What students can do to help CSUMB be more sustainable

By Jessenya Guerra and Haley Dillard

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Can you remember the last time that you threw something away? Was it earlier today perhaps? How often do you take into consideration what you are putting in the trash can? We are constantly throwing things away and we hardly take into account the damage that our trash is causing.

According to Planet Aid incorporated, “The average college students produces a whopping 640 pounds of trash annually, the majority of which accumulates at the end of the year during move-out.” Lacey Raak, head of Sustainability at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) confirmed this issue by saying, “Move-out materials is a big chunk.”

The following are some of CSUMB’s biggest problems with waste and waste management. If every student on campus took the time to consider each of these problems and started executing these solutions CSUMB could become a more sustainable campus.

#1: Food Waste

Student throwing away viable food after lunch. Picture by Jessenya Guerra and Haley Dillard.

Problem: Copious amounts of viable food is wasted in our Dining Commons (D.C.) everyday.

Solution: Students can monitor the amount of food they take from the D.C. being careful not to take more than they need which will end up in the trash.

#2: Clothing Waste

Box of unwanted clothes left out with trash cans. Picture by Jessenya Guerra and Haley Dillard.

Problem: According to the EPA, the average American wastes around 80 pounds of clothing waste per year.

Solution: Students can donate their old clothes to charities and can do their shopping at thrift stores.

#3: Move Out Materials

Furniture left outside of an apartment in East Campus. Picture by Jessenya Guerra and Haley Dillard.

Problem: When Move-Out Day comes around students tend to throw away possessions rather than moving them home.

Solution: Students can donate unwanted furniture and other miscellaneous items rather than just sending them to the curb.

#4: Electronic Waste

Old headphones that are broken and left behind. Picture by Jessenya Guerra and Haley Dillard.

Problem: Students throw out unwanted electronics after upgrading to the newest version.

Solution: Students can wait to upgrade their electronics until it is absolutely necessary and can bring their old electronics to recycling facilities.

#5: Straws

Straws waste at Starbucks on Campus. Picture by Jessenya Guerra and Haley Dillard.

Problem: Straws are single use and are not recyclable, a vast majority end up in our oceans.

Solution: Students can choose not to use a straw with their drinks, or they can invest in a reusable metal straw.

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