With Earth Day coming soon, many wonder how they can alter their lifestyles in order to go green. Fortunately, Harding has already made steps to becoming an environmentally friendly campus.
According to James Noble, Aramark Facilities service director and front line manager, Harding’s service director in 2000 made an effort to make Harding a more eco-friendly university.
“When the service master took over the custodial contract, the director was big on recycling, so he did a lot of pushing for a bigger recycle program,” Noble said.
Since then, Harding has set recycling bins around campus, installed more bike racks to encourage riding bikes to class as opposed to driving, and, just last year, installed a water bottle station in the Student Center as a part of the Student Association’s (SA) recycling promotion.
Senior Daniel Evans, SA vice president, explained that the association has the goal of trying to get students to recycle more and make Harding more eco—friendly.
“We recycle lots of paper, plastic, aluminum cans and cardboard,” Evans said. “As far as that goes, it’s possible for us to recycle; it’s just that not a lot of students do.”
According to Noble, when Harding entered Recyclemania (a contest among schools nationwide that weighs each university’s recycling) two years ago, its numbers did not even make the running to be in the competition.
Evans suspected the low numbers aren’t because of the university’s attempts, but because of student participation.
“We went in to make sure Harding is recycling and what we realized is that Harding is doing a lot — it’s just us who aren’t recycling.”
Harding has had a sustainability committee in the past that met twice per semester, but Noble said they have not met since the beginning of the 2016 school year.
“We’ve talked about things when we had the meetings, about some things with Dr. Collins, like being in a skit in chapel to get students more active and involved in recycling,” Noble said. “Nothing ever came of that. I honestly don’t know. You can’t force somebody to recycle.”
Becoming eco—friendly goes beyond recycling. Part of being a more green campus includes health and safety checks and requiring that students unplug all electronics and adjust thermostats to conserve energy before breaks.
Evans pointed out that even picking up trash is an easy way to keep Harding’s campus clean, and Noble added that the university has begun recycling ink and toner cartridges.
“What is important is that [recycling and going green] is made accessible, available and easy,” Evans said. “But is there more stuff we can do to be green? Always.”
For more information on Harding’s Go Green movement, visit harding.edu/gogreen.