Here at Elon we waste somewhere between 1,200 and 2,000 Styrofoam cups every day. That adds up to just over 412,000 cups trashed every academic year. Each one of those cups could take hundreds, even thousands of years to decompose completely. Of all the main dining venues, Octagon Café produces the majority of the waste, approximately 800 cups each day. On Wednesday November 14, there will be no disposable cups offered at Octagon. Everyone is urged to bring their own reusable cup. For students who do not have their own, special reusable mugs will be sold in Moseley for only $2. Meal plans and cash accepted.
All of us know that we leave footprints every place we go; bare feet in the sand, cleats on the soccer field, stilettos on the dance floor-but what about our ecological footprint? Every day we make choices that have an impact on the earth, and the sum of all those choices make up our individual ecological footprints. It is extremely important that each of us know our own personal impact on the environment, so we can make decisions that will help save the planet that we dump on every day.
Every personal choice we make has an impact on the future. When you choose to walk the extra ten feet to a recycling bin instead of throwing away your plastic bottle in the trashcan, you are making the world a better place for generations to come. The word “disposable” can be very misleading; it makes us think that once we throw something in the trash, it is gone forever. The truth is that when we put an empty cup of coffee in a trashcan, we are simply hiding it. This waste gets taken to a landfill and will sit there until long after our lives are over. We are the generation that can change the world, and it is our duty as citizens of this earth to keep it beautiful and thriving. I urge all of you to think consciously about the things you do around campus and at home every day. Turn the lights off when you are not in a room, take shorter showers, put on a sweatshirt instead of turning the heat on. And for your own sake, as well as the sake of the next generations, don’t dump on the earth. Shrink your personal footprints, and ditch your disposable cups.