In 2015 the city of Oshkosh adopted Single-Stream Recycling, a method that allows residents to put all recycling materials in one recycling bin. Our university has been working hard to educate students and staff of this new method and have participated in programs and contests to do so. In fact, in 2015 UWO participated in Recyclemania, a competition that promotes waste reduction on campuses across the states. UWO ranked #8 out of 167 schools in food waste diversion, and #35 out of 232 in overall recycling. To learn more about single-stream recycling and what can and cannot be recycled visit: https://uwosh.edu/housing/services/sustainability/recycling
Did you know that a plastic water bottle takes over 1,000 years to biodegrade? Did you know that U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone? Did you know that it takes over 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturing?
You can help prevent this waste by using a reusable water bottle. A reusable water bottle can help you stay hydrated anywhere you go, but doesn’t require as many resources as a plastic water bottle. Join students across the United States in the “Take Back the Tap” movement and pledge to no longer purchase or use plastic bottles. For more information and to join the movement visit: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/take-back-the-tap/
Try taking notes on your laptop or tablet instead of scribbling on sheet after sheet of paper. In addition to saving paper, you’ll be able to electronically reference what you learned for years to come.
Paper makes up more than a third of the waste in the United States. Try paper saving techniques such as printing double-sided, saving scrap paper for later use, and buying recycled paper to help save our resources. Most paper can be recycled too, so if you have to print make sure to recycle the paper once you’re through with it.
Plastic bags take a lot of resources to be produced, they are typically only used once, and do not decompose once they are trashed. Rather than using a plastic bag, take a reusable bag to go shopping; some stores even give discounts for bringing your own bag.
If you don’t want an item anymore, but it still has useful value consider giving it to a friend who could use it or donate it to a non-profit.
Why buy new when you could buy secondhand, borrow, or rent? Think thrifty to save resources and money.