Reduce, Reuse, RecycleMania

by Audrey Miller

Picture this: You’re at a basketball game. Loras is dominating the court: Duhawks, 44, University of Dubuque Spartans, 0. You’re feeling pretty confident about the game, so at halftime you decide to take a break from the action and head to the concession stand. You buy your food and turn to walk back to your seat. And then you see it. A fellow Duhawk with an empty soda can. As if in slow-motion, their hand extends over the normal garbage can. Their fingers begin to release; your heart stops. Popcorn and pretzel bits fly out of your own hand as you dive towards the garbage can. Just in time, you snatch the empty cylinder of aluminum out of the air before it can fall to its death in the waste receptacle of no return. Crisis averted. Another can saved, to be recycled for another day.

If this is you, you’re in luck. For the next eight weeks, Loras College is taking part in a nationwide recycling initiative called RecycleMania. This competition takes place in a number of colleges and universities across America. It promotes waste reduction and recycling by ranking all participating colleges on a weekly basis by how well they are recycling and how little trash they are generating. Here at Loras, the dorms and academic buildings are competing against one another on a smaller scale.

Loras student Haley O’Brien is taking charge of the program here and paving the way to greener community through the RecycleMania challenge.

“I am passionate about recycling and environmental mindfulness for a number of reasons,” she says. “But honestly (and this is going to sound hippy dippy), I just love the earth. Looking around at the grass, trees, oceans, mountains — you name it — I can’t think of any reason I shouldn’t devote time to taking care of our earth.”

So what can you do to get involved? Well, first, start recycling! Just look for those big beautiful blue bins that are home to recyclable objects such as paper, cans, and plastic bottles (But not glass—unfortunately, Iowa doesn’t recycle that!). You can recycle anywhere on campus—dorms, apartments, academic buildings—but when you recycle in your own residence hall, you can help your dorm in the recycling competition. The residence hall with the most recycled materials wins!

You can also attend the events put on by RecycleMania crew. Here’s a few activities you can put on your calendar:

Thursday, Feb. 16: From 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. stop by Thursdays in the library for a “Mug Shot.” If you bring a reusable mug for coffee, the RecycleManiacs will snap a pic of you and you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate to Magoo’s Pizza! Free coffee, treats, and the opportunity to win pizza? Whoever said helping the environment had to be hard?

Monday, March 6: Starting at 7:30 p.m., the RecycleManiacs will be doing a “Hall Crawl.” If you’re a resident of Binz or Beckman, all you have to do to participate is recycle! Super simple. And there’s an incentive to have a full recycling bin on this particular night: the RecycleManiacs will be going door-to-door in the halls, and if they “catch” you with stuff in your recycling bin, they’ll give you a baked good and sticker. Whoever said helping the environment had to be hard?

Stay tuned for more activities coming later in the semester. If you want to get more involved with this recycling initiative, contact Haley at Stay sustainable, Loras!

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