As students at MSU, we embrace a “go green” mantra from the second we arrive here.
Although the phrase usually is used as a way to cheer on sports teams, it also recently has developed an environmentally conscious connotation, as more students are encouraged to recycle and do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.
And it’s easier for on-campus students to partake, as residence halls provide easy-access recycling areas for students.
Omari Sankofa II
However, for some off-campus students, the process can be more difficult, leaving many thwarted and frustrated with the lack of convenient recycling options.
Students who live in houses or duplexes in most neighborhoods can purchase recycling bins from the city of East Lansing and have their recycling picked up at the same time as their trash. But often, residents are unaware of this option, so it ends up being ignored.
These residents should purchase these bins and take advantage of this option, as recycling instead of throwing away plastics and glass can be helpful for the environment.
However, the same service is not provided to students living in most apartments. Those who live in apartments and desire to recycle have to gather their refuse and drive to the nearest recycling center, which for many is located miles away, such as the center located at 1800 E. State Road, past Lake Lansing Road.
Students who live in apartments, especially those without cars, find this to be bothersome, causing many to throw away their recyclable items.
But that is not the MSU way. Spartans pride themselves on the strong agricultural history MSU has and its devotion to the environment. Students should live their lives with a “go green” mantra, rather than just chanting it.
And to help students out, apartment complex landlords should consider providing their tenants with a recycling area, such as the ones in residence halls, so students can choose to recycle some of their garbage rather than putting it all in a trash can.
This area could be near the laundry machines, as some apartment complexes have extra storage space for their tenants in the laundry area. Then the landlord could take one trip to the recycling center each week.
This should be a service landlords provide for students living in apartments.
And although it is inconvenient, many students should be aware that a recycling center does exist for their use, and they should take advantage of it monthly instead of throwing these items in the garbage. It could just be an extra errand students run monthly, much like grocery shopping.
We, as students, are taught from the moment we arrive on campus that “going green” is a value held high on MSU’s campus and in the community overall. So why is it so difficult to continue this practice once we move off campus?
Yes, students should take responsibility and make recycling a priority regardless of the inconvenience.
But there should be more options for students in apartments so we can carry on the “be Spartan green” message we learned when we first became Spartans.