Stephens College is making big changes on campus this year to reduce its carbon footprint and save money.
Stephens has been supportive of recycling for years, with large green or black paper, plastic and aluminum bins located in several buildings throughout campus, including Stamper Commons, Walter and Dudley halls and residence buildings. The college has taken a different approach to recycling this year, though, with the implementation of new recycling bins.
Stephens project manager, Richard Perkins, received a grant from the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District for $56,600 to fund this project. The new bins are sleek, modern and make it very easy for students to recycle. Just like previous years, the bins are in common spaces around campus and can also be found in other areas such as the bookstore, the cafeteria, the library and the equestrian center.
“I think they’re gorgeous,” says sophomore Heather Beger. She finds the bins to be very useful, noting that most of them are usually full by the the end of each day.
Senior Jenna Zmyslony agrees. She thinks that the new bins are easier to see, making it easier to recycle.
Another part of the sustainability effort on campus is the replacement of Styrofoam containers with reusable plastic containers in Stamper.
Last year, Styrofoam to-go boxes were available in the dining hall for Stephens students but were replaced in the spring of 2013 with green, reusable plastic to-go boxes. And, for the most part, students accepted the change, and the reusable boxes have become fairly popular.
On the other hand, the switch from disposable to-go coffee cups with reusable plastic cups this semester have not been as warmly welcomed. Most students already own at least one Stephens water bottle or tumbler, so spending $5 for another one seems pointless.
“Paper products were just too expensive and wasteful,” said Charlene Anderson of Stephens’ dining service, Fresh Ideas. She hopes that while students were used to the ability to grab, go and toss, they will adjust to the changes and support the sustainability effort.
Recycling bins and reusable to-go containers are not the only components of this effort, though. The Stephens marketing team is currently planning a more green, tech-savvy way for students to learn about what’s happening on campus.
According to Yvonne Chamberlain, director of leadership and diversity, the excess of paper fliers posted on bulletin boards will soon be replaced by flat-screen televisions.
In past years, students and faculty were also bombarded with emails about campus events, accidents and security alerts. Unfortunately, many found the emails to be annoying and would simply overlook or delete the them. The new TVs provide the same information about campus and community events, security alerts and videos, and can be viewed through the Stephens portal, located on the school’s homepage. The new televisions have already been purchased, and students can expect to see these changes within the coming year.
Story by sophomore Neesha Edwards