To the editor,
As your article posted on Nov. 18, 2018 “It's easier than ever to recycle in Orange County and at UNC” outlined, various initiatives and programs have been implemented to improve waste reduction and recycling in Orange County and at UNC. However, the ultimate challenge I wanted to address is making "it part of our culture.” At a renowned public university like UNC, which has started to adapt to a more sustainable framework, I believe the critical focus should be incorporating this into the education of our students and community.
The urgency of educating our students and communities about proper trash and recycling practices became more apparent to me when I joined fellow NCPIRG members in cleaning up in the woods behind Ehringhaus Residence Hall. In two hours, our group collectively gathered 80 gallons of “trash” total, 52 percent of which were actually recyclable plastics. Even more daunting was the fact that there was still visible litter in the woods after we finished — and this was just from one dorm on campus. This showed how imperative it is that our University prioritizes educating our students and communities about the importance of our waste reduction and recycling programs and how we can all contribute to minimizing the detrimental impacts on our environment.
Our University prides itself on its quality of education and contributions to (a sustainable) society — let’s work together to make this a reality for our natural community as well.