Sunday, April 22, 2007

Green: the new maroon

Dear editor of the Battalion,

I am writing to you because I think the campus should be more environmentally friendly. With such a big campus and students who are always willing to make a difference, I don’t think this would be difficult if the facilities were provided. The environment is very important and the resources we waste are irreplaceable. We can prevent damage to the environment through preventative actions such as recycling. I think this is a very important issue that Texas A&M should stand up for. I think some people categorize the environment as an issue that the Democratic party is partial to. But saving our earth for the future and our children should be a bipartisan issue. The amount of “stuff” we waste is ridiculous.

When I lived on campus last year, the only recycling bins I saw were for paper, but they were in little closets that were hard to find. The Battalion prints a sea of newspapers five days a week, and many of them just end up in the trash along with everything else. If there were more recycling bins on campus, the school could make a dent in the landfills that are filling up around our state. You could also do your part by using at least partially recycled paper for your newspapers and promoting recycling in your newspaper. Then I think more students would put their paper in a recycling bin. The red Coca-Cola cups offered by Food Services could also be recycled in these bins. These cups are countless and many people don’t consider that they are recyclable. Students today drink a lot of water from water bottles made of plastic. They are convenient and easy to store. The problem is they are so wasteful. When I leave the football games, I am almost sick when I see the number of bottles piled up around the trash cans. People have to drink water during the games because it is so hot, but why can’t we keep them from harming the environment while we’re at it? Furthermore, recently many plastic bottles were shredded down to threads and made into synthetic fleece pullover sweaters. Then they were sent to third world countries where children cannot afford coats. That is a very worthy reason to collect the bottles.

Food is another item that is easily recycled. How much of the food made in A&M cafeterias is thrown away? I’m sure there are mounds of it that is dumped in the trash at the end of the day. This food could be given to homeless or battered women’s shelters where desperate people would benefit from it instead of the feral cats who patrol the dumpsters every night. There are a few universities in the northeast who have implemented programs such as this. They have been very successful in lowering the hunger rate in their area. I think Aggies should be more aware of this and if they were, I’m sure many of them would be willing to help.

Students should also be aware of the things they can donate when they move out of a house or dorm in College Station. There are numerous organizations that will take furniture, clothes, appliances, and other salvageable items instead of putting them on the curb on bulk trash day. Furthermore, there is a store in Bryan called Restore, where students can by used hardware, paint, appliances, building materials, and furniture. All of the money from these purchases goes to support Habitat for Humanity, who runs Restore.

I think A&M is very behind the times as far as the environment goes. We might say it is important, but we are not following up on our word. Recycling bins should not be scarce on our campus. Students who live on campus should be able to recycle items easily, whether they are walking by the MSC or the Commons. A&M should support the recycling of glass, plastic, and aluminum in at least one central spot on campus. They should donate their leftover food and household items to those who need it. We can do service projects all day long, but I think the true reflection of service is to live it on a daily basis. Recycling is one way to do that, and everyone can participate in it.

Please take this into consideration and promote this topic in your newspaper.


Rachel D.


Rachel said...

This is another long post. I've been thinking about this topic for a long time, but never had the chance to express it. Thanks for the opportunity!

Ms. Small said...

Yes, it is well argued, but it is too long for a letter to the editor! :) It would be more appropriate (still with a little cutting) for an opinion column.