If you’re a homegrown, organic eatin’, treehuggin’ hippie like me, you’ll find a way to recycle no matter where you are. Our enthusiasm for recycling sometimes makes for cheeky comments from family and friends because, like most people, they prefer a realistic and reasonable level of convenience. That’s where College Station’s new single-stream recycling program comes in. Continue reading 5 ways you can make single-stream recycling work even better
By Heather Woolwine, Recycling & Environmental Compliance Manager
Many academic scholarship programs are based on written essays that express an applicant’s ideas about a certain topic. But when the Brazos Valley Earth Day committee decided to develop a scholarship program promoting environmental stewardship, we knew it called for something more substantial.
Words are nice, but a hands-on contribution to local communities is even nicer.
That’s why the scholarship program – which is in its first year – is based on actual projects that have a positive environmental impact in the Brazos Valley. The only requirements are for applicants to be residents of Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson or Washington counties, and be attending or planning to attend a technical school, college or university next fall.
The City of College Station’s Sanitation Division is always researching new methods and technologies to provide safe, efficient and cost effective solid waste services to our residents, but don’t take my word for it – read our mission statement:
“To provide safe, efficient and cost effective solid waste and recycling collection services incorporating state-of-the-art methods and technology, with world-class customer service to all citizens of College Station, in conjunction with promoting waste reduction and clean community programs through public education.”
That’s why we’re excited about unveiling our first Autocar E3 Hybrid this week, making us the first city in the Brazos Valley to operate a hybrid garbage truck.
Almost everyone has heard of the successful Adopt-A-Highway program. Roadway signs across the country mark sections that are maintained faithfully by local community organizations and clubs. The program started in Texas in the early 1980s and now has a presence in such faraway places as Japan and New Zealand.
The City of College Station took that popular concept and developed the Adopt-A-Greenway program, which encourages volunteers from area neighborhoods, churches, businesses and other groups to help maintain the city’s greenway system. All that’s required is a two-year commitment to remove trash from a designated greenway at least twice a year. Volunteers will be recognized on the city’s website and on signs along their adopted greenway.
“Howdy, I’m Erin Chastain-Harris, sustainability coordinator for the City of College Station.”
When I introduce myself these days, I am often met by a puzzled look, followed quickly by a question: “What’s a sustainability coordinator?”
Although sustainability is not a new idea, it is a hot topic in government and corporate business. Now that it’s popular to be “green,” many entities are publicizing how effectively they balance resources used and dollars spent with social responsibility. Businesses are tackling their resource usage with a complete systems view and are touting a smaller carbon footprint as a result. The City of College Station has embarked on a similar course.
Finding a Better Way
As sustainability coordinator, I find myself challenging the status quo, encouraging long-term thinking and actions that result in positive economic, social or environmental impact. In simple terms, I’m the one who walks around the office asking why things are done a certain way and if a better way is possible.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us – and more holiday sales in front of us – this is the perfect time to visit about shopping. When I strolled through the market last week, I noticed many product labels bearing the words environmentally friendly or green. Have you noticed in recent years that, no matter what you are shopping for, green marketing seems to accompany the product? Advertisers frequently claim that products are biodegradable, made of renewable materials or recycled content, manufactured using renewable energy, or are produced by companies that create carbon offsets. These claims are everywhere. Continue reading “Truth in Advertising: Let the FTC Know How You Feel”