Imagine this: It's a Thursday night about 2 a.m. and a solid stream of people are coming down from Players. Now count all those people and multiple that number by how many beers they each drank. That's a lot of bottles right? Well that nice pile of Buds happens to be no, not recycled, but trashed. Add all those trash bags from Players to the ones from 23 steps, Woody's Tar Heel Tavern & Grill and Linda's Bar & Grill. Get the picture?
Today with the signs of recycling all around -- from advertisements to the familiar blue bins all over campus, we almost automatically assume that recycling is practiced throughout the community. Unfortunately, that Budweiser you had last Thursday night is actually sitting in the trash can today, and will be in the landfill by next week.
Of the approximately 30 bars and restaurants on Franklin Street between Columbia Street and all around Henderson Street, 70 percent do not recycle. With the attraction of Franklin Street to both locals and visitors, a large amount of potentially recyclable materials end up in the landfills, creating a huge problem that does not have to exist.
And there's something we all can do, without cutting into our partying time. Next time, and each time, you're out on Franklin eating with some friends or having a drink at a restaurant or bar, take a second to ask an employee, bartender or manager if the business recycles. It's a simple thing to do, takes little time, but can make a huge difference if we each and every one of us participate. Or take it a step further and get some friends together for dinner, approach restaurants about their recycling status, and enjoy a delicious meal at the same time! Other easy actions are to buy beer on tap if the bar does not recycle and to choose to go to establishments that do recycle.
The Student Environmental Action Coalition is working to change the recycling habits on Franklin Street and needs your help. Keep your eyes open in the future for "WE RECYCLE" signs in business windows as your efforts encourage more and more businesses to recycle.
With the rate at which the world's resources are being used up, recycling is becoming more and more necessary and important to the future and health of the planet -- its countries, cities and even college towns.
If we work together, approach businesses, and support those that recycle, we can achieve this goal. And then we can all go out and have a drink.