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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Student body begins recycling

Monday, October 1, 2007  
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By Ryan Holly

A campus-wide recycling project will enable students, faculty and staff to contribute to the conservation clean up of our environment.

“I really don’t want the recycling project to just be an SGA function. One of my goals is to make the recycling project a campus-wide effort. We are happily accepting all the help that we can receive so just e-mail me if you have any ideas,” Student Government Association President Ryan Smith said.

The recycling project first began in the spring 2007 semester. SGA developed the project through the summer, and now faculty, staff and students can participate to secure the project’s success.

“SGA has a campus improvement committee, and they are really the motivation behind the recycling program. Ryan Smith, the SGA President, did a great deal of the work over the summer to get the program ready. Collection boxes have been placed in most every office or office area on campus,” the Dean of Students Neil Arter said. “This should make it easier for faculty, staff and students to participate. As recycling gets easier to be involved in, I hope that more and more people on campus will do what they can to help the project.”

The work on the recycling project shows the campus’ awareness of pollution’s negative effects. The campus must work together in order to make the recycling project a success.

“Major risks of pollution: overfilling landfills, crippling the clean air supply, overusing fossil fuels, damaging what renewable resources we have. There are a lot. Pollution may not present itself as a major threat, but I’m sure no one back in Ohio (where I’m from) in 1969 saw the Cuyahoga River catching on fire, but it did,” sophomore Seth Newell said. “Humans take vitamins and some pills to prevent illness. Why not do the same with pollution? Small steps are the only way to successfully walk.”

Styrofoam and paper are among the most detrimental materials to the environment. These two materials are also commonly used around campus.

“Styrofoam is toxic to manufacture and takes ages to break down after disposing of it in the wastelands. I think that instead of the normal, cheap Styrofoam cups we should be using recyclable paper cups, slightly more expensive but definitely better for the environment. Being cheap isn’t a big theme on campus anyway, so why not protect the environment while we’re at it?” sophomore Jachlyn Hayhurst said.

“Paper is another resource we should focus on recycling. I was reading up on recycling paper the other day, and I found that if we recycle just one ton of paper we could save 17 trees, 6,952 gallons of water, 462 gallons of oil and 4,077 kilowatt hours of energy.”

Although small changes like adding recycling seem insignificant, the size of change is not as important as the motivation for change that can inspire others.

“I am reading a book called The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, and a main idea in this book is that one person can make a difference even if it is just to one other person. He explains that whether or not we are making a big difference by ourselves is not really the point. The point is to be committed to a life of love and serving like Christ was,” senior Becka Farr said. “Even little decisions like choosing to recycle paper or not to buy clothes made in a sweatshop, or to put aside money for wells in Africa are all significant in that they show devotion to taking care of the world we live in and the people God has placed here.”

The recycling bins on campus are property of Midland Recycling Company. This company calculates a resource report revealing the positive effects of campus-wide recycling.

“After our first pick up, Midland Recycling Company will provide a report on how many pounds we recycled, how much energy we conserved and how many trees were saved by recycling our paper,” Smith said.

Some students see recycling as part of a calling to take care of the world in which we live.

“It is important to take care of the world that God gave us. God gave man dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26-28) so why not make it so that the earth lasts until He returns?” Newell said.

In order for this project to work, participation is required.

“I hope that students will be aware of the positive affect this is having and join in. America is such a wasteful nation, but recycling is one of the movements that helps make people more conscious of the way they are using what they have. I think it will be a great start to making OC and the entire community more aware of how we can make the best use of our resources,” Farr said.

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