AIC starts going green


Mariah Mauke, Staff Writer

With environmental activism and climate change constantly making headlines all around the world, many people are taking it upon themselves to make small environmentally-friendly changes in their lives.

Whether it be conserving water, composting, or switching off the lights, it’s becoming more common for people to be aware of the impact they have on the earth.

AIC recently implemented a small change on campus that has the possibility to create a large impact.

This semester, mixed recycling bins were introduced all over the school. These bins can be found in several buildings including the Schwartz Campus Center, the residence halls, and many of the academic buildings, like Amaron and Breck.

Hannah Belanger, a senior psychology major here at AIC, is pleased with the change. “The fact that we have recycling on campus after the four years that I’ve been here is huge, and it’s something that I know the school has been pushing for for a really long time,” said Belanger.

Belanger hopes that the change will make students more conscious about the environment. “I think it is a good way for people to realize that ‘Oh, my school recycles, so I should recycle too.’ And it could start a chain reaction.”

When Belanger saw the bins around campus, she was surprised, but also excited. “I wanted to start a club to start pushing for that kind of thing to happen,” Belanger commented, “and I am so happy that it happened regardless.”

Michael Carlin, a sophomore nursing major, also sees the potential impact that students can make with a new recycling procedure on campus. “I hope students use the bins because we should keep as much plastic out of the landfills and oceans as possible.”

He spoke about the fact that plastics that are not disposed of properly often end up scattered throughout the environment, causing harm to wildlife. “It could potentially hurt the species that you love,” Carlin said. “Penguins, turtles, otters, anything really could die because they are ingesting plastic from irresponsible people.”

Hannah Belanger doing her part by recycling

For Sam Schieppe, a junior occupational therapy major, the new recycling bins bring relief. “I felt frustrated because there was no recycling throughout the whole campus,” Schieppe said.

“If I had a water bottle with me, I would keep it on me until I came back to my room. I have a box that my roommate and I fill with recyclables until we can dispose of them. I’m glad that we have a way to do that on campus now because there’s no reason to be throwing recyclables in the trash.”

The impact of new recycling bins on campus may be small, but students hope it will foster a stronger sense of sustainability on campus. “It brings awareness to the whole school that we need to recycle, and since there’s recycling and trash right next to each other, I’m hoping people will be smart and use them,” Schieppe said.

She continued, saying, “Small things like this aren’t enough to fight against the major environmental problems the world is facing, but it’s a good way to start being more aware that there are consequences for the way we treat the planet. And we need to change.”

Belanger echoed that sentiment, saying, “People should be aware of their carbon footprint. I feel like even though we do things like not leaving the water running or turning off the lights when we leave, it’s the big companies and industrialization that is lacking in support of the environment. Small initiatives like recycling help students become more aware that there is a problem and gives them an outlet to support finding a solution. A small start is always better than nothing.”

Belanger wants students to be more aware of how their actions impact the environment. “Take action, put a good foot forward, don’t litter, and most importantly, know what you’re leaving behind,” she said. “We have to start supporting the world because we only have one.”