Is Our Campus Really Environmentally Friendly?

Photo Courtesy of University of New Haven Website

Ariana Lasher, Contributing Writer

Remember when all dining areas on campus took away plastic straws and lids to minimize plastic use on campus? That didn’t seem to last long, because every time I order a drink from Jazzman’s or the library café, I am still handed a plastic straw.

The state of Connecticut banned plastic bags, but every time I purchase something from the Re-Charge campus store, I am offered a plastic bag to pack my belongings.

I’m not the only student to notice this.

“I definitely do not think that we are environmentally friendly,” said Natalie Butala, sophomore, forensic science major. “In Bartels, there are only places to throw your food and trash away instead of recycling any of it. A lot of the food looks like it’s wasted.”

One thing that may have made a difference are the reusable water bottle fill stations that were installed around campus. Most students carry their own water bottles and refill them at these fountains throughout the day instead of purchasing plastic water bottles. Each station has a number count for how many times it has been used, and every number is well into the thousands.

“I know that we do not actually recycle, especially in residence halls or offices, because people have seen the facilities employees mixing the trash and recycle bins countless times,” said Kate Sanchirico, a founding member of the Sustainability Club on campus.

“We’ve been working with the staff of Bartels and Food On Demand to start composting the leftovers,” she said.

Another local university, Quinnipiac University, is partially powered by wind and solar panels. Environmental science classes from our campus take field trips to learn about this, but wouldn’t it be cool if students could enjoy our own wind and solar energy? Our climate is changing and it’s time that our university changes with it before it’s too late.