National Recycling Day Approaches, Catawba’s Environmental Programs Prepare Event to Raise Awareness

Sydney Smith, Writer, editor

Dorm living and campus bustle creates a lot of waste — soda cans, loose papers, water bottles, cardboard, and many other recyclable materials fill Catawba’s trash cans. While there are numerous recycling bins and bags around campus, many of these reusable materials still end up in trash cans.

Catawba’s ECO, GEO, and Environmental Capstone class want to raise awareness about recycling. These environmental programs hope to educate students about the importance of recycling through a special event to be held on November 15th, 2012, National Recycling Day.

Many people think recycling a few soda cans and some scrap paper doesn’t truly make a difference for our environment. While this thought is common, it is untrue — even the simplest efforts to recycle are a profound help. Catawba student and environmental advocate Kyra Thurow shares a few interesting facts from her recycling presentation:

Recycling 1 soda can saves enough energy for one hour, which is equivocal to saving a 1/2 gallon of gasoline.
In 1 year, steel recycling in the United States saves enough energy to heat and light 18,000,000 homes.
If every household recycled 1/10 of their newspapers, we’d save about 25,000,000 trees each year.
Approximately 1,000,000,000 trees worth of paper are thrown away as garbage each year.
Every month, Americans toss out enough glass bottles and jars to fill a skyscraper. Every bit of it is recyclable.
Recycling plastic saves 2 times the amount of energy it takes to burn it in a waste incinerator.

With this information, the message is clear: even bothering to throw one old soda can in a recycling bin rather than a trash can makes a difference.  ECO, GEO, and the Environmental Capstone class wants to send this message to Catawba’s campus in a fun way.

ECO plans to hold a recycled bowling game as a part of the November 15th activities. GEO will give prizes out to participants that can identify all the recyclable materials left in a trash can from campus. The Capstone class will have a “commitment table” at which students can sign a pledge to recycle more. Other events will follow, including an informational session about campus recycling opportunities and local recycling facilities.

For more information regarding this event, stay tuned to your Catawba e-mail and look for posters around campus. More details will be made available closer to the event date, November 15th.

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