With “go green” as this generation’s motto, it seems every advertisement promotes environmental-friendly products. But how eco-efficient are you really being? Are you going to exchange your car solely for a small hybrid, or purchase more expensive light bulbs to be energy efficient? Do you recycle?
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Mu Theta chapter, has established the REDcycle program to help you in this area. The program began in spring 2008 as a representation of going green while incorporating the sorority color, red, in a recycling event. It developed into Delta R.E.D (Recycling Every Day).
“We are participating in recycling because it is important that our generation understands the importance of recycling, and taking care of our Earth,” said Venus Wardlow, president of Mu Theta.
Mu Theta has partnered with Thinkrecycle to recycle old cell phones and ink cartridges since college students are connected through technology. A few items that are recycled earn the chapter money, which assists the sorority to maintain its Web site, www.dsrmuttheta.com.
Additionally, after they send a certain number of items, a tree is planted in Mu Theta’s name in partnership with American Forest and Tree Canada. They have received confirmation that their first tree has been planted.
The sorority would like to partner with the university since it has received the recycling grant, but students are not engaging interest. “Students sometimes feel that these things do not have an impact on their lives right now,” explained Wardlow, “but we recycle today to impact the future. We are taking small steps to achieve a big goal.”
She emphasizes why it is important to start reducing, reusing and recycling on campus to develop a social consciousness of consumption.
“Cell phones contain toxic metals that can pollute the environment and threaten our health,” said Wardlow. “For ink cartridges, it takes about 80 percent less energy to re-manufacture plastic than to produce it new.” She also explained how re-manufactured laser cartridges use about half the amount of oil needed to make new ones.
Mu Theta has currently collected 40 cell phones, 300 ink cartridges and diverted 94.88 pounds of waste. The sorority’s goal is to find ways to improve the planet, and this is the only beginning of their plans. “That’s not a bad start,” Wardlow said.
Wardlow encourages students to participate in the REDcycle program by gathering their old cell phones and collecting used ink cartridges. Current drop-box locations are at the LARC and the Student Union in Monika Jaiswal’s office.