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Editorial: Protecting the earth could be helped by making recycling, conserving easier

April 22, 1997


Earth Day

Protecting the earth could be helped by making recycling, conserving easier

The issue:


Our view:

In the spirit of catching flies with honey, recycling should be made as easy as possible

Earth Day, the day of reflection towards the beauty of and education for the preservation of nature in all its beauty and strength, is today.

Did anyone on campus notice or even care? The University has its sets of blue recycling bins across campus. ECO members are hawking T-shirts. And somewhere in the world, people are gathering for huge rallies celebrating the earth, then leaving lots of hopefully biodegradable trash on the ground.

America has made adjustments to its lifestyle in the name of conservation, or at least the trend of protecting the environment. Big Macs no longer come in Styrofoam containers, but in paper wrappers. Gone are the bleached white bags from the golden Arches. They've been replaced by brown bags marked as using recycled fibers. Even the edition of the Lariat you are reading has a substantial amount of recycled fibers.

What do all these changes mean to University students? This generation has grown up in an era focusing more and more upon preserving natural resources. The University has classes and majors dedicated to learning about the environment and how to care for it.

The University has itself taken strides to aid the cause of recycling and conservation by providing recycling bins around campus and urging all departments to recycle their waste paper. But even counting all the waste the University can create and dispose of in one day, the largest consumer of recyclable goods in the area is the student body.

Most of the student body lives off campus and, while it would be a noble feat, the great majority do not bundle their garbage and bring it to campus with them to place in recycling bins. To simply toss away recyclable goods is far too easy when there is a 200 cubic foot dumpster to accommodate it.

Whether provided by the city, apartment management, recycling centers or by individuals, commercial-size recycling depositories need to be readily available near where most people dispose of waste in order to make it as easy as possible to recycle.

One can always ask others to give a little extra effort to sort out their trash and it might get done. But if no extra effort is required, what is to stop even an ecologically ignorant consumer from putting a square peg in the square hole, or in this case recyclables in recycling bins?

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