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A special commencement edition of Outlook celebrating the class of 2003 and this year's outstanding faculty and staff will hit the streets on June 13. Included will be a message from President Robert Glidden, the year's top stories and profiles of several notable students. Commencement ceremonies will be June 7 (Osteopathic Medicine), June 13 (graduate) and June 14 (undergraduate).

 

June 4, 2003
One person's trash can inspire another person's environmental concern
By Jenny Grendel

Senior public relations major Jenny Grendel has learned many things during her time at Ohio University. Perhaps the most important life lesson came from Lori, her first roommate.

Ever since my first-year roommate Lori pulled out the extra trashcan in our room, labeling it "computer paper," I knew I would soon become a recycler. Nearly four years later, Lori - who shares our off-campus accommodations - has turned my four other roommates into recyclers. But now, instead of just computer paper, we recycle cans, bottles, plastic and cardboard.

Video - Click to Play"I knew if I didn't recycle something, Lori would rummage through the garbage to find it and then recycle it," says Erin, another roommate. "I felt so bad, I just started to recycle myself." Thanks to living with Lori for the past four years, recycling has become second nature to all of us. I even started to recycle when I went home each summer. Lori's influence and dedication to the environment has turned most of her friends and family members on to recycling. As Lori shows us, one person truly can make a difference.

Even though I consider myself a recycler, I hope to someday see myself as an environmentalist. I had no idea what being an environmentalist truly meant until Ed Newman, refuse and recycling manager for Ohio University, came to speak to my public relations class. Newman is a true environmentalist.

To me, environmentalists are people aware of the Earth's limited resources and have changed the way they live out of care and concern for our living planet. Newman's enthusiasm is exactly what the world needs in order to make recycling and caring for our environment a natural part of our everyday lives.

Newman made it clear that environmental awareness and education can make an enormous difference. Just think of the amount of trash that could be eliminated if you simply use a plastic coffee mug each time you go the coffee shop. As I sat in class with my Styrofoam coffee cup, I felt ignorant knowing that I have never before thought of that helpful measure.

The truth is that these small changes are not difficult or confusing tasks; you just need think of other options than just throwing something away. If everyone you saw holding a Styrofoam cup switched to a re-usable mug for just one day, consider how much that would help reduce waste.

One of my classmates praised Newman's efforts at Ohio University. She brought up the fact that having recycling available on college campuses is extremely important. It is here where we will form the habits we carry into our later lives.

Newman is currently working on Project Move Out, his newest initiative. Our class is lending a helping hand to a campaign aimed at reducing the amount of waste left after students leave their residence halls or off-campus apartments.

Students' move out represents the largest single waste-generating event of the year at Ohio University and in Athens. To that end, we are helping promote awareness of recycling and re-use options available to students as they move out. This project is especially important to me considering I am graduating and I want to leave Athens looking as beautiful as the day I came here.

I know that if the recycling resources Newman provides were not available on Ohio University's campus, it would probably be a hard habit for me to pick up in later life. I also know that thanks to Lori's influence and the availability of on-campus recycling, I have started to recycle and will continue to do so after I graduate.

Jenny Grendel is a senior public relations major

 

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