November 15th is a national holiday dedicated to educate and motivate local communities, businesses, schools, and everyday people about the importance of recycling. This holiday is known as “America Recycles Day” and was celebrated here at Wilmington College last Friday. Our College’s Service Leader Executive Chair member for recycling, Hannah Fetters collected pledge cards last Wednesday and Thursday. Students were able to pledge a dedication to reduce, reuse, and recycle however many pounds they thought they could commit to for the remainder of the month. These pledges were made electronically and on paper and students and staff were able to create their own personal goal in which they thought was achievable for the following weeks of November. Students from the Eco House Christina Veite, Chelsea Thornton, and Charlea Christian also helped Fetters with promoting the college’s recycle program. “I was very pleased that this project was received so well by the student body and staff, and it was great to learn that so many staff and students, including the Greek houses, already recycled a great deal” said Fetters about the project.
The celebration did not stop there. On the big national holiday, Fetters added to the pledge cards and held an educational game in Pyle to teach students and staff as to what is and is not recyclable. They were able to sort a variety of common items they would have in either a recycling or trash bin. These items included a glass jar, a half-gallon milk jug, a water bottle, a Styrofoam bowl, a tissue, toilet paper, copy paper, a Pop Tart wrapper, and a Pop Tart box. Unfortunately, not many students engaged in the game, however, Fetters saw a solution to this problem. Of the few students that did play the game, “The common mistake was placing the Styrofoam bowl into the recycling bin, and the caps of the milk jug and water bottle were not removed before the bottles were recycled” explained Fetters. After examining this, she evaluated that the next step in the recycling program here at Wilmington College is to educate students on what is and isn’t recyclable. This will facilitate students to become better recyclers who are well-informed on healthy recycling habits to create while living on campus and throughout their lives. As a next step, Fetters hopes to get the campus involved in “Recycle Mania”- a two month competition starting in February against colleges and universities across the country to see who can recycle the most per capita and the most efficiently for their community.
As a whole, Wilmington College provides multiple practices to enable students to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Each dumpster site has a regular trash dumpster and a yellow dumpster specifically for recyclables. Each dorm room is also provided with a green recycle bin. There are also several recycle bins in Pyle by the mailboxes and in each of the academic buildings on campus that are attended to by work study workers, members of Greek organizations, and other staff and volunteers. The college not only provides students with the facilities and tools they need to recycle, but also a way to learn and engage in energy and water- saving lifestyles with the Eco House. “The Eco-Houses provide a space for students to learn about energy and water conservation as well as home efficiency and carbon foot printing. The students in these houses monitor their energy and water use and identify strategies to reduce their consumption. In these houses student learn to manage their own habits and make simple lifestyle modifications” explained Tony Staubach, Project Manager of Grow Food Grow Hope. Staubach also identifies that Grow Food Grow Hope “operates on the importance of helping people access fresh food, but we also teach our gardeners to use sustainable practices and refrain from using pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Sustainable agriculture helps our gardeners, youth and students understand their connection to the natural environment.” Organizations, service projects, educational activities, and most importantly hands-on engagement helps students and staff protect their environmental justices for our community and our world. Our core values are the roots that help us branch out to do many things for our community and our environment which aids to “hands-on learning, hands-on living” lifestyles.
For an extensive list of recycling do’s and don’ts, visit http://www.wm.com/thinkgreen/what-can-i-recycle.jsp
For more information on America Recycles day, visit their website http://americarecyclesday.org/