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Making a Genuine, Green Effort

By Samantha Fournier

Gaiam Aluminum Water Bottle
Gaiam Aluminum Water Bottle

“While there were many people on campus with an ideological commitment to carbon neutrality, recycling, green cleaning, reduced energy consumption, etc., yet there was no comprehensive plan,” said President Jack Miller during the 2009-10 year’s opening remarks.

“Significant progress has been made in addressing the problems and challenges just enumerated,” Miller said last Thursday as he looked back on past years.

This noteworthy progress is apparent in 2008 and 2009 comparisons during university’s green transformation. This year 36 percent of the CCSU trash stream was recycled compared to 2008 when only 28 percent of the total trash stream was recycled.

Energy consumption has also been reduced. Miller continued with the positive tone of his speech as he boasted that the electrical consumption was reduced from 29,126,083 kilowatt hours used in 2008 to 26,004,506 kilowatt hours in 2009.

The Water Reduction Program has also succeeded in lessening the amount of water used from 53,152,200 gallons in 2008 to 49,829,250 gallons in 2009.

“We need much more work in areas which have failed and continued effort even where we have succeeded,” Miller said.

As CCSU continues on in its effort to promote a green atmosphere, students can do the same. Christina Cefaratti, CCSU ‘12, said that “lack of knowing how to adjust it to help the environment” is the reason for a lack of lifestyle change.

Now It’s Your Turn

Cefaratti said that keeping sustainability in mind while changing their routines is something students can do to mirror the university’s efforts.

“I think everybody is capable,” she said.

In avoiding buying everyday items that cannot be reused, CCSU students have the opportunity to make an impact and help the university as a whole reach new sustainability goals.

Use reusable cotton cloths.

While students might spend $4.79 on a two pack of 128 sheet Bounty paper towels from CVS, why $4.85 on a reusable one-pound box of cotton cloths? waresdirect.com

Use cloth napkins.

Cloth napkins are another reusable purchase that can just as easily be thrown in the washing machine after use. A four-pack of solid-colored napkins at Target is $7.99.

Use reusable batteries.

Save money by putting reusable batteries in your remote controls in the long run instead of buying regular batteries that need to be thrown out after each use. A four-pack of Hybrio rechargeable batteries costs $10.56. amazon.com

Use a stainless steel or aluminum water bottle.

Stainless steel or aluminum water bottles are BPA free (bisphenol A or BPA is a harmful toxin that can be found in some plastic water bottles) and are more durable than the plastic water bottles. Alumnus Rachel Gary, CCSU ‘07, a member of the Connecticut Youth Activist Network, said that she makes sure to carry an aluminum water bottle everywhere. All aluminum water bottles from the Gaiam collection are $10.38. luckyvitamin.com

Buy reusable containers instead of plastic bags.

Gary says she also packs a lunch everyday replacing plastic sandwich bags with reusable plastic containers. May we suggest the 2-cup storage container from Rubbermaid’s Premier collection for $3.96? (rubbermaid.com) “If we don’t modify our way of living the environment is going to [continue to] modify itself,” Gary said.