In our society today, the word sustainability often sparks controversial debate and eye rolls. Why is sustainability such an offensive term to so many people? Most would say that the answer is neither clear nor simple. People often do not want to accept that they have contributed to climate change and pollution. It can be argued that many choose not see because that means they would have to admit that there is a problem. The largest concerns, aside from inactivity and lack of convenience to more sustainable solutions, are that people are not informed on the current issues and do not know how to fix the problem.
In my response to these concerns, I decided to focus my sustainability project on informing others on how to recycle and seeking recycling bin donations from the Pulaski Waste Management department to increase access to recycling. As a small, rural, higher education institution, we do not have access to a local recycling company that routinely hauls off recycling. The recycling program that we do have is completely student supported. Due to this lack of man power, recycling campus-wide becomes more difficult.
As another part of my project, I created posters that were placed in heavy traffic areas on campus to show students what can and cannot be recycled. If Martin Methodist College is going to make a step towards a greener campus, student, faculty, and staff must be informed on what to recycle, where to recycle, and why to recycle.
I hope this project pushes towards more student involvement with the Green Team, the recycling crew on campus, and keeps informing others about the impact of recycling on campus. The best way to increase involvement of green initiatives is for people to see it happening right in front of them. Let’s face it. Our water systems are polluted. Our biodiversity is decreasing. Our polar ice caps are melting due to global warming. We are the contributors to the pollutants. Now is the time to change our life styles to save our planet. There is a great deal that must be done to undo that damage of Earth. Taking small steps, like increasing recycling in our local communities, is the first step, of many, toward global remission.
-Written by Danielle Trent, Senior from Lewisburg, TN