Campus Bottles: From Recyclables to Reusables

For one week, garlands made from 342 recyclable plastic water bottles stretched across the student center atrium. Jeff Mogavero ’16, co-president of St. Lawrence’s Environmental Action Organization (EAO), says that the purpose of these garlands was to “start making people think a little more” about their consumption. Jeff works closely with EAO co-presidents Gwyn Buchanan ’16, Margot Nitschke ’16 and Amalie Sonneborn ’16 to raise environmental consciousness on campus.

The water bottle garlands represented the number of St. Lawrence-brand water bottles sold every day in the Northstar Café. That adds up to 660 one-liter bottles and 1,728 half-liter bottles sold in a week, according to statistics provided in November 2013 by Killy Bobela, manager of the café.

EAO hopes to eliminate recyclable bottles on campus through the SLU Reuse campaign. “Drinking from a reusable water bottle is an easy thing students aren’t always doing,” observes Jeff, a conservation-biology major and Green House theme house resident from Havertown, Pa. “People still buy St. Lawrence water bottles, perhaps because of ignorance, for the convenience, they believe the water tastes different, or lack of caring. They’re not looking at their lives and seeing how they help, or hurt, the world.”

Jeff hopes that EAO’s initiatives will increase the practice of low-impact lifestyles. He concludes, “If students can remember to reuse their water bottles, unplug power strips and turn off the lights—that’s a good takeaway.”                                                       --Nicole Eigbrett ’14