Student involvement is necessary to keep the environment clean on the Texas A&M campus, said organizers of Cool Aggies for Recycling and Environmentalism (CARE).
Jay Arekere, a Texas A&M research associate, started CARE in 1999. While working on his master's degree in Resource Economics and Recycling, Arekere noticed no organization on campus was consistently working on campus cleanliness. Arekere said that is when he got the idea for CARE. He started it in his office, and with the help of students it expanded from there.
CARE has set up recycling bins in some of the major buildings on campus, including the John R. Blocker Building, with separate sections for newspapers, office paper, magazines, cans and plastic bottles.
However, more student involvement is needed for these recycling bins to be placed in more buildings on campus, Arekere said.
"With environmental awareness, everything should start on campus," Arekere said. "We should be a model for the community and other universities."
CARE has also spread to University housing, and Arekere said student workers are needed to help empty the bins once a week. Arekere said he is currently working with the recycling coordinator for help in that area. The key to keeping campus clean and helping to save our environment is more student involvement.
"We need an army of people for this," Arekere said.
Most people do not take the time to recycle, said Marilyn Gennedy, senior bioenvironmental science major. Gennedy said students should become more involved with caring for the environment.
"Maybe eliminating every trash can except for the recycling bins would force students to make recycling an everyday habit," Gennedy said. "Then recycling would not be a hassle anymore, just something they are used to doing."
Arekere said that changing trash habits to recycling has many positive effects.
"If we recycle right, the prices of these products will be lower, and we will have more resources available for a longer period of time," Arekere said.
Arekere has involved the College Station community by asking grocery stores to carry recycled products, such as Albertson's, which now carries recycled toilet paper, he said.
The more students become involved with saving the environment, the bigger a difference it would make, Arekere said.
"Aggies should be leaders in all fields," he said.