The recent global and environmental crises have shed light on the many problems we as a culture create for our environment. The University has been actively trying to reduce the footsteps our community leaves on the planet. This past semester alone, the University has taken giant steps towards creating a more eco-friendly campus. The simple elimination of trays in the cafeteria as well as University-based competitions where students can reduce the amount of power they consume serve as examples of how the campus is trying to save the environment.
Although the administration’s creation of these initiatives is inspiring, sometimes we wonder if Bucknellians are just as engaged. Justin McKnight’s project shows us the potential University students have for creating a healthier and more sustainable campus and downtown environment.
There are a few seniors on The Bucknellian staff who have the privilege of living downtown. While living off-campus has its benefits, one of the things that we miss greatly is the easy access to recycling options that we had while living on campus. Living in dorms provided students with the means to recycle bottles, cans, paper and plastic. When living on campus, it is easy to take these things for granted.
Realtors in Lewisburg, for the most part, don’t provide tenants with easy access to recycling certain materials. It is much easier to throw away bottles and cans when the alternative is driving a few miles out of the way to dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner. Unfortunately, that is what some of us had been doing. This will all change with the initiative established by McKnight.
This initiative, though beneficial for the community, comes as a double-edged sword. Why must the desire to recycle when living off-campus become an issue of convenience? Luckily for the campus community, a graduate student has taken this issue into his own hands, making it easy for those living off-campus to take part in recycling.
While the University is making quite an effort to become “green,” as students, we aren’t quite sure of how Lewisburg is reacting to this new “green movement.” It’s refreshing to see that downtown Lewisburg also has a hand in trying to lessen our carbon footprint. Sometimes, despite Lewisburg’s close proximity to campus, the University encloses itself in such a tight bubble it is hard to break through and observe what is happening in our backyards. Whether we like it or not, Lewisburg is a reflection of the school, especially in light of recent connections the two have been making.
It is great to see students cleaning up after themselves on Saturday mornings. Everyone knows that we are responsible for the majority of recyclable waste downtown. It is responsible and mature for us as students to get our hands dirty and clean up after ourselves.
But why did it take so long for us to realize this? Why did this have to be brought to our attention by McKnight in order for us to do something? Living downtown is supposed to be a practice for the “real world,” so why are we relying on others to set these things up for us?
It’s a good thing that recycling is happening downtown, but it’s embarrassing that students took this long to do something about it.