The 6 Rs: making a sustainable impact

By Saara J. Alatervo, College of Business and Public Policy and Honors College, University of Alaska, Anchorage. Saara J. Alatervo is an undergraduate business major and honors student.

America is a disposable nation. Each person on average produces more than 1,600 pounds of trash each year. In total, over 230 million tons of trash accumulates in landfills yearly in the United States. Seventy percent of the trash that makes its way to landfills could be recycled (Annenberg Foundation, 2012). Recycling is one of the 6 Rs of sustainability. The 6 Rs include: reinvent/rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse/repair, recycle, replace/rebuy. When we apply the 6 Rs to their lives we promote sustainable practices. But we must make the conscious effort to do so.  Continue reading The 6 Rs: making a sustainable impact

Operation Trash the Cuddy

By Saara Alatervo, Jade Aronson, Raine Becker, Emma Digert, Jeremiah Eisele, Claire Ferree, Austin Johnson, Kristina Khang, Anel Quiroz, Elizabeth Schoessler, Salomé Scott, Alexandra Weill, and other University of Alaska Anchorage Honors 192 students. . . writeup by Jeremiah Eisele and Mary Logan, with special thanks to Paula Williams, Director of the Office of Sustainability at UAA

184November 15th is America Recycles Day in the U.S. Local communities hold events to educate citizens on the methods and benefits of recycling. We are Honors 192 students at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), and this year we “Trashed the Cuddy” as part of a class project for America Recycles Day. UAA’s Office of Sustainability hosted the event, and Dr. Herminia Din’s Art 160 Art Appreciation Class was also involved. The primary goal of our event was to help fellow students understand the importance of waste reduction through the acts of reducing, reusing, and recycling. The goal was to create visual feedback that raises awareness about the volumes of waste we create. Currently society efficiently removes and hides our volumes of trash in landfills–out of sight, out of mind. In order to illustrate how rapidly trash accumulates, campus staff bagged a single day’s worth of trash from the entire university and we placed it on display outside Cuddy Hall. We surveyed students, and invited them to visit our educational area and get a bite to eat. Our class divided into four groups to work the event by surveying attendees, promoting and publicizing the event, researching the life cycles  of plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and documenting the event through still photos and the movie at the end of this post.  Continue reading Operation Trash the Cuddy