An Environmentally-Friendly Outlook

Published 1 year ago -

By Maggie Buckley, Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, November 8, 2021, Assumption University students received an email regarding a nationwide paper shortage.

“Our vendor, W.B. Mason, is doing their best to fulfill our paper requests but cannot make any guarantees,” it read.  

“Please limit the amount of paper being used by printing only what is necessary. Think before you print and print on both sides whenever possible.”

Though this may seem like a mild inconvenience to some, co-president of the Greenhounds, Mike Shea, offers a different perspective. 

 “I think it’s an overall positive,” he remarked.

As an executive of Greenhounds, a club devoted to “help[ing] make campus more environmentally friendly,” Shea noted the importance of being knowledgeable about consumption.

He cited the sheer waste that was accumulated when ordering from Charlie’s, the snack bar on campus, over the course of the pandemic. 

Because of COVID-19 related protocols, food had to be handled by workers without intervention from the students, so meals were prepared then packaged in paper bags.

Though it was effective in protecting the safety of the students, Shea noted the single-use paper bags were relatively wasteful.

On top of this, he noted, laziness on the part of the students combined with the convenience of recycling everything in the paper bag it came in has the potential for contaminating the entire receptacle.

“When you recycle something in a bag, even if you just threw in a can or water, every single thing in that recycling bag cannot be recycled.”

Additionally, if the paper bag has grease from the food it held, it cannot be recycled.

Tips like these and more can be found on the sign in Hagan between Charlie’s and Caribou Coffee.

The sign, put up by the Greenhounds, seeks to educate students on what can truly be recycled from the things they buy on campus.

Such things include food containers, plastic bottles, straws, and other scraps.

Shea also noted that putting in the extra effort by bringing a reusable bag to Charlie’s, rather than asking for a paper one, could help reduce waste.

Even small things such as carrying multi-use utensils, using reusable straws, and opting for a reusable water bottle over a plastic one can make a difference.

The most basic thing, though?

“Make sure you’re recycling,” said Shea.

If you are interested in learning more about the Greenhounds, the work they do on campus, or the volunteering they do around the Worcester community, attending a club meeting is the best place to start. 

Meetings are scheduled for every Thursday at 7:30 in Tsotsis.

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