There was a rather interesting take in my Public Policy class last night where the professor asked how many students recycled. I don’t think I recall a single person raising their hand much to the dismay of the professor but that leads to an overlying situation on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology.
Although the administration on campus along with the students and faculty have tried to make efforts at times individually, but there is only so much they can do without an institution to support them. Until I moved into the 538 apartments, I never recycled on campus simply because there was no place to drop off the recyclable materials. Even moving off campus, it’s not like Stevens provided us with recycling bins which is something I learned about half way through the year — it turned out my roommate had gone out and purchased a bin for us that we have used since moving in. Even though I don’t know the exact amount, I would be fairly confident in taking the under if it O/U on our building was 1.5 apartment (not including us).
It is important to note that recycling on its own probably will not make that huge of a difference. People need to start making a concerted effort to reduce energy use on a person level by turning off lights in rooms that are not in use or turning the thermostat down a few degrees just as spring- and summer-time roll around. Students at Stevens live really close to the city and are most certainly within walking distance of almost every where they need to go so reducing the driving is not a very pressing issue. However, getting them to maintain this lifestyle once they are out of Hoboken is a much more troubling task.
There is a Green Engineering program at Stevens that claims the following mission statement:
The Green Initiatives Committee at Stevens represents all major constituencies on campus and is working to promote green approaches to all facets of the campus environment, from academics to infrastructure, from purchasing practices to recycling. Most importantly it is fostering a green philosophy which is at the heart of reducing the carbon footprint of the campus and making sustainability a core value.
Not really sure how much of an impact they will really have on the day-to-day life on campus but the addition of solar panels have been good (not really sure how effectively they are being used) but its a start. Another positive step could be the addition of recycle bins through our very tiny campus and more reasonable usage of lighting probably wouldn’t hurt in the long run either.