By Maggie Rodriguez
What started as a friendly competition between Ohio and Miami University, as a way to motivate their student bodies to recycle more, is now a nationwide tournament known as RecycleMania.
RecycleMania is an annual friendly competition between colleges and universities that seeks to promote waste reduction on school campus communities. By framing the program as a competition, RecycleMania hopes to reach students who may not otherwise respond to environmental messages.
For the fifth year in a row CSUB will be participating in the tournament. During the eight week challenge, beginning Feb. 10, CSUB’s Associated Students Inc is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to recycle as much as possible.
ASI member, Ricardo Perez, 23, said ASI has made a conscious effort to raise awareness about sustainability. Perez, who is also a member of the Recycle Mania committee, said the committee plans on coordinating events that’ll bring awareness about the benefits of recycling.
“We have a beautiful campus, I encourage the students [to] make a conscious effort in reducing waste by taking small steps like placing plastic in the appropriate bins, or investing in a eco-friendly reusable water bottle. The outcome… a healthier environment,” said Perez.
ASI will also be asking club officers to participate in order to increase school spirit on campus. There are labeled recycle bins all over campus, making it easy for students to recycle accordingly.
Communications major, Michelle Moreno, 21, thinks it’s great that CSUB is getting involved. “I’m not on campus too often, but when I am, I make an effort to recycle,” Moreno said. According to recyclemaniacs.org, over half of the campuses surveyed, “report a noticeable increase in recycling that is attributable to the school’s participation.” One of those schools is CSU San Marcos, who is currently the only school in California in the top ten in terms of recycling CSUSM student, Maria J. Hernandez, 21, has experienced first hand the positive effects Recycle Mania had both on campus and her in personal life.
“I’ve embraced it. I bring my water bottle to school every day and we have water bottle refilling stations all over campus. Little things really do make a big difference,” said Hernandez via Skype.
Although the recycle mania tournament is only eight weeks long, art major, Steve Garcia, 23, hopes that students don’t stop recycling after the competition comes to an end. “I recycle as much as I can and I hope that this [tournament] helps reinforce the practice of recycling in students,” said Garcia. So far there are 387 schools participating in this year’s Recycle Mania. Remember Runners; Reduce, re-use, recycle.