The grass is always greener: Staff Editorial

Oracle Staff

As chronic and compulsory Earthlings, the staff of the Oracle loves the planet we call home. Where would we be without it? (Certainly not tearing down trees to print several boxes worth of weekly newsprint…but we’ll ignore that for now. If it bothers you that much, support our website instead!)

Hamline has already made a few efforts to maintain an eco-friendly campus, including the solar panels and water-cleansing garden on the terrace of the Anderson Center. Dining Services even offers waste bins that separate leftover food from non-compostable waste. The Oracle applauds Hamline University for this devotion to creating a greener world.

However, there are a few things we’ve noticed that Pipers can definitely be doing to improve their earth-friendly habits—and their etiquette toward the students and staff who clean up after them. It appears that some of us on campus don’t quite understand how recycling works.

Speaking of those fabulous recycling bins, think about what you’re putting in there. Recyclable materials, like plastic, glass, and paper, are items that can be ground down and used again, in a fairly straightforward process that has probably been beaten into your head since the first grade (“Today, kids, we’re learning about the three R’s—Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!”) So it shouldn’t be something we have to explain. As much as we would like our leftover pizza to be ground down and made into eco-friendly second pizza, that’s just not the way it works.

So Pipers, stop mixing in your nasty banana peels, half-full Starbucks cups and smelly pizza boxes with all that wonderful recyclable material. First of all, pizza boxes are not recyclable. There are signs saying so near every recycling bin on campus. Secondly, your Starbucks cup may be recyclable, but the contents of that cup are not. Once you toss that non-empty cup in, that delicious liquid goes through a terrifying transformation, turning into trash juice that contaminates everything within its grasp.

It really sucks to be the person who has to pull that garbage out after it has been stewing in trash juice for awhile. So be a friend to the custodians on campus and stop recycling non-recyclables, and completely empty—or even rinse out—your beverage containers before tossing them into the recycling.

And if you’re still worried about that little problem of all the used-up newsprint that used to be the heart and soul of a precious living tree, just remember that the purpose it served in death is to bring this information about creating a greener world to you. Our advice is, stick it in one of those nice bins they have around campus marked “recycle” when you’re done.