even more energy this year than last year. It’s worth making a few sacrifices to help the planet.

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