Rosa Perlman '13 speaks about RecycleMania during an event at the University of Redlands.
With the University of Redlands participating in the nationwide RecycleMania Tournament, recycling fever has swept across the campus, with students doing their part to make the campus as green as possible.
“I am looking forward to seeing how Redlands can reduce our impact by increasing recycling, reducing waste, and creating more awareness and conscientiousness about environmental problems,” said Rosa Perlman ’13, ASUR Sustainability Representative.
RecycleMania is an eight-week competition among universities that promotes waste reduction activities. The schools report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week, with RecycleMania releasing various rankings, including waste minimization and food service organics. The schools that win each category will receive an award made of recyclable materials and national exposure.
So far, the University of Redlands has recycled more than 16,000 pounds of material, and has been ranked fifth in California for paper recycling. Final statistics will be revealed upon RecycleMania’s conclusion March 31.
According to Perlman, a group of students and faculty members interested in the environment gathered to discuss how to run RecycleMania.
“In order to spread awareness, empower students across campus, and involve as many people as possible, the planning team decided to have each week of RecycleMania be run by a different group on campus,” she said. “Each week would have a different objective or theme, so that we could educate campus on a variety of topics.”
Groups that have already hosted weeks include ASUR, Residence Life and Housing, Community Service Learning, Sustainable University of Redlands Farm (SURF), Students for Environmental Action (SEA) and Facilities Management. Zeta Kappa, an environmental sorority, will sponsor a waste reduction program March 17 – 23, and Outdoor Programs and ROAR will host a beach clean-up trip the week of March 24.
“Students have reacted positively and have been receptive to learning about RecycleMania,” Perlman said. “It is my hope that in the process, students will learn the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling and continue to do so after the competition.”
Residence halls took part in their own special tournament, with each one collecting as many recyclables per person as possible.
“To get excited about the competition in the hall, each community hosted a recycling-themed program in each of their buildings, which included making recycling bins out of cardboard and magazines, floor collection competitions, and T-shirt makeovers,” said Cassandra Morton with the residence life and housing department.
The collections were held in late February, with Fairmont the winner; their prize was $500 to spend on their hall.
Perlman recommends University of Redlands students take the following steps to help the environment:
- Recycle properly and encourage others to do so
- Bring your own ASUR tumbler for drinks at the Bulldog Café, Irvine Commons and the Plaza. Not only are you saving a disposable cup, you will also receive a discount.
- Use a ceramic mug when you go to the Bulldog Café
- Obtain a garden plot at the Brockton SURF garden
- Pick up trash around campus
- Plan green events by minimizing use of disposables and by making recycle bins available
- Ask your professors if you can turn in papers electronically instead of printing every time
- Walk and bike instead of taking a car
- Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and try to take shorter showers
- Turn off lights when you leave an empty room, even if it’s in a public space
- Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store
- Eat local and support area businesses over corporate chains
- Unplug appliances that you are not using