Walking down the hallway to my dorm room yesterday, I witnessed a sustainability nightmare. As I made my way down the long corridor of linoleum tile floors, I noticed a mountain of plastic water bottles cascading from the recycling room. Two thoughts ran through my head:
- Well hey, at least the first floor of my dorm is recycling.
- WHY THE HECK ARE WE WASTING SO MUCH PLASTIC?
The volcanic eruption of plastic water bottles happens on a weekly occurrence. It’s not as if my campus’ facility employees simply neglected to properly recycle. The fact remains that many students find it convenient to grab a bottle of water on their way to class and then simply unconscientiously toss it away once the finished their last few sips. This is not just a problem here at my University (Drew University), but at Universities across the country, work places and restaurants. It’s a global issue— and it is wreaking havoc on our planet in more ways than one.
Finally, Drew University is on the road towards eliminating plastic waste. Last year, there were rumblings that the sustainability committee was making plans to install hydration stations in the most communal areas of Drew University. Sure, we had water fountains before, but now these re-filling locations are equipped to properly refill reusable water bottles with fresh purified water without the splatter.
Drew University has made some amazing strides since my freshmen year towards becoming one of the most eco-friendly campuses in the nation. With one of the first “green dorms,” ecologically curious student body, and overall goal to incorporate more organic/locally sourced food options there is no doubt that my school is on the right path toward sustainability success.
We even have “Eco Reps” in every dorm, who make it their mission to educate the student body on how to become more environmentally conscious in their own day-to-day lives. They advocate for students to realize just how much water is wasted on a daily basis. Whether it be shortening showers, not letting the faucet run during the entire time of brushing your teeth, and having a reusable water bottle.
As for the recycling situation in my dorm? Let’s just hope that the raging river of plastic water bottles becomes a trickling stream now that the hydration stations have become a noteworthy improvement.