Good morning! I say good morning because I am writing this at 7am while I am at work. I tend to always write this post at this hour.
I am attending college at the wonderful University of Houston in Texas, which strives to be a sustainable school. They have a variety of different locations that have places to put your recyclables and they make it easy for students to recycle by doing single stream recycling. Even in the dorms they have recycle areas, or they say they do at least. Being up this early I get the pleasure of seeing our contract cleaning crew come through and take out the trash/recycling. This is what began my questioning of the recycling practices here.
Seeing that they place trash and recycling together as they go through out their daily routine, I realized our dorms do not actually recycle. So that means when I was recycling in the dorms, I was still contributing to creating excess waste. So I had to make some changes. I think some of these changes can be applied to many others who are in college trying to recycle when your school may not have easily accessible options to do so.
Find a Local Recycling Center
Being in Houston, I am blessed have a lot of options available to me, but it makes me even more happy that my city is taking steps to reduce waste. We now have curb side recycling pick up as well as a recycling center to take recycling. This location is about 20 minutes from me which is not bad. If you live in Houston here is the website for the city of Houston’s recycling center/curbside pick up http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/recycling.html
Find a Local School
A lot of schools have the option to at the minimum recycle paper. My junior high had a huge bin to put paper in. This also helped raise money for the school. I am not sure if schools in Houston do the same thing, but I know the high school near me had a recycling bin, but I don’t think it helps them raise money. But if you are going to school in a smaller town this is also a good option for you. I also notice my local HEB takes plastic bags. This is awesome because sometimes it is hard to find locations that recycle plastic bags or even plastic in general.
Check locations on Campus
Even though the dorms on campus may not recycle there is still places that do recycle. There is a spot right outside my dorm that recycles. It may not be as convenient to take it outside my dorm versus the trash room, but I know by doing this I am reducing the waste I make rather than adding to it. If you happen to go to my school you can check out our sustainability’s office website for more information: http://www.uh.edu/af-university-services/sustainability/
I recently learned that recycling is way more popular in northern states than it is in southern states. So this may only be a problem that us in the south face. Definitely check your campus’ sustainability website/office to see what steps they are taking or if they are taking any at all. Ask them about locations to recycle on campus or even off campus. It may take a bit of extra effort depending on your school. I am definitely lucky to go to a school who is putting some effort into being a sustainable school. I hope this was helpful!
©2017 Mikala Smikal
My name is Mikala. I am here trying to figure out this thing called life.
©Copyright 2017 Mikala Smikal