By Shawn Potter
What if I told you that you were part of the problem? So now I’m going to ask you, what can you do to be part of the solution?
I’m talking about recycling, and not just going with the flow of what the posters are saying. It all goes deeper than that.
If you are not aware of this already, floating in the Pacific Ocean the size of the state of Texas is a mass of plastic debris too small to pick up with a simple net. That is only one of the major problems that the world is up against. One of the main issues that is contributing to the deterioration of our environment is the irresponsibility of people who do not recycle.
The signs are all around us. Proper recycling methods exist, but far too many people neglect to recycle what they should and as much as they should. The time is now for all BSU students to take responsibility for the proper disposal of every recyclable item they use. The most common materials include: plastic bottles, cup, silverware, aluminum cans, cardboard and mixed papers, which include paper plates.
The list can go on and on, but I’m not an expert. If you’re curious about what other materials can be recycled, what better place to do research than the internet?
Due to the relentless snowfalls that we have had, the solar powered trash compactors have become hidden from most BSU students who do not know where they are. Those who do know and use them may not be disposing the materials in their correct ports.
There is no exception for commuter students. I have personally seen mounds of plastic bottles and iced coffee cups in the trash barrels at the end of the parking garage. I understand that it is the easiest thing to throw away your cup of coffee or energy drink before class. However, there are multiple areas on campus that accept plastic materials that have the ‘Please Recycle’ logo on them.
Who doesn’t want to make a few extra bucks or some change at the end of the week? Students are throwing away hundreds of dollars and they don’t even realize it. Returnable bottles and cans will exchange for five cents each at local packaging and grocery stores. Simply wash the containers out and have some fun.
Unfortunately, we have not found a way to properly recycle styrofoam. This material, as any coffee lover knows, surrounds the large iced coffee cup that they throw away with the plastic cup still inside of it. For the future, if nothing else, take off the styrofoam covering and wash out the plastic cup.
You never know when you will find a bottle or a can on the ground, but if you do, don’t be afraid to pick it up. Always remember to keep proper hand sanitation equipment on you though. Dollar Tree stores sell hand sanitizers on small carabiners that you can clip onto the side of your pants or backpack.
One event swarming through the residence halls is the Recyclemania contest going on until the end of March, hosted by BSU’s RLH Sustainability Committee. At the end of the contest, the winning Residence hall will receive an iced coffee hour. Visit and like their page on Facebook to learn more about what they do, and the reason behind why they recycle.
Don’t let the end of the contest stop you from being an active recycler, however. It is on all of us to pick up after ourselves, and build as well as maintain a healthy environment for everyone.
Shawn Potter is the Opinion Editor of The Comment. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. and follow him on Twitter @shawn_potter