Letter to the Editor: Waste management

Dear Editor,

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. produces nearly 275 million tons of waste every year and only 1/5 of it is properly recycled. Most of this waste ends up in landfills, the water, and the air, which causes serious environmental and health issues. The Health Effects Institute found that approximately 100,000 people die from air pollution every year and even more from water pollution. Air pollution can negatively impact a person’s vision, breathing, and in extreme cases, increase their risk of developing lung cancer. To curb this trend, more sustainable methods of waste management must be developed. Further, the university community must focus on finding ways to limit our own waste production.

This improper waste management not only affects the planet or the environment, but also affects human health. In a university setting, such as the University of New Haven, it is important for the personnel to be held responsible for contributing to the development of a cleaner and brighter future for everyone.

In order to do this, it is important for everyone to do their part. You can help reduce waste through small changes in your daily habits. For example, being mindful of food portions can help to significantly reduce food waste. This is especially important to consider with the upcoming holiday. If you do have an excess of food waste, however, consider making a compost pile or saving the leftovers for future meals. It is also important to recycle whenever possible. This is relevant now as residential students are in the process of cleaning and moving out of their dorms for break. Finally, consider using reusable materials rather than single use. While it may be convenient to avoid washing dishes by using plastic plates and utensils, it will have greater implications for the environment.

Sincerely,

Alexander Betro, Sabrina Felipe, Presley Hill, Dylan Miele, Anna Denibee Polo Sanchez, and Lucien Zheng